The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)
Critic Consensus: Scary, strange, and maybe a little silly, House of Usher represents an early high mark for Vincent Price and a career triumph for director Roger Corman.
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Critic Reviews for The Fall of the House of Usher
It's not precisely the Edgar Allan Poe short story that emerges in House of Usher, but it's a reasonably diverting and handsomely mounted variation.
Corman's filmmaking runs on unchanneled energy and apocalyptic emotions; his is an art without craft.
The sickly decadence and claustrophobia of the Usher household is admirably evoked by Floyd Crosby's 'Scope photography and Daniel Haller's art direction.
Under the low-budget circumstances, Vincent Price and Myrna Fahey should not be blamed for portraying the decadent Ushers with arch affectation, nor Mark Damon held to account.
Vincent Price starts his scary-reign in colourful gothic horror style.
Audience Reviews for The Fall of the House of Usher
Roger Corman comes up with a rather respectable film. Sure, he has some great material to work from, but between his Little Shop of Horror and Sharktopus, this certainly sticks out. He's lucky enough to get Vincent Price involved. A man that was born for horror, though he isn't confined by it. There is genuine chemistry between him and his sister, which makes the ending, not only shocking, but tragic too. As the house crumbles away the tension mounts. Is the house alive? Or is the psychological pressure all a bit much. The art direction is also well constructed. The gothic wood scenes are creepy and the house itself does seem to be a living organism.
I love how Corman was able to make Poe's stories into films so brilliantly, and all of them starring Price too! I didn't particularly like how Price had blond hair in this movie, he looks better with dark hair, but his performance is still great, and the other actors are good. I love the tale of madness, and I highly recommend Corman's Poe series.
It may not be the best Poe tale, but this is a pretty charming maniac story...with so much campy Corman goodness. :)
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