“I am home.” But what if you share your home with ghosts and spirits? I’m not talking about Casper here, but potentially dangerous and manipulative spirits that can haunt you for the rest of your life. The Netflix series is based on the book by Shirley Jackson, which was also the inspiration for the film, The Haunting. There were two versions of the film in 1963 and in 1999 as well. The Netflix series follows a family who grew up at Hill House and flashes between the past and the present, unraveling the mysteries there. Each member of the Crain family encounters something different, but they are all connected to the house in one way or another. They desperately try to overcome their terrifying and traumatic past, as new obstacles and threats continue to surface in their present.
The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 12th 2018. After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that the series was a pleasant surprise. There were absolutely terrifying moments that will have you going to sleep with the lights on for weeks to come and other moments that were so incredibly heartwarming and unpredictable. The show somehow successfully blends family drama in with genuine horror, giving me almost a Brothers and Sisters vibe, while continuing to provide me with frightening moments. The acting is absolutely incredible and the writing and dialogue is somehow poetic, luring you in to Hill House completely. Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience. My top 5 reasons to check out The Haunting of Hill House are:
This show is genuinely scary.
I’m not talking about the typical jump scares that almost seem unnecessary and essentially become predictable, as you can almost count down to the next moment that is meant to make you pop out of your seat. The scares on this show are not forced and they seamlessly connect with the rest of the plot, which make them that much more terrifying in my opinion. You may have nightmares about “The Bent-Neck Lady” like me, but the show will continue to provide you with worthy bone-chilling moments up until the very end. I found myself needing to watch the show with all the lights on, even during the day. It’s seriously that scary and even if you don’t scare easily, you will appreciate the way these terrifying moments emerge.
While some fans have been apprehensive about the series following a different plot, this works to the show’s advantage. It allows us to be presented with an entirely unique mystery in familiar territory and branches out further to form its own identity, separate from the novel and the films. If you are looking for just another remake of the films, this is not the show for you, but I would encourage you to give it a try anyway because it is well worth the watch.
Episodes 3, 5, and 9.
While all of the episodes were brilliantly done, these three were absolutely incredible. I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention. While important plot points are learned during these three episodes, there is something so incredibly magnetic about them. I found myself completely lost in the story during these three episodes in particular, unaware of anything else going on around me. That’s how good they are. Make sure you have your popcorn ready in advance!
I was initially overwhelmed by the large size of the Crain Family. We meet Hugh and Olivia Crain, played by Timothy Hutton and Carla Gugino, and their children: Steven, Shirley, Theo, Luke, and Nell. The show flashes back between past and present quite frequently and everyone in the cast was absolutely terrific. I give standout performances to Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel (older Theo), and Elizabeth Reaser (older Shirley), but truly everyone was amazing. You really believed that they were all family and found yourself connected to each and every one of them as the episodes continued.
The family drama works.
Part of what made me enjoy this show so much was the fact that I was completely connected to the characters. I wasn’t willing to part with any character and I found myself rooting for them more than I normally would when watching a horror film. The show does an excellent job of combining the terrifying and unexplained moments with the horror we deal with in everyday life. I’m talking about unspeakable crimes that are committed, grief that we need to endure, addiction, and guilt that will eat us up from the inside if we let it. The show seamlessly blends the supernatural horrors with these very real ones, connecting us that much more to the characters and the story. While I initially thought that perhaps the show might have been better suited as a film, I quickly realized that this is not the case. You would lose out on the connection to these characters and the mystery unravels in perfect tempo, leading up to a satisfying crescendo at the end. While the series is not your average horror movie, it elevates to something more powerful and resonating. You won’t be disappointed. Ready to watch?
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Haunting of Hill House in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available! If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know! Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well. I hope you enjoy!
When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.
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