THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER on Netflix is the final series on the streaming service from Mike Flanagan. It’s been an extremely good run and it ends on a high note with this series. Even the cast is familiar from his previous series – and it’s very dark. Read our full The Fall of the House of Usher review here!
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER is a new Netflix series from Mike Flanagan. After having made so many amazing series with and for this streaming giant, it’s bittersweet to know that this is the final series from Mike Flanagan. Well, on Netflix. Mike Flanagan has since gone to Prime Video, so we will be getting more from him. Thank the horror gods for that!
And yes, Mike Flanagan ends his Netflix deal on a very high note with this final Edgar Allan Poe series. As always, the cast is full of familiar faces from Flanagan’s other productions and it gets very dark. There are plenty of well-timed jump scares, but for me, the deep character-driven horror hits even harder. There are eight hour-long episodes in the series and we’ve watched them all for this review.
Continue reading our The Fall of the House of Usher series review below. Find all 8 episodes on Netflix from October 12, 2023.
A modern take that simply works
In Flanagan’s latest Netflix horror series, the creator has based his story on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Set in the modern-day USA, we meet the ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher. Together, they have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege, and power. However, it’s all based on a drug and the company sounds like the very same focused on in the Painkiller series.
It’s simple and absolutely perfect for a modern take. Especially as we learn the secret of how the Usher siblings came to power. Secrets start spilling out as all the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying. Somehow, a mysterious woman from the beginning of their success in their youth has something to do with all these brutal (and often very creative) deaths.
The series has been adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 short story of the same name. However, there are plenty of references to other classic tales from Edgar Allan Poe.
The absolute focus of this horror series is Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood). He is the CEO of the very corrupt Usher-owned pharmaceutical company. Roderick and his sister, Madeline Usher (Mary McDonnell), had a very tragic childhood and struggled in their youth. Now, the secret of their “rags to riches”-story is about to be revealed. Just as their empire is crumbling and all the heirs dying!
I adore this cast – but mostly Carla Gugino
To be fair, it’s always easy to enjoy the cast of any Mike Flanagan production. His movies and series are always full of familiar faces and this is, of course, no exception. There is not one actor who doesn’t deliver a brilliant performance, and yet I especially loved Carla Gugino. She’s always amazing but has so much to work with in The Fall of the House of Usher. And she seems to really be enjoying herself.
Sure, she does also have the added bonus of playing one core character and then various variations to lure in the Usher family members. As such, she plays everything from a flirty bartender to a security guard and a classic “cat lady” working at an animal shelter. Just to name a few of her characters within her core character.
As the head of the Usher family, Roderick Usher, we see Bruce Greenwood as the senior version and Zach Gilford as the younger version. Always at his side is his sister Madeline, who is clearly the brains of the family. Something Roderick agrees on completely. Madeline Usher is played perfectly by Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica) as the older version and equally brilliantly by Willa Fitzgerald as the younger version.
As their mother, Eliza, we see Annabeth Gish who is a big part of the first episode. The children of Roderick Usher, who become key in all the brutal events that happen throughout the series are portrayed by Henry Thomas, Samantha Sloyan, T’Nia Miller, Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli, and Sauriyan Sapkota. Believe me when I say they are all brilliant. Still, Henry Thomas terrified me like never before!!!
Finally, the most recent Usher (by way of a very surprising marriage), is Juno Usher portrayed by Ruth Codd. And the one grandchild in the mix is Lenore Usher portrayed by Kyleigh Curran (Doctor Sleep).
The non-Usher characters
Mark Hamill is the Usher family lawyer (and overall fixer, really) and Hamill delivers a deep and intense performance here. I loved it! The always wonderful Carl Lumbly (Altered Carbon) plays Auguste Dupin, who tries to bring the Usher family dynasty down via the courts. As with any huge cooperation, this is virtually impossible.
Still, throughout the series, we see the senior Dupin across from Bruce Greenwood’s Roderick, as the latter promises to finally come clean and admit to all his crimes. The two actors are on fire across from one another. The young Dupin is played by Malcolm Goodwin, who delivers a strong character performance though he physically doesn’t quite resemble Carl Lumbly, who is much taller.
Aside from those already mentioned, you can also look forward to seeing even more Flanagan alumni cast members. Keep your eye out for Michael Trucco, Crystal Balint, Aya Furukawa, Matt Biedel, Igby Rigney, and Robert Longstreet. Also, Katie Parker is in this series and while she is technically an Usher, she’s only ever referred to as Annabel Lee.
Watch The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix!
The creator of The Fall of the House of Usher is Mike Flanagan which we’ve already mentioned many times before. However, it bears repeating as he is one of the most solid and brilliant horror creators of our time. He is also directing half of the episodes in this series, with Michael Fimognari (The Midnight Club) directing the other half.
After an extremely strong opening episode, it’s easy to get into the vibe and pace of The Fall of the House of Usher. And I do mean that to be a huge compliment. The eighth and final episode – which runs a bit longer than an hour – wraps it all up nicely, resulting in a tight and strong story. One that is character- and horror-driven at every turn.
I know most people have their favorite Mike Flanagan series on Netflix. For me, it’s still the two “The Haunting”-series that stand out. However, it also feels unfair to rate Mike Flanagan against, well, Mike Flanagan. Anything from him that I might like less than something else he made, is still leaps and bounds better than most (if not everything) else in the way of horror series.
With a release the day before the final Friday the 13th of 2023, this series could easily be the one thing you decide to watch. It’ll be one hell of a binge-watch with more than eight hours of runtime, but it’ll be a great ride.
Enjoy this final Netflix series from Flanagan and get ready to tune into Prime Video for his next series. Personally, I know I’ll be following Mike Flanagan wherever he goes!
The Fall of the House of Usher is on Netflix globally from October 12, 2023.
Creator: Mike Flanagan
Directors: Mike Flanagan & Michael Fimognari
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Carla Gugino, Mary McDonnell, Carl Lumbly, Mark Hamill, Michael Trucco, T’Nia Miller, Paola Nuñez, Henry Thomas, Kyleigh Curran, Samantha Sloyan, Rahul Kohli, Kate Siegel, Sauriyan Sapkota, Zach Gilford, Willa Fitzgerald, Katie Parker, Malcolm Goodwin, Crystal Balint, Aya Furukawa, Daniel Jun, Matt Biedel, Ruth Codd, Annabeth Gish, Igby Rigney and Robert Longstreet
To secure their fortune — and future — two ruthless siblings build a family dynasty that begins to crumble when their heirs mysteriously die, one by one.