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The Haunting of Hill House: Season One

Review by CJ

Director:
Mike Flanagan

Writer:
Shirley Jackson (based on the novel by), Mike Flanagan

Starring:
Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Michiel Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Victoria Pedretti, Timothy Hutton, Paxton Singleton, Lulu Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Julian Hilliard, Violet McGraw

Other notable appearances:
Annabeth Gish, Robert Longstreet, Samantha Sloyan, Anthony Ruivivar, Jordane Christie, Levy Tran, Anna Enger

Running time:
43-71 minutes

Number of episodes:
10

 

After living in a haunted house and their mother’s subsequent suicide, the five Crain children grow up with very different coping mechanisms. When youngest sister, Nell (Pedretti), commits suicide in the same place their mother did, the remaining Crain children must reunite with their estranged father to face the family demons once and for all. 

I’m going to get this out of the way early on because it’s something I’ve seen in a lot of articles about season one of The Haunting of Hill House. Is it scary? Oh, my word, yes. Is it so scary that I threw up? Erm, no.

The Haunting of Hill House is a beautifully constructed horror series that has so many intricacies. You would be forgiven for thinking threads would be left unravelled and cliffhangers would be left to ensure a second season. But the entire first season is a well polished work of art.

While the connections to Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, on which The Haunting of Hill House is allegedly based, are tenuous at best, the story featured in the first season is brilliant. There are similarities to the novel that are best likened to homages — a name here and a quote there — but this isn’t the same old ghost story.

The atmosphere in The Haunting of Hill House is positively genius. From unseen shadowy figures in the background of nearly every episode to the sweeping continuous shots, The Haunting of Hill House’s construction creates an atmosphere of fear so real that you can almost smell the musty house.

The first season of The Haunting of Hill House is without a doubt the finest horror masterpiece I have seen on the small screen and even contends with some of the works of art on the silver screen. It is a must see for anyone who enjoys supernatural horror and should be studied by anyone attempting to create a visual ghost story in future. 

Rating:

“Fear is the relinquishment of logic.”

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2 Comments on The Haunting of Hill House: Season One

  1. I appreciate your review, and agree. I power watched it for two nights and really liked it. The one thing about power watching, though, is you sometimes miss little hints. And reading the after stories about this series, like the red shoes, makes me look forward to a second season. If there is one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul Dee See // 20 November 2018 at 4.10PM // Reply

    Absolutely agree!
    This was a gem of a show and Mike Flanagan is one of my favourite new horror film makers. I absolutely shrieked my shit when the 2 sisters are arguing in the car when suddenly they are greeted by the back seat screamer – great stuff! 🙂
    Can’t wait for Flanagan’s next film – Dr Sleep; which is based on Stephen King’s sequel novel to the Shining.

    Liked by 1 person

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