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The Fall of the House of Usher: Quoth the Raven

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Spoiler ravens incoming! 

Created by a pair of ruthless twin siblings long ago, the current Usher pharmaceutical empire begins crumbling into dust as patriarch Roderick’s adult children begin dying off. 

Oh this is a gorgeous one y’all, full of mood and tension and supernatural horror to knock your socks off, sure, but also sporting incredible performances from every single cast member. So let’s dive (off a high-rise balcony) into this! 

In the beginning, young Roderick Usher (Zach Gilford) and his twin sister Madeline (Willa Fitzgerald) came from nothing. Their religious fanatic of a mother Eliza (Annabeth Gish) worked as a secretary and occasional mattress-toy for their father William Longfellow (Robert Longstreet), the former CEO of the Fortunato pharmaceutical company. Which is all a glorious irony, because when mother gets sickly, she adamantly refuses to see a doctor due to her religious beliefs, and the children are left to fend for themselves when their father callously denies both them, and their mother, acknowledgement of any kind. And paid a heavy price for it too, when an enraged spirit rose from her grave to exact her righteous vengeance. 

Here in the present, old and haggard Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood), Fortunato pharmaceutical emperor, opioid king, is haunted by his past mistakes, but also by the specters of his dead adult children. Diagnosed with a heroic list of physical (and let’s face it, mental) ailments, Roderick decides to invite his old nemesis Auguste Dupin (Carl Lumbly) to a secret location, for a full confession of all his crimes, against the world and the courts and even Auggie himself, but most especially against his own family. 

Every single one of Roderick’s children comes with a name from an Edgar Allen Poe story and a whole laundry list of odd issues and secrets. Frederick Usher (Henry Thomas), the eldest and heir to the Fortunato empire, has trust issues with his wife Morella (Cystal Balint), and apparently the only actual grandchild thus far, Lenore (Kyliegh Curran). Far as I can tell, Frederick doesn’t actually do anything, other than regurgitate Roderick’s business policies and family fixer-attorney Arthur Pym’s (Mark Hamill) warnings about close-mouthedness as far as the public, media, and especially the law goes. Lenore is of course absolutely beloved by her grandfather, while her mother Morella seems to have past issues with another of Roderick’s kids, Prospero, or Perry (Sauriyan Sapkota) as he prefers to be called. 

Frederick’s eldest legitimate daughter, named Tamerlane (really? Wow) but of course she’s called Tammy (Samantha Sloyan) by most, has aspirations of being a different kind of family entrepreneur with her husband Bill Wilson (Matt Biedel) and his fitness influencer lifestyle. Tammy puts a lot of pressure on herself, has frankly utterly ridiculous demands her husband has to follow, and a very unusual way of using call girls to have a … one-some? practically every night. No kink-shaming here of course, but even I raised an eyebrow at Tammy’s nightly adventures and lack of actual sleep. 

Camille L’Espanaye is one of Roderick’s several illegitimate children, sharp-tongued and savvy is she, as the head of public relations for Fortunato. Her hair an iconic silvery-white, likely a nod to the older L’Espanaye women of the Poe story, she stalks the scandals, social media, the backgrounds and vices of all the Ushers, and is utterly ruthless in using everything in her power to spin doctor every last Usher disaster as quickly as possible. The on-going trial with older Auggie barely registers in Camille’s arrogant countenance, as she works those sharp-as-steel wits in overtime to address the sudden domino deaths of her siblings. Camille’s casual mistreatment of her two aides Toby and Tina as little more than walking, not talking, sexual stress relievers, it’s apparently literally in their employment contracts and multiple NDAs, is just as horrific as the misdeeds as the other Ushers, and her death comeuppance has a delicious irony to it in this regard. 

