Parents' Guide to

Raven's Hollow

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gothic horror story has jump scares, gory imagery.

Movie NR 2022 98 minutes
Raven's Hollow movie poster

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This gothic horror has big ideas, despite its obvious modest budget. Raven's Hollow is essentially an Edgar Allan Poe "origin" story, albeit one with a large dollop of gothic fantasy horror. Set in 1830 -- before Poe has established himself as a much-lauded poet and author -- the film has fun suggesting the inspiration for his future writings. This inspiration comes in the form of a creepy community that appears to be under some kind of curse. Director and writer Christopher Hatton drops all manner of nods and acknowledgments to Poe's works. Character's share names with his poems, while some lines are directly lifted from his text.

Yet what begins as an interesting idea becomes lost in some uneven plotting and strange editorial decisions. Set in upstate New York, there are all manner of accents going on -- fans of popular kids' show Bluey may recognize Charlotte (Melanie Zanetti) as the voice of Bluey's mom. David Hayman's as the village doctor is particularly distracting. Poe also makes a bizarre decision toward the end of the film that makes little to no sense, despite his explanation. Hatton does a great job of creating a creepy, gothic atmosphere and there are a few jump scares for good measure. But ultimately, despite a runtime of just 98 minutes, the film drags and, unlike Poe's actual works, the conclusion is lacking.

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