Mike Flanagan's The Fall Of The House Of Usher Series Isn't A 'Haunting' For One Simple Reason

Riding high off the success of "Midnight Mass," director Mike Flanagan has finally spilled a little bit about another one of his upcoming Netflix series — the newly announced "Fall of the House of Usher." What he has to say, and I'm sorry for using this phrase but it's apt, might surprise you.

"Midnight Mass" is in the rearview mirror, "Midnight Club" (no relation) is in post-production, and Flanagan's next at-bat is "Fall of the House of Usher." Upon the announcement of "Usher," people assumed it was the next "Haunting" installment, and for good reason. "The Haunting of Hill House" and "The Haunting of Bly Manor" were adapted from classic genre literature, just like "Usher," and hell ... the word "House" is even in the title of Edgar Allan Poe's classic story.

Turns out that's not quite the case and Flanagan said the reason is pretty simple...

The Ghost Problem

While talking to The Wrap, Flanagan said that, in order for it to be a "Haunting" follow up, you need one crucial thing that Poe's story doesn't have: ghosts. 

People can be haunted by all sorts of things. Memory, trauma, bad life decisions, eating an entire greasy medium pizza at 10 pm. Those kinds of things. But he's not wrong that if you label "Usher" a "Haunting" story, the audience is going to expect a certain kind of experience, most likely involving ghosts hidden in the background somewhere.

Poe's story is about a guy who goes to visit an old childhood friend and his sickly sister at their creepy, crumbling family estate. It's a tale of madness, and while it isn't devoid of the supernatural (there's a deep insinuation that the crumbling house represents the deteriorating physical and mental health of its inhabitants), it's not a gothic ghost story at all.

It's adrenaline

Flanagan went on to clarify in this interview that "Usher" was always being developed as a standalone mini-series for Netflix and never part of the "Haunting" universe, citing a tonal difference between the two. He called the "Hauntings" a "sad, sweeping violin ballad" and said that "Usher" is "like rock and roll." 

That's not to say that he's completely done with the "Haunting" universe. However, he did say he was tapped out on that at the moment and wouldn't want to return to it unless there was banger story to tell.

It's also worth noting that Flanagan is one of those storytellers that likes to work with the same stable of actors and crew. So unless he totally breaks with tradition, you may very well see some casting overlap between "Usher" and the "Haunting" series. 

Whatever the case may be, after "Midnight Mass," everyone should just be excited to see more Flanagan projects get made.