Taglines: You’re Expected
Based on The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
Netflix’s new ten-episode horror series, The Haunting of Hill House, uses Shirley Jackson’s famous novel as a road map to explore this house-as-body metaphor, and it does so with a profound and precise tenderness. Creator and director Mike Flanagan crafts a wholly unique haunted-house fable — abandoning the book’s paranormal investigation plot — using the hollow halls of a disordered mansion to tell the story of the disordered family who lives there. The hidden ghosts of Hill House aren’t nameless spooks trapped between spiritual realms; they are personal manifestations for the people they haunt, visual aids for the truths they must accept and vanquish. It’s not a paranormal story so much as a meditation on the distinct way grief and trauma maim the living. And it’s scary as hell.
In the summer of 1992, Hugh and Olivia Crain and their five children—Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Eleanor (Nell)—move into Hill House to renovate the mansion in order to sell it and build their own house, designed by Olivia. However, due to unexpected repairs, they have to stay longer, and they begin to experience increasing paranormal phenomena, resulting in a tragic loss and the family fleeing from the house. Twenty-six years later, the Crain siblings and their estranged father reunite after another tragedy strikes them again, and they are forced to confront how their time in Hill House has affected each of them.