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THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

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THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

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When it comes to horror shows, people think of murderers or terrifying paranormal activity where spirits take over dolls. Yet a new Netflix original series called, The Haunting of Hill House, has pushed the boundaries and opened up a whole new realm of psychological fright. The show delves into the depths of a family’s past and present using flashbacks. Viewers are taken back to the characters’ haunted childhood, when they were residents in what is now considered the scariest house in the nation, and see how it impacted them in their adult lives.

Loosely based on the book with the same name by Shirley Jackson, the show follows the Crain family that had unknowingly moved into a house, which they were planning on remodeling and selling so they could build their ‘forever’ home, that slowly drives its residents mad. Throughout the show, some scenes are shown a multitude of times, each time you will have learned something more that adds onto it, making the scene that much creepier every time you see it. To add to the overall experience, the show has subliminal ghosts hidden in the show. In certain scenes, ghosts are present, but the characters do not notice, as well as the audience unless they are previously aware of them. Once viewers learn of the hidden ghosts they will begin looking for them, causing a more heightened sense of awareness and connection to the story.

The family is trying to cope with the events that occurred in Hill House throughout the entire show, and over the decade during which the show takes place. While some of the characters have completely come to grips with the events that occurred, others try to put it in their past and ignore the scary truth of the paranormal encounters. The eldest brother, Steve Crain (portrayed by Michiel Huisman), is a horror writer who made his big break writing about the story of his childhood in Hill House. Although Steve does not have any of his own stories to tell because he is a skeptic, he stole his siblings’ stories and accounts for his book. Steve does not believe in paranormal activity and that the events that happen can be linked back to mental illness, including his own mothers mental decline and eventual suicide. Eldest sisters Shirley and Theo (Elizabeth Reaser and Kate Siegel) have also been able to somewhat come to grips, move on from the traumatic childhood they had, and eventually live a normal life. However, the twins Luke and Nell (Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti) are most damaged and altered by their experience from when they were just young children; they have the hardest time going into society and living productive lives. Their father, believed sheltering them from the truth of what the house did, and did to their mother, would protect them, yet it only stopped them from truly understanding how dangerous the house still is.

“It’s a good show, good story, and has good characters,” junior, Tammy Pham stated. Not only are reviews high among high school peers, the ten episode first season has become wildly successful because of the evolution of horror shows, like Black Mirror and Stranger Things who further question what these TV shows should look like. “[This show is] complicated,” Pham said. It has been described as a dark This is Us.

Since its release date on October twelfth, the show has earned a four out of five-star rating by Common Sense Media, and an eight point nine out of ten stars by IMDb.

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