The Haunting

8.2 / 10
57 min
Horror, Anthology
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8
" gives "The Haunting of Hill House - Season 1" a 8."
Written by on 29 October 2018.
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The Haunting of Hill House - Season 1

”Don’t do it, insist on your cup of stars, once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again. Don’t do it.”

The Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House is first and foremost a family drama. Particularly the first seven episodes can nowhere near be called horror. I must say that after 40 years of being a horror fan, I hardly find anything really horror anymore. In my opinion, horror is only really horror when you need to scrape me off the ceiling. Or maybe I have become immune to shock effects and creepy characters, that's also possible.

But The Haunting of Hill House or Hell House, like it says on the sign, is not bad. Actually it is quite a good show, but doesn't stand head and shoulders above other shows. So I won't spill any more blood by chopping off that head. What I am going to do is, as honest as possible, give a review about the latest Netflix Original with a dash of Dutch, i.e. Michiel Huisman.

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.

Like I said, the first seven episodes are not horror and that is a shame. The series, especially the first episode, shies away from real horror. There are plenty of opportunities to scare the viewer to death in that first episode, but the creators have decided not to include any of the usual shock effects, which could have been easily added. Later on in the series there are some suspenseful moments, but not really worth mentioning.

© Netflix


It is really unbelievably difficult to get accurate information about a haunted house.

The Haunting of Hill House fails in this respect, but at the same time I can clearly tell that the creators were inspired by the classics and that makes up for a lot. Some of the movies I recognize are Poltergeist, The Sixth Sense, The Woman in Black, The Shining and The Amityville Horror. The narrative has been done before and much better too, but if you consider the structure, acting, camera work, direction, special effects and make-up, The Haunting of Hill House kind of fits.

No, not in the category horror, but it's still a fairly thrilling series which tells the story about the Crain family using great visuals and dialogue. The house in question has been beautifully made and gives you an ominous feeling. Michiel Huisman (Harley and the Davidson), who plays Steven, the oldest of the five Crain children, knows how to get the best out of the script and is very convincing. Even the children, often the weakest actors, are excellent, especially little Violet McGraw (Love) as young Nell.

When the Crain family moves into the house in the 1990s, it just seems like any old house that needs to be fixed up. Nothing is further from the truth, it doesn't need to be fixed up, but rather torn down. The show makes use of wonderful changes; it switches from 1992 to the present, then to the future, to the past and back to the present again. As a viewer you sometimes wonder where the writers are taking you, but in the end it all makes sense.

There's no cliffhanger, nor an open ending, but there is still plenty of room for a second season. Eight points for a great drama which doesn't really deserve the designation horror, but still, the ghosts are excellently made.
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