Jeff Labrecque
April 24, 2012 AT 01:31 PM EDT

Take Guy Ritchie’s combination of 19th-century period style and 21st-century action of his Sherlock Holmes films, and sprinkle in the brilliant embers of evil from a serial-killer masterpiece like David Fincher’s Seven, and you have the grand ambition of The Raven. John Cusack stars as a seemingly-sober Edgar Allen Poe, whose literary works of macabre are being used as a template by a copycat Baltimore murderer.

In this exclusive clip, a police detective (Luke Evans) shares a terrifying crime scene with the famous author, a scenario that previously existed only in his own mind and on the pages of his short story, The Pit and the Pendulum. “I really hadn’t imagined the counterweight to be… so large,” marvels Poe, looking up at the anchor of the enormous scythe that sliced the victim in half. Watch below:

The Raven, which co-stars Alice Eve and Brendan Gleeson, opens April 27. Here’s the full trailer.

Read more:

EW preview: ‘The Raven’

Exclusive ‘Raven’ TV trailer

‘The Raven’: New poster for thriller starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe — EXCLUSIVE

John Cusack on ‘The Raven’ and Edgar Allan Poe: ‘He definitely was the godfather of goth’

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