New “chilling” Netflix horror series lands 94% Rotten Tomatoes score

Jasmine Valentine
Samantha Sloyan as Tamerlane in The Fall of the House of Usher

Streaming platform Netflix goes all-in with its horror stories, with one original series coming out on top in the bingeing wars.

The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor have been particular Netflix horror hits over the last few years, with some familiar faces cropping up in the Fall of the House of Usher, which tackles an Edgar Allan Poe short story in a brand-new adaptation.

The show’s first season synopsis reads “Siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built a pharmaceutical company into an empire of wealth, privilege and power; however, secrets come to light when the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying.”

Though the new series isn’t directly connected to either of the previous Haunting series, it hasn’t stopped critics from lapping up the Mike Flanagan and Michael Fimognari directed series.

Netflix horror lands on Rotten Tomatoes with 94%

Releasing on October 12, 2022, the new Netflix horror series The Fall of the House of Usher has already hit a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In our review of the show, we described the series as “Succession with gore… Roderick Usher – much like Logan Roy – is a cruel patriarch who starves his children of love, while taking pleasure from pitting them against each other.

“The result is that the Usher clan is just as miserable, cruel, and emotionally stunted as the Roys. And this being horror, they’re even more monstrous, lacking any kind of ethical or moral code as they vie for both their father’s affections, and his money. Taking no prisoners in their own efforts to succeed.

“Like the Roy offspring however, when their stories aren’t tragic, the Ushers are also hilarious, their back-stabbing and double-crossing the stuff of jet-black comedy. Meaning it’s a blast watching each privileged billionaire narcissist get their comeuppance.”

“The Fall of the House of Usher is Mike Flanagan at his best, delivering a chilling masterpiece that will scare you intensely, but it will also keep you gripped for its entirety,” Rotten Tomatoes critic Adam Lock suggests. “The series is beautifully realized, with an iconic look, featuring a stream of striking performances to behold. Carla Gugino is horrifying as the villain of the piece, while Mark Hamill is almost unrecognizable as the Usher family’s detestable lawyer.”

“Mike Flanagan’s writing and the specific actors he casts make everything sound like poetry,” Autostraddle’s Valerie Anne Liston adds, with Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson commenting “By the end of House of Usher, we feel we have made our way through something dense and rich. This is not flimsy, forgettable TV. Flanagan’s ardent belief in the power of monologue and melodrama, of complex storytelling and florid style, is infectious.”

For a small handle of critics, the horror series seemed to miss the mark.

“Part of the problem is that “Usher” is too straightforward and expected — and shockingly mundane, especially coming from Flanagan,” Candice Frederick at the Huffington Post counters, with Slashfilm’s Chris Evangelista agreeing, “This is one of Flanagan’s lesser series, and I think the secret to the filmmaker’s success is when he tackles an entire show himself. Both “The Haunting of Hill House” and “Midnight Mass” were helmed entirely by Flanagan, and they’re phenomenal. Here, he shares directing duties with Michael Fimognari, and the results are less-than-stellar.”

The Fall of the House Usher hits Netflix on October 12, 2023. Find out more about the series here.

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