Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: The Fall of the House of Usher debuts on Netflix on October 12

The Fall of the House of Usher had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest. The limited series comprises eight episodes, and the first two premiered at the festival. Creator Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass) directs four episodes, and Michael Fimognari directs the others. The first two episodes were engaging and created interest in viewing the remaining episodes about the Usher family history.

About: This wicked horror series is based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege, and power. But past secrets come to light when the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying at the hands of a mysterious woman from their youth.

Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood) is the CEO of the empire built over the years with his sister Madeline (Mary McDonnell). To call them “wealthy” is not enough. Roderick has been married and had six children from said marriage and other relationships. His current new (and much younger) bride is Juno (Ruth Codd). His six children all have recently died – some more gruesomely than others. Despite all the money and resources, he is very stressed by their untimely deaths. Remaining with Roderick is his granddaughter, Lenore (Kyliegh Curran), and the family consigliere Arthur Pym, aka The Pym Greaper (Mark Hamill), also considered a member of the Usher empire. Hamill plays a fascinating character, as seen in the remaining episodes.

Roderick’s first marriage to Annabel Lee (Katie Parker) produced his eldest children: Frederick (Henry Thomas) and Tamerlane (Samantha Sloyan). Subsequently, he fathered the other four children: Camille (Kate Siegel), Napoleon (Rahul Kohli), Victorine (T’Nia Miller), and Prospero (Sauriyan Sapkota). They are a diverse lot.

As Roderick sits down to discuss the recent deaths with his friend Assistant Attorney General C. Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly), he looks calm in his childhood home. Still, some visions recur, so the audience knows something is amiss. As Roderick recounts his life story, each episode provides the story of the children, their lives, and how they met their death.

Greenwood and all the other cast members give solid performances. Even though this is based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, people not well versed in all of Poe’s work will find this drama captivating as the Ushers fall, little by little.

Cast: Carla Gugino, Michael Trucco, Paola Nuñez, Zach Gilford, Willa Fitzgerald, Malcolm Goodwin, Crystal Balint, Aya Furukawa, Daniel Jun, Matt Biedel, Annabeth Gish, Igby Rigney and Robert Longstreet

Executive Producers: Trevor Macy and Flanagan of Intrepid Pictures; Emmy Grinwis and Michael Fimognari

Source: Netflix

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