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House of Usher$
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Evert van Leeuwen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325604

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325604.001.0001

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The Genre of Usher

The Genre of Usher

(p.85) Conclusion: The Genre of Usher
House of Usher

Evert Jan van Leeuwen

Liverpool University Press

This concluding chapter addresses the genre of Roger Corman's House of Usher (1960), which contains neither a gothic monster nor a villain. It is better to categorise House of Usher as a film belonging to a subgenre of haunted-house narratives identified as revolving around ‘tragic families and the influence of the past on the present’. Roderick and Madeline Usher are only haunted metaphorically by their knowledge of the family evil. Their ancestors do not float about the corridors in white robes, clanging their chains to shock intruders. Roderick is ‘haunted’ by the evil deeds of his ancestors because their horrific and unlawful actions have tainted the family name, and according to Roderick, have literally infected the environment and the very atmosphere he breathes. He is suffering the consequences of their crimes.

Keywords:   Roger Corman, House of Usher, haunted house, genre, family evil, Roderick Usher, Madeline Usher

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