The Fall of Usher (2021) Movie Script

(soft chiming music)
(fly buzzing)
(fly splattering)
(water dripping)
(music box clicking)
(cheerful music box music)
(suspenseful music)
(water splashing softly)
(suspenseful music)
(water splashing softly)
(door creaking)
(dramatic crescendo)
(thrilling music)
(crickets chirping)
- Let me call myself
for the moment, William.
I'm a storyteller by nature
and a liar in my freer times.
No part of what I convey is true,
but every part is truthful.
You will come to despise
me and your revulsion
will be rightly warranted, I swear it.
Now, however,
by way of staying execution and
mitigating these accusations
against me, I offer this sad history.
(tense music)
Most abhor my commitment to
pretension and inconsistency,
but I implore you, listen.
Only then might you understand completel
I hated the old man.
It's not that he had
wronged me or given insult.
Those things I'd come to
accept as a matter of course.
I think it was his
(man breathing heavily)
That shallow rasp of a man
on the edge of a maelstrom.
Too weak-spirited to indulge
his nobler instincts.
Desperately grasping within
the darkness for deliverance
from the inescapable and
ever-present specter of death.
I became terrified he'd
find miraculous salvation,
shake the noose once more,
become somewhat his former self.
And the whole miserable
ordeal would begin again.
(distant clock ticking)
(crickets chirping)
(loud banging)
(water splashing)
It is impossible to say how the
idea first entered my brain,
but once conceived, it possessed me.
(man breathing heavily)
(door creaking)
(suspenseful music)
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Before I continue,
I must first impart my
breathless impression
of that singular element to the
story that quickens my heart
and awakens my better
nature, assuming I have one.
Let me lift your gaze to her.
(solemn music)
- Hi.
I'm here to see Mr. Usher.
(sphygmomanometer inflating)
(solemn instrumental music)
(pen scratching)
He won't be needing the blood thinners
or the chemo medication anymore.
We'll be replacing those
with the morphine drip.
Now, keep this away from
all the other injections.
It's pretty strong stuff.
And everything else just give to him
as you normally would, okay?
All right, now I need you to sign this.
This just states that
we went over everything
and that you understand.
Do you have any other questions?
- When will he be going
back to the oncologist?
- He won't be going back to the doctor.
I need you to understand that I'm not he
to make him better.
I'm here to make him comfortable.
Did the two of you talk about
this before you decided to--
- Yes.
I'm sorry.
It's just a lot to take in.
- No, I understand.
Take your time.
- How long does he have?
- A few months?
- Will he get worse?
- Yes.
We'll give him some strong
medicine to help with the pain,
but I'm afraid it'll make him less lucid
Of course, if you're having
second thoughts about this,
then the two of you
should really talk about--
- No, thank you.
I understand.
The idea that my love for her
in as much as I am capable
of feeling such emotion would
begin at our first moment
of somber introduction is
the substance of delusion.
Still, I cannot with
quiet conscience deny it.
We set about the comfort of the old man
and that alone we
pursued with pious vigor.
Never would our eyes meet
or our pulses quicken
at the sight of the other.
Never would we smile or swoon or sigh.
We would instead passionately
declare the depths
of the love which we
both felt most assuredly,
and as a matter of absolute
certitude for the old man,
and yet the sympathies of a
scarcely-intelligible nature
existed between us.
We would find ourselves stealing away,
always in the interest of
respect for the old man,
for no dutiful son or
physician's assistant
would discuss the tragedy of a man's
absolute and incontrovertible death
within 100 yards earshot
of the hero himself.
(man breathing heavily)
(somber instrumental music)
(music box clicking)
(soft music box music)
(lips smacking)
Thanks for coming by.
(shoes clacking)
Then it was finished.
- Hi, I'm here to see Mr. Usher.
(dogs barking)
- Where's Anna?
- Oh, Anna cut back on some of her cases
and I'm taking a few of
her patients for her.
Can I come in?
(crickets chirping)
(rotary phone clicking)
(phone ringing)
- [Anna] Hello?
- Hey.
I missed you today.
Where were you?
- [Anna] William, I'm sorry.
I can't care for Mr. Usher at this time.
- But he loved you, I mean--
- [Anna] I'm so sorry.
I just don't think it
would be appropriate.
I hope you understand.
- I don't.
- [Anna] I'm sorry, William.
I have to go.
Give him my love, okay?
I'm sorry.
(phone receiver bangs)
(William sighs)
- And thus joy suddenly faded into horro
and the most beautiful
became the most hideous.
