Edgar Allan Poe’s stories may date from the early 1800s, but clearly they've still got some bite. In the new Netflix miniseries, The Fall of the House of Usher, creator Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass) takes pieces from some of Poe’s most famous tales and transforms them into a thrilling 21st-century TV show that feels one part Succession (rich family dynasty) and one part Knives Out (murder mystery), but with loads of scares that would make the late Poe proud.
Netflix’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ Is Like a Horror-Infused ‘Succession’ Combining Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Famous Stories
This is Poe like we've never seen
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Our series starts in the dilapidated childhood home of Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood), an unnerving business tycoon who meets with C. Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly), a U.S. attorney making a case against the Usher family.
At the time of the pair's meeting, all six of Roderick's children—Frederick (Henry Thomas), Camille (Kate Siegel), Leo (Rahul Kohli), Tamerlane (Samantha Sloyan), Victorine (T'Nia Miller) and Perry (Sauriyan Sapkota)—have died, seemingly by random circumstances. However, upon Dupin's arrival, Roderick claims that he knows the reason behind all his kids' deaths, and he begins to recount his chilling life story to the lawyer.
From there, we're presented with a mother rising from the grave, a ghostly bartender haunting Roderick and mysterious images, like a harlequin, a black cat and—unsurprisingly for fans of Poe—a raven.
While The Fall of the House of Usher might be a first introduction to Poe’s stories for younger viewers, it will also serve as a treat for fans of the Gothic author, because Flanagan combines Poe’s stories in surprising ways. The series uses elements from iconic narratives like “The Black Cat,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and, of course, “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
But to give the show a 21st-century twist, Flanagan imbues modern subjects, highlighting the opioid crisis, the digital news cycle and more. As these are mixed with the universal themes of Poe’s work—grief, greed, death and more—it's clear that there are still new ways to bring the American author's work to the screen.
PureWow Review: 5 Out of 5 Stars
Mike Flanagan is on a roll after The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass, and his latest horror series, The Fall of the House of Usher, is another winning installment. With elements of Edgar Allan Poe’s most-beloved stories twisted together and imbued with modern themes, the series is sure to be an addictive watch for new inductees, as well as longtime fans. Consider us sucked in (and spooked).
All eight episodes are available to stream now.
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