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What a wonderful cinematic experience. It is no secret that we are huge fans of Poe. Our name gives it away. There are a few names that I consider to be the kings of horror, lords of the macabre, poets of the penultimate price all men must pay. Lovecraft, King, Barker and Poe. My four horsemen.
This movie offered 5 tales: Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar, and The Masque of the Red Death. It was an anthology of adored tales that will continue to transcend generations. Poe’s lavish, linguistic laments obviously translate beautifully into the animated artistry we are presented with. The director, Raul Garcia, takes on the challenge of presenting the works of a master craftsman in a more modern medium. Not a small task. Other major talents included Sir Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Julian Sands, Roger Corman, and Guillermo del Toro.
The film starts with The Fall of the House of Usher. It won me over. No matter what came later, my bias had been justified and I was in love. The animation was a type of cell shading I’d seen in other shorts but fit the style and atmosphere to perfection. Marvelous. My second favourite had to be The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar, which was presented as a motion comic (an animated comic book). Although visually the most impressive, The Masque of the Red Death was probably my least favourite as it was a silent piece. The most important thing for me when being entertained by the masters is the opulent, vivid language they wield. As beautiful as a painting or image may be, the linguist in be will always be drawn to resplendency of the written or spoken word.
The only parts of the movie I did not truly enjoy would have been the scenes between the shorts; the conversations between Poe and Death. I found them to be a bit presumptuous. Of course Poe had to have had a fascination with death, but having him hop around as The Raven and flirting with death seemed, I don’t know, silly? It kept drawing me away from becoming fully immersed in the beautiful stories and animation. This is nothing but a personal gripe, some people might enjoy the little back-and-forths between the characters.
In closing, this is a fantastic film that should have had a lot more publicity than it received. Wholly enjoyable and beautifully crafted. Lovers of Poe and animation will not be disappointed. Absolutely recommended.
Trailer below for those who missed it.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.