Shows Like ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’: 13 Terrifying Picks for Your Next Watch

Shows Like 'The Fall of the House of Usher'
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Netflix’s adaptation of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher‘ will breathe new life into Edgar Allan Poe’s iconic tale, taking us deep into a world of gothic shadows and familial decay. If, like me, you found yourself engrossed and craving more tales tinged with similar dark hues, I’ve got a treat for you. Here are thirteen shows like ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ that promise to deliver equally chilling experiences. Shall we venture forth?

1. ‘Midnight Mass’ (2021)

midnight mass still

Midnight Mass‘ is set on a remote island where a prodigal son’s return and a charismatic priest’s arrival intersect with miraculous events and eerie omens. As the community is drawn into the church’s fold, it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. The show masterfully intertwines elements of faith, redemption, and unspeakable horror.

Similar to ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ ‘Midnight Mass’ centers around a specific location that catalyzes the unfolding drama and the emotional unraveling of its inhabitants. The atmospheric tension, coupled with themes of decay and unseen dread, mirrors the haunting ambiance of Poe’s story, drawing viewers into a realm where reality and nightmare blur.

2. ‘The Midnight Club’ (2022)

The Midnight Club

In ‘The Midnight Club,’ terminally ill teenagers at Rotterdam Home come together to share spine-tingling tales. But when these stories intertwine with reality, and a pact is made, the lines between life, death, and the afterlife become eerily thin. Christopher Pike’s novel inspires the series and offers a fresh take on the horror anthology genre.

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The comparison to ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is seen in the series’ atmosphere of impending doom and the looming presence of death. Much like Roderick and Madeline Usher’s complex relationship, the teens in ‘The Midnight Club’ are bound by ties of fate and friendship, facing mortality and the unknown with both trepidation and courage.

3. ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ (2018)

The Haunting of Hill House

‘The Haunting of Hill’ House’ revisits Shirley Jackson’s novel compellingly. Following the Crain family, the story oscillates between past traumas and present-day confrontations, all rooted in the eerily magnetic Hill House. The mansion hides countless secrets, and as they unravel, the family faces their deepest fears and unresolved issues.

The essence of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is mirrored in the series by emphasizing a foreboding structure that affects its inhabitants. The Hill House, much like the Usher mansion, is more than just a backdrop; it’s a living entity intertwined with the family’s history and psyche, holding them captive with its haunting grip.

4. ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ (2020)

The Haunting of Bly Manor

‘Bly Manor,’ another masterpiece from Mike Flanagan, is a loose adaptation of Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw.” A young governess arrives at an old English manor to care for two orphaned children. But Bly Manor is filled with phantoms of the past, and as the governess starts peeling back the layers of its haunted history, she’s pulled into a spiral of love, loss, and ghostly apparitions.

Drawing parallels with ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ the story emphasizes the weight of the past and how it lingers, affecting the living. Like the Usher residence, the gothic setting of Bly Manor plays a pivotal role, becoming a silent character that watches, influences, and traps its residents in its melancholic embrace.

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5. ‘It’ (1990)

it 1990

Stephen King’s ‘It’ takes viewers to the town of Derry, where a malevolent force preys on the local children every 27 years. Revisiting their traumatic childhoods, a group of friends reunites as adults to confront and end the horror once and for all. Pennywise the Clown is the terrifying embodiment of this evil, but the story reveals that the town’s own history and the fears of its residents are equally as haunting.

Much like ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ ‘It’ focuses on the weight of past traumas and the idea of an evil force being intrinsically tied to a specific location. Just as the Usher mansion holds its family in a vice grip of fear and decline, the town of Derry has its residents ensnared in a cycle of horror and denial.

6. ‘Ratched’ (2020-)

Ratched

‘Ratched’ delves into the origin story of Nurse Mildred Ratched from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Set in a Californian psychiatric hospital in the late 1940s, the series portrays the nurse’s transformation from a driven caregiver to a calculating monster. The institution and its practices reveal disturbing shades of inhumanity, with the lines between sanity and madness continuously blurring.

Echoing ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ ‘Ratched’ deals with themes of mental deterioration, confinement, and an environment that exacerbates these elements. The psychiatric hospital, like the Usher mansion, is a place of both healing and harm, acting as both sanctuary and prison for its residents.

