Haunting of Hill House

Skeptics beware! The bent-neck lady and about a million other ghosts are here, and they won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Netflix has once again struck gold with their newest original series ‘The Haunting of Hill House.’ The series marks Netflix’s first series in the horror genre, and after watching all 10 episodes, I sincerely hope they make more. I am normally not a big fan of anything having to do with the horror genre, in fact the only horror movies I’ve seen are “The Conjuring” and “Hush.” I didn’t even watch them by choice, I was forced to during a trip to Big Bear with friends. Let’s just say, if all things horror were made the same way as this show, I would be a bigger fan of the genre. Everything, from the acting to the directing, was spot on and the ending left no questions unanswered. That being said, if any of you are like me, and have no plans on Halloween night, follow in my footsteps and spend the night binge watching (rebinge watching for me) “The Haunting of Hill House.”

Directed by Mike Flanagan, the series follows the story of the Craine family, consisting of the mother Olivia, the father Hugh, the oldest son Steven, middle children Shirley and Theodora and twins Luke and Nell, through both the past and the present. Their story begins when Olivia and Hugh buy Hill House, a home rumored to be haunted, with the intent of fixing it up in order to flip it. They soon realize they were living in a house with secrets of its own, and are terrorized at every turn, eventually leading to a suicide and many secrets. The present picks up when the siblings are all adults and are still dealing with the events which took place in the house. This is where I get really vague because I don’t want to give anything away but let’s just say there are some pretty cool plot twists that lead each sibling back to the house that has haunted them their whole lives. It is about more than just scary, it is a beautifully written drama about a fractured family, looking for a way to mend fences, with the occasional jump scare and a lot of ghosts.

The cast is truly an all star cast featuring, Timothy Hutton and “E.T.’s” Henry Thomas as Hugh, Carla Gugino as Olivia, “Twilight’s” Elizabeth Reaser and Lulu Wilson as Shirley, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Julian Hillard as Luke, Michiel Huisman and Paxton Singleton as Steven, Kate Siegel and Mckenna Grace as Theodora and Victoria Pedretti and Violet McGraw as Nell. Many members of this cast have worked together before which could explain the incredible chemistry between them all. I find it crazy how they all even look like they could really be family. Even the young actors look scary similar to their older counterparts. It is really freaky. That’s perfect casting.

Let us start the discussion of the amazing cast with Carla Gugino. Gugino portrayed Olivia Craine, the families matriarch. Before I get to the acting, I need someone to explain how Gugino has not aged a single day in 17 years. I was first introduced to her in “Spy Kids,” which was released in 2001, and the only difference from the two is the length of her hair. She may even look younger. Anyways back to the show. She was amazing in every way. Out of all the characters, she probably had to hardest time in Hill House and I truly felt immense sadness for her character. I really believed I was looking at a woman loosing her mind. She is tremendously talented.

The shining stars of the series, however were definitely the children. Specifically the actress who played young Nell. Five year old Violet McGraw is spectacular in her first ever serious acting job. Watching her on screen, you would think she has been acting for over 30 years. I felt every emotion she felt and wanted to hug her every time the scary bent-neck lady terrorized her in her sleep. The same can be said for her older self, Victoria Pedretti, this being her first major acting role as well, as the most troubled member of the pack. It would have been very easy for her to overact and be super dramatic with the role, but her acting was very subtle and believable. The whole cast was fantastic but the performances by these three actors really stood out to me as exceptionally exceptional.

There is so much I could say but I do not want to give anything away for those who haven’t seen it so all I’ll say is WATCH IT!!



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