Building on the success of his three Netflix series to date, and with a fourth already on the way, Mike Flanagan has announced that he will expand on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories in The Fall of House Usher. The anthology series will draw inspiration from the works of the prolific writer, including, but not limited to, the titular tale.
Poe’s works are among the most beloved works of literary horror, spanning decades, genres, styles and lengths. It would be impossible for Flanagan to include all the works Poe ever wrote in the anthology series, but based on Flanagan’s past, some stories seem more suited to this upcoming series than others.
ten “The oval portrait”
“The Oval Portrait” is one of the shorter stories in Poe’s canon, but its imagery is brutally effective. The story within the story centers on a young woman who recently married an artist. Her new husband becomes so obsessed with her beauty that he forces her to sit down for a portrait, which he then paints obsessively without a break until the young woman dies without even knowing it. realizes.
Despite the brevity of the story, the mixture of morbidity and social intuition continues in his later works, notably Dorian Gray’s photo. Flanagan is known for his love of unhappy romances, including ones with darker elements, which would make them a perfect story to tell and maybe even develop.
9 “The oblong box”
“The Oblong Box” contains some of the worst amateur detective work in fiction. The narrator of the story spends his entire trip on the ship “Independence”, wondering about his friend’s decision to travel with his wife and a large box, which he thinks contains a work of art. In fact, the box contains the body of his friend’s recently deceased wife.
The haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass both contain key storylines revolving around the unknown content of an enclosed space. Although the narrator of the story is much more naive than most of the characters in Flanagan’s works, there is still something fascinating about his gullibility over his friend’s desperation, which would provide Flanagan with a lot of material to explore. .
In “Ligeia”, the narrator falls in love with a mysterious woman named Ligeia, whose beauty is almost ghostly and the understanding of the world itself is from another world. After Ligeia’s death, the narrator remarries a more conventional woman named Rowena. But soon enough, Rowena also dies – only to be reborn, impossibly, as Ligeia.
“Ligeia” would allow Flanagan to explore some of the same ideas described in the Manor of Bly episode “The novel of certain old clothes”, an episode about duality, romantic competition, jealousy, possession and revenge. “Ligeia”, likewise, includes elements similar to Midnight Mass, because there is a suggestion of supernatural adulteration of wine.
7 “The crow”
While “The Raven” is technically a poem and not a story, it nonetheless features one of Poe’s best-known tales. Throughout the story, the narrator grapples with his deep grief at the loss of his love, Lenore, while also feeling personally tormented by the mocking presence of a crow who can only utter the word “Never Again” .
Flanagan had a particular interest in exploring characters struggling with grief and paranoia. In Manor of Bly, Henry longs for his lost love, Charlotte, while also being tormented by his own insidious lookalike. In Hill House, Crains are forever changed by grief and trauma. The narrator of “The Raven” would therefore make a nice addition to the canon of tormented heroes of Flanagan.
6 “The premature burial”
“The Premature Burial” follows yet another of Poe’s neurotic narrators. In this story, the narrator goes to great lengths to explain the origins of his fear of being buried alive, resulting from his own health issues. He only outwardly overcomes his fear by having a traumatic episode, which later turns out to be a trivial event and nothing to worry about.
Many of Flanagan’s characters suffer from paralysis, due to fear or other circumstances. Nell Crain, when confronted by the Bent-Neck Lady and even when she becomes the Bent-Neck Lady herself, is frozen and screams with her mouth shut. Victims who die in Bly Manor Lake are forced to drown. This running theme would make “The Premature Burial” a natural fit in the miniseries.
5 “The murders of the rue Morgue”
“The Morgue Street Murders” is arguably one of Poe’s best-known stories and one that would be almost impossible to forget. C. Auguste Dupin investigates the murder of a mother and a daughter, both killed by different but macabre means. Through a rigorous investigation, Dupin comes to the conclusion that the murders were committed by an orangutan.
To date, many characters in Flanagan’s Netflix series have had investigative qualities, from Theo Crain and his work as a child psychologist to Erin Greene, Sarah Gunning and Sheriff Hassan investigating the origins of the infection. While the orangutan’s plot twist might seem a bit out of place among Flanagan’s past projects, it would still be impressive to see him take on this masterpiece.
4 “The Mask of the Red Death”
“The Mask of the Red Death” tells the story of elites who have deliberately cut themselves off from the world to avoid the horrific plague that is currently plaguing their society. Even as they party and have fun with each other, nobles and nobles learn early enough that they cannot escape the “red death”, and all soon succumb to it.
In Manor of Bly, a plague doctor is one of the recurring hidden ghosts. In Midnight Mass, vampire blood infection is considered a small scale epidemic. Likewise, the characters of Midnight Mass to alternate between fearing and accepting the inevitability of death, which is a theme “The Mask of the Red Death” more than developed.
3 “The pit and the pendulum”
“The Pit and the Pendulum” follows its narrator through a dark period of trial after his death sentence by the Spanish Inquisition. The story details one heartbreaking sensory experience after another, from being locked in total darkness, to almost being torn by a pendulum, to almost falling to death in a pit.
Of all Midnight Mass, Father Paul is the most prone to life-changing terror and panic attacks, as well as episodes of unconsciousness. He is afraid of death, pain and suffering, and describes his experiences in very visceral and frightening language. Flanagan has experience writing such a tormented character in a unique way and would excel at doing it again with “Pit”.
2 “The barrel of Amontillado”
“The Barrel of Amontillado” is a deeply disturbing story, as it tells about a murder committed without a clear reason, and from the point of view of the murder on top of that. Montresor, desperate for revenge on Fortunato, vows to kill his enemy once and for all. This is exactly what he does by intoxicating Fortunato and smashing him into the walls of his wine cellar.
The motif of close individuals killing each other is far too familiar to Flanagan’s work, as the sisters kill each other out of jealousy and revenge in Manor of Bly. In addition, one of the Hill HouseThe Creepiest Ghosts of, William Hill, committed suicide when he walled himself in the basement walls, showing that Flanagan has a grip on the central crime at the heart of “Amontillado”.
1 “The revealing heart”
During “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator describes their conflicting feelings towards an elderly man they live with, feelings that ultimately lead the narrator to kill the man. After the murder, the narrator is gradually driven mad by his guilt and his perception of the victim’s heartbeat echoing under the parquet floor.
Intentionally or not, Flanagan alluded to “The Tell-Tale Heart” from the time Hugh Crain found William Hill’s body sealed within the walls of Hill House. He also has many characters who have faced mental illnesses. Characters like Olivia Crain, Nell Crain, Father Paul and others are frequently described as “scattered” or “sensitive”, all qualities which easily lend themselves to a more thorough interpretation of “Tell-Tale”.
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