(water splashing)
I continued my endeavors
of faithfulness, tending,
with the help of the
nameless nurse who scurried
and busied herself as a soulless beast
in preparation of his demise
to the old man's every want and need
and principle of
arrogant, entitled desire.
It was now that my hatred
for him blossomed and bloomed
as a cancer of thought and obsession.
(vibrant violin music)
He who through unholy
fate brought us together
and with some gleeful aspiration,
I know not the particulars
of how nor do I care,
drove her from that accursed
house of false modesty.
I longed with the most
earnest and consuming desire
for the old man's decease.
I refuse to deny it.
(water splashing)
But the obstinate spirit
clung to its tenement
of clay for many days,
through many weeks and irksome months
until my hatred obtained
a mastery over my mind.
And I grew furious through delay
and with the heart of a fiend
to curse the days and the
hours and the bitter moments,
which seemed to lengthen and
lengthen as his despicable life
declined like shadows
in the dying of the day.
(glass shattering)
(clock ticking rapidly)
(blood dripping)
(soft music box music)
(man snoring softly)
(switch clicking)
- [Mr. Usher] William.
- I'm here.
(door creaking)
(tense violin music)
(water splashing)
There was not a singular moment
when the task was decided.
Instead, the fate of the old man unwound
as a fable whose gruesome conclusion
is both hideously unnecessary
and fully predetermined.
Once the plan had thus matured,
over the course of weeks or
months absolutely unknown
to myself throughout the
entirety of that period,
it sprung fully-formed from my psyche.
(tense violin music)
(Mr. Usher snoring)
I endeavored to do the deed.
And so I did, that very same night.
(door creaking)
(Mr. Usher breathing heavily)
(Mr. Usher breathing heavily)
(loud breathing)
(door creaking)
(tense music)
I prepared myself for
the finality of the task.
It was not my intention
to allow the old man
to pass all together peaceably.
A wrong is unredressed
when the avenger fails
to make himself felt as such
to him who has done the wrong.
(tense violin music)
For more than an hour I waited,
listening the whole time
to that raspy breath.
(loud breathing)
That terrible inhalation
and exhalation stole my will
and replaced it with a
malice few have glimpsed
and fewer can comprehend.
(loud, raspy breathing)
(distant clock ticking)
(suspenseful music)
And so I killed the old man.
(dramatic music)
(Mr. Usher choking)
The slightest pressure to the
throat allows the futility
of hope to slip through with
each hideous passing breath,
while the morphine seals
the inevitability of demise.
I held him at the edge of the abyss
for hours, days, or mere minutes.
Time was a matter for other men.
I could feel the torturous breath
ebbing mercilessly from
him and taste the panic
seeping from his pores.
Decades of wasted thoughts
and fears, hopes and regrets
descended violently on the man's soul,
subduing his spirit.
And in that moment, I
forgave him completely.
My own spirit lifted
through the perverseness
of the endeavor.
Then all was silent
and I was alone.
(William cries)
(rotary phone clicking)
(phone ringing)
- [Anna] Hello?
- He's dead.
- [Anna] I'm so sorry.
- Will you come?
- Yes.
(phone receiver rattles)
(distant clock ticking)
Have you contacted any of
the other family members?
- No.
- That's okay, take your time.
There's no rush with any of this.
- Will there be an
autopsy or an examination
to find out what happened?
- We know what happened.
He was a very sick man.
I don't see a reason to do an aut--
- I mean, there's no way to know
for sure what happened, right?
And no one else was here, and I, he was.
He was banging on the
wall and it was so loud,
and I was angry.
And he could...
He could barely breathe.
- William.
- And it was just so awful.
- William, William.
Look at me.
This isn't your fault, okay?
You both knew this was going to happen.
He died peacefully at home, in
his bed, just like he wanted.
(William cries)
(somber music)
(eerie music)
(dramatic music)
(somber music)
- Beneficiaries of the
estate will receive and share
all of the property
and assets not required
for the payment of any debts owed.
All property given under
this will is subject
to any encumbrances or liens
attached to the property.
I direct my executor to
distribute the residue
of my estate as follows.
(distant clock ticking)
(music box banging)
(suspenseful music)
(distant clock ticking)
(suspenseful music)
(clock ticking rapidly)
- What do you want me to say?
He made some mistakes.
He was a piece of shit.
- Don't say that.
- He gave you nothing.
You wiped his ass.
You gave him food.
He gave you nothing.
- He...
He had his reasons.
- Yeah, he did.
But he could have shown
one little shred of--
- Pity?
- Mercy.
Fucking pride.
You're a lot like him.
Take it as a compliment.
Listen, as far as I'm
concerned, house is yours.
