Allan has a hard time finding the Usher's house, which is known to be cursed... But he is a personal friend of Roderick Usher, who lives with his sick wife Madeline and a doctor. Roderick ... See full summary »
Allan has a hard time finding the Usher's house, which is known to be cursed... But he is a personal friend of Roderick Usher, who lives with his sick wife Madeline and a doctor. Roderick is painting a portrait of Madeline, but every pose exhausts her. Allan worries more and more... Written by
Wow! Words cannot describe how absolutely magical this film is, but I will try. Its not often that a film will truly captivate me from moment one as this one has, especially in the world of silent film. Its been a long time since I've been glued to the screen in complete rapture. Granted, I like the silent medium and of course I respect it, but usually I watch them as a piece of film history; I see them for what they are and judge them only amongst their peers: other silent films. But this silent film is like no other! There were many times when I felt as though if Guy Maddin were to make a actual serious film this would be it. Anyone who has seen 'Cowards Bend The Knee' or 'Saddest Music In The World' will know what I'm referring to. Throughout the film I kept thinking that it looked "new" and was made to look old. Some of the special effects such as the swirling fog were just mesmerizing so much so that I found myself wondering why in our modern day we haven't done something so simple yet effective (at least as compared to the films I've experienced).
Even the score that they created for it was incredible. There were some scenes in the beginning of the film, especially ones where Allan was approaching the house, that I didn't think quite fit, but for the rest of the 95% of the film it went along with the action of the film perfectly.
While everything in the film is as close to perfect as film gets, I must point out the acting was so well done as to almost bring me to tears. I cant quite explain how that is possible, but it is. Each tiny emotion shows through so remarkably well. I really would love to commend the actor who played Roderick Usher for his wonderful display. I even feel right in comparing his acting to the likes of the female lead in 'The Passion Of Joan Of Arc' -- and thats hard to beat!
Oh, and the cinematography! Its absolutely impeccable! And I'm not just saying that due to the fact that "its the best they could do back then". It really could rival any modern day film in that regard. It makes me miss shots of a large looming building from down below instead of the aerial helicopter shots most films use now; so macabre and eerily inviting. This film was definitely ahead of its time thats for sure.
I'm not sure how much a screenplay translates to a silent film, but whatever/however Bunuel contributed, it definitely worked. Even though there weren't any overtly surrealistic things going on, you could definitely smell the Bunuel in it. The film is like a dream that you don't want to wake up from even though at its heart it is a nightmare.
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