The Fall of the House of Usher Season 1 Review

By Adam Lock
Published: October 2, 2023 (Last updated: October 14, 2023)
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The Fall of the House of Usher Season 1 Review


The Fall of the House of Usher is a brutal, twisted horror that tells an intricate, timely story, one filled with inventive deaths and many smart scares. This is easily Mike Flanagan’s best work since The Haunting of Hill House, and a series I look forward to watching again and again.

Horror auteur Mike Flanagan began his superb run of Netflix original series by adapting a classic gothic horror novel into the stupendous ten-part miniseries The Haunting of Hill House. Flanagan ends his time at Netflix in a similar form, adapting the works of Edgar Allan Poe into the exceptional first season of The Fall of The House of Usher. We review Flanagan’s departure show with no spoilers.

Both adaptations produced a modern spin on a classic story, and they both now work as bookends for Flanagan’s illustrious Netflix career. It will be sad to see the multi-talented filmmaker leave the streaming service, as his original shows have blessed our screens for five of the last six autumns now, practically ushering in the horror season.

But Flanagan leaves the company on a serious high before his move to rivals Prime Video.

The Fall of the House of Usher Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

The Fall of the House of Usher is easily his best work since The Haunting of Hill House, twisting the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe into a sinister tale of corporate greed and ungodly wealth. The eight-part series focuses on the Usher family, who made their billions peddling pills for Fortunato Pharmaceuticals.

The company’s unprecedented successes have led to a deadly opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives. And because of these horrific sins, the Usher family and Fortunato Pharmaceuticals are put on trial. Assistant US Attorney C. Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly), or Auggie for short, leads the fight against the powerful elite, but he has no idea what fresh horrors are to come.

During the trial, the spoilt children of Fortunato’s CEO, Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood), start to die off in brutal, harrowing ways. These deaths and the slow unveiling of the family’s many secrets are all linked to a mysterious woman known as Verna (Carla Gugino). She starts to turn the heirs against each other as the siblings battle for Roderick’s admiration and wealth.

The siblings are played by a mixture of Flanagan regulars and some exciting new additions to the team. There’s Tamerlane (Samantha Sloyan), who runs a Goop-esque lifestyle brand. Victorine (T’Nia Miller) is working on a revolutionary new medical device.

Gaming druggy Leo (Rahul Kohli), spin doctor Camille (Kate Siegel), Roderick’s eldest, the inept Freddy (Henry Thomas), and his youngest, the party prince, Perry (Sauriyan Sapkota). But who, if any, will survive this reckoning?

Is The Fall of the House of Usher worth watching? 

The Fall of the House of Usher is Mike Flanagan at his best, delivering a chilling masterpiece that will scare you intensely, but it will also keep you gripped for its entirety. This is a superbly written horror that holds a mirror to society, exploring the greed and selfishness of the rich and the consequences of their actions.

The series is beautifully realized, with an iconic look, featuring a stream of striking performances to behold. Carla Gugino is horrifying as the villain of the piece, while Mark Hamill is almost unrecognizable as the Usher family’s detestable lawyer. Bruce Greenwood is also impressive as the ruthless CEO, but there are countless other performances to enjoy as well.

And then there’s the scares. The Fall of the House of Usher is a haunting series that steadily builds a foreboding sense of dread throughout its eight-episode run. There are jump scares plenty and even one sequence that may rival Flanagan’s most notorious of past scenes.

The filmmaker, alongside his regular collaborator Michael Fimognari, creates a taunting, tense atmosphere that builds momentum toward a truly twisted finale.

This is the perfect horror series to binge this horror season.

What did you think of The Fall of the House of Usher Season 1, and how would you review it? Comment below.

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