- I don't want this fucking house.
- He wouldn't want you to be homeless.
- You think he'd care?
- Just stay here as long as you want.
I don't wanna see my little brother
get kicked out on the street.
(door slams)
(tense music)
(crickets chirping)
- I never fully expected the old man
to acknowledge my devotion.
He was able somehow to see
beneath my facade of concern
and illuminate the
insincerity of my emotion,
even when I was myself
incapable of doing so.
The ever-present gaze of his consciousne
stretched seemingly across eons and back
to the moment of my absolute
unapologetic betrayal.
I can see now how such knowledge
in defiance of all laws
of causation informed
his behavior towards me
from the very moment of my birth.
Such postulation and only
that may explain his peculiar
disdain for my existence,
An antipathy my myopic mind
could never quite grasp.
Suffice it to say the old
man never laid a hand on me,
never abused me, barely scolded me.
He'd expressed his
displeasure not with words,
which the old man rarely
spoke in my direction,
but by emanating a palpable
air of frustration,
which actively impressed upon
me my general unwelcomeness,
as well as my inability
to ever generate a modicum
of joy in his, or perhaps anyone's, life
I have carried this with me,
although I can understand its falseness
upon recollection and analysis.
The aura of this energy
has seeped into the marrow
of my bones, where it will lead me
towards his same lonely
and disinterested end.
I would've borne the entirety
of this insult with grit
and grace, excepting the
fact that he pointed it
not just at myself, but at another.
Just that singular breathing entity
to whom I owe the entirety
of my miserable existence.
(somber music)
Hers was a disposition
of deepest melancholy,
the sadness of a thinking woman.
Nothing could have infuriated
the old man more than
such a creature whose depth,
both intellect and emotion
he could scarcely understand,
even on his most affable days.
His disdain for her queries,
which were often rightly
pointed squarely at the idiocy
and futility of his scheming,
coupled with a callous demeanor
with which he met her most earnest pleas
for patience and understanding drove me,
I swear it, toward my intense
and inevitable hatred.
Drove him, I say, to his
very own demise by my hand,
for it was his being, his core state
of unrelenting coldness,
which ushered forward
that hideous moment that
would forever consume my life.
(somber music)
(door creaking)
(ominous music)
I did not return to that house.
Nor did I allow myself to see the old ma
for a number of years.
But I confess, I took his money.
I continued my studies at university
and subsisted on the fruits of
his tedious business dealings
while simultaneously and
openly mocking the content
of his character for engaging
in those very same endeavors.
This hypocrisy became one of
my few and deepest regrets.
The vortex of thoughtless folly
into which I so recklessly
plunged washed away all but
the froth of my past hours,
engulfed at once every
solid or serious impression
and left memory only the various levitie
of a former existence.
(somber music)
Two years passed.
The wine flowed freely, and
there were not wanting other
and perhaps more dangerous seductions.
(suspenseful music)
(eerie rattling)
(distant laughing)
(light clicking)
(eerie rattling)
(suspenseful music)
(eerie rattling)
(man laughing melodramatically)
(eerie rattling)
(soft buzzing)
(clock ticking rapidly)
(soft music box music)
(cheerful music box music)
(door creaking)
(cheerful music box music)
(light switch clicking)
(suspenseful music)
(clock ticking rapidly)
(suspenseful music)
(door creaking softly)
(door banging)
In the weeks following the
deed, I found little solace.
My hideous act had served
only to palsy the joy of fury
and righteous indignation,
but an action I concluded
would've allowed these same
phantoms to consume me entirely,
a paradox too utterly monstrous
for solution, I assure you.
(phone ringing loudly)
- [Anna] Hi, William.
Can I see you?
(bright music)
(door chiming softly)
- Hi.
- How are you?
- Good, you know, all thing's considered
- May I?
- Please.
- So I...
I wanted to meet so I
could apologize in person.
I did a really bad job of handling thing
and I understand if you hate me.
- I don't hate you.
- I mean, I know I abandoned
you in a really terrible time,
and I swear, that's not how
I wanted things to happen.
It's just things between us, they were..
I just thought it would be
best if I excluded myself
from the equation for a little while.
I mean, you already had enough going on,
and I could tell that you were
conflicted and vulnerable.
And I didn't want you to feel
like I was taking advantage.
It was just really bad timing.
Terrible timing.
- I don't understand.
- I mean, I thought that we...
And then we kissed.
- You thought there was
something between us?
- Well, yeah.
- Oh.
- Wasn't there?
- I thought you were seeing someone.
- Not that I know of.
Well, I just wanted to
meet so I could apologize.
