Extraordinary Tales (2015)

extraordinary tales edgar allan poe

quickflick-1.jpgI’ve just finished watching this delightful showcase of animated Edgar Allan Poe stores. It’s strange to think that this stories are still influencing people despite being told and retold for nearly 200 years. Now it was a huge venture and has been executed perfectly.

Most of us know the stories so the magic really lies in the art and presentation and I’m still giddy from how amazing this was.  You can easily argue that this had been done a thousand times before, and it has, and even using some of the people who worked on this one.

“Every second of this is iconic and overall it’s masterfully and thoroughly thought through, often with breathtaking results”

As with all anthologies there is a wrap around this one depicts Edgar as a Raven (of course) talking to Death, who appears a disjointed statue. It’s been criticized that the animation is advanced but I think the point that this movie is personally stylised as per story rather than being a graphical masterpiece.

Each story is narrated by someone who’s not a stranger to horror including, Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi (yes Lugosi!), Julian Sands and Guillermo Del Toro (and the final story, Masque of the ed Death is totally silent), and each one has it’s own personally crafted style and atmosphere, for me two features that stood out were, The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar which is one of my favourite stories and is presented by Julian Sands, but the lead character in the comic based graphics looks quite like Vincent Price. The other amazing feature was the Tell Tale Heart, narrated by Bela Lugosi, taken from an original scratchy recording with all the clicks and pops, it’s haunting and set against the stark black and white “Sin City” style graphics actually based on the artwork of Latin American comic book artist Alberto Breccia..  The only two things that connect them are the original author and I believe the music is all composed by one man, Sergio De La Puente.

While it’s stunning to look at and while we all know and love the stories, one thing that really annoyed me is that the stories were very short, but wholeheartedly experimental. It pleasantly surprising to hear Bella’s voice,  segment and for information those segments are (The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar, and The Masque of the Red Death).  All of the emotions are amplified here, everything is graphically and deeply moving, the sorrow is the deepest sorrow, the shock and surprise is groundbreaking.

Rating 7/10

Full review and more to come.

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