5 Edgar Allan Poe Stories You Can Spot in Mike Flanagan's The Fall of the House of Usher
Never to read Allan Poe's stories would never to have been blessed.
As master storyteller Mike Flanagan takes us on a chilling journey in his latest Netflix series, The Fall of the House of Usher, echoes of Edgar Allan Poe's eerie tales ring throughout. In this unique and compelling series, Flanagan artfully weaves together various elements from Poe's extensive body of work.
Here are five stories from the father of horror that you can spot on the show.
The Fall of the House of Usher
Surprise surprise, right? Poe's original Usher family is known for producing a single heir in each generation, leading to their reclusive existence in a crumbling mansion. Flanagan's adaptation breathes new life into the family's history, portraying the Ushers as a feuding family of heirs to a pharmaceutical dynasty, facing an unforgiving entity bent on retribution.
The series could not pass up one of Poe's most famous poems, The Raven. The poem tells a heartbreaking tale of endless grief after the loss of the beloved Lenore, with a raven ominously proclaiming "nevermore."
In Flanagan's interpretation, the raven becomes a recurring presence, haunting Roderick Usher. In addition, the innocent granddaughter, named Lenore, hints at potential tragedy, reflecting the poem's melancholy theme.
The Masque of the Red Death
Set during a plague known as the Red Death, the story finds the elite gathered in a palace only to be disturbed by a menacing intruder wearing a grotesque mask. By naming one of Roderick's children Prospero, a nod to the Italian prince in Poe's story, the Netflix series cleverly incorporates this significant story into the show.
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
Arthur Pym, derived from Poe's only novel and portrayed by Mark Hamill, emerges as the Usher family's lawyer. Nicknamed the Pym Reaper, this character assumes the role of the family's wise problem solver.
The original story centers on an unexpected passenger who infiltrates a Nantucket whaling ship and gets caught up in the darker side of life at sea, including acts of mutiny, cannibalism, brutality, and even death itself.
The beloved poem mourning a lost childhood love is subtly woven into Mike Flanagan's series as Roderick Usher's first wife, Annabelle Lee, shares her name with Poe's poem, resonating with the overarching theme of jealousy and tragic love.
While the series does not shy away from exploring the darker side of Poe's work, it is also filled with references to his stories, including character names and episode titles. Additionally, an intriguing connection to the author's rivalries is made on the show when Rufus Wilmot Griswold shares a name with a real-life critic of Poe.
The show premiered on Netflix on October 12, with all episodes released on the same day.