Written by John Dunn
Netflix’s new show The Haunting of Hill House Based on the novel by Shirley Jackson is not only one of the best shows portraying a dysfunctional and deteriorating family, but also a horrifying tale of tragedy and grief, all stemming from the Hill house. The crane family (Nell, Shirley, Luke, Theo, Steve and Olivia Crane) start the morning of their sister Nell’s apparent suicide, taking each member of the family spinning back into long forgotten memories of their childhood house and Mrs. Cranes tragically similar suicide there. As the story progresses each character’s horrific experiences within the house, including premonitions of the future, horrors from the past and something much more sinister within the house itself. As the audience is shoved into the past and pulled back into the present it becomes apparent that the terror each of the family members faced in that house is far from over, spilling into their adult lives and bringing them together for the first time in years. As more of each family member’s experiences are brought to light, mistrust, anger and terror are only some of the emotions they will experience as they remember and experience each horrifying event that has and will befall the broken Crane family.
Of the many themes in this show dealing with grief is one of the most highlighted throughout the series. Not only does each character’s personality and emotions closely resemble a stage of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) but one gets to see how a whole family that has lost touch with each other for years deal with seeing each other for the first time in years while tackling each members challengingly different perspectives and coping skills. The role of family is also an important one as they struggle to make time for each other leading to their sister’s death. The Haunting of hill House is full of family drama but makes the story and characters so engaging that one will care about most of the cast making it that much more stressful and horrifying to experience what they will as something dark makes its way into the scene. I can strongly recommend this show as it pulls off a horrifying atmosphere and a great story all in one show, making each episode impossible to turn off.