Movie Reviews

One Mike Flanagan Netflix Show Detail Perfectly Sets Up A Lovecraftian Prequel

Summary

  • Mike Flanagan’s Netflix shows often draw from classic horror literature, making a Lovecraftian prequel possible.
  • The Fall of the House of Usher’s Arthur Gordon Pym backstory could be adapted from both At the Mountains of Madness and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.
  • A direct follow-up to The Fall of the House of Usher is unlikely due to Flanagan’s departure from Netflix and his other projects.



A subtle detail in one of Mike Flanagan‘s most successful Netflix shows perfectly paves the way for an H.P. Lovecraft prequel. Although Mike Flanagan has a few original films under his belt, he is best known for his work in television and movie adaptations of renowned horror novels. His highly acclaimed Netflix shows are also either loosely based on classic horror novels or draw inspiration from the works of some of the greatest horror writers, like Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Christopher Pike, and Henry James.

After hopping aboard as the director for an upcoming Exorcist reboot, Mike Flanagan is all set to diversify his portfolio as a horror director. With so many horror adaptations under Flanagan’s belt, it is hard not to see how he would perfectly be able to traverse the works of several other big names in horror literature to the screen. Since cosmic horror is gradually growing from strength to strength in popularity, Flanagan could also helm a TV or movie adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. Interestingly, one of his shows has already set up a perfect Lovecraftian prequel.


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Arthur Gordon Pym’s Fall Of The House Of Usher Backstory Could Be A Great Lovecraftian Prequel

Pym’s Backstory In The Show Is Loosely Based On Edgar Allan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Almost throughout its runtime, Netflix’s The Fall of the House of Usher maintains an air of ambiguity surrounding Mark Hamill’s character, Arthur Gordon Pym. However, in a brief sequence, Roderick Usher recalls everything Pym has said about his past, revealing that he went on the Transglobe Expedition when he was much younger. The Usher family’s patriarch emphasizes that Pym experienced things they could not even imagine during the expedition, which makes him who he is today.


As Pym’s name and backstory suggest, his characterization is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Written in 1838, the book was so influential that even H.P. Lovecraft drew inspiration from it when he penned At the Mountains of Madness. From the thematic elements to the narrative structure, from “the cry tekeli-li or takkeli” to the overarching setting, At the Mountains of Madness borrows a lot from The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.

Since Mike Flanagan usually creates a mishmash of various literary works, he could combine elements from both
At the Mountains of Madness
and
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
to weave a perfect Lovecraftian prequel.


Owing to this, it would make sense for The Fall of the House of Usher’s prequel to loosely adapt At the Mountains of Madness and feature Mark Hamill’s Pym as its lead. Since Mike Flanagan usually creates a mishmash of various literary works, he could combine elements from both At the Mountains of Madness and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym to weave a perfect Lovecraftian prequel. This connection between the two tales would not only add more heft to The Fall of the House of Usher‘s overarching lore but also give audiences a much-anticipated Mike Flanagan Lovecraftian adaptation.

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Mike Flanagan Is Interested In Adapting H.P. Lovecraft’s Work

The Director Is Also Capable Of Bringing A Compelling Lovecraftian Adaptation To The Screen

Natalie Portman as Lena in Annihilation, H.P. Lovecraft, and Madeleine Arthur as Lavinia in Color Out of Space


Although Mike Flanagan has not yet dipped his feet in cosmic horror, the director seems interested in adapting H.P. Lovecraft’s work in the future. In an interview (via Syfy), he revealed that he would “love to do [H.P.] Lovecraft” and even added that he has a copy of The Necronomicon on his office table. Given the inexplicable and enigmatic nature of Lovecraft’s work, adapting his stories to the audiovisual medium is no easy feat.

However, Mike Flanagan’s long line of successful horror adaptations suggests he has what it takes to bring a successful Lovecraftian movie or show to the screen. Since At the Mountain of Madness portrays some of the most abstract and ambiguous entities from H.P. Lovecraft’s works and also features detailed and evocative descriptions of the unknown and the unknowable, adapting it will come with several challenges. But, as shows like Midnight Mass and movies like Gerald’s Game suggest, Flanagan is no stranger to tackling complex horror stories.


Will Fall Of The House Of Usher Ever Get A Follow-Up?

A Direct Follow-Up Will Likely Never Happen

Unfortunately, since Mike Flanagan has parted ways with Netflix, it seems unlikely that The Fall of the House Usher will get a follow-up. Given how the director also has several movie and television projects, like The Life of Chuck, The Dark Tower, The Exorcist, and The Season of Passage, lined up, he may not have the time to accommodate a prequel to The Fall of the House of Usher. However, since he is open to adapting Lovecraft’s work in the future, he could work on a standalone adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, featuring Mark Hamill as its lead.


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