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Raven’s Hollow (2022) Review

1830, just outside the town of Raven’s Hollow, five West Point cadets, Edgar Allan Poe (William Moseley, The Chronicles of Narnia, Murder Company), yes the writer, Lawrence Bishop (Kyle Rowe, The Brothers Grimsby), Will Taylor (Callum Woodhouse, The Durrells, All Creatures Great and Small), Thomas Cricke (Michael Guest, Balance) and Lutz Becker (Mathis Landwehr, Sky Sharks, Urban Fighter)  come across a man disembowelled and hung up like a scarecrow.

In true cinematic fashion, he has just enough life left in him to utter a single word, “Raven”, before dying. Poe convinces the others it’s their duty to bring his body to town for proper burial. What they find is a town that is almost deserted, its inhabitants in the middle of a funeral for a girl we saw die a most unnatural death in the film’s prologue. It quickly becomes obvious they’re trying to keep something hidden as well.

Raven’s Hollow was directed and co-written, with Chuck Reeves (Ogre), by Christopher Hatton who you may remember for his film Battle of the Damned which pitted Dolph Lundgren and a crew of robots against a city full of zombies.

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Here however he’s dropped the high-tech elements and gone fully gothic with a tale that starts with a grain of fact, Poe did indeed attend West Point, although he hated it so much that he deliberately got himself court marshalled and expelled. It then mixes in various elements of fiction, including some that will be familiar to those familiar with Poe’s works.

Ignoring a warning by Usher (Oberon K.A. Adjepong, The Many Saints of Newark, Freedom) to leave immediately, the cadets soon find themselves meeting bloody ends. There are plenty of reasons to suspect the townsfolk, including Dr. Garrett (David Hayman, Vertical Limit, Kingslayer), Elizabet (Kate Dickie, Shepherd, The Witch), and Daniel (Callum McGowan, It Came from the Desert, The Art of Love). And Charlotte (Melanie Zanetti, Love and Monsters, Battle of the Damned) who assists Poe in his investigations seems a little too interested in violent death. Or, as some of them claim, the work of a devil? Perhaps a combination of both?

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At times, Raven’s Hollow feels a bit like a bloodier version of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, trading Poe for Ichabod Crane and The Raven for The Headless Horseman. And it certainly has that film’s atmosphere, if not its touches of steampunk. In its place, we get Poe trancing on opium in order to connect with the spirit world.

And, like Burton’s film, Raven’s Hollow is much more entertaining than it is frightening. That’s not to say that it doesn’t provide a fair amount of tension or jump scares. But since we know the story of Poe’s life, we also know, that no matter what happens to the rest of the cast, our protagonist will survive.

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Despite that, Raven’s Hollow did keep me interested and guessing about the other characters and their fates. Especially once the film reaches its final act and the bodies really start dropping. If you’re a fan of Poe’s writing, you may be able to use some of the references to his work and his life to figure out where the story is heading, but it’s still fun seeing how it gets there.

Along the way, we do get some fairly good gore effects to liven things up. The creature, when we do finally see it, is CGI, but it’s reasonably well done and doesn’t stick around long enough for it to be obvious. Overall, Raven’s Hollow is an enjoyable if lightweight film that’s worth the time it takes to watch it.

Raven’s Hollow will debut on Shudder on September 22nd. And if you’re looking for more films like it, FilmTagger can suggest a few.

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2 thoughts on “Raven’s Hollow (2022) Review”

