When Mike Flanagan has a new show coming out, it usually sets the tone of expectations as he has demonstrated that he can be trusted with the horror genre. Even when he’s doing something episodic, he has a firm grip on what needs to be done in order to create an environment for an audience to truly get riled up and stand behind in a positive manner. However, Flanagan has also proven that he knows how to adapt work and generally do it justice, so when it was announced that Flanagan was adapting Edgar Allen Poe for a mini series with an absolutely stacked cast, the anticipation was through the roof. With all that being said, I am incredibly happy to report that not only is The Fall of the House of Usher some of his best work, its arguably some of the best Poe adaptations brought to life on screen, so sit back and discover the sheer chaos that unfolds.
The show focuses on Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood) as he is a mogul and certainly has his fair share of skeletons in the closet as he’s continuously managed to avoid getting caught and serving time for any of his suspected crimes. This all comes to an instant halt though as his children slowly, and usually quite horrifically, start perishing. After he lost a few of his children he agrees to talk to Dupin (Carl Lumbly) and agrees to confess to his sins if he just hears him out. Each episode explains and focuses on a child and how said child has died, each with a different Poe story concluding their ultimate demise. Now we are not going to tell you the stories as that would possibly lead to spoilers, nor are we going to tell you how each child dies as we want the audience to experience that for themselves, just know that this, like Edgar Allen Poe’s work, is not for the faint of heart and the horrors are truly spectacular in the most gruesome way.
What makes The Fall of the House of Usher work are the performances from the cast, as Bruce Greenwood and Carl Lumbly excel in their modern day roles, but it is not only them as each episode is given a character to explore and study. Henry Thomas as Frederick, Rahul Kohli as Leo, Samantha Sloyan as Tamerlane, and Sauriyan Sapkota as Perry all excel in their roles and bring these characters to life in new and creative ways for each episode. Each character has their own arc and is able to breathe to tell their story as they get perfectly entangled in the chaos unfolding around them as the audiences relish in their ultimate demise as well.
The Fall of the House of Usher is really unlike anything Flanagan has done before, its an anthology mini series that dedicates an episode to each character with something tying it all together to create this perfect world for audiences to dive into. It truly is something special and something so sheerly original (even though its adapted) and brilliant that it deserves everyone’s complete and undivided attention. So sit back and brace yourself for the world of the Ushers and their ultimate demise in The Fall of the House of Usher.