- Apology accepted.
I can call you now?
(Anna chuckles softly)
- Yes.
Yes, you can call me now.
- Never would I have dared
entertain the remotest
possibility of a resolution
beyond the realm of macabre solitude.
By what miracle I escaped destruction,
it is impossible to say.
At that moment, the truth,
the tragedy of the drama was no more.
In an instant and in every
instant thereafter for a time,
my sublime downfall was secured.
For I loved her with a love more fervent
than I believed it possible to feel
for any denizen of the Earth.
But here is where my incessant
commentary must cease,
for I have no words, alas,
to tell the loveliness
of loving well.
(somber orchestral music)
But I digress.
Where were we?
(playful orchestral music)
The illness had shaken the
old man to his foundation.
He indulged as do we
all the primitive belief
that one's demise must be forever a vagu
and distant prospect,
a telegraphed end to a fully-lived life.
But the avenues to death
are numerous and strange,
traversed at a dizzying
and invisible velocity.
And when he summon companionship
in his hour of need,
the same companionship he
would deny even his own bride,
I wanted nothing more than to abandon hi
fully and without remorse, but
I felt the air grow redolent
with death's unquenchable thirst.
It's oppressive weight took
entire possession of my soul.
So I chose without will or premeditation
to conspire against it.
(soft music box music)
(monitors beeping)
- Are you ready, Mr. Usher?
- Okay, Dad.
See you soon.
- I'm scared.
- To the old man.
May he rest in an overpriced
box in the ground.
(glasses clinking)
- Don't speak ill of the dead.
- Why not?
They speak ill of us.
- You're drunk.
- And you love it.
I'm finally opening up.
(Anne chuckles)
I'm not drunk, I'm pretending.
The truth is I'm gonna miss the old man.
I don't know why I'm gonna miss him.
- But you loved him.
I know you did.
I could tell.
- You wanna see my father terrified?
Tell him you love him.
Jesus fucking Christ, I
can't even listen to myself.
You wanna know the most profound thing
that he ever said to me?
I was about six or seven.
He said, "I see so much of myself in you
"that sometimes I can't
even bear to look at you."
And it made me feel so fucking good,
proud that I was like him
and proud that he couldn't stand me,
all at the same same time.
Look, this is all just
grief, confusionable shit.
So I would appreciate it if
you just forgot said anything.
I don't think it's very fair
to hold this against me.
But, secretly, I hope
it endears you to me.
Like, you know, I'm trying
to use the death of my father
to get in your pants,
which is the exact same kind
of thing that he would do.
So maybe he was right all along.
Except now I'm the one who
can't bear to look myself
in the face, and halfway
through the speech,
I lost track whether I was
trying to open up to you
or manipulate you to try
to win your affection.
I am either the most
self-aware mother fucker
in the world or the least.
And sometimes it feels
like there's no difference.
You know that one thing I said,
about how my father said I was like him,
I don't even know if he actually said it
or if I just saw it on some TV
show and imagined he said it,
but I thought it would win
me some fucking points.
So voila, it's part of my story now.
And I have no fucking clue
how real any any of it is.
- You think you killed your father.
(suspenseful music)
- No.
- [Anna] You didn't.
- I know.
(suspenseful music)
A lie which follows a wild truth
obscures itself entirely
and without effort.
I would've told her, but
there are some secrets
that do not let themselves be told.
Men die nightly in their beds,
ringing the hands of ghostly confessors
and looking them piteously in the eyes.
Die with despair of heart
and convulsion of throat
on account of the hideous mysteries,
which will not suffer
themselves to be revealed.
(loud banging)
(water splashing)
(door creaking)
(light switch clicking)
(light switch clicking)
(dramatic music)
(William gasping)
- William?
William, William, it's okay.
You're awake, it's okay.
It's okay.
It was only a dream.
- [William] Only a dream.
And if not?
Ah, what world of mystery and meaning,
doubt and uncertainty is there involved
in those two letters?
That mono-syllable.
(light switch clicking)
(door creaking)
- [Doctor] Mr. Usher.
- Successful surgery brought
a bare modicum of hope
immediately quashed by the
test results that followed.
No sooner had the old man
heard of his impending doom
than he adjusted his focus as always
solely toward the business at hand.
He immediately sold all earthly property
most notably the home of my
miserably-contented childhood,
and consolidated his
moderate wealth to a fund
whose singular purpose
became providing death
in the most socially-accepted fashion.
Modest furniture and all
manner of medical necessity
was delivered directly to a home
particularly suited to
the macabre occasion.
