Philip Winthrop calls upon his fiancée, Madeline Usher, at her family home. His presence is unwelcome, especially to Madeline's brother, Roderick. Roderick explains that the Ushers are cursed, suffering from hereditary physical defects. By Madeline marrying Winthrop this would only likely continue the affliction. It soon becomes clear that something sinister is afoot: not only due to Roderick's determination to prevent Madeline from leaving but also due to the evil that seems to lurk in the house itself.Written by
In Spain this hadn't a theatrical release until 1983, 23 years later. The film was only released - with 1 copy - at first in Barcelona (July/83, Casablanca 2) for 33 days and later, in Madrid (August/83, Alphaville 3) for 4 weeks, only projected in a subtitled version. Also there was a re-release in Madrid in 2003 (Pequeño Cine Estudio) for 23 days, only in a subtitled version. The dubbed version was for VHS premiere (1984) and later was broadcast on TV premiere (1989). See more »
Moments after Madeline's coffin is left in the family grave, camera focuses the coffin's name and she screams waking up of her catalepsy. The scream should be warmed Philip about her. See more »
Roger Corman's brilliant adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's chilling tale is one of the greatest achievements in cinematic horror. It's hard to pick one of Corman's Poe adaptations as the best, but this, the first, might be it.
The movie is fairly faithful to the story, but extremely faithful to the tone of Poe's writing. No one but the team of Corman and writer Richard Matheson could pull it off like this. Poe's deranged sense of dread and sardonic humor are all here, in every shot.
Vincent Price turns in one of his finest performances as Roderick Usher, a man who is glad that he and his sister, Madeline (the wonderful Myrna Fahey) are the last of their bloodline, as he believes the family is doomed to all eventually go mad. He also suffers from hyper-sensitivity, and must have quiet, dim light, soft clothing and bland food, otherwise he suffers extreme pain. Whether this is a physical or psychological anomaly is never confirmed.
Madeline's fiance Philip (Mark Damon) comes to the house to claim Madeline as his wife. Roderick forbids it, believing he and his sister should die together, thus ending the Usher line of insanity. But it may be too late, as Madeline is already showing signs of flipping out, and Roderick has some pretty twisted ideas of how to stop that from happening.
The movie leads up to a spine-tingling finale that's as intense and scary a climax as anything I've seen. HOUSE OF USHER is a great horror movie, and perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Poe, both in content and style, ever filmed.
34 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this