The Pale Blue Eye: Satan Riding Large In Rural New York

Written by Luke Barnes


A man, played by Christian Bale, investigating a string of grisly murders finds unlikely assistance from a young Edgar Allen Poe, played by Harry Melling.

There is plenty to enjoy about this gothic mystery film though I don’t think anyone would call it perfect by any means either. The atmosphere and central two lead performances certainly create an engaging world, and Bale as always delivers masterfully, however it is with the mystery that things begin to come unstuck.

The mystery itself is not bad, I didn’t see it coming and the twist did feel satisfying at the time it was revealed, however, since then the twist has started to feel far too familiar it is a twist common to this sort of film and narrative and though it does work within the context of the film I criticise it for its over familiarity.

Moreover, I think as with many films the greatest thing going against this picture is its pacing which is nothing short of abominable. The film feels very exciting in the first and third acts but the second feels like an incredibly long slog and becomes more of an endurance test than anything else. Though I will say you should stick it out as the third act is quite lively.

Overall, the cast, atmosphere and mystery do bring something special to this film, however, the familiarity of the twist and the awful pacing make it a taxing watch.



Bale and Melling

The atmosphere

The mystery


Though the twist works it feels far too overly familiar and lazy

The pacing is simply awful

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