Last week, I watched the series “The Haunting of Hill House,” which was released on Netflix in October 2018. And now, with full confidence, I can recommend it for watching for everyone who loves atmospheric horrors.
The breathtaking story turns, beautiful mystic, a powerful psychological drama... These all are a new series that proves that the story about the haunted house can be non-banal, of high-quality and truly amazing.
I am a big fan of Netflix, but I did not expect from “The Haunting of Hill House” something more than just a horror film that lasts more than an hour, and the opportunity to admire a beautiful old house. Surprise! This series is a terrific cocktail of psychological drama and mysticism, it does not go out of your head for a long time.
Here is the official trailer.
"The Haunting of the Hill House" is the best horror series for the last few years. The plot is made at the highest level, Mike Flanegan could do what he himself was amazed by. This is a story about how children's fears affect adults, and how they have to deal with their consequences.
Throughout all ten episodes, the viewer can observe two time periods - the past and the present of a family. At first, the absolute nonlinearity of the narrative was a bit confusing, but soon, I got used to it and begin to understand what was a flashback and what was happening at present.
The plot lines of the past and the present are developed in parallel with each other, in each series, new details from the life of the main characters are revealed, answers to emerging questions are given, and in the last series, it all is glued together into a coherent picture.
This is the story of the Crane family, a married couple with five children. The husband and wife are engaged in buying houses, doing repairs in them, and then reselling them profitably. They consider the house on the hill their golden dwelling, the last project, after which it will be possible to finally start building their own apartment. They are not at all embarrassed by the fact that the building had been empty for many years because of notoriety...
The family settles in a house that holds many secrets. All is good, but ghosts do not give rest to children. At night, the youngest daughter sees a “crooked-neck woman,” and in the other daughter’s room, strange sounds are heard in the wall. Either the family members have mental problems, or the house that sheltered them has its secrets.
Here is the quote how the youngest daughter described the hill house in the series:
Mom says that a house is like a body. And every house has eyes and bones and skin. A face. This room is like the heart of the house. No, not a heart, a stomach.
At the heart of the story is Shirley Jackson's novel, written in 1959, and it did not give any hopes for the originality of the new show. Mike Flanegan created an example of a modern horror from a template.
Horror is diluted with a family drama, dark cellars and locked doors. The action of the series is divided into two time periods, which was a great solution. At first, you delve into everything that happens after the terrible events, and then you watch what happened in the house with ghosts. The director is more interested in not meeting with the otherworldly, but the consequences of those meetings.
The story twists are interconnected. The plot is quickly revealed, the silence is occasionally interrupted by the unexpected screamers, but this all benefits the hill house. It is a perfect psychological thriller, where everything is good - the script, production, casting, shooting.
One day, the family has to hurry to leave the hill house. The viewer will find out the answer gradually. Let me just say that some plot twists are really very unusual and unpredictable. The series specifically deceives the viewer, misleads him, and then unexpectedly reveals all the secrets.
In the "present," we are watching the same family. The children grew up, they have their own problems and their families, only the ghosts of the past cannot let them go so easily.
In the foreground here is exactly the dramatic line of the main characters. In the series, there are many long dialogues, many psychological or even philosophical aspects are touched upon. Sometimes it seems that the series is too long because the plot could fit in one and a half hour movie. But precisely because of this, the viewer gets into the drama of the heroes, gets into them with sympathy, or, on the contrary, with antipathy, worries about them.
The family's reunion is the perfect and one of the best episodes. Here, the past and the future are twisted together, they create loops and knots: what is happening in the hill house and how the life of its inhabitants has developed in the future, approximately 20 years later, is shown in parallel. They are not just flashbacks, but a mosaic that is gradually being assembled, and each piece, even the most insignificant episode, as a result, turns out to be an important part of the whole.
It is very interesting to see how the characters have changed over time. The children had time to grow and spread around the world - completely different people, adults, but certain character traits and interests remained unchanged. Why are they exactly what they have become? What events had changed them forever? What trace left the hill house in their souls? There was a feeling that I was trying to figure it all out with the heroes.
There are seven members of one family, seven destinies. Each of them survived in his own way and remembered what happened in the hill house - someone completely slipped away, someone, on the contrary, got rich writing a book with memoirs.
The actors are all great, very well selected. I love the fact that the characters in childhood look alike with their adult versions in the present.
I will not describe the characters to you because, first of all, there are too many of them. And telling about them in details means revealing a part of the plot, a story about what their children's fears led people to, how they affected their adult life.
Each character here has his personal drama, and each of them, most often, has to deal with it alone. This is not a typical horror movie, this series allows to feel every hero, get to know him better.
In any story about a house with ghosts, the house itself is almost the most important thing. The hill house is really very beautiful, it looks like a castle outside, and is full of interesting details inside. I was captivated by the stained glass windows and an amazing spiral staircase as if taken from the princess's tower.
The viewer will be completely immersed in what is happening on the screen and literally lives in the atmosphere of this old and mysterious haunted house.
By the way, attention to minor details. Sometimes we are shown ghosts even when we do not expect to see them at all. For example, during a sweet and unremarkable conversation of a girl with her mother, someone’s face can flash in the background.
I came to know about "The Haunting of Hill House" after watching this video on YouTube: "Top 5 Netflix Web Series That You Must Watch In 2018" by Life Science Facts: