October is here again, which means another Mike Flanagan-created show has premiered on Netflix. This year marks the fourth in a row that Flanagan has released a new title on the streaming service, following 2020’s The Haunting of Bly Manor, 2021’s Midnight Mass, and 2022’s The Midnight Club. His latest, The Fall of the House of Usher, is a gothic horror drama based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, which is just another way of saying that it’s the most cynical and nihilistic project Flanagan has ever made.
Visually, tonally, and narratively, the series is alluring and unique, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other shows that scratch some of the same itches it does. With that in mind, for all the viewers out there who are either about to finish The Fall of the House of Usher or already have, here are five TV shows that offer many of the same pleasures as the spooky Netflix drama.
Fear not, this list is not going to be comprised mostly or solely of Flanagan’s past projects. Given how closely tied The Fall of the House of Usher is to many of the filmmaker’s previous efforts, though, we’d be remiss not to recommend a few of them. Of all of the TV shows that he’s made up to this point, none match the narrative darkness and macabre spirit of The Fall of the House of Usher quite like 2018’s The Haunting of Hill House. The series was the first episodic project Flanagan made with Netflix, and five years later, it’s still the scariest show the streaming service has ever produced.
If you’re looking for something that’ll intoxicate you with its moody tone and fill you with the same stomach-churning dread as The Fall of the House of Usher, then The Haunting of Hill House should be the next show on your to-watch list.
Released the same year as The Haunting of Hill House, but not nearly as widely seen, AMC’s The Terror is one of the best episodic horror series of the past 10 years. While both of its seasons are worth checking out, it’s The Terror’s debut season that’ll likely appeal most to fans of The Fall of the House of Usher. Set in the mid-1800s and telling a fictionalized account of one British Royal Navy crew’s infamous, failed Arctic expedition, The Terror season 1 doesn’t quite boast the same contemporary, satirical edge as The Fall of the House of Usher, but it is just as violent, gory, atmospheric, and terrifying.
Like Netflix’s latest horror TV series, The Terror’s first season also mines most of its intrigue, drama, and tension out of exploring the unexplained deaths of a single group of people.
Castle Rock shares many similarities with The Fall of the House of Usher. The Hulu series is inspired by the works of Stephen King in the same way The Fall of House of Usher is indebted to the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe, and like the new Netflix original, Castle Rock‘s first season centers around a mysterious, potentially supernatural figure who brings death and chaos everywhere they go. Both seasons of Castle Rock are worth checking out, but it’s the show’s debut season that has the most in common with The Fall of the House of Usher.
It’s an unsettling, occasionally horrifying season of television — one that is driven by just as much intrigue and uncertainty as Flanagan’s latest, Poe-inspired offering.
One could argue that all of Flanagan’s Netflix shows are required viewing for anyone who enjoys The Fall of the House of Usher. If the prospect of watching four horror TV shows in a row feels a bit too daunting, though, then newcomers to Flanagan’s work can feel confident giving Midnight Mass priority over his other limited series.
A seven-episode thriller about a small island community that is taken by storm with the arrival of an enigmatic new preacher, Midnight Mass offers just as much gore, gothic horror, and thematic depth as The Fall of the House of Usher, which makes it a must-watch title for anyone who loves the latter show.
More than any other show, Dead Ringers boasts the same blend of dark humor and gruesome imagery featured in The Fall of the House of Usher. Based on the David Cronenberg-directed body horror film of the same name, Dead Ringers isn’t quite as straightforward of a genre experiment as The Fall of the House of Usher, but it’s just as perverse, scary, thrilling, and unpredictable.
Starring Rachel Weisz as a pair of ambitious, identical twin gynecologists, Dead Ringers isn’t for the faint of heart, but neither is The Fall of the House of Usher, and the two go together better than they arguably should.
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