If you’ve been on social media in the past week, there is a good chance you’ve seen people talk about the new Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. This happened to me last week. On Thursday night I watched two episodes and by 1 a.m. on Saturday morning I had watched all ten episodes.
The series is loosely based on the 1959 gothic novel by Shirley Jackson. Although it didn’t make me “cry and want to vomit” (I did come close to crying in episode five) – I have to agree with Stephen King when he said it was “close to a work of genius”. The series centers on five siblings who lived for a summer in – you guessed it – Hill House. And yes, the house is super haunted and crawling with ghosts. The story goes smoothly back and forth between present day and their summer in that house and focuses on how their lives have been shaped because of it.
As I’ve said before I love the horror genre but it is one genre that can easily go wrong fast and down the gimmick route and be lazy but The Haunting of Hill House is anything but lazy. The acting was on point, the story was smart, the direction was creative (calling out specifically one continuous tracking shot in episode six), the overall tone and atmosphere (thanks to a big haunted Victorian house with creepy statues), and the subtly brought everything together for a perfect horror story just in time for Halloween. Oh, and when I said subtle there are apparently tons of ghosts in the background of shots you might miss when watching. Also, did anyone else love the opening credits? I got Westworld vibes.
10/10 would recommend. Maybe watch with the lights on if you’re easily freaked ;).
Stand out/favorite episode: Ep. 05 “The Bent Neck Lady”