"Nevermore." - Edgar Allan Poe
The last ten years or so have seen a rejuvenation of horror movies. The early 2000's were a rough time for the genre. There seemed to be a complete disregard with the studios releasing them and the quality of their content. First, and admittedly this isn't an automatic red flag but oftentimes it is, the plague of the PG-13 rating swarmed the horror genre. And to great damage too. Once again the entire genre was seen as something of a jumping board, a point for potential up and coming actors to get their feet wet so to speak. But these projects would end up as talking points that would embarrass the actor later on in their career mid-conversation on a late night talk show. Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun is a prime example. Paul Rudd in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Ryan Gosling in Frankenstein and Me. Then came the early 2000’s and that wonderful MPAA rating and along with it such gems as Prom Night, The Eye, Swimfan and of course One Missed Call. It was a dark time.
Then roughly around 2012 things started to turn around for the genre as a whole. Sinister disturbed its audiences and is still to this day regarded by many as one of the scariest movies ever made. In 2013 the criminally underrated Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson premiered. One of the most influential horror releases of the last ten years is the highly inventive and creative It Follows. Of course this would be an incomplete listing if we didn’t bring up the masterful work of Ari Aster and his two first films, Hereditary (my favorite horror movie) and Midsommar.
I bring up Ari Aster to make note of this idea that I believe it’s going to be specific creators to bring the horror genre back to a place of respect and influence. Along with Aster is James Wan, Jordan Peele and the long winded point I’m trying to reach, Mike Flanagan.
As much as I love these creators, Hereditary being my favorite and all, I believe overall it has been the work of Mike Flanagan that has been the most enveloping, engaging, horrifying, creative, dramatic and intricate of any horror projects over the last several years. This includes his series work as well. Before he was more of a household name he created Oculus and 2016’s brilliant spin on the home invasion thriller, Hush. Although delayed his PG-13 effort, Before I Wake is a bit of a lost movie still waiting to find its audience. It was from this point on when things began to take off for Flanagan with the prequel (and much better movie) to 2014’s Ouija, Ouija: Origin of Evil. Then came the era of the Flanaverse on Netflix with Gerald’s Game, the absolute masterpiece series, The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass and The Midnight Club.
Since then however he’s been quietly working away on his next two projects, the first of which is set to make its debut this October on Netflix. Just recently the first bits of information and images have begun to make their way across the internet for his modern day interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher.
Anyone familiar with Flanagan’s work knows that he likes to work with the same actors for all of his projects. The Fall of the House of Usher seems to be the return of the most Flanagan veteran actors yet. Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Samantha Sloyan, Rahul Kohli and of course Kate Siegel (Flanagan’s real life wife) to name a few.
The plot for Mike Flanagan’s interpretation of The Fall of the House of Usher is as follows:
The original short story by Edgar Allan Poe is from the point of view of an unnamed narrator as they visit their childhood friend, Roderick Usher who has recently become ill and is demonstrating increasingly odd behavior. Flanagan, as he has done with his work based on other’s stories, will most certainly deviate and add on to create a more modern approach. Continuing from this point, this fresh version will follow the ruthless Usher siblings. Together they have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals, a massive source of wealth, power and success. As old secrets come back to haunt the family, their dynasty is under threat of a mysterious woman from their childhood.
Unfortunately we don’t have a trailer for the mini series just yet but as a poster has just premiered, a trailer is expected soon. We’ll update this article when a trailer is released. For now though we have our first glimpse of the series showcasing many of the Flanagan regulars.
Check out the images below and be sure to check out what I am certain to be another hit from Mike Flanagan when it premiers on Netflix, October 12, 2023.
Are you excited for Flanagan’s latest trip into the horror genre? I know I am. Let us know your thoughts or gripes in the comments.