The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

The Fall of the House of Usher


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

French filmmaker Jean Epstein was heavily under the influence of the Russian cinema when he made his silent version of Poe's Fall of the House of Usher. Already an ultra-moody piece about a young man obsessed with death and hereditary madness, the film enhances Poe's text with extensive use of slow, slowwww motion and symbolic superimpositions. Epstein's self-conscious avant-gardeism would be abruptly dropped with his next film, the semi-documentary Finis Terrae, but it's fun while it lasts. … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Jean Epstein
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 3, 2001


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Critic Reviews for The Fall of the House of Usher

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

One of the most imaginative and entrancing horror movies of the silent era.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Fall of the House of Usher resides within its sealed world, as if -- yes, as if buried alive.

Full Review… | May 7, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A visually masterful film that very much retains its power today, The Fall Of The House Of Usher introduced many of the tropes of the horror genre.

Full Review… | February 23, 2015
Eye for Film

A strange mix of Gothic design, modern austerity, expressionist angles, graceful camerawork and surreal effects, it's an atmospheric classic...

Full Review… | July 27, 2009
Parallax View

The film denies us the safe distance between viewer and viewed, and it does this so effectively that its horrors are occurring all around us.

Full Review… | May 25, 2008
Goatdog's Movies

The mixture of English Gothic, French Grand Guignol and American low-budget thrills make for an intoxicating brew.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Fall of the House of Usher

Absolutely beautiful cinematography and special effects. Dreamlike, almost delirious.

vieras esine

Super Reviewer

Excellent filmed adaptation of the Poe classic. Way ahead of it's time.

Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer


One of the most atmospheric, visually stunning silent horror films I've ever seen (rivaled only by Haxan). The movie takes some liberties with the tale (not that I really care...) but it absolutely nails the gloomy, nightmarish Gothic tone of a Poe story. Unlike many other silent genre films, the camerawork is outstanding and inventive. The look is one of inky black as opposed to washed out grey. There are very few point-and-shoot medium shot set-ups. Instead we get lots of pans, close-ups, wide shots and creative camera angles throughout. The actor who plays Roderick Usher is outstanding, the crumbling castle setting is eerie as can be, the sets are striking and there are plenty of abstract, surrealistic touches. Any fan of Gothic horror or Poe must see this!

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