Rating (4.5 out of 5)
Netflix can’t produce a movie, but they are showing a knack for creating quality mini-series. The Haunting of Hill House is an addictive horror mini-series and once you start, you are compelled to finish.
Warning: I kept saying just one more episode, and before I knew it I had binged them all in one day.
Plot: A family moves into a large house in order to fix it up and flip it. They slowly learn the house is haunted. The last night in the house something happens and they all leave quickly except for the mom who dies in the house. Later when they are all grown up, they all must face their demons again and the truth about that night.
What I Liked: Each episode gave me chills. At one point I looked at my legs and there were goose pimples from the chills. The director mixed story telling and the spooky in the right quantities for each episode.
The story is told from the view point of the 7 family members and concludes with the final 3 episodes. With each flashback one more piece of the puzzle is revealed and you can start to see the whole truth. The episodes flip back and forth between time frames so pay attention or you will lose track of who is who. One minute Nell is a kid, then we see her 3 years from today, and then all of a sudden today. Jumping around in time is purposeful and makes sense in the final episode. I had the subtitles on which made it much easier.
Episode 6 where the family is in the funeral home is probably the best episode. The director uses a lot of rotating shots, where they pans the room in a circle, to show all the entire room. One time when the dad is talking to his kids, he sees them as the little kids back at Hill House and as the camera rotates around, they are the adults again. Every now again a ghost would appear behind them. Also, there were a lot of shots where the character in front is speaking and you could see another character just over their shoulder. Like the rotating shot, every now and again a ghost would appear. These techniques created a constant state of suspense. Great directing.
All the actors were excellent but Nell (Victoria Pedretti) shined. She had to exhibit the full range of emotions from being happy on her wedding day, frightened to a level she is unable to move or scream, or finally the terror in realizing the secret behind the bent-neck lady.
Of all the characters, only Theo (Kate Siegel) seemed to have any supernatural type powers. She picked up on emotions by touching people or objects. They show her using her abilities to solve a crime and detect valuable wine. I could see a spin-off show for Theo, where she solves crimes regular and supernatural with her abilities. The other brothers or sisters didn’t have similar abilities.
What I Didn’t Like: The final episode fell short of expectations and is the only flaw in a strong offering. The dialog became flowery and differed from the beginning of the movie where they all had been characters were simple spoken . We received a Hollywood ending and tied the series/mysteries into a neat little bow for audience. The last episode is the only reason I can’t give Haunting of Hill House a five.
Conclusion: If you have some free time tomorrow night, drop your regular shows and binge watch The Haunting of House Hill while you are giving out the candy at the door. The Haunting of House Hill is worth the binge.