Haunting at Hill House tells a chilling tale


Zoë Donovan, Editor-In-Chief

Spring may not seem like the most sensible time to lock yourself in a dark room scaring your pants off with a good old fashioned ghost story, but Haunting at Hill House is well worth the seasonal confusion.

Haunting at Hill House utilizes a mix of scenes that take place in present day and 26 years in the past. Using this format allows the writers to create a constant sense of unease and tension. The story opens with the flight of the Crain family from the titular Hill House, with the children crying in the backseat and protesting that Hugh, their father is leaving their Mother behind. In the present, we begin with the story of Nell, or Eleanor, who is haunted by visions of the “bent-neck-lady” a horrifying figure that has been haunting her waking thoughts since childhood. Her return to the now abandoned and derelict house sees her assumed suicide. This sparks the catalyst for the Crain family to come back together for their sister’s funeral and once again face the horrors of Hill House that they thought they had left behind years before.

Hill House not only tells a scary story but keeps its audience guessing until the final scenes, but going back for a rewatch will give viewers the treat of noticing all the buildup and pieces that have been spread throughout the 10 episodes of the series. This first season is entirely standalone, and it does a fantastic job of wrapping up plot threads and storylines by the end. While questions still exist, they are not the kind that leaves the viewer frustrated. The show manages to tackle heavy subject matter and overarching themes of drug abuse, neglect, mental illness and the fears that many parents face, without any of the subject matter feeling forced. Each character goes through a transformation throughout the series and is forced to face their inner demons and struggles.

Not only is the story compelling, but the episodes are shot with a cinematic quality. Episode six includes a 16 minute one camera scene. Not to mention the intricate set and scene design of every shot throughout the series. Viewers who watch closely can catch sight of ghostly figures and faces lurking in the background of many scenes, these were put there purposely, and make it clear that no one is ever really safe in Hill House, and that they are constantly being watched by the house.

The series has been renewed for a second season. The Haunting of Bly Manor will be a completely standalone story, focusing on a different family and a different home. The second season can be expected in 2020.   


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