The film “Doctor Jekyll”  starring Eddie Izzard” was all I needed to hear in order to gain my interest and excitement. The opportunity to enjoy and analyze Doctor Jekyll (dir. Joe Stephenson) starring Eddie Izzard was uniquely special as she remains one of my family’s favorite comics. A combined love of horror, excitement of a prescreening, and adoration for Eddie made her film an absolute pleasure to watch. I was able to take away many ideas from Doctor Jekyll, but I’ll focus them all on three main takeaways: retold stories should be different from the original and bring their own unique perspective, art within art should be directive and intentional, and LGBTQ+ (trans specifically) representation is not only relevant but vital.

Reusing someone’s original story can and will be challenging to navigate without a ruminating respect for the primary art source and an audience who share the same passion. The trick is to add your own spice without offending the audience. Fans of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson come from all ranges of familiarity, interest, and background; thus, offending the audience is more challenging to accomplish. With room to explore an older tale in more depth and varied perspectives, I argue director Joe Stephenson and writer Dan Kelly-Mulhern did so well by adding sufficient layers and complexity to an existing narrative.

When you decide to sit down and watch Doctor Jekyll, pay attention to the framed art on the walls. Art within art should always be intentional because all art carries meaning, and you need to apply that meaning to avoid misleading an audience. Joe Stephenson is insightful and purposeful with the art he cultivated for Doctor Jekyll, which only adds to the intensity of each captured moment.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and sorry teller, I know the importance of telling our stories. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may not have been intended as a trans perspective, but now, with the casting of Eddie Izzard for the title role, the story takes on a different face. Doctor Jekyll is a fresh take on a classic narrative that does more than make a trans woman center stage; it provides further opportunity for more trans actors to do the same.

Horror is the best genre to break rules and reimagine stories. Izzard, Stephenson, and Kelly-Mulhern played their parts exceptionally,  and together, they cultivated a truly unique perspective on a classic. Doctor Jekyll is a fantastic retelling of Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which celebrates the original and continues its complexity further. The film utilizes its visuals and plenty of metaphors to build up the plot and emphasize the integral aspects of an iconic character. Overall, Doctor Jekyll was a pleasure to watch and analyze with friends, and I look forward to its release in the United States.

I want to thank Ed and Jeryd Bolden-Greer for creating Raven’s Veil, a space for myself and others to come together and enjoy horror content to the fullest extent, as well as Hammer Studios for inviting us along to watch and review this excellent film.

Editors Note:  While everyone knows the story of “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, this film explores Dr. Jekyll’s dual personalities as a result of pharmaceutical experimentation. Izzard’s portrayal of both the good and evil doctor is commendable, offering plenty of suitably spooky imagery. However, the film has been criticized for its lack of clear direction, with some reviewers stating that it is “meandering and empty” and lacks loyalty to its source material.  Despite Izzard’s game-lead performance, the film has received mixed reviews. Critics have praised Izzard’s performance, calling it a “delightfully twisted update on the Jekyll and Hyde story.” However, others have criticized the film for its lack of differentiation between Dr. Jekyll’s two personas.  The Ravens Vail Podcast Writing and Editorial staff concur that “Doctor Jekyll” is a bold attempt at reimagining a classic tale. While it may not have hit all the right notes of the original storyline, it certainly provides a fresh perspective on the age-old story. Eddie Izzard’s performance is a highlight, and it will be interesting to see how this film influences future adaptations of classic tales. All in all, we loved it!

At four years old, R.F. Greer wrote, directed, and starred in her first film titled, “Princess Asleep.” Since then, she has been a storyteller of many colors, honing her skills at North East School of the Arts in San Antonio, TX, and earning the Co-Editor position of their literary magazine “After Midnight” before graduating. In a gap year, Rhiannon wrote two feature films, maintained a website, and recorded poetry. In college, she was published in the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s literary magazine “Phoenix” and her book of poetry, “The Habit of Breaking Routine,” on Amazon Kindle. At the same time, she continues to earn her bachelor’s in Psychology and work full-time.