This is by far the best television expgerience I have had in 2018. I watched it all in a little more that 2 days. I'm a horror fan and TV hasn't catered for people like me.Horror is presented as a niche genre. Shows like The Walking Dead and True Blood have bastardized TV horror as they were adapted in order to make non horror fans watch. Just like the Big Bang Theory is the geek show aimed at non geeks unlike the IT Crowd or Silicon Valley. The show's premise is one that most people will find familiar as it's been adapted before from Shirley's Jackson novel of the same title. The most known version being the dreadful, bad CGI heavy borefest, The Haunting with Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta Jones and Owen Wilson. The best adaptation is the 1959 The Haunting which still holds up to today's standard unlike the 1999 version.
Now There has been other horror TV show that I have enjoyed recently liek teh underrated Penny Dreadful, Hulu's Castle Rock and SyFy's Channel Zero. Yes horror TV shows are still very niche and not appreciated to their proper value. I think Netflix will change that with this show as I think it will become a standard that other will have to level to.
The show is masterfully written, Beautifully shot, and the entire cast is nothing short of stellar. The other stand out about this show is that it has the framing of a family drama like you would see on This is Us or A million Little Pieces. If you take all the horror and paranormal elements out of the show, it would still be a solid family drama show.
The show follows the Crain family a married couple who flip old houses for resale and move from one house to the next. They do this in the summer so they tag along with their 5 children. The premise of the show revolves around them purchasing the titular Hill House and set camp to do repairs in order to sale it. Obviously the house is haunted and before long the entire family is going through weird sightings and events that traumatizes every one involved. The show is told between 2 timelines from the perspective of all family members and how their stay and experiences at the Hill House shaped their adulthood.
I cannot stress enough how well acted the show is. usually we are all weary of watching shows with kids in it as most of the time they are grueling to watch. Not here. The kids here are better than most adults in your run of the mill TV shows. Then you have the Adults the parents ,played by the always excellent Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas of E.T fame as well as amazing actor Timothy Hutton to me do most of the acting heavy lifting but it's only allowed by the rest of the cast. They play these flawed characters that by episode 2 are almost completely fleshed out to the point that you care about what happens to them.
The writing is tight.I'm not a huge fan of jumping timelines story telling but you can tell that these guys sat down and made sure that every moving piece was concrete and tangible within the premise they created. The human drama is the vehicle used to dip us in the paranormal event which otherwise would be ludicrous to digest but they use familiar drama plot-lines that we can all relate to. Themes like loss of loved ones , mental issues, drug addiction , faithfulness and sibling rivalries are all presented in e=very down to Earth fashions.It's never so otherworldly that we feel that our intelligence is insulted.
The scares. Yes this show taps not only on our fear of ghosts but our fears of the themes I mentioned earlier.In a way the show kinda binds them. The show is very careful not to make the scares cheap. It's in your face. Using camera angles and light effects in practical and subtle ways to make you wonder whether what you saw in the background was a shadow or a face and then the second after that , puts it right in your face. The background is filled with little elements like that , that make you feel like you're in an actual haunted house at an amusement park.
People who enjoy how cinema is made will geek out at some the different shots used here. The editing, lighting, sounds and photography is like Swiss clockwork here. Episode 6 by itself should win an Emmy. That episode has 3 segment of single shot scenes that track though 3 rooms following a dozen of actors who act the shit out of that episode which is also the best acted episode of the season.
Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House is a joy to watch. Mike Flanagan will be someone I will watch more from now on. I have not watched his other work I was recommended to check out Hush and Gerald's Game, I had watched Occulus which I thought was meh. Dude is writing and directing the sequel to the Shining, Doctor Sleep as well as co writing a remake of I know What you Did Last Summer
time is money, money is time so i keep 7 o'clock in the bank and gain interest in the hour of God I'm saving to buy my freedom, God, grant me wings, I'm too fly not to fly _ Saul Williams
4. "Mike Flanagan is killing it" In response to Reply # 0
I've liked pretty much everything he's done. Hush. Gerald's Game. Before I Wake. Now this, which is on a bigger scale than anything he's done before, but still works and works well. He's really good at populating scary stories with interesting, sympathetic characters. As for the scares, he's not really innovating there, but he has good, solid instincts, and doesn't get carried away with cheap stuff.
I hope he's getting paid by Netflix. He may be their most reliable creator.
---- I check for: Serengeti, Zeroh, Open Mike Eagle, Jeremiah Jae, Moka Only.
6. "...yeah, there were some 'hops-n-stumbles' there at the end..." In response to Reply # 5 Thu Oct-25-18 10:15 PM by Voodoochilde
"RE: Ugh, they did not stick the landing"
yeah...i had NO complaints for Eps 1-9, but that last EP didn't quite keep to the same level, did it? I loved the 1st 9 eps SO much that i almost kinda think it would've be just as satisfying (if not MOREso) just watching 1-9 only and simply never watching the finale, ya know?
there were still some good scenes in the Finale, but as a whole, it wasn't as fulfilling as the rest, and the last ep had some character stuff that had me scratching my head a bit too. Unfortunate that they couldn't 'stick' the landing...if they had, this woulda been straight up 100% GREAT.
As it is, even with the wobbly ending, its STILL worth viewing...the first 90% is so very well put together, well told, nicely produced with some iconic memorable scenes, and some undeniably stellar performances...
It's sometimes hard to end dark stories like this, so I don't fault them too much for trying to go for a happier ending, but it just felt like they expected us to forget how evil and harmful the house was and how malevolently many of the spirits had behaved. It was almost like it was trying to pull a twist like The Others, but instead, it made events in the previous episodes make less sense, not more.
But honestly, I wouldn't have posted about it if they didn't add in that revised line from the original film and the book. That made me angry. And we who walk here... walk TOGETHER. Barf. Perfect prose remixed by Hallmark.
When you stare into the abyss, it stares back...LOVINGLY!
In space no one can hear you scream... "I LOVE PUPPIES!"
When Hell is full, the dead will walk the earth... AS ANGELS!
---- I check for: Serengeti, Zeroh, Open Mike Eagle, Jeremiah Jae, Moka Only.
10. "Absolutely...really all of episodes 4-6 i was in awe" In response to Reply # 9 Sat Oct-27-18 10:48 AM by amplifya7
I reluctantly have to agree with the posts above that it stayed great through 9, and then 10 was a weak ending, but all in all this was incredible and I need to watch everything Mike Flanagan has done, I haven't seen any of his films yet.
When I got through episode 6 i thought this would end up being my favorite season of a horror TV show I had ever seen, but I still love Channel Zero's No End House more than this one
Nappy Soul, I'm curious if you've watched Preacher? It's not straight up horror but has some pretty dark horror elements and is really good as well (totally different than this though)