This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be. The premise of the next Netflix project from Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) has been ever so slightly baffling: It’s called The Fall of the House of Usher, but it’s not just that story; it’s “a modern remix of some of the most iconic works of Edgar Allan Poe,” according to Flanagan himself.
But with the release of the first trailer, the concept is pretty clear: Every Poe character or name you remember is involved somehow as the siblings who run Fortunato Pharmaceuticals find their family getting gruesomely picked off by a woman who, uh, well, I don’t think she’s only a woman, is the thing.
Carla Gugino is having a delightfully bloody time as the avenging angel—or should I say raven—having her way with this extremely wealthy family, which is led by the brilliantly cast pair of Bruce Greenwood and President Roslin herself, Mary McDonnell. The cast is, of course, packed with returning Flanagan actors (including Rahul Kohli, T’Nia Miller, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, and Michael Trucco) and some folks new to his world, including Mark Hamill as none other than Arthur Pym (from Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, his only novel).
Netflix’s synopsis is brief:
From Mike Flanagan, the creator of The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, a wicked horror series 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.
It all sounds very tense and murdery, but it’s also funny, in a very Flanagan-y way. Come for Carla Gugino doing terrible murders; stay for Rahul Kohli’s rant about satin, and T’Nia Miller’s elegant middle finger.
The house falls beginning October 12th on Netflix.