The pulse-pounding orchestral blasts that drive the first trailer for The Fall of the House of Usher appropriately belong to Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem," which is a mass for the dead. The specific excerpt comes from the "Dies Irae" movement, a.k.a. the funeral march. One might then consider this sneak peek, released Tuesday, as the start of the Usher family's slow, painful trudge towards the grave.
After years of delivering hit horror shows on Netflix, from The Haunting of Hill House to Midnight Mass to The Midnight Club, filmmaker Mike Flanagan and his producing partner Trevor Macy now deliver a limited series inspired by the collected literary works of Edgar Allan Poe, but with particular emphasis on short story "The Fall of the House of Usher."
EW previously revealed the main cast of power players populating this horror-drama. Bruce Greenwood (Gerald's Game) and Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves) star as Roderick and Madeline Usher, twins who built their company, Fortunato Pharmaceuticals, into a thriving modern dynasty. But long-buried secrets are dug up when a supernatural entity from their past, the shape-shifting Verna (Carla Gugino), starts targeting and killing the heirs to the Usher fortune.
Gugino, a frequent collaborator of Flanagan's, previously described Verna as "the executor of fate or the executor of karma," which is made apparent in the footage. When one victim asks what she is, she replies, "Consequence — and tonight is consequential."
The Usher heirs, whom Verna calls "a collection of stunted hearts whose time has come," are made up of Roderick's six children — Frederick Usher (Henry Thomas), Tamerlane Usher (Samantha Sloyan), Victorine Lafourcade (T'Nia Miller), Napoleon "Leo" Usher (Rahul Kohli), Camille L'Espanaye (Kate Siegel), and Prospero "Perry" Usher (Sauriyan Sapkota) — as well as his granddaughter, Lenore Usher (Kyliegh Curran).
The series is framed around a fireside confessional with an older Roderick, who's facing the literal ghosts of his past as he reflects on his life with C. Auguste Dupin (Doctor Sleep's Carl Lumbly), the attorney determined to take down what he calls "the Usher Crime Family."
"I'm afraid you're ringside for my reckoning, old friend," Roderick tells Auguste.
Eike Schroter/Netflix Bruce Greenwood's Roderick Usher in 'The Fall of the House of Usher'
Driving home the Poe connection, Roderick begins deliriously repeating "nevermore," the haunting phrase from the poet's most famous work, "The Raven." It's no surprise that an actual raven is one of the many phantasms stalking the Ushers.
Also appearing in the series are Mark Hamill as Arthur Pym, the family's ruthless attorney and clean-up guy; Crystal Balint as Morella "Morrie" Usher, wife of Frederick and mother of Lenore; Matt Biedel as Bill T. "BILLT" Wilson, Tamerlane's fitness influencer husband; Ruth Codd as Juno Usher, Roderick's second wife and a former junkie; Katie Parker as Annabel Lee, Roderick's first wife and mother of Frederick and Tamerlane; and Michael Trucco as Rufus Griswold, the head of Fortunato prior to Roderick's ascent.
The cast is rounded out by Paola Nuñez, Zach Gilford, Willa Fitzgerald, Malcolm Goodwin, Aya Furukawa, Daniel Jun, Annabeth Gish, Igby Rigney, and Robert Longstreet.
"It's bats--- crazy in the best possible way," Gugino previously told Netflix's official website Tudum in an interview conducted during production last year. "It has quite a lot of very dark humor, but also really touches the soul."
The Fall of the House of Usher premieres Oct. 12 on Netflix. Watch the trailer above.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.