The old man resigned,
whether as repentance
or misanthropic protestation to die alon
He desired this, he assured me,
as his one and only dying wish.
No more than two brief
days after relocation,
he was taken ill,
and seeing him feeble and
frightened and pitying himself
in that absurd pauper's bed,
surrounded by nurses who
flattered and fawned about,
I determined to deny his request.
(loud breathing)
I'll stay.
(loud breathing)
(muffled chattering)
- [Anna] William!
- I'm, I'm sorry.
What were you saying?
- That I'm worried about you.
- I can't imagine why.
- What can I do?
- You're doing it.
- Good.
Because I have to use
the little girls' room,
and I can't hold it any longer. (laughs)
(door creaking)
(gentle music)
(door creaking)
(light switch clicking)
(William sighs)
(dramatic music)
(William gasping)
William, William, what's going on?
Are you okay?
- It was, I told her, a
momentary lapse of faculties.
The weight of that room,
the influence of wine,
the physical toll of my grief.
I would be fine.
I required sleep.
I needed, I told her, to
be alone with my thoughts.
(tense music)
(door creaking)
(clock ticking)
(sponge brushing)
Distraction and distraction alone can ke
at bay the senseless manifestations
of nerves and anxiety.
And so I threw myself fully
towards such distraction,
but my mind never strayed
far from that accursed room.
(door creaking)
The desperate pounding.
(loud banging)
His hideous breath.
(heavy breathing)
The last waltz of fawn weather.
(loud banging)
- How's my favorite fuck
up little brother today?
How's work, social life?
Met anyone special since we last talked?
- What do you want?
- Why are you always so hostile?
We're brothers.
Is it really so hard to believe that I
actually love and care about you?
Come on, sit down.
I think we should get
better at this, don't you?
So I've been thinking, we've
never really been close.
I feel like I come from a whole
other world than you really.
And to be honest,
it was never easy growing
up as Dad's favorite.
All the expectations and comparisons.
I could never be the
out there, fuck society,
punk rock rebel.
I had to do all of my
counter-cultural growing up in secret.
Honestly, I kinda hated you for it,
but I figure, let bygones be bygones.
Dad's six feet under, God rest him.
Probably not.
All we have left is each other, right?
So how about this?
Instead of going on some cheesy retreat
or talking about our feelings,
let's just fuck the same girl,
preferably at the same time,
and then compare notes.
- Look.
- Sit down!
(tense music)
Seriously, sit the fuck back down.
I don't know what the fuck
you think you're doing,
playing up this whole
grief-stricken little boy thing
to get some pussy, but it's fucking sick
You are fucking sick.
You don't even know who she is.
She has her own story.
She's not here to serve yours.
I understand you wanna be me so badly,
you can even fool yourself
into believing it's true,
but it's not.
This can't last.
And whatever is going on between you two
as some kind of fucked up
revenge thing, it'll pass.
And you'll end up alone,
holding your dick in your hands,
whining about how unlovable you are.
Sound about right?
So let's cut to the end.
I want her out of your life.
You end this now.
If you don't, I will.
It's your choice, brother.
(suspenseful music)
- His plain words presented
without the frills
and misdeeds of the poet
unmasked a naked truth,
one which would disarm and drive me
perfectly and deeply into
the maelstrom of my own mind.
This can't last.
(suspenseful music)
(ominous music)
That an earnest, mutual
love burned within us,
I cannot deny.
How vainly had we flattered ourselves,
feeling happy in its first up-springing,
that our happiness would
strengthen with its strength.
As it grew, so grew in my heart
the dread of that evil hour,
which was hurrying I now
knew to separate us forever.
Every look, every gesture became an omen
of inescapable doom.
Thus in time it became painful to love.
Hate would've been a mercy then.
Each blissful moment we were together,
I longed for wretched solitude.
And so I gently curbed our association,
desperate to postpone with
absence the inevitable
and fatal estrangement.
It's here the threads of
the narrative tapestry
of my recollections
begin to fray and unwind.
Whether this can be blamed
on the self-inflating nature
of memory or the
reality-bending will of ego,
I cannot say,
but the systems by which
I lived my entire life
revealed themselves as farce.
It seemed now that motive followed actio
just as cause precedes effect.
