Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel hit the nail on the proverbial head again this fall with Netflix’s newest horror series, The Fall of the House of Usher. Provocative and riveting, this “adults only” masterpiece continues a long line of dark, sexy stories told by Flanagan, including Midnight Mass (2021), The Haunting of Hill House (2018), The Midnight Club (2022), and The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020).
Bringing back an all-star studded cast featuring Carla Gugino, Ruth Codd, Bruce Greenwood, Samantha Sloyan, and others, Fall of the House of Usher presents a popularized and modern retelling of the Edgar Allan Poe’s story of the same name. Drawing inspiration from other Poe tales such as “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”, The Fall of the House of Usher is beautifully captivating, suspenseful, and keeps the scares coming.
Kate Siegel’s Hard-Nosed Return
Mike Flanagan likes to use the same cast for his now-annual Netflix horror mini-series. Mainstays in his works include Rahul Kohil, T’Nia Miller, and Crystal Balint. Despite a few new faces to the House of Usher, like Star War’s Mark Hamill, Flanagan didn’t stray too far from what has made his past experiences with Netflix work.
For this reason, he brought on board familiar face Kate Siegel in what some are calling the “scariest of all his creations.” In the newest series, Siegel plays Camille, the hard-nosed and callous daughter of Roderick Usher, responsible for protecting the mighty Usher name from bad press.
Siegel, the spouse of Flanagan, is no stranger to horror. She’s worked alongside her husband on many of his thrilling mini-series, as well as appeared in other horror works such as Oculus (2013) and Hush (2016). Kate Siegel has also dabbled in writing and co-authoring scripts for Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) and Gerald’s Game (2017).
Returning to her “bread and butter,” Siegel’s role in The Fall of the House of Usher is masterfully carried out. Perfectly shadowing Bruce Greenwood’s Roderick Usher and Mary McDonnell’s Madeline Usher, The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) actress put on a show for audiences who’ve been waiting an entire year for Flanagan’s next dark series.
What Makes “The Fall of the House” of Usher Great
We must admit that The Fall of the House of Usher isn’t for everyone. The detailed storyline that (spoilers) sees the death of each member of the Usher family is dark, very dark. The subject matter included is also extremely mature. However, the character portrayals are so well cast, and the overarching twists and turns make this a must-watch for horror fans.
Drawing inspiration from the gothic and macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher, brings popular characters like Roderick and Madeline Usher to life in a brand new, modern way, one that provides well-crafted on-screen chemistry, incorporating detailed tidbits of Poe’s most famous works.
Carla Gugino gives a sultry performance as a harbinger of doom for the Usher family, while Carl Lumby’s Auguste Dupin is the perfect opposition to Roderick and Madeline. Each episode provides valuable insight into each Usher heir, pulling remnants from the most popular Edgar Allan Poe tales, ultimately ending in one jaw-dropping conclusion.
Kate Siegel’s Role is Inspired by Pixar
As mentioned, Kate Siegel’s performance is once again enough reason to watch Flanagan’s newest horror addition. However, interestingly enough, in an exclusive new video interview for the show’s Electronic Press Kit (EPKS) and posted to the Mike Flanagan Source’s X (formerly Twitter) account, Siegel shed more insight on her role and where her inspiration for Camille came from.
“Camille is entirely based on a character named Mirage from The Incredibles. When I was a little girl, she was like my Jessica Rabbit. Like I thought she was the most beautiful woman I could imagine. She is the one that tricks Mr. Incredible into coming and being kidnapped. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. So sorry to spoil all of your childhood dreams, but Camille is just Mirage.”
Drifting back to The Incredibles, Siegel’s inspiration for Camille’s look makes perfect sense. The platinum hair and blackened eyes easily are a call back to Mirage. In fact, while watching The Fall of the House of Usher, I kept thinking to myself that Camille looked familiar, and thanks to Cinemablend finding this delightful piece of information, now I know why!
As Cinemablend points out, the uncanny representation shared between Camille and Mirage doesn’t stop at looks.
“While the source of inspiration for Camille lies in the realm of one of the best 2000s family films rather than the horror genre, the connection between these two characters is indeed uncanny. Mirage and Camille share an alluring and enigmatic quality, capable of manipulating the world around them. The revelation not only highlights the Occulus performer’s immense talent in portraying complex characters but also adds an intriguing layer of depth to the character of Camille–only solidifying Usher as my new favorite horror show.“
Siegel’s portrayal of Camille is delightfully evil. Although the character is meant to be disliked, it’s hard not to appreciate the excellent work that Kate put into bringing the hard-nosed Usher daughter to life. Noting that the 41-year-old based many of the attributes of Camille off of one of our favorite Pixar films makes watching The Fall of the House of Usher even more alluring.