Directed by: George Adams
Written by: George Adams
Starring: Theresa Santiago, Billie D. Merritt, John Tupy, John Ferguson, Peter Anthony Seay
It is exciting when someone is about to meet the family of the person they are having a relationship with. What kind of people are the relatives going to turn out to be?
Based on the short story: The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, this suspenseful thriller is full of surprises and likely to keep the viewer guessing until the end.
Morgan Segal (Merritt) and Roderick Usher (Tupy) are two young college students who are in love with each other. When Roderick returns to his home to be with his ill father, Morgan decides to follow him there unannounced and against Roderick's wishes. Once she arrives at the Usher's enormous mansion, she discovers that things there are...unusual. The property has very limited lighting and the people there, along with Roderick are wearing clothing that appears to belong to a previous century. She then meets her boyfriend's mother (Santiago), who is strict, mean, dominative and appears to be the one in charge here. From then on things go from awkward to extremely weird and sinister!
Adams has done a great job in creating suspense. The audience will become intrigued with solving the mystery of the Usher family. As the plot moves forward, there is one revelation after another, making the viewer pick up the clues along the way in order to make sense of the situations.
Santiago is the one who steals the show in every scene that she is in. She is an intelligent, strong, sarcastic, manipulative individual, who is strict with manners and will not let anyone argue with her. She truly is a menacing antagonist. And poor Tupy is the unfortunate son who is weak and under her control. Merritt is sympathetic as the well-meaning girlfriend who cares about Roderick and wants to save him from his mother.
It should be mentioned that there is plenty of sexual content and some nudity. Just to warn the ones who are offended by it.
The film almost feels like a ''haunted house horror movie'', by having the heroine exploring a large, dark house that is filled with secrets and mysterious individuals. And Michael Gordon Shapiro's suspenseful and creepy score certainly gives the film a spooky atmosphere.
Additional recognition should be given to the costumes. They are well designed and their presence helps indicate that this is no ordinary household.
However, there is a sequence that does not seem to support the film. That would be the scene that is shown during the closing credits. It resembles a music video and to be fair, sounds and looks great. Unfortunately it just appears random and maybe should not be there.
That aside, if one is in the mood for a weird tale and likes surprises, then Lady Usher is definitely worth checking out.