All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream: Raven’s Hollow

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1830, five West Point cadets come across a young man, hung up like a scarecrow a few miles outside the village of Raven’s Hollow.
When one of them, Edgar Allan Poe, approaches him, before expiring, to the question: “who did this to you?”, the young man replies: “raven”.
Poe convinces his comrades that it’s their duty to bring the young man’s body to the village for a proprer burial, and when they arrive, the semi-deserted and very creepy village is in the middle of a funeral already.
It’s a function for a young girl we saw die an unnatural death at the beginning.
When Poe decided to stay to discover more, despite the contrary opinion of his companions and the townfolk fearing an unspoken entity… their stay takes an unpleasant turn and they sign their own death warrants.

In a perfectly successful gothic atmosphere reminiscent of the 1999 Tim Burton‘s Sleepy Hollow, the director Christopher Hatton (Battle of the Damned) combines real facts (Poe did indeed attend West Point but he hated it and got expelled on purpose) with fictional elements inspired by Poe‘s writing itself. As his addictions are well known, not sure where to put the idea that the on-screen Poe (William Moseley, The Royals, The Chronicles of Narnia, Land of Dreams), thanks to a generous amount of opium, is able to connect with the spirit world…reality or fiction? You pick…

Authenticity to the period is done by the production design and costuming that really are both tailor-made for it, while, luckily for me and for all the people whose horror is not exactly their cup of tea, the spooky atmosphere is more entertainment than scares, but don’t be fools, there are few great jumps in your chair (or sofa) too.

For sure, Raven’s Hollow is a wonderful homage to Poe‘s work as well as William Moseley‘s performance is to the writer.

Raven’s Hollow, coming on Shudder on September 22nd

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