A Scaredy-Cat's Review of The Haunting of Hill House

Netflix just released their modern adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel, The Haunting of Hill House, just in time for the spooky season.

The 10 episode series follows The Crane siblings, who as children grew up in what comes to be known as the most famous haunted house in the country. Now as adults, they are forced to confront the ghosts that haunt their past.

So, I must be honest, I am the biggest wimp when it comes to watching scary movies. I love a good spooky story, but watching it with my own eyes is something I cannot bear. I’m more of a watch a scary movie through the protection of my own hands kind of girl. I’m the type to think about the movie and the scenes even after the ending and have it haunt me before I go to sleep.

So when my coworker encouraged me to watch the show for the sake of the cinematography and the storyline, I was reluctant at first, but I gave in to see what all the hype was about.

Rotten Tomatoes rated the series 100%, and after watching it within the span of 5 days, I must say, I have to agree. The Haunting of Hill House combines true ghostly horror with family trauma and psychological terrors driven by the human mind.

In a traditional scary movie, you can predict when something is going to pop up. In this series, there is no telling when or where you’d see something truly horrific. I screamed out loud for a number of scenes. Now, that is not saying each scene is jam-packed with ghosts and goblins; there are many lighter scenes for the kindred spirit. Although I will say, what is truly scary, is hidden in the backgrounds of the seemingly “lighter” takes.

The director, Mike Flanagan, tells the story of the family so beautifully, and in a way, you can’t help but beg to know more. Each episode has a series of flashbacks, that go back and forth between the past and present. Showing exactly how each past event has impacted the present life of each character. The transitions between scenes are fluid and almost effortless. The soundtrack suiting to the scene, but nothing too much where the suspense is given away.

The ending, satisfying. I don’t want to give too much away, but unlike traditional scary movies, the ending is both cathartic and genuinely surprising. Everything began to make sense in the last episode, but it still left you asking for more answers.

All in all, if you’re a lover of a good haunted house story, or you’d rather not put those images in your head like me, the storyline and the cinematography is enough to enjoy and appreciate the depth of the series and the story of the Crane family.