The Haunting of Hill House

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Arianna Stonewater
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The Haunting of Hill House

Post by Arianna Stonewater » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:34 am

My husband and I just finished this 10 episode series on Netflix. After doing some research, i found it it is very loosely based on a book of the same name. Interestingly, there have been 2 movies that are more closely related to the book but they are both called "The Haunting." This series is wrapped up quite nicely with episode 10, so a sequel is unlikely (though we wouldn't say no to a prequel!) This show is rated PG-13; it has a lot of classic horror movie tropes, some violence (though i wouldn't say gratuitous), some strong language, and a lot of psychological trauma. Definitely probably not something you should watch alone and if you've had some stuff in your past you may want to reconsider watching this. That being said, I really liked this show and recommend it.

The synopsis from IMDB:
Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.
The Crains [Hugh and Olivia, with their children Steve, Shirley, Theodora "Theo", and twins Luke and Eleanor (Nell)] are a family of flippers. They have bought "Hill House" (build by the Hilly family) and are living there one summer while the parents fix it up. Everyone stays away from the house, except the Dudleys, who used to work for the Hills, and they only go into the house during the day. Each of the first couple of episodes focuses on one of the Crain kids (starting with Steve, the oldest, working their way down to Nell, the youngest) as both a child and in "present day."

(please don't forget to use the spoiler tag!!)

I loved this series! They did such a great job with showing mental illness, grief, and demons/spirits! The whole time there was such a fine line between what was real and what was not, and what was real for only certain people! There were so many plot twists! And the casting.....the main reason we decided to watch this was because Timothy Hutton (Leverage, Nero Wolf, How to Get Away With Murder was in it and my husband, who hates horror, loves him! Also, Carla Gugino (Sin City, Watchmen, Spy Kids) was amazing!

By far my absolute favorite thing in this series though was the camera work and attention to details. It definitely deserves a second watch as you go back and see the things you missed; a shadow in the window here, fainting whispering there (which i totally would have missed except I watch everything with subtitles because my daughter doesn't care if I hear a tv show or not). The camera work was fantastic with focusing on specific parts of the screen but still letting you see the background happenings, zooms and pans at perfect moments; not to mention the jump scares! So many of them were obvious with what was about to happen, but we jumped anyway! One time my husband even screamed like a little girl!

(only read this part if you have finished at least episode 5)
The first major plottwist is revealed, Nell is the Bent-Neck Lady; the spectre who had haunted her from the moment she stepped foot in the house until she died. This episode also gave us some tidbits about the house, with it's mysterious Red Room (a teaparty with some possible ghost named Abigail and her mom and brother Luke) and a room that Mrs. Dudley had never heard of (the toy room). This episode was incredible and also terribly sad. I loved her relationship with Arthur and was very near to tears watching their ghostly dance through the house.

(only read this part if you have finished episode 6)
This episode was by far the best episode in terms of Camera work. While this starts off at Nell's funeral, this is basically Hugh (the dad)'s episode. We finally seem him as an older man, and the believer that he had become. We learn more about what happened on the night the mom died (though not what happened to her!!) and there is so much going on! The camera circles so often, and we see more ghosts! Then there's all the surprises; Shirley's husband Kevin and Theo taking the royalty money from Steven's book about Hill House, Kevin and Theo kissing in the closet...There's just so much that makes you want to stay up another hour(s) to watch the next episode(s)!

(only read this part if you've finished episode 7)
We finally learn more about the Dudleys!!! I think they are very well cast; both actors have such an incredible ability to be warning, sorrowful, hopeful, and kind....very well done. I love that we're with Hugh as he sees and realizes the effect the house has had on Olivia, and then that reveal about there being another body that night his wife was found??? And the guy walled up in the basement??? I was shouting the whole time not to look in the hole when he pulled the brick out, I just KNEW there was going to be a body when he took that Polaroid picture!

(only read this part if you've finished episodes 8 AND 9)
These two episodes are insane! We get so close to finding out what really happened on The Last Night when Olivia died. There's another room that doesn't exist (the treehouse, in addition to the rooms we already know about: the toy room and game room.) We watch as Olivia is haunted and goes crazy because of Hill House, and one Hill in particular: Poppy. There's so much as a mom that I can relate to in this episode, but there's also so much that I'm like, that girl's crazy, leave now!

(only read this part if you've finished the final episode 10)
Woah. Woah. WOAH. I was not expecting to be sad and cry at the end of this horror show! They did such a nice job bringing everything back with flashbacks and re-showing scenes where we know have new knowledge and different perspectives. My soul hurt for this family that truly was haunted not only by mental illness but also by real ghosts. The final pin where Steve and Hugh go back into the house and it's revealed that the Hugh that helped Luke out to the car was a ghost! and Abigail! Oh my heart! Old Clara making it to the house just in time for her spirit to be with Abigail and the first baby....there aren't words for the rollercoaster of scared/sad/happy emotions this episode (and ultimately this whole show) put me through! And we finally learned about the "Red Room," and it's chameleon properties to be what anyone needed it to be so that the house could feed on them....

Whew! What an incredible show!! So, what did you think?
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Joey Stark
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Re: The Haunting of Hill House

Post by Joey Stark » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:33 pm

I honestly couldn't read most of your post Arianna, because I've not started the show yet but I keep hearing about it so I had to see what you thought.

I had no idea that it had any link to 'The Haunting' films! One of those was the first scary movie I ever watched (at 7, much too young!) and I remember trying to climb over the back of the couch to get away from the TV :lol: . Never destined to be a Gryffindor...

A friend of mine has insisted I watch it so I will be doing so very soon. I wonder if you could give a 'scary' rating? PG-13 sounds fairly tame but I've heard reports of others feeling sick from fear? Would you assume this was an exaggeration? Luckily I'm fine with scary things now but I'd like to know which friends I could recommend it to (or warn about B) )
Credit to Maxim! ^
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