The Raven is a recent film that should have a lot going for it. The central character is Edgar Allan Poe, and the storyline involves a series of murders that bear an uncanny resemblance to Poe's bizarre and often horrifying stories. So there is a locked room crime reminiscent of the murders in the Rue Morgue, a "Pit and the Pendulum" slaying that is extremely gruesome, and so on. A great basis for a story, I'd say.
I'm a Poe fan. I love his stories, not just those five remarkable pioneering stories that established the detective fiction genre, but also the imaginative and melodramatic tales that are so memorable: The Cask of Amontillado and so on. He was a brilliant writer, even if (as the film indicates) his personal life was a mess. And he was a gifted poet, too.
There are a number of very good books about Poe. Julian Symons wrote one and so, much earlier, did Edward Shanks, himself a poet and an occasional crime writer and reviewer. Symons also wrote a Poe-inspired mystery novel, The Name of Annabel Lee, which is worth a read. Andrew Taylor's novel about Poe's youth, The American Boy, is very enjoyable, and John Dickson Carr wrote a fine short story featuring the great man.
Back to the film. I'm afraid it ranks as a missed opportunity. There are some neat touches, but the concept is undermined by a lack of subtlety. There are needless anachronisms, and the dialogue did not suggest a strong connection with the realities of Poe's world. There were one or two lines that might have come out of an Oprah Winfrey or Jeremy Kyle show.. And I know that "okay" is a term that may have been used in Poe's day, but its repeated use did not convince me in the context. In a film with so much potential, these were mis-steps. A real shame. I wanted to love The Raven, but in the end, I didn't.