(clock ticking loudly)
(soft music box music)
(door creaking)
(cheerful music box music)
(floor creaking softly)
(bureau creaking)
(suspenseful music)
(cheerful music box music)
(dramatic crescendo)
(basement door creaking)
(ladder clanking)
(boot thumping)
(footsteps thudding)
(water dripping)
(footsteps thudding)
(light clicking)
(ax scraping)
(cheerful music box music)
(dramatic music)
(body thuds)
(thrilling music)
(William panting)
(thrilling music)
(distant clock ticking)
(light switch clicking)
(door creaking)
(head banging)
(loud banging)
(door creaking)
(light switch clicking)
(loud banging)
(music box music)
(drill buzzing)
(lock clicking)
(footsteps pattering)
In the weeks following,
I endured three separate
but equally recurring
visions, often in tandem
and always at the edge of waking thought
They deprived all rest
and withered my mind.
I hold them without doubt
directly responsible
for the depraved events which followed.
And I present them undefiled, thus.
(somber music)
(loud banging)
(loud banging)
(water splashing)
(loud banging)
(door creaking)
(Mother coughing)
(somber music)
(loud banging)
(Mother choking)
(Mother choking)
(eerie rattling)
- Don't kill her again.
(William gasping)
(William panting)
(William sighs)
(soft music box music)
(cheerful music box music)
(distant clock ticking)
(cheerful music box music)
(dramatic crescendo)
(distant clock ticking)
(loud banging)
(thrilling music)
(loud banging)
(loud banging)
(loud banging)
(loud banging)
(loud banging)
(loud banging)
(jarring music)
(lock clicks)
(suspenseful music)
(mysterious whispering)
(suspenseful music)
(thrilling music)
(dramatic music)
(mysterious buzzing)
(thrilling, jarring music)
(dramatic, shrill music)
(water dripping)
(handcuffs jangling)
(William whimpering softly)
(handcuffs jangling)
(William screams)
(William cries)
(thrilling, jarring music)
(William breathing heavily)
(clock ticking rapidly)
(suspenseful music)
(water splashing)
(suspenseful music)
(light switch clicking)
(light switch clicking)
(phone ringing)
- [Anna] Hi, William.
Can I see you?
- Alas, we have fallen on
our most evil of evil days.
(glass sliding)
- How are you?
- I'm fine.
- William, what's going on?
You're really not gonna talk to me?
William, we have to talk.
I've seen you, what?
Once in the past three weeks?
I know you're going through some stuff,
but it's time to move on.
(tense music)
I'm sorry.
I just can't be with you.
Do you hear what I'm saying?
I can't live like this.
I just don't know what else to do.
(dramatic music)
(mysterious whispering)
(eerie creaking)
I think it's best for both of
us if I never see you again.
(thrilling music)
William, it's time to let go.
(hammer squelches)
(Anna gasping softly)
(body thuds)
(somber music)
- I did not want her dead.
That in the end is why she died.
I reached out and touched her warm cheek
her bloodied hair.
And I pressed down her pallid eyelids
with passionate fingers of love.
What knowledge I found in that moment.
What accurate regret and longing.
What truth, beautiful and
saccharine and fleeting.
(tense music)
(cheerful music box music)
(basement door creaking)
(body dragging)
(footsteps thudding)
(somber music)
(sheet rustling)
(sponge scrubbing)
(toothbrush scratching)
(mouth spitting)
(dramatic crescendo)
(crickets chirping)
(William breathing deeply)
(water dripping)
(basement door creaking)
I knew then that I'd
never really loved her.
In the strange anomaly of my existence,
feelings with me had
never been of the heart.
And my passions always were of the mind.
(bell tolling)
A mind whose ringing
obsession grew amplified
by the harsh daylight of waking hours,
which illuminates with
indifference the severity of deeds
and the inescapable conclusion
that must invariably be drawn.
All is madness.
(clock ticking rapidly)
But day must submit to the
cool irrationality of night.
As my tumultuous mind must
submit to the softness of earth.
And the embrace of my Anna.
(thrilling violin music)
Then by daylight return
of the blinding pall
of self-examination, self-pity,
and the sickness of regret.
(clock ticking rapidly)
And of the desire to simply not be.
(thrilling violin music)
It was macabre routine.
(William whimpers)
A pestilential cycle
of doubt and assurance,
hatred and love, perdition and paradise.
(William whimpers)
(lock clicks)
(William whimpering)
(lock clicking)
I became insane.
With long intervals of horrible sanity.
(ominous music)
The specters that had elicited
in me feelings more intense
than terror for which there
is no name upon the earth
became a constant, and I,
in shroud of false apathy,
became the haunting force
of endless empty rooms.
They belonged now only to the dead.
(eerie wailing)
All around were horror and thick gloom,
and a black sweltering desert of ebony.
(basement door creaking)
Her sepulcher, our tomb,
became a place to set off the mind
and liberate it from the
weight of the waking world.
It is happiness to wonder.
It is happiness to dream.
Such a dream became the
business of my life.
