This show has been advertised for so hard that it was basically impossible not to notice it if you have Netflix. It’s October and I usually spring for horror stuff around this time, so why not?
This starts out with a family of seven moving into a gigantic house with the intent to renovate it, flip it, and then use the money to finally have a “forever home”. This family has been working their way up the ladder flipping houses, and this is supposed to be the final stop on their journey before truly settling down.
The children are all pretty spooked about the house, they hear dogs that aren’t there at night, the walls make noises, and the youngest children, twins, are seeing things like ghosts. The youngest daughter, Nell, is the child most affected by the house, she repeatedly sees a woman who’s been hung by the neck and just stares at her, sometimes making creepy noises.
Each episode focuses on a different character so each person gets fully fleshed out and I really love that in a series. The episodes also time-hop quite a bit, when the kids are growing up it appears to be the late seventies, and by the time they’re older, it’s present day. It can get a little confusing if the time hops are only a few years in the past, but if you’re paying attention you can figure it out. This isn’t one you can really put on in the background and expect to follow it.
Each of the five kids has their own issues when they grow up due to the trauma they encountered in the Hill House. The oldest has written a book about it that really pisses off the rest of the family, they find the portrayal of their family, their mother in particular as offensive. He’s offered them a cut of his royalties but they want no part of it. The oldest daughter runs a funeral home, which is an odd choice but it makes sense as the series goes into her background. The middle daughter is a counselor for kids and does a remarkable job due to her special abilities. Her grandmother, her mother, and herself are all “sensitive” and can pick up the background knowledge of objects or people. Meaning, if she touches an object she can tell if it’s been used violently if it was something beloved to someone, who it was owned by etc. She can also sense peoples inner motivations and personality types by touch. She wears gloves since it can be overwhelming (this is similar to ability found in Robert Jackson Bennet’s book, Foundryside). The youngest daughter still struggles with her visions, and the youngest son is an addict who is in and out of recovery.
I found all of the characters to be fascinating, and there were a few twists and turns in the plot which surprised me. This one definitely uses jump scares from time to time, and very old school haunting spookiness. The whole tone was macabre with very little humor in the mix.
The acting was really great, the child actors were decent for the most part, good enough that it didn’t ruin the tone or mood which can happen sometimes in horror flicks.
Overall this was a very well done series, I stayed up until 4am finishing this as did someone else I know so I don’t think it’s just me. If you’re looking for something spooky for Halloween, this would be a great series to turn on!
Final Rating: 85/100
IMDB’s rating is still super high at 9.1/10 and it got an 86% from Rotten Tomatoes.