The Haunting of Hill House Review

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The Haunting of Hill House Review

Lauren Miller, Writer

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There is a question that we all must ask ourselves when faced with a horror TV show, book, or film: Why am I putting myself through this? The answer is simple. In our search for entertainment, we turn towards anything that will bring a reaction out of us, whether it be joy, heartbreak, or fear. The Netflix Original Series, The Haunting of Hill House, sparks all of these reactions.

The show follows the Crain family as they fight to overcome the terrors of their childhood residence at Hill House. The mansion is what you would expect to see in a show of this type, but the audience is kept in the dark on the contents of the house’s horrors for much of the show. Each member of the Crain family is subject to personal demons in the aftermath of one tragic night when they were forced to flee the house. The children of the family–now adults–are unaware of what really happened that night. However, the father–Hugh Crain–knows all too well what haunts the mysterious halls.

There is a supernatural element to Hill House, as can be expected from a show of this nature, but each character chooses to deal with threats in a different way. Two of the most vital characters on the show, twins Nellie and Luke, are constantly wakened to nightmares in strange forms. As the show unravels, these nightmares take the shape of those you would never expect. The mother of the house–Olivia Crain–suffers the most throughout her life. Her grasp on reality starts to fade away and leaves her children wondering what really happened to her on that fateful night they were forced to flee.

One concept that The Haunting of Hill House capitalizes on is the episode structure. There are ten episodes in the first season, and most of them focus on a single member of the family and how they have coped in the wake of what happened at Hill House. Their stories intersect and bring them together to finish out the season, resulting in a climactic conclusion full of action and horror. In the finale, each character must deal with personal and physical demons in Hill House. Suffice it to say, not everyone makes it out of the house alive.

The Haunting of Hill House has gained largely positive reviews and deservedly so. It will be returning for a second season with a whole new cast of characters in 2020. If you’re looking for a heart-pounding, entertaining thrill-ride, this is the show for you.   

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