“I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.” So begins Edgar Allan Poe’s creepy, Gothic short story The Fall of the House of Usher from 1839, which is both something of a deep cut from the horror master as well as the title of Mike Flanagan’s highly anticipated new Netflix series set to premiere on Oct. 12. Think of it as Succession meets a gory blast of horror, and you’ll have a good idea what to expect from this Poe-inspired extension of the streamer’s so-called “Flanaverse.”
It’s not just that The Fall of the House of Usher is a modern adaptation of Poe’s short story of the same name, which is about a man who travels to the house of a friend after that friend complains of an illness and asks for help. Each episode of this Netflix series is also named after either a Poe short story or poem from him (like, for example, the first and last episodes, which have reportedly been titled A Midnight Dreary and The Raven, respectively).
Without spoiling too much of the story and twists that await viewers, this series’ cast includes Bruce Greenwood portraying Roderick Usher. Here, he’s the CEO of a corrupt Pharma giant, and he must come to terms with his shady past after his children start to die in mysterious and brutal circumstances.
“It’s batshit crazy in the best possible way,” cast member Carla Gugino, who plays a demonic shape-shifter, said in a Netflix promotional interview about the series. “It has quite a lot of very dark humor, but also really touches the soul.”
She continues: “There is a fantastical supernatural element to the story, and she is the manifestation of that … You could say she’s the executor of fate or the executor of karma.”
If you need any more reasons to put Flanagan’s latest Netflix series on your watchlist, critics are already calling The Fall of the House of Usher a near-perfect series and raving that it’s a must-watch. It’s got a 97% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, which also makes it the best-reviewed of all of Flanagan’s previous Netflix series, which include: