For those unfamiliar with Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” it is a parable about a man haunted by the death of his wife, who is visited by a large, black raven. The man, at first curious, wonders what the raven means. Is it there to comfort him? To haunt him?

“The Raven” is a spectacular short film that manages to convey the melancholy and mystery of Poe’s poem. Entirely narrated, it tells the story visually, and it tells it well. One might very well extract the meaning of the piece with the audio off. But why would one do that when the narration is amongst the finest this reviewer has ever had the privilege of hearing? Michael G. Sayers, who narrates, shows a broad range, from whimsy to anger, and elevates the piece to an atmosphere most ambitious shorts never reach.

This is just a wonderful film, and a fantastic tribute to Poe and his literary legacy.

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