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4.1
567 Ratings

The Fall of the House of Usher

La chute de la maison Usher

Directed by Jean Epstein
France, 1928
Silent, Horror, Avant-Garde

Synopsis

A stranger called Allan goes to the House of Usher. He is the sole friend of Roderick Usher, who lives in the eerie house with his sick wife Madeleine. When she dies, Roderick does not accept her death, and in the dark night, Madeleine returns.

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The Fall of the House of Usher Directed by Jean Epstein
I have long considered La Chute de la maison Usher interesting for its use of German Expressionist-inspired sets, but the fuzzy, incomplete prints that for decades were the only available versions made it difficult to enjoy. The restored version on the complete DVD set of Epstein’s works, which I discussed here, makes it far more interesting.
December 28, 2018
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Based on two Edgar Allan Poe stories—the second is “The Oval Portrait”—“The Fall of the House of Usher” contains such unforgettable images as burning tapers floating over a moody landscape as a coffin is carried to a crypt. It also makes powerful use of slow motion.
February 01, 2016
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As psychological horror, the film is effective, with Roderick Usher’s gradual descent into madness vividly suggested through the film’s dreamy setting. The film emphasizes sadness above scares, but the deep sense of longing for the dead makes for a disconcerting experience. Among the most effective of all silent horror, The Fall of the House of Usher channels Poe’s own overwhelming melancholy.
October 29, 2015
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