The Pale Blue Eye is an adaption of a novel by Louis Bayard that imagines a chilling horror story set in West Point during the time that Edgar Allen Poe was in attendance. The early 1800s time period places the film well before Sherlock Holmes, offering a darker, more reserved kind of horror, creating a strange, slow-moving, threatening aura that I am, actually, all about.
The trailer shows Christian Bale as detective Augustus Landor, who is called in by West Point to investigate a grisly murder. While the cadets prove that their comraderie to each other is greater than their fear of being the next victim, Landor identifies a young cadet—Edgar Allen Poe (played by Harry Melling)—as a possible ally in the manhunt. This is a great premise, in my opinion, because Poe is credited as literally inventing the modern detective story. His “tales of ratiocination” quickly took on a life of their own, creating a unique and popular new genre within decades.
I am truly the target audience for something like this, as I attended both the university that Poe famously dropped out of and I am currently living in the relative area of the Hudson Valley where this film was shot, which has the unsettling effect of feeling as if I could step outside and see the mysterious killer behind every tree during a hike.
The Pale Blue Eye will be available on Netflix and in select theaters on January 6.
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