Netflix continues their barrage of remarkable content with the latest release of “Haunting of Hill House.” Having been released on Oct. 12, perception would pose this series as a horror show to appease the spirit of Halloween that people covet in the midst of the fall season. Surprisingly, this ten episode series eclipsed the assumption of being another mediocre horror show loaded with foreseeable jump scares and redundant gore. Rather, it introduces an intricate plot that turns this show into some of Netflix’s best content.
The show is based on the novel “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, which was released in 1959. After being received as having one of the best haunted house narratives, director Mike Flanigan, jumped at the opportunity of creating a spin off. Flanigan earned a good reputation in the horror film industry with the film releases of “Oculus,” “Hush” and “Gerald’s Game,” which predictably increased the anticipation of the Netflix series.
Flanigan distanced the plot of the show from the original created by Jackson. In “Haunting of Hill House,” the story is centered around the Crain family that consists of brothers Steven and Luke, alongside sisters Shirley, Theodora and Nell. The plot immediately begins when parents Olivia and Hugh Crain purchase an old, low maintenance home, ignorant of a deeply rooted history that would have grave repercussions on the future of the Crain family.
Aside from the plot, what accounts for the story being so great is the frugality of every detail. From episode one there are scenes shown that will recur in episode ten and give that viewers’ then satisfaction that we all desperately crave when giving our full attention to a show. Along with that, “Haunting of Hill House” intertwines the struggles of addiction, family affair and personal obstacles that perfectly sync with the plot while offering relatable struggles that many people deal with on the daily.
Those relatable struggles are the foundation of a true display of psychological horror within the Netflix series. Flanigan brilliantly uses these personable struggles and fixates them within the horror aspect of the show and that is the reason for the acclaim from viewers and from impactful horror figures like Stephen King referring the show as “close to a work of genius.” For those who enjoy a good jump scare, this show offers plenty of them. The unpredictability of the jump scares make this show almost unwatchable for the faint of heart. Additionally what compliments the jump scares so well are the scenes can truly make horror fan cringe away from the television screen. The versatile horror aspect of the series alone makes it a must watch.
As a viewer of many of the Netflix originals, “Haunting of Hill House” is easily one of, if not Netflix’s best work. The development of the plot is truly intriguing and getting comparisons to the hit show “This is Us,” that similarly has family drama centered plot. Adding the horror aspect within the show notches it up towards the top of the list of great Netflix content. If dressing up and going to parties does not suit you, a cold Halloween weekend filled with popcorn and candy watching “Haunting of Hill House” is a great alternative.