Victorine LaFourcade (T’Nia Miller) is the eldest of Roderick’s illegitimate children, tall and black and statuesque, a genius heart surgeon on whom Roderick places a ton of expectations and pride. Her partner Dr. Alessandra “Ali” Ruiz (Paola Nunez) is a partner in every sense of the word, both at work and at home, and while Ali has great faith in her gorgeous genius of a partner, she is also leery of using untried Fortunato products in their heart and pace-maker research. The grotesque labs full of monkey test animals and outright lies from an increasingly paranoid and pressured Victorine bring to mind the disaster that led to 28 Days Later, another master horrorpiece. 

Poor Napoleon, or Leo (Rahul Kohli) as he rightfully prefers to be called, tatted up and drugged out of his mind more often than not, can’t even rightly claim being a video game designer, as he tries to. No, Leo is a video game publisher and is adrift on the Usher money and lifestyle, both pulling away and edging back to the family that finds him a few shades disappointing. His boyfriend Julius (Daniel Jun) tries so very hard to be just chill about Leo’s increasing paranoia, depression, and hey, feud with that damnable black cat. 

The youngest of the illegitimate Usher children, Prospero known as Perry seems determined to live the life of a young bacchanal, full of drugs and sex with multiple partners, an exclusive VIP party that seemingly never ends, and Perry would be the gatekeeper, the overlord of the orgy. His eager ideas for a very posh orgy-porgy amongst the bright young things of the city, with him emperor Dionysus above all, while cute, lacks anything resembling common sense. Indeed, Perry thinks the best place to have his pop-up party of the century is a disused private lab testing site for Fortunato pharma and was meant to have been torn down long ago, but since the Usher family owns these sites (allegedly) he can go ahead and use them worry-free, right? Gives a whole new terrifying spin to, “Make it rain!” 

The whole thing with the trial and an elderly but still spry Auguste, and how it directly relates back to that time in the ‘80’s when a much younger Auggie (Malcolm Goodwin) and younger Mads (Willa Fitzgerald) and younger Roderick (Zach Gilford) all wanted to take on current Fortunato head Rufus Griswold (Michael Trucco) and the absolute ass of a jester he’s acting like, is the kind of full-circle irony that a tidy universe loves to show us. Indeed, it’s way back here on a fateful night where, after a beleaguered Roderick has betrayed pretty much everyone but his twin sister, because Mads always has a plan for long-term revenge, that they meet a very strange bartender, who offers them both the deal of several lifetimes. 

The woman, or rather the entity that we come to associate as the specter of Death, is never actually given a name. The show BTS information calls her Verna (Carla Gugino), a rearrangement of raven, arguably Poe’s most well-known poem and known in many cultures as the bringer of death, if not Death itself. As the Usher children begin dying, Verna pops up and either guides them through it, or in a rather Final Destination fashion, outright causes their deaths to happen. Verna made a rather monstrous offer of a deal to the Usher twins long ago, they both had to take her up on it, which begins the domino effect that leads all the way to the real fall of the House of Usher, and its lasting legacy on the entire Usher bloodline. Verna encourages the Usher empire founders to think of themselves like that, referring to Mads as Cleopatra and nudging Roderick with his obsession of suicide by khopesh, or the legendary sapphire eyes of Egyptian Queen Twosret, none of which helps the mindset of the Usher family. 

The Poe references splashed throughout, the use of light and shadow as each Usher character declines into madness (or dives), absolutely stellar performances from a powerhouse cast, all make for a ride through the haunted legacy of the House of Usher worth repeated viewings! Be there for the collapse of an empire in The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix now!

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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Netflix’s Upcoming Thriller ‘Trigger Warning’ Promises Action-Packed Intrigue”

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Get ready to buckle up for an adrenaline-fueled ride as Netflix prepares to drop its latest original thriller, “Trigger Warning,” on June 21, 2024. Directed by Mouly Surya and boasting an all-star cast, including Jessica Alba, Mark Webber, Tone Bell, Jake Weary, Gabriel Basso, Anthony Michael Hall, Kaiwi Lyman, and Hari Dhillon, this film is set to keep viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

The plot centers around Special Forces commando Parker, portrayed by the talented Jessica Alba. Parker’s life takes an unexpected turn when she receives the heartbreaking news of her father’s sudden passing, prompting her to return to her hometown. As she steps into her new role as the owner of the family bar, Parker quickly realizes that there’s more to her father’s death than meets the eye.

