Extraordinary Tales | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Extraordinary Tales

An animated anthology of Edgar Allan Poe tales will have you appreciating his dark work

Halloween time means loads of scary movies making the rounds, but fans of horror owe plenty to one of its early masters, Baltimore author Edgar Allan Poe. Raul Garcia’s new anthology presents animated versions of five of Poe’s tales; each is done in a unique style and features different narrators. The narrations are adapted closely from Poe’s frequently dense text, but once viewers adjust to the literary style, they are rewarded with truly horrifying stories: a twisted sibling relationship in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” a man hypnotized between life and death (“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”), and a prisoner’s madness in “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Garcia uses archival voice recordings of Bela Lugosi to narrate “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and director Roger Corman — who made many a cinematic adaptation of Poe’s work — provides the voice of Prince Prospero in “The Masque of the Red Death.” The interstitial material, in which Poe (depicted as a raven) argues with Death, feels a bit padded. But this visit with Poe’s work will have you re-appreciating what an enjoyable twisted oeuvre it is.

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