In the week or so The hunting of Hill House been out it has garnered a lot of praise, as well as caused some insomnia nightmares and panic attacks. it is every bit achievement in family grief psychology as it is terrifying, and it is by far one of the best things I’ve ever seen on Netflix. The Haunting Of Hill House centers around a family’s loss and how it connects to their experience in the past with the eponymous Hill house and its ghosts. It plays very well with they tried and true concept of a family moving into a haunted house. But where it shines is portraying how grief, trauma and guilt are every bit as haunting as the ghosts that haunt Hill house. It’s almost as if character in it represents a stage of grief to me.
What I love about it is the it gets incredibly creepy throughout each episode. Mike Flanagan does such a superb job of setting tone and building tension that he doesn’t require jump scares. I’m serious !! There’s I think like 3 jump scares in the whole season. Flanagan builds tension every second, to the point that things that shouldn’t be scary become spine tingling. The way Flanagan sets a creepy scene just by the color of the walls in the background or a deteriorating doorway or a facial reflection off to the side, is the icing on this ghastly cake.
One of my favorite aspects of this show is the casting. All of the kids in the flashbacks look related to each other. And the older versions of the characters are acted really well. All the female characters look like they could be Carla Cugino’s relatives. Timothy Hutton is great in it it took five episodes to have for him to say a full sentence but every time he was in it while he was silent was a performance full of gravitas. If I had more time I could break down all the cast and their contributions but you might have to tune in to Fantastic Forum for that.
A little foot note for you before you watch it; there’s ghosts everywhere so keep your eyes peeled.
The Haunting of Hill House is out now on Netflix
- Published in Fantastic Forum Blog