THE PALE BLUE EYE on Netflix is a thriller starring Christian Bale and Harry Melling. The latter plays Edgar Allan Poe, who is helping a local detective solve a murder mystery. A surprisingly fascinating story. Read our full The Pale Blue Eye movie review here!

THE PALE BLUE EYE is a new Netflix thriller set in 1830 at the West Point military academy. The story itself includes murders, occult worshipping, a drunken detective, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Based on the fact that Christian Bale starred in this movie, which is directed by Scott Cooper, I had fair expectations. I just haven’t been thrilled with stories featuring Edgar Allan Poe recently, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Fortunately, I was positively surprised and really enjoyed this one.

Continue reading our The Pale Blue Eye movie review below. Find it in movie theaters on December 23, 2022. The movie will also be on Netflix from January 6, 2023.

A classic murder mystery

In the early hours of a cold and gray winter morning, a cadet is found dead at West Point in the year 1830. He appears to have hanged himself. However, not only is this supposed suicide looking very strange, the victim’s heart has been removed. Post-mortem, so it wasn’t what killed him.

But why would anyone remove a heart? And at a military academy at that?

Of course, the questions are many and when another young man turns up hanged, and with his heart carved out, the plot thickens. Even before the second victim shows up, a local detective has been enlisted to help solve this murder and find the killer.

The detective is portrayed by Christian Bale (amazing as always) and he receives help from a young cadet. The man who would later become the world-famous Edgar Allan Poe.

The Pale Blue Eye – Review | Netflix | Gothic Thriller

Harry Melling is perfect as Edgar Allan Poe

To me, many movies with Edgar Allan Poe as part of the story, fail miserably because the portrayal of him doesn’t work for me. With Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe, it absolutely works! He is quirky and weird, but also strangely charming and witty.

Sure, he looks at the dark and sinister things and is fascinated by them. As a horror fan, that just makes him relatable. And as someone helping a local detective, this interest in the macabre just makes Edgar Allan Poe an asset.


There’s Raven’s Hollow on Shudder – I didn’t care much for it, but it did have Kate Dickie in the cast >

As a duo, Christian Bale’s detective and Harry Melling’s Edgar Allan Poe just work amazingly well. There’s a dynamic and natural chemistry that makes everything all the more believable. And again, Harry Melling (The Devil all the Time) just works perfectly for me as Edgar Allan Poe.

Also, I should mention that the rest of the cast (mostly supporting characters with little screen time) is brilliant. You’ll see Lucy Boynton (Apostle), Toby Jones (The Wonder), Robert Duvall, Timothy Spall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlie Tahan, and Gillian Anderson.

Every single one of them plays relevant and memorable characters despite their brief screen time.

Watch The Pale Blue Eye on Netflix in 2023

The Pale Blue Eye is based on the novel by Louis Bayard and this adaption is written and directed by Scott Cooper. As a filmmaker, Scott Cooper has worked with Christian Bale several times already. The two did both Out of the Furnace (2013) and Hostiles (2017) as well.

As with any Netflix movie that could be up for some awards, The Pale Blue Eye is out in theatrical release first. You can find it in a few select theaters or simply wait for its Netflix release in early 2023.

Whether you care for stories by or about Edgar Allan Poe or not, The Pale Blue Eye is absolutely worth watching. It is very much a straight-up murder mystery set in 1830 with all the complications this has. Basically, it’s classic detective work more than CSI work.

While I enjoy both, this one did work surprisingly well for me with “just” the detective work. Sort of like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Just without the humor and colorful surroundings, since this is set in quite a dark and gloomy world.

THE PALE BLUE EYE is in select theaters on December 23, 2022, and on Netflix from January 6, 2023.


Writer & Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Lucy Boynton, Gillian Anderson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney, Hadley Robinson, Timothy Spall, Robert Duvall


West Point, 1830. A world-weary detective is hired to discreetly investigate the gruesome murder of a cadet. Stymied by the cadets’ code of silence, he enlists one of their own to help unravel the case — a young man the world would come to know as Edgar Allan Poe.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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