In what’s unfortunately one of the lesser films about a literary great, John Cusack wields a quill and a gun as The Raven’s Edgar Allen Poe, a legend who would’ve skewered this thriller in one of his sharp-tongued newsprint critiques. What’s perhaps best about the movie is the eerie mood that’s established, a mood symbolized by the titular winged creature. Blackbirds have been harbingers of doom in many a dark tale, and otherwise added spooky style to countless filmic palettes. Even in lighter fare, they point to something sinister, be it imminent attack, loneliness, or even racism.
The Crow (1994). Brandon Lee’s final film surely became his most iconic, a cult and goth fave that saw the Kung Fu legend’s son resurrected to avenge two deaths: that of his rock star character and the rock star’s doting wife. Serving as a link between the underworld and this one, a crow is what allows Lee’s hero to rise from the ashes, so he can assemble an all-black kit of duds and accessories, and paint his face in a manner that would launch a million Halloween costumes.