I existed solely to wade
into placid memories
of our unending partnership
full and complete,
and without the hindrances
of social expectation,
impending loss or reality.
(suspenseful music)
Anna and I loved with a love
that was more than love.
A love of which my waking self
was most assuredly incapable.
(mysterious whispering)
We shared the life that should have been
Until the sun in the East
and the doubt in my mind
rose up and whispered in a cruel wrath,
"All you love, you love alone."
(loud banging)
- Where is she?
- [William] I don't understand.
- Don't fucking play games with me.
Where the hell is Anna?
I know you know, you little shit,
so tell me where she is.
- She doesn't wanna see you.
- She's here?
(clock ticking rapidly)
(tense music)
Anna, are you in here?
- She hasn't been acting
like herself, okay?
- [Wilson] How do you mean?
- She's been hearing
things, seeing things.
Paranoia, I just...
Just wondered if you wanted
to help her, you know?
- So where is she?
- She really doesn't wanna talk to you.
Let me talk with her, alone.
Look, I'm in over my head.
I know that I'm in over my head,
but just let me talk to her.
Let me convince her.
Come back tonight at 10.
I'll make sure she's here.
Let me do this, okay?
(suspenseful music)
(water dripping)
I would not let him have her.
(lips smacking)
(suspenseful music)
(sheet rustling)
(vibrant violin music)
(drill buzzing)
The usefulness of indignation
is a curious thing.
A single dismissive act can
turn the most self-loathing
towards righteousness, and
replace the most fervent malaise
with absolute motivation.
I despised and pitied myself, true,
but he too despised and pitied me.
And for that, I would be avenged.
I turned once again to those tenets
that had driven me to this madness.
System, logic, method.
Yes, method is the thing.
There is a brilliance in method,
in routine and reliability,
that borders on genius.
And yet, it is not.
Genius is always going off at some tange
of ridiculous speculation,
but I found it necessary
to keep my eyes downcast and
focus on the business at hand.
It was my intention now to
put my scheme into operation.
And I resolved to make
him feel the whole extent
of the malice with which I was imbued.
(vibrant violin music)
I knew then that I was
not long for this world,
but also that the modicum
of time left to me
would be overflowing with that panacea,
which invigorates even the
most wretched of souls.
(hand banging)
Come in, dear brother.
Can I get your drink?
I have a very fine bottle
of dry sherry open.
- Where is she?
- All in due time.
Sit, relax.
- Are you drunk?
- Absolutely not.
Why, I'm barely this side of tipsy.
Here we are.
Let's have a toast.
- I'm not in the mood.
- Oh, but you will be, dear brother.
I swear it.
Come on, have a drink with me.
Just one.
(glass shatters)
Whiskey, then?
- Stop fucking around.
- You knock a 22-year-old
glass of Amontillado
out of my hands in a fit of jealous rage
and ask me to stop
fucking around? (laughs)
Now, I'm going to fetch you another glas
and you are going to summon
the courage to apologize.
And then we'll toast to your good fortun
- What good fortune?
- It seems, dear brother,
that you have won the
heart of our maiden fair.
I've talked with her
and she most definitely
and without hesitation, wants you back.
- She said that?
- I'd like to take credit
for this turn of events,
but I must admit I had
little to do with it.
Scarcely had I mentioned your visit,
and the poor girl fell to her
knees with tears in her eyes
and professed her undying love for you.
"I knew he loved me.
"I knew he cared," and so forth and so o
So congratulations is in
order, for you at least.
- William, I'm sorry.
- Yes, but not sorry enough,
I'm sure, to refuse the lady's advances.
A congratulations and a toast is in orde
Under the circumstances,
I'm sure you can understand my insistenc
I refuse to drink alone.
Bottoms up.
(glasses clinking)
- Where is she?
- You haven't said
anything about the house.
- What?
- How it looks.
- It looks fine.
- Well, I couldn't have
you think badly of me.
I couldn't live with myself if you
thought badly of me, dear brother.
- William, where is she?
- She's in the cellar,
if you believe that.
I said she wanted you back.
I did not say that she
had all of her faculties.
She calls it her hideout,
says it makes her feel safe.
She sleeps down there.
Sometimes I sleep with her.
Just sleep, mind you, not
that I want much more.
Hygiene issues. (chuckles)
You really know how to
pick 'em, big brother.
- Let's go see her then.
- Finish your drink,
you'll be glad you did.
(basement door creaking)
(steps clanging)
- [Wilson] What the hell is down here?
- [William] The love of
our lives, dear brother.
Dear brother.
- You all right, little brother?