Reconnecting with figures from her past, including her former flame turned sheriff, Jesse (Mark Webber), and his volatile brother, Elvis (Jake Weary), Parker finds herself embroiled in a dangerous web of deceit and violence. With the influential Senator Swann (Anthony Michael Hall) casting a shadow over the town, Parker must navigate treacherous waters to uncover the truth about her father’s demise.

As tensions rise and alliances shift, Parker taps into her elite commando training, determined to unravel the mysteries plaguing Swann County. Assisted by her covert ops partner and hacker, Spider (Tone Bell), and the enigmatic local dealer, Mike (Gabriel Basso), Parker embarks on a perilous journey filled with twists and turns.

Penned by John Brancato & Josh Olson and Halley Gross, “Trigger Warning” promises to deliver a gripping narrative packed with action, suspense, and unexpected revelations. With a powerhouse cast bringing the characters to life and a talented creative team behind the scenes, this Netflix original is primed to captivate audiences worldwide.

Produced by Erica Lee, Basil Iwanyk, and Esther Hornstein, “Trigger Warning” offers a thrilling glimpse into the murky depths of small-town politics and criminal underworlds. With its pulse-pounding action sequences and compelling storyline, this film is sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Mark your calendars for June 21, 2024, as “Trigger Warning” arrives on Netflix, ready to ignite your senses and keep you guessing until the credits roll. Don’t miss out on this adrenaline-charged cinematic experience that promises to be the ultimate summer blockbuster.

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Unveiling the Epic Journey of Ayrton Senna: Netflix’s New Limited Series

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Buckle up, racing enthusiasts, as Netflix gears up to premiere its highly anticipated limited series, “Senna,” in late 2024. Delving into the captivating life and career of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, this six-episode fictional saga promises to deliver an immersive experience like no other.

In a mesmerizing teaser video released today, viewers catch a glimpse of the adrenaline-fueled world of Formula 1 as they witness the recreation of Ayrton Senna’s historic victory at the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix. Narrated by the iconic Galvão Bueno, the teaser provides a tantalizing peek into Senna’s triumph on the Interlagos circuit, a pivotal moment in his illustrious career.

Portrayed by the talented Gabriel Leone, Ayrton Senna takes center stage as the series chronicles his journey from the genesis of his motor racing career in England’s Formula Ford to his tragic accident at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. Through triumphs, disappointments, joys, and sorrows, viewers will be taken on an emotional rollercoaster, unveiling the true essence of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.

But “Senna” is not just about racing; it’s about the man behind the helmet. The series delves deep into Senna’s personality and personal relationships, offering a nuanced portrayal of the enigmatic figure who captured the hearts of millions around the globe.

Behind the scenes, “Senna” boasts an impressive lineup of talent, with Vicente Amorim and Julia Rezende serving as showrunner and co-director, respectively. Produced by Gullane in collaboration with Senna Brands and the driver’s family, the series promises to stay true to the spirit of Ayrton Senna’s legacy.

Joining Gabriel Leone in bringing this epic tale to life are Alice Wegmann as Lilian Vasconcelos, Camila Márdila as Vivianne Senna, Christian Malheiros as Maurinho, and a stellar international cast including Kaya Scodelario, Arnaud Viard, Patrick Kennedy, and more.

From the exhilarating race tracks to the intimate moments behind closed doors, “Senna” offers a front-row seat to the captivating story of a racing icon. So rev up your engines and mark your calendars for the premiere of “Senna,” coming soon to Netflix. Get ready to experience the thrill, the drama, and the legacy of Ayrton Senna like never before.

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