Television In Review: The Haunting of the Hill House

It was a summer, in the 80s when the Crain’s moved into their dream house, a tightly knit family of seven. But soon all their dreams tarnished from the sinister, that slid into their lives from underneath the red room. The series closely follows the lives of the Crain siblings and the way they choose to deal with the aftermath of the haunting. Steve, the oldest, turns the family trauma into a book which strains his relationship with his sister, Shirley.  Theodora has a touch of ‘sensitive’ that was passed down to her, from her mother’s side. Luke, suffers from substance abuse, while Nell is in a constant state of agony and struggles with sleep paralysis. All of his children have a strained relationship with Hugh, their father, who often tries to bury the truth, to protect them. The blend of these substantial characters and their rich backstory, along with the hauntings in the house, makes this Netflix original, one of the scariest tales ever to be told.

‘The Haunting Of The Hill House’ is a modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s eponymous gothic horror novel. The story is a fast-paced narrative, told and re-told in bits and pieces, that juggles between the past and present, as well as real and imaginary. The story flirts with the idea of jump scares while staying true to its classic psychological realism. With every episode, an emotional string comes undone, layer by layer the storyline intermingles and merges into a raw singularity.

The genius of ‘The Haunting Of The Hill House’ lies in the fact that the essence of the show dawdles with the shade of anticipation until the very end. It is a ten-hour ride into the many dimensions of evil, that slowly slip and slide into our subconscious.

Under Flanagan’s wing, the series explores the contemporary hold of trauma, with twists and turns. Even though ‘The Haunting Of The Hill House’ can be best described as ‘This Is Us’ meets ‘The Shining’, it is rather, a smothering tale, about a pair of gloves, a cup of stars, and the bent-neck-lady. It is a must watch for all horror and psychological thriller lovers!

 

By Vanshika Dhyani – Film & TV Writer

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