TV SERIES / SEASON 1 / NETFLIX
With Halloween just around the corner I thought it was about time to get my spoop on and start getting into the festive spirit. As everyone has been raving about The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, I thought I would give it a go and see what all the fuss was about.
Like many horror films/tv shows, The Haunting of Hill House starts with an innocent family moving into a creepy old mansion house in the middle of nowhere. Almost immediately upon moving in, the children start to witness strange occurrences in the house; the “bent-neck lady” who haunts the youngest daughter, zombie bodies in the basement, devil kittens… and like all good parents Hugh and Olivia Crain convince their children that everything is okay. Until one night when something terrible happens and the family (minus mum of course) have to flee the house. 26 years later we rejoin the children as adults as strange happenings start up again resulting in further tragedy and the Crain’s trying to hold themselves together in the face of earth-shattering horror.
I am only 3 episodes into the 10 episode series but really wanted to share my thoughts on the show so far because just those 3 episodes contain so much stuff to think about. So far, I’ve really been enjoying the show. It’s been fun to watch with my poor partner who is terrified of horror and spends most of the time hiding behind pillows asking me what’s happening on the screen. The episodes are really well-written and well acted by the cast (both children and adult), and the plot is super intriguing. One hangup I always have about horror films is that plot and narrative is often side-lined at the expense of scaring its audience and I always feel unsatisfied at the end of horror films. One thing I love about The Haunting of Hill House though is that because its a TV show with hour-long episodes we have 10 hours worth of content. There’s so much more room to explore narrative and character development and because of this the result is much scarier.
However, one of the things that I have struggled with in The Haunting of Hill House is that it contains some very difficult content and this is something that I was not aware of before watching it. It’s so important for people to be aware that this show needs major trigger warnings for suicide, domestic violence, and sexual abuse of children. All of these make up key parts of the main plot so the show spends a lot of time depicting these so if you find any of those issues difficult then I would really, really encourage to think about whether the show is an option for you to watch.
One of the main reasons that I don’t usually watch horror isn’t because horror is *scary* and I’m afraid, but it’s often because horror deals with horrifying and traumatic events that happen in people’s lives. This is something that I really want to see talked about more, not only because I think it’s interesting that horror is the genre in which these things are depicted, but also because a lot of people get caught out by traumatic content and we need to be doing more to ensure that that doesn’t happen.
Because of the nature of some of the issues that are depicted in The Haunting of Hill House, I haven’t been able to get round to watching episode 4 yet as I’ve needed to make sure I return when my head is in the right place though it is something that I do want to continue watching if only because I want to unravel some of the intriguing mysteries that are going on!
If you’ve watched/are watching The Haunting of Hill House then I’d love to hear your opinions on it!