Tales of Poe brings together three adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic creepy stories: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, and Dreams, all of which could easily be described as some of his better-known tales.
Each of these is a re-imaging of the original story. This works surprisingly well; after all it’s more fun if you don’t know what to expect and Tales of Poe is one of those movies that delights in hoodwinking the viewer. The Tell-Tale Heart, for example, is filled with buckets of gore, a delicious amount of scenery chewing from the leads and some interesting choices when it comes to casting. We doubt that Poe had any of this in mind when he penned the story this is based on, but it’s delightfully gory and quite fun.
The Cask of Amontillado is perhaps the weakest of the three. In an attempt to shock the viewer, it strays into the realms of high camp. The entire thing feels predictable throughout and the gore is just a little bit too much in all the wrong ways. Neither fun nor scary, just a little bit bland.
Our final tale is Dreams, a surreal and often times self-indulgent affair. Filled to the brim with strong performances and a fascinating narrative, Dreams feels odd in that it’s neither dramatic nor gory. It’s just odd and nicely creepy. It’s also very pretty in parts, which is unusual for a low budget horror.
Tales of Poe is an interesting mix of stories and styles. The differences between each segment is often jarring and the performances are hardly smooth. The whole thing is a bit of curate’s egg; plenty for any horror fan to get stuck into, but not enough of any one element to be truly satisfying.
TALES OF POE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: BART MASTRONARDI, ALAN ROWE KELLY / SCREENPLAY: MICHAEL VARRATI, ALAN ROWE KELLY, BART MASTRONARDI / STARRING: CAROLINE WILLIAMS, DEBBIE ROCHON, ADRIENNE KING, AMY STEEL / RELEASE DATE: TBC