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First Photos From The Tell-Tale Heart Look Oddly Romantic

If you're at all familiar with the works of Edgar Allan Poe, any adaptation of them will carry with it certain expectations: gothic atmosphere, a certain unnerving quality, what looks like a musical number.... wait, what?

The Hollywood Reporter has posted three pictures from the new adaptation of The Tell-Tale Heart, based on Poe's short story about a chap who kills an old man, hides the corpse under his floorboards, and is slowly driven insane by the sound of beating heart and his own guilty conscience. The flick is being directed and co-written by John La Tier, and it's shooting in New Orleans, which is sure to add plenty of visual richness to the horrific story. So what does this first look at the Tell-Tale Heart reveal? Well, here's one of them:

You can clearly see Poe's influence here in the, uh, sparkly lights. And the gossamer dress. Uh...well, I guess Rose McGowan is kind of creepy in and of herself, right?

If you click over and check out the other two shots, you're not going to find any of them screaming "gothic despair" either. One shows a couple dancing, the other a guy staring through a hole in...something. That one's sort of ominous, I suppose.

If you're a little confused here, you're not alone. According to THR's story, the adaptation has added a romantic subplot to the story, which seems like an odd choice. I realize adapting a short story may often require expanding upon the source material to hit a decent running time, but still. At the very least, we can hope it will be a tragic romance. This is Poe, after all; we've got to have some standards.

The Tell-Tale Heart stars Patrick John Flueger, Rose McGowan, and Peter Bogdanovich. It's slated to premiere on August 15th, 2012.