Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.
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
Predictably morbid and grim, this early cinematic tribute to Poe offers some interesting images and beautifully haunting music. I liked the sequence showing the lace-draped coffin, as it was carried out of that cavernous room.
More stylistic than substantive, the overall effect of the film is to engender a sense of suffocating gloom, rather than to tell an interesting story. It's very much like what one would expect in a nightmare. Space seems strung-out. People are not quite real. Pacing is so slow as to render time suspended between two swings of the clock pendulum.
I don't recall a film that conveyed such an overwhelming sense of introverted bleakness, oppression, and ubiquitous death. Even the trees were dead.
A lot of viewers will find this film lifeless ... so to speak. But for those interested in the antiquity of the occult, or Poe in particular, this film will excite like no other.
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