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>
This film marked a major change in the career of Roger Corman. Instead of producing two low-budget black-and-white films for release as a double feature, American-International agreed that he could use the budget to produce one higher-budget movie, in CinemaScope and color instead. See more »
When Madeline's coffin is taken to the crypt, the head of the coffin is to the viewer's right. In subsequent scenes, the coffin's head is to the viewer's left. See more »
Vincent price is one of those actors everyone knows about, almost everyone is aware of his horror legacy, and if anything they know him as that creepy voice in Michael Jacksons "Thriller". And maybe some of us also recognized him as Edwards creator in Tim Burtons "Edward Scissorhands" or as the narrator in Burtons stop motion animated short film "Vincent". Recently I decided to venture into Vincent Prices horror legacy. I decided to start watching all of his films, after all the man has got a huuuge library of horror films all waiting to be slowly digested by yours truly...boy was I in for a treat!
The story is about Roderick and Madeline Usher. The last two remains of the Usher family. A family that according to Roderick is cursed forever, and he is very decided to end the family line with him and Madeline. So naturally when a young strapping man by the name of Phillip Winthrop comes in and has all the intentions of marrying Madeline Usher, well Mr. Roderick completely opposes and tries to stop the wedding from ever occurring at all costs.
This movie has many good things going for it. First off: The House of Usher is based on Edgar Allan Poes "The Fall of the House of Usher" so its no surprise that the story is poetic in nature and beautifully written. It also helps that the screenplay for this story was written by non other then another one of horrordoms greatest writers. I'm speaking of course of Richard Matheson. And on top of all those bonuses, the film has Vincent Price in the lead role as Roderick Usher, the man who lives a tormented life, thinking that his family is cursed. Combine Edgar Allan Poes story, with Richard Mathesons screenplay and Vincent Price acting, and my friends you have got yourselves a bonafide horror classic.
Having Roger Corman, the producer and director of hundreds of low budget b-movies had me worried for a second. I mean he has got some really bad films under his belt, but in between those there's some really good ones as well. But of course I am only familiar with some of the schlock that he has produced as of recently (like the Carnosour films for example) but I wasn't fully aware of the high quality directing that he had done in his past and I fully intend on continuing my exploration of his Vincent Price/Poe films.
Now let me put this to you straight. This is the type of film that you watch on a dark stormy night with all the lights out and nothing to disturb you. The films atmosphere can be cut with a knife, you get your spooky castle in the middle of nowhere, the fog rolling in like there's no tomorrow, the wind blowing the curtains, the fullmoon, ghosts...you get the whole enchilada my friends. I had Tim Burtons Sleepy Hollow as my all time spookiest movie ever made, but I have to say that this one takes its place, well if anything, its definitely a heavy contender. This movie had both the look and feel of a slightly more expensive Hammer film.
The films story is its great asset. The mystery of the Usher family curse pulls you in. You want to know if something is really up with this strange family or if its just Mr. Roderick Usher that has a boner for his own sister...is it all in their minds? Or is there really a curse? What will happen to the poor bastard who wants to marry Madeline? These questions pull you in and finally when you get all the answers, well, you will be nothing short of being blown away.
In short, if you want one of those old fashion spooky films where the winds always blowing, the full moon is always at its peek and the thunder and lightning is always rumbling...well go rent/buy this flick right now, you wont be disappointed.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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