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Fanbase Press’ Scariest 2023: ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’

As Halloween is fast approaching, the Fanbase Press staff and contributors decided that there was no better way to celebrate this horrifically haunting holiday than by sharing our favorite scary stories! Be they movies, TV shows, video games, novels, or any other form of entertainment, members of the Fanbase Press crew will be sharing their “scariest” stories each day leading up to Halloween. We hope that you will enjoy this sneak peek into the terrors that frighten Fanbase Press!

Very few things have the ability to take you to that warm, comforting place filled with gooey nostalgia, the kind that makes you smile inadvertently and against your will. That’s exactly what The Fall of the House of Usher did for me. It’s like coming home after an extended absence, welcomed by family and friends and a few furbabies.

As a lifelong fan of Edgar Allan Poe, I was nervous going into Netflix’s newest release, The Fall of the House of Usher, so I took a couple of weeks before diving in. From the very first words, I could tell it would be something special, and, with each passing episode, I excitedly waited for the next Poe story to unravel. But it wasn’t just a homecoming for Poe fans. It was a return to what makes Mike Flanagan the best in the horror business. He’s had some great ones post-The Haunting of Hill House, but nothing that leveled up to that hauntingly beautiful spectacle of grief, family, and terror that he is so famous for. Usher changes all that.

The story is that of Roderick Usher, from the short story of the same name, but, from there, it’s a Poe bonanza. Roderick tells the story of his spoiled, rich, and quite evil family members, as each episode has another Poe story woven around the characters. The Pit and the Pendulum, The Black Cat, and The Tell-Tale Heart – among others – are flawlessly remastered into unique tales. It’s as if Flanagan tapped into the soul of Poe and brought him back to life to collaborate. It’s nothing short of brilliance that film students and fanatics will study for decades to come.

As much as the stories and scenery made me dig in, the acting is so beyond anything we normally get in horror media. Everyone is on point all the time; Carla Gugino has never been better, and I’m praying that some Emmy noms will come out of this one. The show deserves every single one. Flanagan uses his favorites again: wife Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Bruce Greenwood, and more. And, while this can be distracting when a director uses the same actors again and again, this cast doesn’t once make you think of the other shows in which they’ve been. They all shine as brand-new characters, and they draw you into this world that Flanagan has created, a world that is as horrific as it is gorgeous.

If you’re a Poe fan, stop, drop, and watch this show right now. I will watch it again and again, just as I did Hill House. Of course, immediately after the last episode, I went online and pulled up the public domain version of The Fall of the House of Usher story to read feverishly, and I’ll do the same with the other stories before my rewatch. That’s right – I all but said it. The TV show is as amazing as the source material, and they can reside together peacefully in this world, holding hands and skipping down the street while they whip out their knives and cut the throats of the not-so-innocent passerby.

Even if you’re not a fan of Poe or have never experienced his work, this is a must-watch. It definitely belongs in the hall of fame of “Scariest Of…” and forever in the hearts of horror fans everywhere.

Angie Martin, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor



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