The new film ‘The Raven’ has a series of murders plucked directly from the words of Edgar Allan Poe. In anticipation for this new movie, here are 5 stories of Poe’s to get you in the mood.
5. The Tell-Tale Heart
A great and chilling tale of the effects of guilt. Told from an the point of view of the murderer, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ tells the story of a man driven mad by a simple and unlikely thing. The glossy eye of a kind old man. In detail, you read as the narrator describes his descent into madness as he stalks the old man in preparation for his crime. You are right along with him for the ride through his paranoia. Poe’s attention to detail really drives this story and it’s a classic tale that will have shivering in the night.
4. The Pit and the Pendulum
A man awakes imprisoned in a cell. Dimly lit and claustrophobic, he finds himself trapped all except for a deep dank pit in the room. After falling unconscious, he comes to, strapped by an unknown visitor, to a table, where he finds above him a sharp and slowly lowering pendulum. Poe leans on the terror of the narrator and the slow descent of the pendulum to build suspense of the tail. The reader will hear the swing of the pendulum and will grip at their stomach with the idea of what awaits this man. A quick and macabre read.
3. The Masque of the Red Death
A gothic tale taking place in an old Abbey of Prince Prospero, ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ is a tale of another tale of paranoia. This time the fear is of a plague called ‘the Red Death’ with symptoms that make those in the land writhe in pain and sweat blood. Prospero and his close followers seem to care little for the peasants in the land and lock themselves in the Abbey. During a masked ball, Prospero notices a certain visitor that has stuck out from the crowd and quickly follows him room through room, as the clocks strike. The ending is a brilliant and chilling vision of retribution and the great equalizer.
2. The Cask of Amontillado
In my personal opinion this is one of Poe’s more unknown, but greatest tales of terror. Following two supposed old friends deep into a crypt, look for an old bottle of wine. This is a tale of deception and claustrophobia. If you have a fear of close spaces, you will shudder at the way Poe describes the narrator as he buries a man alive, brick by brick.
1.The Fall of the House of Usher
If you have never read Poe’s work, this is the perfect primer. It’s filled with the great gothic setting, a castle on the edge of the sea, and the themes and terror of Poe. Telling the story of Roderick Usher as he calls the narrator to visit him after the death of his sister. And what happens when his sister comes back. A haunting and tightly written tale of horror; ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is a quintessential read for any fan of horror or suspense.
As an added bonus: Please enjoy Christopher Walken reading ‘The Raven’