Directed by James McTeigue, the man responsible for bringing us the epic that is V for Vendetta, The Raven is hitting cinemas this Friday in the UK and it looks like it’s going to be brilliant.

It will be going up against Disney’s John Carter, and naturally the two will be very different, with McTeigue’s film being a much darker, grittier vision than the Martian fantasy-action. So if you’re looking for a thriller to see on the big screen this weekend, this is your choice.

We’ve already seen plenty of great things from the film so far, and we now have three new images to add to that, courtesy of ShockTillYouDrop via, one of which in particular shows that dark and bloody side we can look forward to.

“In this gritty thriller, Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack, Being John Malkovich) joins forces with a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans, Immortals) to hunt down a mad serial killer who’s using Poe’s own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders. Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin), the film also stars Alice Eve (Sex and the City 2), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Faster).

When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper—part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story.

Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe’s writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author’s help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer’s next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it’s too late.”

John Cusack leads the cast playing (real-life) renowned poet Edgar Allen Poe, with a supporting cast that includes Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and with a script co-written by Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston.

The Raven will be out in the UK this Friday, 9th March, with the US release having been pushed back to 27th April (presumably to move it away from the John Carter blockbuster). I’m personally planning to see it on Friday myself, and I can’t wait. As usual with these new images, you can click to enlarge.

And if you’re reading this before midnight on 12th March, you can click here to enter our competition to win a brilliant poster for the film signed by John Cusack himself.