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The Haunting of Hill: A Review

With ten days until the holiday, we recommend Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House as the perfect binge watch this Halloween.

Halloween, hmmm, it is such an odd word – which is befitting the holiday. It is a combining of the words ‘hallow’ and ‘eve.’ Traditionally it is the eve before All Hallow’s Day, a day to celebrate the saints. In order to become a saint one must be born into new life, which happens only after they have died in this life. In Mexico they celebrate La Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

Both are days to either confront our own mortality or to hide from it behind a mask. Those are the two responses that make Halloween what we know. We either wear a costume while we dance the night away, or we are vicariously face down our fear at some horror movie. It is a sort of trick or treat.

The newest Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House is the trick that is an incredible treat this Halloween. The ten episode series brings rich characters to live as they dealt with death and the mysterious happenings at their childhood home.

Michael Flanagan has taken the best selling novel by Shirley Jackson and focused the story upon a family struggling with grief, mental illness, and addiction while maintaining the paranormal elements of the original novel. The result is absolutely brilliant. Stephen King proclaims the show ‘close to a work of genius.’

The Haunting of Hill House is a horror story there is little doubt. But the scariest thing we see in this series is ourselves. If our lives were a house then there are secret rooms that we keep locked. There are outer walls we build to keep safe from the outside world. There are also interior walls that we fortify against ourselves against the our own trauma. Our secrets, our hidden moral failures, float through this house evoking fear, paralyzing progress, and haunting our ‘real’ life beyond the walls. The only way out of our self made prison is the truth, the truth spoken out loud to someone else. The only way to silence the ghosts that haunt us is to forgive, not only those we have hurt, but ultimately to forgive ourselves.

May the only masks that hide us this Halloween be those we wear for fun. And may the only ghostly apparitions we see be the smoke from our favorite handmade Tabanero cigar.

Warning: Although we did not find to highly scary, there have been reports that is is too intense for some people. Here is a link to an article discussing that: People are reacting to The Haunting of Hill House

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