Why The Pale blue eyes has everyone talking

Joyce Muchiri
3 min readJan 7, 2023

A little dark but surprisingly moving

Image by José Luis Ruiz

“The Pale Blue Eye” is a gothic murder mystery set in upstate New York in 1830, streaming now on Netflix.

Is The Pale Blue Eye worth watching?

The setting and cinematography in “The Pale Blue Eye” contribute to its eerie, atmospheric tone, but the twist endings may not be to everyone’s taste. The film’s gothic style and wintery setting, complete with candlelit hallways, lend it a sense of sensation and excitement, but it ultimately falls short in that regard.

The story follows veteran detective Augustus Landor (played by Christian Bale) as he investigates the gruesome murder of a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Landor enlists the help of another young cadet, Edgar Allan Poe (played by Harry Melling), to solve the crime. Based on Louis Bayard’s 2003 novel of the same name, the film was directed by Scott Cooper and also features Steven Meier as Leroy Fry.

Is Pale Blue Eye true story?

While the film is a work of fiction, the real Edgar Allan Poe did attend West Point before being expelled in 1831. Landor and Poe’s investigation leads to some shocking discoveries and a significant twist.

Images: Scott Garfield/Netflix: Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) in the middle

Following the murder of cadet Leroy Fry, another cadet, Randolph Ballinger, is killed and mutilated in a similar manner. Fry’s diary reveals that he and Ballinger were close friends, and it is later discovered that their other friend, Cadet Stoddard, has gone missing.

As the investigation progresses, Detective Landor becomes aware of a connection between the murders and a mysterious illness suffered by Lea Marquis, the sister of Cadet Artemus Marquis and daughter of the school’s physician, Dr. Marquis.

Landor learns that the Marquis family had attempted an occult ritual involving the sacrifice of a human heart in an attempt to cure Lea, and that the effects of the ritual are now wearing off.