Disclaimer: Everything written below covers the basic plot outlined in the show’s pilot episode. No major spoilers ahead!
On October 12th, 2023, Netflix released a new miniseries, The Fall of the House of Usher, created by Mike Flanagan. It’s an 8-episode TV horror jam-packed with mysteries, jumpscares, spooky tales, and complex characters, all designed to incite a feeling of uneasiness while watching. Similar to Flanagan’s other well-known works: The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and The Midnight Club, this miniseries has hit Netflix just in time for Halloween. Here’s everything you need to know about it!
Loosely based on a series of works by Edgar Allen Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher aesthetically adopts the American gothic horror genre. It follows the life of a filthy corporate man named Rodrick Usher, who has grown his pharmaceutical company into a money-making empire. The series’ main plotline follows a court case where the Usher dynasty is under investigation for their drug Ligodone which was falsely advertised as a nonaddictive painkiller. Throughout the 8-episode story, you’ll learn about all the suffering the Usher family has inflicted on others, as karma slowly hunts them down, one by one.
The miniseries begins in Rodrick Usher’s childhood home, where the businessman meets with C. Auguste Dupin, the attorney working against him in the Ligodone case. It is here where you learn that all six of Roderick Usher’s children have been brutally and unnaturally killed in the weeks surrounding the trial. With every new episode, you get to experience their terrible deaths, which almost appear to be tied to the supernatural. This series is not a great show to watch if you have a weak stomach, as the murders are often gory and hyper-realistic, but if you’re interested in an intense gothic horror, it’s totally worth the watch.
The six children of Roderick Usher: Prospero (Perry), Camille, Leo, Victorine, Tamerlane, and Fredrick, are all portrayed as messy and disorganized upper-class citizens. Their individual personalities lie on the border of rotten, spoiled, greedy, and immoral, but despite being unlikable, their stories are all very interesting. It’s revealed in the first episode that one of them has been communicating with the police regarding Ligodone. As the characters start to drop dead, the mystery slowly unfolds.
The series stars actors and actresses such as Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Mary McDonnell, and Carl Lumbly. Rodrick’s wife and the present-day step-mom in the series, Juno, is played by Ruth Codd, who also played a major role in Falagan’s other TV horror series The Midnight Club. You might also recognize the actress Samantha Sloyan, who played the role of Dr. Penelope Blake in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy.
As of right now, The Fall of the House of Usher has received a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 80% of Google users stating that they liked the show. It is being well-praised by critics and horror fans, so make sure to tune in to Netflix so you can also witness this mystery. If you’ve been a fan of Flanagan’s other horror stories, I can assure you that this miniseries won’t disappoint!