The Pale Blue Eye: What it Could’ve Been


Haley Wright, Staff Writer

Released December 23, 2022, on Netflix, The Pale Blue Eye, starring Christain Bale as detective Landor and Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe, received fairly good ratings with a 63% from Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.6/10 on IMDb. After being recommended to watch the film, I finally had a chance to sit down and watch it for myself.

Spoilers Ahead!

Throughout the film, we follow detective Landor, with the help of Cadet Edgar Allan Poe, trying to solve the murders happening at a military academy, where the victims’ hearts have been removed. Overall, I thought the film was pretty good and I enjoyed it. However, the twist ending was almost too starting as it felt like it came out of nowhere. Throughout the film, subtle hints of the twist were dropped, but it was very easy to overlook, which resulted in a very rushed 20-minute ending of how Poe figured out it was really Landor behind the murders. This reveal caught me slightly off guard, and it was frustrating to quickly switch to Poe’s point of view, playing flashbacks on how he found out, essentially speedrunning the film.

Revealed in the last 20 minutes was how Poe realized the letter written by Landor matched a fragment of another letter found in the victim’s hand, he finds a locket with the academy symbols on it in Landor’s daughter’s, Mattie, book, and after talking with Landor’s girlfriend, Patsy, it is revealed Mattie was assaulted by three members of the academy, which led to her death. It is revealed that the murder was Landor taking revenge. In order to make the reveal less startling, the scene where Poe talks to Patsy should have been included in the second act.

If the meeting between Poe and Patsy was revealed earlier, the audience could have followed Poe a bit more and come to the conclusion that Landor may have had something to do with the murders. Additionally, there needed to be more focus on the locket found in Mattie’s book. The audience needed to see it longer, to piece together that it came from the academy. We also needed to see a stronger curiosity from Poe as to why that locket was there. As for the scene where Poe finds Landor’s note, I thought it was done well. However, that could just be my bias since I was able to notice that the handwriting was the same as the one on the note fragment.

Overall, I really enjoyed the film, the twist ending and all!