Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Crow - The Hero's Journey

“His soul is escorted to the next world by a crow, but when a spirit is unhappy there because of unsettled business on earth, sometimes the crow will bring him back again”.

Using Joseph Campbell’s philosophy on the ‘The Mono-myth’ Alex Proyas , directed ‘The Crow’ 1994, could be see to have ‘The Hero’s Journey’ rules applied through out the film. However, the film is shot in a non linear fashion to start with. Starting with sections of the ‘Initiation’ the Apotheosis is first explained with the flight of a crow, having the ability to transfer souls to and from the next world, and also giving the deceased immortal powers when back in the land of the living (As long as the crow stays alive). The Hero ‘Eric Draven’ suffers this fate, with the brutal murder of his wife ‘Shelly Webster’ and himself. In a morbid may this is ‘The Call to Action’ as his life and world have been prematurely ended in a horrific way. But seeing as ‘Draven’ is now deceased, his ‘Refusal of the Call’ is sad one, in that you can’t really do much when you are dead!

However, one year later the Crow, also the ’Supernatural Aid’ brings Draven’s soul back from the land of the dead, so that he can finish unsettled business to the Henchmen and Mob Boss, that committed the crimes. This scene pulls our Hero into ‘Crossing the Threshold’ Draven is now alive and ready to take his revenge. As he died one year ago on Halloween, it is again Halloween ‘Devils Night’ and the Henchmen ‘Tin Tin, Funboy, T-bird and Sickbay’ are up to their usual ways causing chaos across the Gothic city. Ordered once again by Mob Boss‘Top Dollar’, Draven is now truly in n ‘The Belly of the Whale’ with his ‘Road of Trials’ The hunting down and assassination of all parties that where involved, firmly cemented in his mind.

Having the ability to see the past when touching items connected to Shelly, Draven gets both happy memories of time spent, but also the sexual and brutal emotions of her feelings on the night of the murder, Shelly’s role of ‘Temptress’ shows how Draven must take revenge, but also the calmness of his soul before the events happened and how by eradicating the vigilantes will preserve him back to peace with Shelly in the land of the dead.

On the Road of Trials, Draven’s ‘Temptation’ is increased with having heightened senses and powers that the Crow brings. Vision through the Crows eyes, makes for easy tracking, the ability for immortality , makes Draven take bigger risks and dramatic entrances when introducing himself to each of his victims. Slowly spreading the word that something different, something supernatural, is taking revenge on ‘Devils Night’. 

Slowly eradicating each of the villains and making his presence well known with symbols of the crow and by word of mouth ‘The Ultimate Boon’ is a large section of Alex Proyas ‘The Crow’. However connections between Draven’s powers and his supernatural aid of the crow are made, Kill the crow, Kill Draven. Again the ‘The Refusal of Return’ is out Draven’s hands, with the crow being captured and injured by Top-Dollar, Draven loses his immortality and with the ability of dying with out putting his soul at rest, he still will be kept away from the peaceful reunite with Shelly in the land of the dead.

Draven’s connection between the Cop ‘Albrecht’, ‘Rescue from Without’ who is the lead officer on the murder scene one year previous, seeing all the pain of Shelly’s injuries before she passed away, grows throughout the film, with Albrecht realising who Draven is and giving him the key to winning ‘The magic of Flight’. This stage could be scene as the final showdown between Draven and Mob Boss Top-Dollar. Having his supernatural power taken away, Draven looks as though he has lost, but with the memories of Shelly’s pain that was passed on by Albrecht, Draven passes these over to Top-Dollar by touch, causing so much psychological pain, he is distracted and sets the events to his death, creating ‘Crossing the Return Threshold’.

Having eradicated all the vigilantes that where connected to his murder, Draven’s soul is now free to be reunited with Shelly - Returning them both to peace in the other world. The ‘Freedom to Live’ is also a sad one in this film, as the hero returns to be dead, but in peace, so that is nice.


  1. sorry for small writing, wont let me update size

  2. This is credibly argued, Mark - I just think that some illustrations + film poster additions would just ensure the reader's experience of this review was more completely contextualised. Also, just because the brief no longer asks you to include '3 supporting quotes' etc, it would be great to see you still working with published sources in order to full scaffold your argument. Otherwise - this is an engagingly written and nicely readable piece.

  3. Thanks for the advice Phil :) was unsure about the quotes but will deffo get these back up and running in the next review - thanks again