‘Extraordinary Tales’ – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 9 out of 10
Synopsis: A film anthology of five of Edgar Allan Poes best-known stories, each told in a unique graphic style, and featuring some of the most beloved figures in horror film history. Adapting the look and variety of a classic horror anthology, EXTRAORDINARY TALES offers heart-pounding takes on 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. Each tale is given a unique animated look, inspired by sources as diverse as classic Hollywood black-and-white monster films, or the pulpy feel of DC Comics, and narrated by a stable of legendary genre directors and actors.
Our Thoughts: ‘Extraordinary Tales’ is an excellent animated adaptation of five of Poe’s best known stories. Each tale comes to live with a unique art style for that specific story. From dreamy and gothic, to stark black and white, each telling captures the terror of the tale it depicts.
Sir Christopher Lee narrates the first tale, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, perfectly. His final film role was yet another memorable one to add to his extensive list of horror films. The art style of this story was my favorite. All of the art styles uses in this were wonderful, but this one I found to be the creepiest of all of them. It was a perfect adaptation of the tale.
‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ was creepy in a very different way. The creators used an old narration by Bela Lugosi for it and a stark black and white art style. The way it is pieced together feels like a surreal dream.
‘The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar’ follows, and is narrated by Julian Sands, in yet another terrifying telling of the tale, this time in a comic book style art. Guillermo del Toro narrates the horrifying adaptation of ‘ The Pit and the Pendulum’, told in a more modern art style, which almost reminded me of video game horror. Next comes ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ which is nearly silent, and told in a gothic watercolor style. ‘Masque’ was probably my other favorite retelling in this collection, with its beautiful dreamy tale of death.
Each of the tales is tied together with a raven incarnation of Poe having a conversation with Death. It was absolutely perfect way to tie it all of his tales together. This is the animated Poe I think all Poe fans would want to see. Artsy, dreamy, terrifying, beautiful, horrifying, gothic and so much more. Not to mention the legendary talent who participated. Clearly made by fans of Poe for fans of Poe, ‘Extraordinary Tales’ is sure to be a new fan favorite!
‘Extraordinary Tales’ is coming to theaters and on demand October 23. You can view the trailer below.