The Fall of the House of Usher is a new 8-part Netflix series, as well as the title of one of Edgar Allen Poe‘s short stories, and as I see the episode listing coming up, every one appears to also be the title of one of his works.
Even before watching this, I saw one was titled “The Raven“, and that immediately made me think of The Simpsons‘ Treehouse of Horror episode which featured it. That was back in the days when the Simpsons was great. Still, I should stop remembering TV and get back to work…
On the day this series begins, November 20th 2023 – so, just over a month from now, Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood – Doctor Sleep, and the same is the case for many people in this drama) summons C. Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly – The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension), to where he lives, which is also his original childhood home. However, life for Rod ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, as his children have all passed away and he’s left rattling around the house on his own, and he lays it all out to Dupin.
There’s flashbacks as our lead recounts back to 1953, when he was forbidden to go to the Longfellows house, but sister Madeline (Mary McDonnell) taunts him to do this. Not the best idea, since Mr. Longfellow (Robert Longstreet – Judas and the Black Messiah) employs their mother, and he’s not best pleased at them turning up. Events take an even darker turn in relation to 1962, but for reasons I do not wish to describe, partly regarding potential spoilers, and partly because… well, you’ll see.
The fact the children are all dead is revealed at the start, so that, in itself, is not a spoiler, but because flashbacks are a thing, they can all still appear in scenes aplenty. As such, son Frederick (Henry Thomas– Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, as well as E.T. of course) thinks there’s an informant in the family, so legal issues will occur, hence they need an attorney, and who best to be at Roderick’s beck and call than Mark Hamill looking gloriously shifty as Arthur Pym?
So far, I’ve seen the opening episode and about half of the second, but I really couldn’t get a handle on this with jump scares and bizarre nonsense happening. Plus, with the entire family at odds with each other and everyone arguing, it was like a spooky episode of Hollyoaks!
Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.
The Fall Of The House Of Usher is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from October 12th.
Running time: 60 minutes (8 episodes)
Release date: October 12th 2023
Series Directors: Michael Fimognari, Mike Flanagan
Producers: Jamie Flanagan, Kathy Gilroy
Creator: Mike Flanagan
Original work: Edgar Allan Poe
Writers: Justina Ireland, Rebecca Klingel, Dani Parker, Kiele Sanchez, Jamie Flanagan, Emmy Grinwis, Mat Johnson
Music: The Newton Brothers
Roderick Usher: Bruce Greenwood
Verna: Carla Gugino
Madeline Usher: Mary McDonnell
Frederick Usher: Henry Thomas
Camille L’Espanaye: Kate Siegel
Leo Usher: Rahul Kohli
Tamerlane Usher: Samantha Sloyan
Victorine LaFourcade: T’Nia Miller
Young Roderick: Zach Gilford
Young Madeline: Willa Fitzgerald
Rufus Griswold: Michael Trucco
Annabel Lee: Katie Parker
Perry Usher: Sauriyan Sapkota
William ‘Bill-T’ Wilson: Matt Biedel
Morella Usher: Crystal Balint
Juno: Ruth Codd
Lenore: Kyliegh Curran
Auguste Dupin: Carl Lumbly
Arthur Pym: Mark Hamill
Dr. Alessandra Ruiz: Paola Núñez
Young Dupin: Malcolm Goodwin
Julius: Daniel Chae Jun
Mr. Longfellow: Robert Longstreet
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.