Let's Visit Hill House

Just In Time For Halloween

First off, this is going to be a spoiler free review, which means it will be a little vague in parts, but I’m sure you’ll get the gist of it.

OK, I’m just going to put this out here right away, then dodge the bullets, knives, and what not. I’m not a huge fan of the book
The Haunting of Hill House.1 I acknowledge it as one of the classics of both the horror genre and literature in general. It’s just not my cup of tea.

That being said, the new Netflix series
The Haunting of Hill House is something you should definitely be watching.2

Especially with Halloween less than two weeks away.

I’m not sure how fans of the Shirley Jackson novel will feel about the television series. It definitely lives in a universe similar to that of the novel, but it is vastly different. The main similarity, and the portion of the novel that I loved, was the atmosphere and the slow build of tension.

The Haunting of Hill House is extremely well written. It passes between the past -- when the family first moves in to the house, the present, and the near present. The portion of the story which takes place in the past follows the typical haunted house story -- family moves into house and can not move out for reasons. In this case, the family is flipping the old Hill domicile. While this is a common trope in horror films featuring haunted or possessed houses, it is extremely well done here. In this series it feels original.

We also see the family in the present day, decades later. The characters are believable extensions of the children, especially after they have gone through what they have as children. There are scenes that we see early on, which become explained in later episodes.
3 This forethought and planning is part of what makes watching the series so enjoyable. The viewer can tell that everything was thoroughly planned at the outset. The pieces fit perfectly, then you angle the light and the puzzle shows a completely different picture.

The acting is also exceptional, including that of the children. Truly, between
The Haunting of Hill House, It, and Stranger Things we are in an era of wonderful child actors.

As we move nearer to Halloween, I highly recommend watching
The Haunting of Hill House.

1 For more on this, check out
this post from yesteryear.

2 The Mrs was out of town for the weekend so I binge watched the entire season in two days.

3 And in some cases take on a totally new layer a few episodes later.