The Pale Blue Eye; Poe Before Poetry


Natalie Leydet, Copy Editor

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers for Netflix’s new film The Pale Blue Eye. Some details describing the film may come off as sensitive to some so reader discretion is advised. 

The Pale Blue Eye is a new horror/mystery movie adaptation of the 2003 novel by Louis Bayard, streaming on Netflix. It is a classic “whodunit” style thriller, directed by Scott Cooper. 

It all begins way back in the year 1830, a veteran detective named Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) is investigating a series of murders at a US Military Academy in West Point, New York. While investigating, he comes across and enlists the help of a student at the academy, Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling). The cases are eventually linked to sorcery magic.

As they continuously get more and more details on the countless murders, they are led to the Marquis family. Suspicion of the crimes leads to the son (Harry Lawtey) and daughter (Lucy Boynton) of Dr. Daniel Marquis (Toby Jones), who was initially part of the autopsy examinations of the victims. 

Augustus arrives and saves Edgar from the Marquis siblings. Recovering from that incident, Poe is left looking at the handwriting found in the possession of one of the killed cadets. It is believed that the note was written by the killer. Edgar realizes the handwriting is the same as Augustus’s. He immediately confronts him about it and Augustus reveals why he killed the cadets. 

Two years prior to the events of the movie, The victims of the killings did horrible things to Landor’s daughter. She was so traumatized by the attack that she took her own life. Very vengeful for what had been done to his child, Landor set out for revenge on the men who harmed her. 

The Marquis siblings were in the wrong place at the wrong time. After Landor committed another murder, they were spotted near the scene, giving him the chance to pin the blame on them. Poe burns the note linking Landor to the crimes and the final shot of the movie is of Landor on the edge of the same cliff where his daughter passed. 

This movie was released to Netflix on Friday, January sixth, 2023, but it was first available to audiences in theaters in December 2022. Sophia Moyaert, a sophomore here at Lake Shore, watched the movie and is sharing her own personal review of the film. 

“I thought the movie was alright, going into it I didn’t really know anything about it. I just saw it on Netflix and was curious to watch it. Overall, I really wasn’t sure what to expect and did not mind.” 

Since she did not know what to expect when she found out about the film, Moyaert was surprised about the plot of the movie. Sophia’s rating of the movie lined up pretty well with the general public. The film has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, with a 66% Rotten Tomato score. 

Moyaert also said, “I would recommend this movie. It definitely delivers mystery and suspense. The twists and turns in the storyline make it out to have a pretty shocking ending.”

With all that said, The Pale Blue Eye is a promising tale for thrill and mystery. Check it out now on Netflix!