The Haunting Of Hill House-Review
It’s a smart move, then, for writer/director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) to forge an almost entirely new narrative for his 10-episode Netflix adaptation.
And while the first six episodes (which were available for review) occasionally feel like they’re attempting to find the right balance between scares and emotion, they’re also at times gripping and gorgeously moody, showcasing both a reverence for the source material and a dedication to trying new things.
Steven, the eldest Crain (Michiel Huisman now, Paxton Singleton then), took his family’s history and capitalized off of it to become a noted horror writer. His most famous work? It’s about that night at Hill House, which creates sizable friction among the siblings for the liberties he took.
Older sister Shirley (a layered performance for both Elizabeth Reaser and Lulu Wilson in flashbacks) runs a funeral home with her husband and lives adjacent. Sister Theodora (Kate Siegel, Mckenna Grace as a child, both perfect for their roles) lives in Shirley’s guest house and works as a child therapist (and also has supernatural powers).
Younger brother Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen in the present, aptly-named, aptly-cast Julian Hilliard in the past) takes to drugs to cope with his childhood trauma and is in and out of rehab facilities. None are particularly close.
The series follows each of these four siblings, along with Luke’s twin sister Nelle (Victoria Pedretti now, Violet McGraw then, both effective in showing the fear and innocence of the character), who drives the show’s narrative after a tragedy befalls her.
In short, it is a sensible