Extraordinary Tales adapts five of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories into vignettes,which tie together to form a cohesive film. The stories that were adapted are: “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, and “The Masque of Red Death”. My personal favorites were “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”.
Each vignette is narrated by a different actor, and each is uniformly fantastic. Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Julian Sands, and Guillermo del Toro lend their vocal talents to the shorts, while Stephen Hughes is the anthropomorphic voice of Poe the crow and Cornelia Funke is the voice of Death during the scenes that connect the fibers of the vignettes together.
This is an extremely gorgeous film. Each short is shot in a different style/medium, whether that’s stop-motion, comic-book style, or watercolor-esque. I couldn’t stop gawking at the beauty of Extraordinary Tales.
As per usual with anthology films, some vignettes don’t mesh as well as the others. “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Pit and the Pendulum” were my personal least favorite shorts, and I thought “The Masque of Red Death” was unique but it wasn’t great.
If you’re a Poe fan or love spooky, unique anthology films, give Extraordinary Tales a watch. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely gorgeous and feature amazing voice performances.
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