After a long journey, Philip arrives at the Usher mansion seeking his loved one, Madeline. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Madeline and her brother Roderick Usher have been afflicted with a mysterious malady: Roderick's senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest of an old Usher family curse: any time there has been more than one Usher child, all of the siblings have gone insane and died horrible deaths. As the days wear on, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher and Nina <email@example.com><firstname.lastname@example.org>
The stark landscape that Mark Damon rides through was the site of a fire in the Hollywood hills. Roger Corman had heard of the fire on the radio and went to the location the next day with his crew to do the shots of Damon. See more »
Roderick is shown playing a lute, but the sound we hear is a muted harpsichord. See more »
One of the best Poe/Price films, with one of Price's best performances
Overtime the horror genre has really grown on me, and Vincent Price, one of my favourite actors has been a big part of why. The Fall of the House of Usher was the film that spawned a series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, and is up there with the best of them like The Pit and the Pendulum and The Raven. Whether it is completely faithful to Poe's writing I am not entirely sure, whatever way it makes little difference to me. All that matters for a film is how good it is on its own merits, and The Fall of The House of Usher in my mind is more than good, it's great. The settings, costumes and the way the film are shot is both Gothic and gorgeous to look at in their lavishness, and the music is suitably spooky. The script is very literate and quite intelligent, while the story is always compelling and delivers its spooky scares with not an ounce of predictability or hamminess. The ending really convinces in its creepiness and in its tragic undercurrent, making it moving as well. The acting is fine, Mark Damon gets better throughout the film and by the end he really comes to life but to start with I did find him a little too wooden for my tastes. Myrna Fahey and Harry Ellerbe characterise splendidly, but the film belongs to Roger Corman's lively direction and especially to Vincent Price, who is always great but gives one of his best ever performances here, with his ever commanding presence, his distinctive voice, Skakespearean-like line delivery, droll sense of humour and a sense of melancholy, every single of those are here and make for one memorable performance indeed. In conclusion, a great film worth seeing for Price alone though the production values, the atmosphere and how intelligently it's written also are fine attributes. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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