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TV Review: The Haunting of Hill House (Season 1)

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Some say The Haunting of House Hill is one of the scariest TV shows ever, while Stephen King indicates it is “close to a work of genius”.

And if he says that, we are inclined to believe that is definitely something. But I think there is a hint of King’s style in it, personally, it reminds me a little bit of ‘IT’ but with not so much of the dramatic ending.

The story is about the past and the present of the Crain family, about past issues, unresolved family drama, complicated relationships, dramatic childhood, and a haunted house.

You can see it has everything to catch our attention and to keep us glued to the screen! But the house is a mysterious, old and evil thing that can make your nightmares come true and can scare even those who laugh when watching horror movies.

However, the house is not just another scary house in a low-budget movie but a sophisticated, clever, cunning and vicious place with secrets hidden inside, behind the walls and in rooms without keys. 

The level of sophistication with which the house is represented is unparalleled; it gives you chills and makes you question the origin of the evilness in it and how everything happened in the first place.

But this is not the best part, there is more! The characters’ development of the Crain family is beyond doubt brilliant. First of all, we have five children and mom and dad, quite a big family, but a small one for such an enormous house.

Shirley is played by Elizabeth Reaser, who we all remember from the Twilight saga, but now she is expanding her potential playing the oldest sister in the family, taking care of the others and almost always in possession of impeccable self-control.

Then we have Nell, the youngest sister, with whom the story actually begins. She proves to be the most vulnerable one, haunted by her memories from the house and her childhood just as much as her twin brother Luke.

Speaking of him, Luke is the one who doesn’t keep in touch with the others as often as the rest of them. He is somewhat alienated, probably because of his drug addiction and irresponsible behavior.

Then comes Theo, the sister who appeared to be a badass but rational enough to sort her life and just leave the past behind her, but a few moments later we get to know that this is just far from the truth. Theo wears gloves to protect herself from her sensitivity and from the world around her. She has built walls thick enough to keep her safe.

And finally, Michiel Huisman plays Steven, the bigger brother who is successful and accomplished in his career. The others blame him for taking advantage of the drama, the suffering, and the trauma everyone went through in that house. Almost as if he was only a spectator and he did not experience any of it. However, that is just about to change.

Taking into account the missing figure of the father after the horrible accident which led to the death of the mother (Olivia Crain), there is one issue with the plot. As we have never seen the aunt who helped with the upbringing of the children, she seems like a ghost, who is not vividly present but who we know was there.

Another thing that makes that show so incredible is the fact that as the story unfolds, it shows the life of every child like a mixture between the past and the present, showing how the building blocks of the past shape you as a person and who you are in the present.

Full of ghosts, mysteries, and loss, this story is so much more than a horror story.

As you watch it, you will quickly come to the conclusion that the ghosts and the monsters are not the most frightening part there, and that they are nothing in comparison with the monsters in us and the fears we try to bury deep inside so as nobody would know about them.

So, get your blanket and popcorn and cuddle up in front of the screen and just enjoy it!

The Haunting of Hill House is available on Netflix worldwhile.

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