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TV Review: Netflix`s “The Haunting of Hill House” (2018) ★★★★★


Hunger. Starvation. Curiosity. Fear. Struggle. Dreams. Ghosts. All these are just a part of our life. They just have different shapes and colors. But how much do we know about our daily life companion? Do they knock the door before entering the room or they have their personal key to open any locked door? Watching movies or series like “The Haunting of Hill House” can knockout anyone. It’s scary. It is uncompromising. It’s terrifying. It has so many ways of intersecting with life, different times, yet, to answer to any question, leaving one of the most daring ones unanswered – why?

The Crain family of seven are happy. They just moved into a new house, big as a castle. This was just a temporary decision of Hugh Crain (Henry Thomas), who thought it was a great investment that can enrich the family by the end of August once they resell it after fixing it. But is it doable? Can he manage such a serious commitment? The little children, Shirley, Nell and Luke, the twins, Theo and Steve have began experiencing something. They realize that something is not right with the house. The things suddenly start moving, they see objects, places or even people in the form of ghosts that do not exists. But one thing the family knows nothing about is that they are not truly alone. The house they live in has its own life cycle, and they are just part of it.

Luke and Nell start seeing nightmares. Theo is very sensitive. The mother, Olivia (Carla Gugino) is very loving but out of touch with reality. Steve, perhaps, is the only one who tries to keep a cool mind, and everything happening to him is never seen by any of us and goes through his own ghost meeting inside of his mind. Years pass by. Steve becomes a novelist, writes books about haunted houses and ghosts; Theo can tell about any individual by one single hand touch; Shirley owns a funeral home and helps the deceased one to look prettier than they are when they are dead. But those who have nightmares, still have them like it never left them.

Nothing what occurs in Mike Flanagan’s “The Haunting of Hill House”, based on the book by Shirley Jackson, will leave you indifferent. In fact, you will have to think twice, if not a million times before deciding to watch it or not, and if yes, what time of the day should suit best? It will take a great deal just to go through from one scene to another to not feel like you’re surrounded by ghosts, the ghosts that are seen by Shirley, Nell, Luke, Theo or Steve, who are in complete denial. But that’s the beauty of this series, when through flashbacks you realize every corner, every word, every comma has its own story to tell. And if to pay great attention to details, oh trust me, it’s going to be bone-chilling.

“The Haunting of Hill House” offers an excellent character study. It may, and it does in fact, suggest that it’s a ghost story. But it’s a love story as well of the same ghosts that offer death as a moment of awakening from the dreams called reality. So, what’s real and what is a dream? What secret hides in the room behind the red door, or why there’s a tree house, seemingly, as per Hugh, which has never existed, but was present at the Hill House is a mystery even Sherlock Holmes would fail to solve. But this series somehow enters a dramatic dark path, goes around the present time, kills, claims lives, but offers a solution, not a consoling one, but one that can somehow be dealt with.

In conclusion, from start till the end, “The Haunting of Hill House” will take over your mind, your presence and transport you right there to the Hill House from where you will feel as if you were dancing with the same ghosts. It’s so absorbing, emotional, frightening, yet so real. It’s an absolute jot to watch it, even though that joy may cause you nightmares. But if you are a horror lover with the element of drama, love and family, then you should waste no time and preview it as soon as you finished reading this piece. But do it sometimes in the morning so you can finish it by the end of the day. Because watching it at night may bring you whole different feelings, when a sense of reality will no longer exist – only fear and ghosts and the Hill House that came out from the era of starvation and is about to eat every soul it can find inside or outside of the silver screen.

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