Kristen Dragotto, Staff Writer
Director Mike Flanagan has done it again with his new horror TV show “Haunting at Hill House,” released Oct. 12. This new Netflix original series is an adaptation of the Shirley Jackson novel. The story follows the Crain siblings, who grew up in what became the most famous haunted house in the country. Now that the Crain children have become adults, they are brought together to confront the tragedy and the ghosts of their past in an attempt at finding the long-awaited answers for which they have been searching.
Flanagan, a veteran of the horror drama, did an excellent job in directing this new TV show. The show slowly reveals how truly horrifying it is, with random placement of hidden and not-so-hidden ghosts. It is not just the typical horror aspects that make it so frightening; the dark secrets and past of the Crain family make this show completely horrifying from a psychological standpoint.
With the show gaining popularity, the online presence for it has grown. Since the increase in popularity, there have been numerous articles that have pointed out all the new things we should have feared throughout the show.
Richard Lawson, in an article for Vanity Fair titled “The Haunting of Hill House Is a Novelistic Horror Series with Heart,” wrote about the actors who play the Crain children, “while Flanagan is careful to give each their own narrative. Some are less compelling or fleshed out than others, but in aggregate, Flanagan has created a family to genuinely care for; we worry about their present states and mourn the happy life they had snatched away as children. The series can be a little maudlin in its view of childhood and familial love, but by the end of the 10 episodes, I’d succumbed to its mild emotional manipulations, its hokey indulgences. Hill House is a supernatural melodrama that is smart and specific enough to overcome its clichés.”
The Crain children add a special aspect to the story. Each of the 10 episodes focus on a specific child, and through their personal narratives you see the history of the house and what traumatized all of them from an individual point-of-view. This makes the audience question how reliable the narrative is in each episode, blurring the lines between what is real and what is imaginative.
This show is truly redefining how we view horror tv shows. As it continues to gain popularity, fans can only hope for a second season. Despite the ending of the series seeming conclusive, there are several questions and aspects of the show that were left unanswered. While this is aggravating, it lends to the possibility of a second season in which these unknowns can be explored.
“Haunting at Hill House” is the perfect show to add to your Netflix queue, and with Halloween just around the corner it makes this show even more appropriate for the season. Fair warning: this show is more than binge-worthy and those who start “The Haunting of Hill House” are compelled to finish it.