The Haunting of Hill House – Review

Genre Supernatural, Drama, Horror
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Starring Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, Lulu Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Paxton Singleton, Julian Hilliard, Violet McGraw, Timothy Hutton
Released on October 12, 2018 – present
No.of Seasons 1
No.of Episodes 10
Duration 42–71 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 8/10
Channel Netflix

With a recommendation from the master of terror himself, Stephen King, The Haunting of Hill House is the latest horror series on Netflix. With some of Netflix’s recent endeavors, it’s become chaotic to find content that’s actually worth the watch. But, it’s safe to say that this isn’t one of the streaming platforms mistakes. It’s just so damn good.

The show released on 12th October, 2018 and majority of horror fanatics loved it as usual, but what was surprising was the reactions of people who weren’t avid watchers of the terror genre. Garnering a positive response from almost anyone who took a chance on it, the show is loosely based on 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. But it strays far far away from the book and is nothing close to a revision of it.

Now, as much as I love clichés, the stereotypes of the horror genre aren’t really my scene. Family moves into old dilapidated house, things go wrong, there is some curse from ancient times on them and ominous events escalate to a finale. That’s the overall summary of almost every scary movie in the market. The Haunting of Hill House not only satisfyingly breaks that mold but crosses genres from horror to drama so intricately it is a masterpiece. Directed by amazingly talented Mike Flanagan, the show is a must watch!

The best part of The Haunting of Hill House isn’t the jump-scares or the supernatural forces that lurk just beneath the overall events, it’s the human trauma and the underlying tension between the characters. 25-ish years ago, family of five, Hugh (Henry Thomas) and Olivia (Carla Gugino) along with their five children moved into Hill House with intentions of completely renovating and turning it around. I agree, that part is a cliché but it gets way better. Things go horribly wrong and Olivia dies. Fast forward to the present and we watch the Crain children still struggling to cope with their cruel childhoods.

Steven (Michiel Huisman) skeptical about everything that happened and rejecting the supernatural completely wrote a novel drawing liberally from their childhoods. Said novel became a bestseller. His sister Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser) sees this as profiting from the loss of their mother and she feels betrayed over the whole ordeal. Nell (Victoria Pedretti) has begun seeing the spectre who haunted her childhood again. Theodora (Kate Siegel) is a children’s therapist but fails to form real connections with anyone. Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is an addict who uses anything he can find to numb his past.  Bottom line is, they’re a messed-up bunch with no real resolution in sight.

When tragedy strikes the Crains again, they’re brought together to confront their demons and each other. The past is visited again and all the feelings they’ve suppressed since then resurface. The Haunting of Hill House doesn’t follow a continuous narrative, there are flashbacks to the past and then flash-forwards to the present, events are seen through different perspectives and it feels like a tangled web of events at times, but it’s brilliant if you’re patient. The first couple episodes revolve roughly around each of the characters and the series takes a little time to actually jump into the plot but once it does you will be watching at the edge of your seat! Go for it, it’s worth the ten-ish hours of your time!

Credit – Netflix | YouTube

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