I like a good horror show, and “Haunting of the Hill House” was a joy to watch. The story follows the Crane family and vacillates between “modern days” and one summer twenty years ago they spent in an isolated mansion, preparing it for a resale. In the aftermath of those events, the horrors haunting the family members are not entirely supernatural: they’re rooted in familiar fears, such as losing a child or not being in control. Having recently done a full house renovation project myself, I felt particularly connected to the poor dad, who kept running into more and more problems with the building: mold, water, odd construction decisions. Any owner of an old house is destined to have nightmares after watching this.
Without too much hand-holding, the show maintains a cohesive internal logic, always leaving some room for interpretation. It’s stylish, although not above being gross or borderline kitschy. As any good horror movie, it’s well-versed in cliché and deftly twists them, surprising the viewer over and over again. Additionally, I want to acknowledge the casting (e.g., the actresses playing Shirley) and costume design. I hope this ghost somehow makes it to the Bloodborne sequel:
Finally, the main music theme is incredibly spooky. I’ve been playing it on my piano, and every time I get to that first sharp note, I feel someone’s gaze on my back. I know better than to turn my head.