  1. I will not watch this show for one several reasons, Number one; the complete cast is non-American except for the actor Oberon k. a. Adjepong. Number two; the complete cast speaks in the King English, this is a GREAT concern, because the TRUTH FACTS states, that
    https://writer.com/blog/history-of-american-grammar/#1
    By around 1720, Americans had begun to notice that their evolving dialect was different from the ol’ mother tongue. By 1756 the differences between American and British English were pronounced enough that Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language was able to single out and criticize what Johnson called “the American dialect.” Noah Webster would explain roughly 60 years later: “The reasons for American English being different than English English are simple […as] an independent nation, our honor requires us to have a system of our own, in language as well as government
    These new words and phrases created throughout the centuries, referred to as “Americanisms”, signified the split from our English forefathers. As early as 1735, the English began to refer to American English, and our “Americanisms”, as barbaric, sneering and laughing at the hundreds of new American terms being used. It’s believed the American Revolution was a turning point for embedding this new English, as rebels fiercely desired their independence from British rule.
    https://litreactor.com/columns/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-noah-webster-the-inventor-of-american-english#:~:text=American%20English%20%7C%20LitReactor-,10%20Things%20You%20Didn%27t%20Know%20About%20Noah%20Webster,the%20Inventor%20of%20American%20English&text=In%3A,American%20History
    Noah Webster, the Inventor of American English In the earliest years of American independence, Webster lobbied for an Americanized English that was different from British English, but that also unified the territories of the new United States. He argued that if everyone in the new country spoke and wrote the same language, “the consequence of this uniformity will be an intimacy of social intercourse hitherto unknown, and a boundless diffusion of knowledge.” In order to distinguish American English from British English, he promoted simplified spelling (more on that in number 8) and he argued that the simplified spellings were more in line with English’s Anglo-Saxon etymological origins. In England, the dominant culture wanted to align itself with the Classical era of the Greek philosophers and Roman emperors, so lexicographers of that time forced Anglo-Saxon words and grammatical structures into Greek and Latin frames. In his book Noah Webster and the American Dictionary David Micklethwait tells us:
    http://dialectblog.com/2011/06/13/americans-talking-britis/#:~:text=Most%20scholars%20have%20roughly%20located,There%20are%20some%20clear%20exceptions.
    Most scholars have roughly located “split off” point between American and British English as the mid-18th-Century. United States Military Academy West Point was created in March 16, 1802,
    By the 1800’s, there were three distinct dialect areas with different pronunciations, but similar vocabulary: Northern (New York, New England, and due west), Southern (Virginia to Georgia, out to Louisiana and due west), and Midland (Pennsylvania and the lower Midwest). This evolution was primarily an intentional one, pushed along by people like Franklin, Paine, and other patriots. As Noah Webster would explain roughly 60 years later: “The reasons for American English being different than English English are simple […as] an independent nation, our honor requires us to have a system of our own, in language as well as government.”
    AMERICAN DID NOT WANT TO USE THE KINGS ENGLISH
    These new words and phrases created throughout the centuries, referred to as “Americanisms”, signified the split from our English forefathers. As early as 1735, the English began to refer to American English, and our “Americanisms”, as barbaric, sneering and laughing at the hundreds of new American terms being used. It’s believed the American Revolution was a turning point for embedding this new English, as rebels fiercely desired their independence from British rule.
    The 18th century lasted from January 1, 1701 (MDCCI) to December 31, 1800 (MDCCC). United States Military Academy West Point was created in March 16, 1802.
    The movie Ravens Hollow states the follow; “ In RAVEN’S HOLLOW, the year is 1830 and West Point military Cadet Edgar Allan Poe (William Moseley) and four other cadets discover a dying man”.
    Hopefully I have proven that the use of the King English by the entire cast is NOT FACTUALLY TRUTH OR CORRECT
    The next question is, why the movie and television entertainment industry repeatedly, using The Kings English to portray the United States culture in the following timelines,
    • Colonial Settlement, 1600s – 1763.
    • The American Revolution, 1763 – 1783.
    • The New Nation, 1783 – 1815.
    • National Expansion and Reform, 1815 – 1880.

    Why am I personally so concern?
    First it seem that someone want to try state, that England was the culture and language used in the United States during the timeline I list above, and that is TOTALLY NOT TRUE. And also when I look at movies and TV special about the Roman Empire, all the actors and even the documentary use English actors or specialist, speaking in the Kings English. I will not allow this to happen in movies and TV about United States without identifying that this is a LIE, and factually not true

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