Terça-feira, 18/6/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

The Haunting of Hill House is an amazing triumph in horror

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As fall ends and winter begins, one starts to miss the tranquil and slow time that comes with the harvest season. Halloween, more significantly, is the greatest part of fall, and this year, we got a lot of spooky treats from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to the horror hit, The Haunting of Hill House.

The Haunting of Hill House follows the Crain family, past and present, as they try and unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding their home, Hill House. The show bounces from family member to family member as we see how the house has affected them, and what their relation is to their family, the house, and how they are dealing with their families traumatic past.

One of the first things many fans note when the trailer first came out, was it’s depart from the material it’s based on, Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House.” The source material follows an investigator and a group of people going to the house to find scientific evidence to prove the existence of the supernatural.

The only thing tying the two together are that certain characters from the novel were kept for the film, and that the show utilizes some of the names of characters in the books like: Theodora, Luke, and Eleanor.

Fans were wary of the show following a different cast of characters, but were reassured once early reviews started hitting the internet. Currently, the series has a 79 on Metacritic and a  92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating “The Haunting of Hill House is an effective ghost story whose steadily mounting anticipation is just as satisfying as its chilling payoff.”

The show overall, is a very good addition to a plethora of horror tv shows, and is among the ranks of hits like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. The series has great visuals, an all-star cast, an emotional story, and great twists; I myself would consider this the breakout hit of all year for Netflix.

One of my favorite parts of the show was the way they told the story; each episode seems to focus on a primary member of the Crain family (up until the final installments), which really helps characterize and contextualize each family members struggles with growing up in the house and how their lives were affected afterwards. The principal actors, young and old, all do stelar jobs getting the audience to root for the family and be personally affected by the decisions they make.

The greatest episode of the series by far has to be episode six, Two Storms. This is one of the first episodes that focuses on the family dynamic as a whole, and is the first time we see Hugh Crain–the kid’s father–interact with everyone. The whole family has gathered for a funeral, and tensions rise as old grudges and  new developments threaten to tear everyone apart. The cinematography is absolutely insane here, with one continuous shot lasting up to 15 minutes! The gradual shifts between past and present and fantasy and reality are really enunciated here.

The other great thing about Hill House, is that the show prefers atmospheric dread over cheap jumpscares. The series is constantly creating these moments of slow burning terror with clever camera angles and great acting, causing the viewer to be scared while enamored with what’s happening on screen. A fun little tidbit is that throughout all the episodes there are ghosts hiding within the shots, creating easter eggs for the fans to find, creating more uneasiness.

My only complaint about the show is that the ending seems a little underdeveloped and was very flat compared to the rest of the show. The happy ending was a great way to end the show, I just wish they’d have raised the stakes a little more before getting there.

The show as a whole is a great piece of art, and does a phenomenal job of showing the process of losing a loved one, addiction, and coming to terms with death. Hill House is creator Mike Flannagan’s Magnum Opus, and I can’t wait until season two.  

Samuel Tilbury

Hi, my name is Sam Tilbury and I'm a Senior at Gull Lake High School and the entertainment/opinion editor for the school's newspaper. I'm the only student in our grade that's been apart of Newspaper all three years, and I'm very excited to start my final year on staff! I really enjoy writing reviews, and voicing my opinions.


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