Cheesy fun. The whole premise was so ridiculous that corny moments were probably unavoidable. Cusack seemed very out of place at first and never quite felt like he was from the time period, but he gave it so much effort and was so likable in the role that it didn't really bother me in the end. It could've had a more mind-blowing conclusion, but the ride was entertaining enough to make it not a huge deal.
An utter mess of a picture starting with the lack of a script that makes narrative sense. Cusack certainly earnest potraying Poe but doesn't save the movie from being a total bore. Other than the pendulum sequence the film really lacks the grand guignol needed for a story like this. By the time we get to the denouments we've really just stopped caring about the film at all. Not horror, not camp and less than either.
John Cusack's impeccable performance isn't enough to lighten up this badly-acted and sordid spectacle. Although it manages to create the dark, suspense-ish environment it wants to envelope us in, it nonetheless fails in letting us in. We feel miserably distant from all the action and mystery, being presented with a story that is historically incorrect and incongruent and a predictable yet absurd answer to the crime.
Entertaining graphically and more in concept than in its delivery, this movie is a good fictional exercise about a probable plot that led to Poe's death. Cusack is a skilful actor, but doesn't work as a vessel for a Poe (re)incarnation. The script is interesting and well crafted, but the result doesn't go beyond being an entertaining homage. (3 of 5)
Clearly the writers and the director of this movie have no grasp on what is needed to make this hokey premise work. All flash and thunder with barely a hint of class, subtlely and finesse which a movie like sorely needs. No even Cusack, who chews the scenery with aplomb, walks away from this train wreck unscathed. Very disappointing!!!