- Oh, that you should be so lucky, sir,
to be rid of me in such
a neat and tidy fashion.
- Don't say things like that.
- Oh, I think I will.
I think I'll say exactly what I mean
to say to you, right now.
- So where is she?
- Oh, I'm sure she's
around here somewhere.
My darling, Anna, dearest
friend and confidante.
- She's not down here?
- Oh, I'm sure she is.
Why don't you have a look?
(hand patting)
- [Wilson] Anna?
- [William] Anna.
- [Wilson] What the fuck is that?
- Oh.
(hands clap)
Good job, brother.
I think you found her.
(light clicks)
- What?
- Say hello, dear brother.
Say hello to the love of your life.
I said say hello!
(dramatic music)
Tell her you love her, dear brother.
She's here for you.
She only wants you.
Doesn't that make you happy?
She's coming for you.
She's coming to make
you her groom. (laughs)
(ladder rattles)
(Wilson groans)
(head bangs)
There the traveler meets, aghast,
sheeted memories of the past.
(trowel scraping)
(Wilson groans softly)
(handcuffs jangling)
(muffled shouting)
Welcome back to the living.
Though I must admit, you find
yourself in a predicament.
(muffled shouting)
I'll spare you the tedium of explanation
but I will say this.
Everything you see around you,
every inference your
sluggish mind will make,
is exactly as you perceive it.
I'll give you a moment.
(muffled shouting)
(handcuffs jangling)
(trowel scraping)
(muffled groaning)
(handcuffs rattling)
(muffled shouting)
You seem to take matters easily.
I really wonder at your patience
under the circumstances.
(muffled shouting)
But in truth, I am in no degree to blame
Instead, I would hope,
though I know it seems an
unreasonable request, for your gratitude
Horror and fatality have been
stalking abroad in all ages.
And yet, for the next few moments,
should you choose to accept a noble end,
I have freed you from all manner of fear
Do you follow?
I hope you do.
I mean to say, how can you fear that
which is already upon you?
(trowel scraping)
You need no longer be concerned
with the proprieties of
space or of time. (chuckles)
You're free, brother.
Free to contemplate, to
analyze, to understand,
to see with a fullness of
vision your own ending.
Now I dare not deign to
tell you your business
or your meaning, but I will leave you
with this one suggestion to ponder.
Nothing you have ever done,
nothing you've ever said
or thought or written means anything.
(Wilson laughs)
(William laughs)
Have you gone mad so
quickly, dear brother?
Or do you just choose to die laughing?
Which must be the most glorious
of all glorious deaths.
(Wilson laughs)
(eerie laughing)
(Wilson laughs)
(dramatic music)
(floor creaking softly)
(door creaking)
(distant screaming)
(suspenseful music)
(blood pouring)
(loud banging)
(suspenseful music)
(loud banging)
(distant laughing)
(suspenseful music)
(loud banging)
(thrilling music)
Let me call myself for
the moment, William.
(suspenseful violin music)
I'm a storyteller by nature.
I'm a liar in my freer times.
(suspenseful violin music)
(Mr. Usher breathing heavily)
(William cries)
- I direct my executor
to distribute the residue
of my estate as follows.
All assets, possessions and property
to my only son, William Wilson Usher.
(suspenseful violin music)
- William, we have to talk.
I love you and I'm here for you,
but this is too much for me.
It's time to get some help.
I'm sorry.
I just can't be the
support you need right now.
If you want me to be with you,
you have to talk to somebody.
William, you're seeing
things that aren't there,
talking to people who aren't real.
I can't live like this.
I want to help.
Can you hear me?
I just don't know what else to do.
I think it's best for both
of us if you get help now,
before you get worse and cut me off,
and I never see you again.
William, it's time to
let go of that guilt.
(hammer squelching)
- No part of what I convey is true,
but every part is truthful.
I offer now this sad and amended history
(gentle music)
(somber orchestral music)
It was not my hand that stayed her breat
That is what I would have
you believe, if you will,
the melancholy tale in which
I choose to reside my truth,
inasmuch as truth has any bearing
on the present circumstance.
Though it does make the tale
nice and neat and pretty,
as do most lies of narrative.
But for you, my lowly audience,
I fear a resolution will be abrupt.
And inconclusive.
For the value of a good tale
lies not in its denouement,
but in its serpentine unwieldy unfolding
More than that,
I've grown tired and feeble and cold.
There's a tickle in my throat,
and my breath has become my fear.
A short rasp of its former self.
(crickets chirping)
(match striking)
(flame hissing)
(mysterious whispering)
(match clanks)
(thrilling music)
(suspenseful violin music)