Watch Yahoo UK's review for The Fall of the House of Usher:
📺 Where to watch The Fall of the House of Usher: Premieres on Netflix on Thursday, 12 October.
⭐️ Our rating: 4/5
🍿 Watch it if you liked: The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass, The Raven.
🎭 Who's in it?: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli, T'Nia Miller, Samantha Sloyan, Mary McDonnell, Mark Hamill
⏰ How long is it? 6 episodes, approximately one hour each.
📖 What’s it about? Roderick Usher's six children have died under tragic yet mysterious circumstances, and following their demise the billionaire meets with his longtime rival C. Auguste Dupin to explain what led to the tragedy and confess his sins.
For Roderick Usher death is all around him. It has come to his door and taken his six children whose ghosts torment his every waking moment until there is nothing left for the billionaire to do but face the sins of his past.
The Fall of the House of Usher is Mike Flanagan's latest for Netflix (after the roaring success of The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass) which sees the director delve into the writings of horror master Edgar Allen Poe to deliver a thought-provoking narrative about the consequences of chasing wealth and power through the life story of siblings Roderick (Bruce Greenwood) and Madeline (Mary McDonnell).
They have built themselves an empire, but at what cost? Roderick is forced to reckon with this notion when his children begin to die one by one at the hands of the mysterious Verna (Carla Gugino), and he decides to meet with lawyer, and longtime rival, C. Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly) to reveal what happened and why.
Flanagan has proven time and again that he is one of the most prolific voices in modern horror, and The Fall of the House of Usher continues to show his supremacy in the genre.
The show has all the classic horror tropes but uses them in clever ways. A jump scare always has a purpose, there is gore but it is never used for gore’s sake, and above all story is always king.
What is most impressive is how well Flanagan has adapted Poe's work. The director seamlessly blends Poe's short stories, poetry and his novel into one narrative for the Netflix show by re-envisioning his writing for a modern audience, using the same imagery and — in emotionally-charged moments — even quoting his poems word for word.
There are so many nods to Poe that it is hard to keep track of them all, but the series pays homage to the writer in clever ways without feeling ruled by it. If anything The Fall of the House of Usher is fresh and interesting, and is a unique and fascinating interpretation of the writer's work as a result of Flanagan’s deep understanding and appreciation of it.
Most of Flanagan’s regular collaborators return for The Fall of the House of Usher and give it their all, no matter how small the role. This is truly an ensemble piece, and it is hard to pick out standouts when everyone delivers such thrilling performances.
Gugino is chilling as Verna, whose omnipresence makes her far more dangerous than she looks, and the actor approaches the character in a nuanced way, adapting her performance to the Usher she is facing so that viewers will never know what to expect.
Siegel and Kholi are also highlights as the brattish Usher siblings Camille and Napoleon, as is T’Nia Miller’s tragic Victorine whose downfall is particularly shocking yet also one of the most emotional.
By it’s nature The Fall of the House of Usher is a bit of a slow burn, and while Roderick's retelling of his children's demise may feel a bit episodic in nature, by its sixth death the story reaches dizzying heights later, when we learn the reasons for the Usher’s downfall. The payoff is well worth the wait.
In a similar way to Midnight Mass, The Fall of the House of Usher worms its way into viewers' brains, doing so in such subtle ways that they will be completely enraptured before they even notice.
This is testament to both the cast's standout performances and Flanagan's smart script, making the demise of the Usher family a story that will be hard to forget.
The Fall of the House of Usher premieres on Thursday, 12 October on Netflix.
Watch the trailer for The Fall of the House of Usher: