The first of Corman's eight-film Poe cycle, and one of his most faithful adaptations. Price is his usual impressive self as the almost certainly incestuously inclined Roderick Usher who, having buried his sister alive when she falls into a cataleptic trance, becomes the victim of her ghostly revenge; but it is Corman's overall direction that lends the film its intelligence and power. The sickly decadence and claustrophobia of the Usher household - which is both disturbed and temporarily cleansed by the fresh air that accompanies Damon's arrival as suitor to Madeline Usher - is admirably evoked by Floyd Crosby's 'Scope photography and Daniel Haller's art direction, the latter's sets dominated by a putrid, bloody crimson. But Richard Matheson's script is also exemplary: lucid, imaginatively detailed and subtle.
The House of Usher
Cast and crew