7. ‘Archive 81’ (2022)

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‘Archive 81’ unfolds as an archivist, Dan Turner, is hired to restore damaged videotapes from the 1990s. As he dives into the recordings, Dan becomes obsessed with the mystery of a filmmaker and her investigation into a dangerous cult. The deeper he goes, the more the lines between the tapes and reality begin to warp, leading him down a rabbit hole of paranormal intrigue.

The series shares thematic connections with ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ through its exploration of obsessive curiosity and the blurring boundaries between reality and the supernatural. As the Usher mansion exerts a spectral pull on its inhabitants, the tapes in ‘Archive 81’ act as an almost hypnotic lure, drawing Dan into a world of unexplained phenomena.

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8. ‘Ghoul’ (2018)

Ghoul (2018)

Set in a dystopian future, ‘Ghoul’ follows Nida Rahim, a loyal interrogator who’s sent to a covert detention center. However, when she encounters the center’s newest prisoner, she discovers that he isn’t of this world. As horrifying events unfold, it becomes evident that a malevolent spirit is in their midst, and it’s seeking vengeance.

There are shades of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ in the detention center’s oppressive atmosphere, reminiscent of the Usher mansion’s stifling aura. The themes of confinement and the unseen forces that influence human behavior are at the forefront, creating an environment where dread lingers, and trust is a luxury few can afford.

9. ‘Marianne’ (2019)

Marianne 2019

In ‘Marianne,’ a famous horror novelist, Emma Larsimon, decides to end her most popular book series, only to discover that the evil spirit who inspired her stories exists in the real world. The sinister witch, Marianne, torments Emma and her loved ones, forcing her to confront past traumas and dark secrets. The coastal town she returns to is full of literal and metaphorical shadows, each carrying weight from her past.

The haunting parallels with ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ are evident, as Emma’s stories and the Usher mansion both harbor malevolent entities. The grip of the past, the weight of unresolved traumas, and the blend of reality and nightmare form the spine of the narrative, pulling viewers into a world where fiction and fact intertwine menacingly.

10. ‘Lovecraft Country’ (2020)

Lovecraft Country

‘Lovecraft Country’ combines the racism of 1950s America with eldritch horrors in a series of interrelated tales. Following Atticus Freeman and his family, the narrative uncovers dark secrets and confronts cosmic horrors, all while battling the very tangible menace of white supremacy. Each episode unravels a distinct terror, blending societal fears with otherworldly threats.

Much like in ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ environment and history play pivotal roles. The ancestral trauma, cursed legacies, and eerie American landscapes create an ambiance where past horrors echo in the present, drawing inevitable comparisons to the Usher lineage and its doomed mansion.

11. ‘American Horror Story’ (2011-)

American Horror Story

‘American Horror Story’ is an anthology that reinvents itself every season, touching on different horror sub-genres, from haunted houses to witches, asylums, and cults. Each season crafts a self-contained narrative filled with intricate character relationships, dark histories, and malevolent forces that shape the characters’ fates.

Echoing ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ many seasons focus on locations with dark histories and the individuals ensnared by them. The first season, ‘Murder House,’ in particular, resonates strongly with the Usher tale, as a family becomes entrapped by the malevolent spirits of a cursed home.

12. ‘Castle Rock’ (2018–2019)

Castle Rock

‘Castle Rock’ is set in the Stephen King multiverse, where the titular town of Castle Rock witnesses a series of mysterious and chilling events. The town’s dark past surfaces with the appearance of an enigmatic prisoner at Shawshank Prison. As the series progresses, the interwoven stories of its inhabitants unravel, revealing layers of horror and tragedy.

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The atmospheric dread of Castle Rock mirrors that of the Usher mansion. Both are locations marred by unsettling histories and supernatural elements that affect their residents. The weight of the past, both personal and collective, constantly lingers, influencing the present in insidious ways.

13. ‘Penny Dreadful’ (2014–2016)

Penny Dreadful

‘Penny Dreadful’ weaves together characters from classic literature, from Dr. Frankenstein and his creature to Dorian Gray and Dracula. Set in Victorian London, it follows Vanessa Ives and her allies as they combat supernatural threats. While the series revels in its monstrous entities, it also delves deeply into the personal demons of its characters, examining themes of love, redemption, and damnation.

In a manner reminiscent of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ ‘Penny Dreadful’ centers around characters burdened by their histories and haunted by both physical and metaphorical specters. The atmospheric gloom of Victorian London serves as a fitting backdrop, akin to the foreboding aura of the Usher estate, where the weight of past sins and regrets are ever-present.

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