Fall Of The House Of Usher

Adapting Edgar Allan Poe’s seemingly unconnected stories and characters into a single nonlinear storyline spanning 1953–2023, this mini-series is loosely based on a number of Poe’s writings from the 19th century, the most notable of which being the eponymous short story from 1840. 
The series details the tragic events that led to the demise of all six of Roderick Usher’s children as well as his sister Madeline’s ascent to power as chief operating officer of a fraudulent pharmaceutical corporation. The series has an ensemble cast, with Bruce Greenwood playing the role of an old Roderick and Carla Gugino as an enigmatic woman who afflicts the Ushers.
The Fall of the House of Usher begins in November 2023, immediately following the tragic loss of all six of Roderick Usher’s children—Prospero, Camille, Napoleon, Victorine, Tamerlane, and Frederick—in a span of two weeks. Usher was the affluent and influential CEO of the corrupt pharmaceutical company Fortunato Pharmaceuticals. Roderick invites C. Auguste Dupin, an Assistant United States Attorney who devoted his career to exposing the corruption at Fortunato Pharmaceuticals, to his childhood home the evening after his children’s final funeral. There, he tells Dupin the truth about his family and begins to reveal the Ushers’ deepest secrets.
The show deftly follows two timelines, one of which is Roderick’s recollection of his conversation with Dupin and the other of which spans from 1953 to 1980 and details Roderick and his twin sister Madeline’s childhood and subsequent ascent to power. The second timeline focuses on the Ushers in the two weeks preceding the conversation and uncovers the truth about Roderick’s children’s deaths.
It has excellent acting, directing, and production qualities (especially from Gugino, Greenwood, and Mark Hamill), but it isn’t a faithful adaptation of Poe’s stories. From the very first episode, you will be frightened by Mike Flanagan’s superb adaptation of the Poe universe into a modern horror drama miniseries.
As is typical of Flanagan’s work, the series is full of eerie visuals, great jump scares, plenty of suspense, and nuanced emotions. A strong character drama and an engrossing mystery that leaves you with more questions than answers right up to the conclusion are what set The Fall of the House of Usher apart from other horror-drama series. 

-Dirk Lombard Fourie

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