“The Fall of the House of Usher” is a silent horror film released in 1928, directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber, and based on the 1839 short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe.
The film tells the story of a young man named Allan who visits the decaying mansion of his childhood friend Roderick Usher, who is suffering from a mysterious illness. Allan soon discovers that Roderick’s twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and appears to be suffering from a strange malady. As the story unfolds, Allan becomes increasingly disturbed by the strange events and eerie atmosphere surrounding the Usher family and their crumbling home.
As the plot thickens, the siblings’ condition worsens, and Madeline eventually dies. Roderick, who is convinced that she is still alive and buried alive, becomes more and more unhinged. In the climactic scene, as a violent storm rages outside the mansion, Madeline appears, seemingly risen from the dead, and attacks her brother, causing the house to collapse and bury them both alive.
The film is notable for its expressionistic cinematography, stark black-and-white imagery, and surreal dreamlike sequences that emphasize the psychological torment of the characters. It is considered a classic of early horror cinema and an important example of the avant-garde film movement.
James Sibley Watson, Melville Webber
Edgar Allan Poe
Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber