“The Haunting of Hill House” Review

As October rolled around again this year, Netflix stocked up on its usual classic Halloween thrillers and shows, which are often more cheesy than scary. Don’t get me wrong – I love a bad scary movie as much as the next horror enthusiast. However, my expectations for the genre have slowly declined as I’ve gotten older.  Most horror movies and shows today rely on jump scares and gore to carry the plot instead of a genuinely good storyline. So, when I heard all the rave about Netflix’s new show “The Haunting of Hill House,” I was skeptical. In fact, I had no desire to give the show a chance until Stephen King tweeted about it. If horror legend Stephen King spent the time to acknowledge the series, I figured it was worth the watch. And boy, was it worth it!

“The Haunting of Hill House” will captivate you immediately as you meet every member of the Crain family, both as children and adults. The show takes place in the present, with the Crain kids grown up, and in flashbacks, when the Crain family lived in Hill House in the eighties. I found that the entire show is a puzzle, leading back to what happened on “That Night,” when everything went wrong and the family fled Hill House for good. You only know as much as the children do about “That Night” – Dad packed up the car and left Mom behind. Of course, that was only the beginning. It seems that the house, as well as the ghosts that lived there, continue to haunt the children throughout their lives. As the father, Hugh Crain, so delicately puts it, the family seems to be an “unfinished meal” to Hill House. The rest is a mystery waiting to be solved.

“The Haunting of Hill House” is unique in that the storyline is just as good, if not better, than the show’s “scare factor” (which is really saying something, because it’s super scary!). It’s not just a horror show. It follows the family through grief, addiction and loss. I found myself crying in many of the episodes, and I genuinely cared about the characters’ well-being.  Also, the show is chock-full of amazing actors, including Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight) and Carla Gugino (Entourage). Having said all of that, I emphasize that “The Haunting of Hill House” is not for the faint of heart. If you’re not a horror fan, this is probably not the show for you. However, if you’re a scare-junkie like me, I promise you will not be disappointed!

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Alison Mader is a Junior english major from Alpharetta, GA. She is a staff writer for Cistern Yard and a self-proclaimed Harry Potter expert.

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