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Christian Bale takes on Edgar Allan Poe in new Netflix mystery 'The Pale Blue Eye'

Christian Bale meets Edgar Allan Poe in the latest from Antlers director Scott Cooper.

By Matthew Jackson
The Pale Blue Eye

The life and work of Edgar Allan Poe has proven fertile ground for any number of film adaptations over the years, and this December we get yet another offering with The Pale Blue Eye. Named for a line in The Tell-Tale Heart, arguably Poe's most famous story, the film is not based directly on any Poe narrative, nor is it based on a true story from Poe's life. Instead, it's a fictionalized account of the young writer's military days, as he's swept up in a murder mystery that might help shape the Gothic icon he will later become. 

Written and directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy HeartAntlers), The Pale Blue Eye is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Louis Bayard. Set in and around West Point, New York in 1830, the film follows a series of murders which rattle the military community, and the retired detective (Christian Bale) who takes up the case when a West Point cadet is found murdered. When the victim's fellow cadets prove less than cooperative, the detective turns to one of the most eccentric students of the military academy, an aspiring poet named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling). What will they find as they dig into the case? We'll know soon enough.

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Check out the teaser below:

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Cooper explained that the film has been a passion project decades in the making, and offered him a chance to work in several different genres at once, honoring Poe in a fictional way while also paying tribute to the legendary author's work.

“I thought, OK, I have an opportunity to do three things with this film: Fashion a whodunit, a father and son love story, and then a Poe origin story,” he said. “Poe at this young age was quite warm and witty and humorous and very Southernly. The experiences that I'm putting forth in this film led him down the darker paths that we have come to know him for.”

The Pale Blue Eye will have a short theatrical run this December ahead of a Jan. 6 streaming release on Netflix.

Looking for something horrific to watch? Peacock has lots of horror movies to keep you suitably scared including The Amityville Haunting, The Changeling, Firestarter, and several Saw movies.