Directed by: Roger Corman
Runtime: 85 Minutes
The film has a slow pace, an eerie presence and definitely, gets quiet spooky. It may not have very much action or fast pace in the slightest, but its quirk feeling mixed with Vincent Price’s amazing presence makes this a reasonable horror classic. The film is short too and starts straight away in to the story. This is another one of Price’s great roles of the 60’s, were his career was going great.
Vincent Price stars as the foredoomed Roderick Usher. Living in his decaying family mansion with his young sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey), Roderick does his best to shoo away Madeline's fiance Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon). He tells the young swain that Madeline suffers from the family curse of encroaching madness, and thus cannot be permitted to bear children. After a series of suspicious, near-fatal accidents, Phillip insists that Madeline be allowed to leave with him at once. But Roderick sadly announces that this is impossible: Madeline has died, and is slated to be entombed. Informed by the family butler that Madeline has previously been prone to near-catatonic spells, Phillip angrily insists that the girl may very well have been buried alive.
The Usher house gives you an eerie claustrophobic feeling of entrapment and evil, which makes this a good horror classic. The house itself looks evil, with the disturbing paintings and hundred-year-old walls.
There are only three actors in the entire film, excluding the ghosts that appear a haunting dream sequence, so it was important that every character was a full developed and interesting character. Price did a usual job of haunting expertise and sent a few chills down your spine. Damon being Phillip was quite admirable as we see him dive in to a bit of insanity, being haunted by the presence of the usher house, in his attempt to save Madeline. Fahey taking the role of Madeline was an intriguing role.
The major flaw of the film is how slow and short it is. The story goes nowhere but the house, and it is mostly suspense without thrills. Regardless of that, it has its own unique feeling to it. Roger Corman is a new to me director, but the name is familiar. Corman here did some nice direction, and the editing alongside was great. This is one of the first of the Edgar Allan Poe story film adaptions Corman ade. There were few implementations of special effects, but the dream sequence was definitely chilling and finely crafted.
For some this may be a boring film because of its lack of action, but I feel this is an eerie and successful spooky horror film. Overall the film is very chilling, quite frightening and worth a watch, at least to see Price.
My Rating: 7.5/10