A review of Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House
Entertainment

A Chilling Review Of Netflix's 'The Haunting Of Hill House' Adaptation

Just because it's spring doesn't mean thrillers can't be binge watched.

7
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80189221?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C0%2C7010f6a9dbf2e02ebbaeb4eaa0d9d7dfbd34b034%3A8638f21d810a51ef2a13cac475f53a6c16fe07c1%2C%2C

The story in 'The Haunting of Hill House' succeeds on the raw strength of its characters and the depth of their complex family drama revolving around an unforgettable ghost story. It focuses as much on the family dilemma as it does on the horror. And that's exactly why it's so good.

Instead of purely relying on jump scares, it adds depth to a genre known for its flat, hollow characters, that are only on screen long enough to be murdered. This may turn some people off, as they'll be expecting something a bit more "traditional" in terms of horror. But rest assured, this story is still creepy enough to make you sleep with the lights on.

The actors nail their characters and make this an enthralling, highly-entertaining fright-fest. And even though it might be a bit light on the frights at times, this show almost reinvents the idea of horror by presenting the creatures that go bump in the night as something closer, many of which you won't see coming.

Director and writer, Mike Flanagan has sneakily hidden enough ghastly images in the frames to frighten even the most seasoned horror veteran, although the average viewer might miss most of these. While the scare-factor may not always be nearing max, don't let this deter you from taking notice of the sinister details lurking in scenes that otherwise appear benign.

Flanagan has managed to brilliantly hide easter eggs throughout the entirety of the season in the most unexpected places. A face reflected in a window, or hands reaching out from under a bed. He cranks up the atmosphere by catering to the most observant ghost hunters viewing this deliciously eerie show.

The first half of the season follows each one of the five siblings, a full episode devoted to developing every character. They are each well into their adult lives and are individually dealing with emotional trauma from their last painful night at Hill House. When a series of events triggers the family to face their demons together yet again, the story unfolds seamlessly.

The show cleverly weaves back and forth through time, showing us our main protagonists as children living at Hill House, so as to keep the audience guessing up until the end. As the show bounces around from past to present, each piece of new information just makes the grander puzzle ever more intriguing. Some viewers may find themselves more engrossed by the mystery than the horror. But that's not to say that this show doesn't succeed in the horror department.

The parts that are scary are exceptionally well done, but sometimes they can be few and far between as screen time is spent developing these characters. The increased exposition does strengthen the narrative, but it comes at the expense of more scares. Nonetheless, this is still a great show.

The second half of the season follows a slightly different set-up than the first, as an unforeseen event brings all the siblings together, eliciting a profusion of deep seeded resentment, which plays out wonderfully on screen. Kudos to the creators for being able to hold this whole thing together cohesively without it coming off the rails and ceasing to be compelling. As the second half of the season delves deeper into the siblings personal and shared trauma, it also twists and turns, keeping you on your toes right when you thought things might be slowing down. The steady pacing and assured direction throughout the duration of the season will have you glued to the screen, right up until the end.

This show is a gift to a genre that is all too often riddled with needless blood splatter and clichés. The Haunting of Hill House is a fantastically binge-worthy show. Not a single episode ends on a dull note. Which is more than can be said for the overabundance of recent Netflix additions that are an absolute slog to get through.

The main actors are believable, and the story is tautly written, with clear direction and plenty of "boos" sprinkled throughout. And in the interest of keeping the season's mystery alive, this review has been kept as spoiler-free as possible. The Haunting of Hill House is a fine addition to Netflix's ever-growing catalog of original content and a perfectly chilling way to spend a few hours this Halloween season.

8.5 out of 10

media2.giphy.com

This article was co-written by Paulo Torres.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments