Agatha Christie-style locked room puzzle box mysteries are big these days, with Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion hitting Netflix in a few months, and Arthur Conan Doyle-style mysteries where one mildly sociopathic genius connects the dots that nobody else can see are an evergreen subject for network TV procedurals, but what about spooky horror mysteries with flowery prose and skeletons and heavy winter coats to protect sad people from chilly weather that reflects their chill demeanor? Where, in other words, are the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired mysteries?
Well, here’s one: Scott Cooper’s The Pale Blue Eye, an adaptation of Louis Bayard’s book of the same name, which is coming to Netflix on January 6. Set at the West Point military academy in 1839, Pale Blue Eye stars Christian Bale as a bearded, morose-looking detective (the Christian Bale role, in other words) who must solve a murder. Lucky for him, he has some help in the form of a young West Point cadet named… EDGAR ALLAN POE. The man himself!
Except here he’s a young man, played by Harry Melling from the Harry Potter movies (he was Dudley Dursley), with the reveal of his character’s name in the trailer being immediately followed by an appearance from A RAVEN. Like in the poem! Will this be where he gets the idea for it? It does seem likely that there will be a midnight dreary in this movie, and someone will surely end up gently rapping, rapping at his chamber door. Or maybe there will just be ravens flying around because it fits the aesthetic, and the heavy-handed nod in the trailer is just an Easter egg to make sure you know who Poe is. Only this and nothing more.
Another thing worth noting about this trailer is the final reveal of the full cast, which is pretty stacked considering that Harry Melling gets such big billing (no offense to him, of course). In addition to him and Bale, it stars Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones (also from Harry Potter), Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney (also from Harry Potter), Timothy Spall (also from Harry Potter), and Robert Duvall.