Netflix original “The Haunting of Hill House” is the perfect mixture of horror and drama

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Netflix’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” is a far cry from the typical haunted house tales that grace the horror genre. The show follows the lives of the Crain family, who moved into the infamous Hill House with the intention to renovate and resell the house. The show carefully reveals specific details of the family’s time in the house while seamlessly tying this information to the current struggles of the characters.

Over the course of the ten episodes, esteemed director Mike Flanagan assumes an almost excruciatingly slow pace to delve into the personalities and backgrounds of the seven Crain family members, focusing on parents Olivia and Hugh and their children, Steve, Shirley, Theodora and twins Luke and Nell. Each episode focuses on a different character and how they have attempted to deal with their terrifying experiences in the house.

The episodes have an entrancing flow between the origins of the house and the present-day influences the house has on each person’s individual psyche. The slow-burn character study is intertwined with genuine scares, creating a hypnotizing production that addresses real-life issues such as drug addictions and suicide.

While the plot of the show varies from Jackson’s original novel, the adaptation beautifully encapsulates the psychological fear in her writing rather than focusing on cheap, supernatural scares as other horror pieces do.

By the conclusion of the show, viewers are rooting for a seeming group of strangers who have had to learn to be a family again after the ghosts of their past come back to haunt them. While the somewhat cliche ending would normally have viewers rolling their eyes, it makes the final episode not only heartwarming, but creates emotion so authentic that it seems tangible.

“The Haunting of Hill House” is the ultimate horror show on Netflix, rivaling most horror movies in overall eeriness and screenplay, and it would be an excellent pick for anyone looking for scares that make them want to leave the lights on.