Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher is but a short story. Movie adaptations don’t tend to run long either. Roger Corman’s 1960 version, starring Vincent Price and which kickstarted a whole cycle of Poe adaptations by the low-budget master, is under 80 minutes long. There’s a new House of Usher take hitting Netflix, from The Haunting of Hill House’s Mike Flanagan. It’s another of his limited series. But how much has he Stretch Armstronged Poe’s slender tale out to?
Per Collider, Flanagan’s iteration of Usher lasts a whopping eight episodes. Granted, as with his previous takes on classic Gothic literature, he’s using the source more as inspiration than as a Bible. His is not a straight-up take on Poe’s tale of a brother and sister wallowing away in a decaying estate. Here’s Collider’s description of Flanagan’s updated take on the classic tale:
Roderick Usher is the CEO of Fortunato Pharmaceuticals, and together with his cunning twin sister Madeline, he oversees a vast corporate empire. The actions of a shapeshifting demon from his past bent on killing his children and a determined attorney who wants to expose the corruption behind Fortunato Pharmaceuticals begin to unravel the world of the Ushers, leading Roderick to a confrontation with his own past sins.
In the past, Flanagan has milked a lot of classic Gothic lit. He took Shirley Jackson’s 246-paged novel The Haunting of Hill House and spread it over 10 episodes. The Haunting of Bly Manor used Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw as its basis but included elements from other James works to pad it out to nine episodes. For him a Fall of the House of Usher that runs eight episodes is nothing.
You can watch the trailer for The Fall of the House of Usher below. It hits Netflix on October 12.