Is a supernatural horror drama that is not only chillingly scary but has an equal dosage of psychological and emotional quotient besides having a format that’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle , pieces of which you keep trying to place together.
It is loosely based on the famous book series by the same name by Shirley Jackson.
Cast – Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson, Kate Siegal, Victoria Pedretti
Director – Mike Flanagan ( Known for his horror films like Oculus, Hush, Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep)
The story revolves around The Crains family.
Years back ,Steve and Olivia and their five kids lived in the ominous Hill House for a few months. After experiencing unexplained behavioural problems and terrible paranormal phenomenon, the family had to flee but not without suffering a tragic loss and not without carrying emotional and psychological wreckage that the family suffers from, for decades.
As adults , all of the kids suffer from emotional and psychological distress. They are a messed up dysfunctional family , some not ready to share their fears and ghosts of past and present and some in complete denial. They are still unaware of what happened that fateful night which their father refuses to divulge. What and why is he hiding the truth ?What is it that brings them together again and makes them face the past ? Were the ghosts they were seeing real ? What was the mystery of the Hill House ?
The Mystery factor –
The sequence of events is relayed completely jumbled up not only in terms of two time lines , but also sometimes repeated , two perspectives of the same events . The back and forth narrative leaves you constantly sequencing and re-sequencing events. The mind boggling mystery as to what actually happened is not revealed till the end.
The Fear Factor –
The atmospherics, the design of the premises was absolutely chilling. There was always constant fear hanging about even without the cliches.
Emotional Factor –
Seeing beautiful little kids fighting fears is heart wrenching. As adults, their emotional and psychological angst is moving.
Psychological Factor –
The writers leave you in constant confusion between real and imaginary.
The philosophical angle about the ghosts possibly being fears , secrets , guilt or regrets was thought provoking.
The makers make a fine concoction of human fears, extra sensory perceptions and paranormal to churn out a superb fare.
The series is highly recommended for the horror buffs.