Released on the platform on January 6, 2023, the new film by Scott Cooper is a macabre thriller in which an investigator camped by Christian Bale is tasked with solving a sordid murder. A task in which he will be supported by a young Edgar A. Poe, future famous writer.
With its dark atmosphere, The Pale Blue Eye fascinates and its little extra does not leave you indifferent. Because bringing in a legendary figure of Gothic literature like Edgar A. Poe has a small effect. If you are crazy about investigations with misty and mysterious settings, that’s good, the editorial staff is there to advise you five other must-see films in the same genre to shiver in beauty.
THE SHADOW OF EVIL
Released: 2012 – Duration: 1h51
Harry Melling as a rookie Inspector Poe made you want to see what he could do with a little more experience? James McTeigue foresaw and granted that wish in 2012 by making The Shadow of Evil. This thriller in which John Cusack interprets an Edgar Poe on the downward slope tells the way in which he will be led to investigate murders inspired by his writings.
Admittedly, this isa glamorized version of Poe: John Cusack offers us a broad-shouldered Edgar with a little too obvious charm, and the author’s literary universe is terribly simplified and watered down to fit into the mold of a conventional story.
However, the well-crafted script catches the eye, the casting does its job nicely and the macabre aesthetic is there. The film does not shun its tragic accents while wrapping its investigation in a pretty paper of blue flower romanticism (but especially black), and ends up seducing much more than expected. A very free and unpretentious adaptation of the life and work of Poe which convinces with its sincerity and efficiency.
Released: 2012 – Duration: 1h29
Master Coppola’s latest film dates back to 2012 and, unlike the great cult frescoes of the director ofApocalypse Now and Godfatherit is a small unfairly overlooked nugget and disliked from his filmography.
Nevertheless, Twixt offers plenty to delight Poe readers or anyone interested directly or indirectly in his beautiful and cruel universe. Just like in The Pale Blue Eye, Twixt involves Edgar Poe himself as a character, but it is Ben Chaplin who lends him his features here. In a dream, he accompanies the hero, a writer of fantastic novels of our time embodied by Val Kilmer. This one searches in his sleep for the story of his next book and the resolution of a murder at the same time. Who better to show him the way than his mentor and favorite author?
By recounting a tragic episode in his own life in a barely roundabout way, Coppola delivers here a deeply melancholy film, but also funny and astonishing. Very aesthetic, Twixt takes at face value Poe’s instruction that the primary goal of art was above all to be beautiful. In this poem in pictures, the reading levels multiply with much more intelligence than it seems, and Elle Fanning shines as a not-so-sad little ghost.
ROGER CORMAN’S POE CYCLE
Exit: between 1960 and 1964 – Duration: from 1h19 to 1h29
It is difficult to talk about the inspirations that Poe breathed into cinema without mentioning the cycle of eight films (eight!) that Roger Corman devoted to adapting the author’s works in the 1960s, in just four years (four!). Most of these feature films feature Vincent Price, the director’s favorite actor and emblem of cinema bis of the time, who shines with his ability to scare as much as to make people laugh by playing with his eyebrows and his addictive voice.
Each film serves asmore or less faithful adaptation of a short story by Poe, and follows a fairly precise pattern: cardboard decorations, a mysterious and lonely man, the somewhat too present memory of his wife who died too young, a gloomy castle that ends up burning… and also mist. Lots of mist.
Short, a certain quintessence of kitsch gothic, with a tone that varies from parody to tragedy without ever betraying the spirit of Poe who loved melancholy as much as the grotesque. It’s hard not to give in to the terrible charm of these founding films from which Tim Burton drew his inspiration largely in the first half of his career, and which are the revered ancestors of works like The Pale Blue Eye.
SLEEPY HOLLOW, The Legend of the Headless Horseman
Released: 1999 – Duration: 1h45
If the decorations of The Pale Blue Eye seduced you, you will have to discover or rediscover those of Sleepy Hollow, The Legend of the Headless Horsemana horror film that Tim Burton directed in 1999. The story takes place in the same countryside of New York State and at the same time.then one finds there with pleasure these forests of the edges of the Hudson and these fields covered with fog.
But in these fields strange and brutal murders take place. Committed by whom? Everything suggests that it is the ghost of a decapitated horseman who mows down the heads of unfortunate walkers on the back of his dark horseshoe. Here, we change author, but sleepy hollow nevertheless remains the adaptation of a fantastic short story: that of the very famous Legend of Sleepy Hollowwritten by Washington Irving in 1820 and which tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a teacher unlucky in love who finds himself confronted (he believes so) with the legendary horseman.
Adapted many times, it is in Tim Burton’s film that the story finds its most frankly gothic formbut also the most thrilling, since the character of Ichabod Crane becomes an unconventional investigator whose rationalism will be put to the test by the strange things that happen in this depressive hamlet. Full of spectacular murders and wonderfully gloomy imagerythe film is the pinnacle of its director’s career.
THE SECRET OF THE PYRAMID
Released: 1985 – Duration: 1h49
If you liked the idea of inventing a youth and a first founding inquiry into a pillar of literature, the experience is to be repeated with The secret of the pyramiddirected by Barry Levinson in 1985. Here, it is not a question of transforming an author into a protagonist, but of offering the rereading of a cult character. And for good reason, since the film tells the meeting between a young John Watson and his new classmate, a certain Sherlock Holmes, whose spirit of deduction works wonders.
On a model similar to The Pale Blue Eyebut with a lighter tone, The Secret of the Pyramid places throughout its history the milestones of the future evolution of Holmes as we know him in Conan Doyle. We even meet for the first time his sworn enemy, the famous Professor Moriarty, who is none other than Holmes’ teacher at the Brompton Academy where the story takes place.
The school’s gothic architecture, the fluttering snowflakes, the mysterious teachers… The film makes us set foot in Hogwarts before timewithout the magic wands, but with a dark history of murderous sect in addition.