EXTRAORDINARY TALES

"Not That Extraordinary"

Quality:
Content: -3 Excessive content and/or worldview problems.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

EXTRAORDINARY TALES is a bizarre, sometimes disturbing animated imagining of five Edgar Allan Poe tales, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “Monsieur Valdemar.” The movie begins with a raven at a cemetery conversing with a statue. The raven represents Edgar Allan Poe, and the statue symbolizes death. The two figures discuss the subject of immortality and death before transitioning into the first short, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The dialogue and the progression of the stories clearly make each story a morality tale, but the movie’s images don’t always accompany Poe’s poetic descriptions and dialogue in a helpful manner. Some of the animation is extremely distracting and hard to follow. “The Masque of the Red Death” paints a grim picture of debauchery and excess, but it becomes grossly vulgar. Most of the shorts don’t work. It’s also worth noting that, though it’s animated, the character of Poe’s stories is extremely macabre and not for children of any age. EXTRAORDINARY TALES is not that extraordinary.

Content:

(B, Pa, OO, Ho, L, VV, S, NN, AA, DD, M) Light morality tale about the dangers of pagan excess and debauchery, with occult elements of hauntings, ghosts and spiritism, plus a lesbian kissing scene; two light profanities; strong, scary violence includes scary images, man is stabbed and bloodied, man’s body rapidly decomposes, a pendulum almost cuts a man, man’s arm is sliced open, bodies are thrown into a pit, and spirit kills a whole party of people; one animated short shows a party/orgy, man grabs woman’s breast, two naked women in a bath kissing; animated upper female nudity; alcohol consumption and drunkenness; medication bottles and a syringe are seen on the ground, and man smokes a opium; and, gambling.

More Detail:

EXTRAORDINARY TALES is a bizarre, sometimes disturbing animated imagining of famous Edgar Allan Poe tales, including “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and two others. The movie begins with a raven at a cemetery conversing with a statue. The raven represents Edgar Allan Poe, and the statue symbolizes death. The two discuss the subject of immortality and death before transitioning into the first short, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” With excellent and imaginative animation, “The Fall of the House of Usher” is one of the more disturbing shorts. It’s a dark, ghostly story of a man visiting his friend at his crumbling mansion who’s haunted by his sister’s spirit. The classic fable has been adapted many times to the big screen, but its most recent, and undeniably strong resemblance, is to the abhorrent CRIMSON PEAK. The next short, “The Tell Tale Heart,” is hard to follow, not just because of the pastel, black and white style of animation, but the crackly audio that’s barely audible. That’s too bad because it’s one of Poe’s best tales. “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” may have been the most engrossing of the shorts, but the story of a nearly dead man being hypnotized, then tested by doctors for months, only to awaken and rapidly decompose is troubling to say the least. The stories only get worse with “The Pit and the Pendulum” and the darkest of them all, “The Masque of the Red Death.” In between the shorts, the Raven and Death discuss Poe’s obsession, and love of death, and Poe decries his desire that his words live on beyond his life. Though it’s said, and quite clear by the progression of the stories, that each story serves as a morality tale, the complementing images don’t always accompany Poe’s poetic descriptions and dialogue in a helpful manner. Some of the animation is extremely distracting and hard to follow. “The Masque of the Red Death” clearly paints a grim picture of debauchery and excess, but it becomes grossly vulgar in the process just in its frank portrayal of the debauchery. EXTRAORDINARY TALES as a whole is just a strange mix. At times, it’s a worthy adaptation of Poe’s tales, but most of them fall short. It’s also worth noting that though it’s animated, the nature of Poe’s tales are extremely heavy and not for children of any age.

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