Director David DeCoteau and writer Simon Savory's unabashedly homoerotic spin on Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Fall of the House of Usher incorporates Roger Corman's notorious declaration that "the house is the monster" while missing no opportunity to showcase handsome young men in their skivvies.
Soldier of fortune Michael Cardelle (Victor Reynolds) receives an urgent letter from childhood friend Roderick Usher (Frank Mentier), asking for help. Michael presents himself at the Usher house at the first opportunity, and is dismayed at what he sees: The house is falling apart, and the morbidly sensitive Roderick -- "Ush" to Michael -- seems to be on the verge of nervous breakdown. His sister Madeline (Jaimyse Haft) appears equally damaged; suffering alternately from cataleptic fits and outbursts of nymphomania, and haunted by the spirits of the unborn children she'll never have. It soon becomes clear that Michael and Roderick once shared an intense erotic relationship that Michael is reluctant to resume, especially as his dreams are invaded by the spirits of young men -- a plumber, a gardener and a painter -- who died while working on the Usher grounds. What is the dark secret that haunts the House of Usher?< /FONT>
Savory's screenplay contains flashes of ideas, including a CALIGARI-esque lagniappe and some spooky notions about photography, that are consistently undermined by Harry (FRIDAY THE 13TH) Manfredini's brutally obvious score and the film's lengthy erotic sequences, which stop just this side of pornography (which is the problem). That said, DeCoteau stages a couple of genuinely spooky sequences, including one in which a pair of hands inexplicably emerges from Michael's bath water, hovering eerily over his skin without ever touching.
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- Released: 2008
- Rating: R
- Review: Director David DeCoteau and writer Simon Savory's unabashedly homoerotic spin on Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Fall of the House of Usher incorporates Roger Corman's notorious declaration that "the house is the monster" while missing no opportunity to… (more)