**This review contains spoilers**
The latest Netflix psychological thriller, “The Haunting of Hill House” brings the viewer along through the Crain family’s summer at their new house, the Hill House. At the beginning of the summer, the family of seven move into an old mansion, intending to fix it up and resell it by the end of the summer. Things don’t exactly go as planned when the five children start noticing ghosts and other paranormal activity around the house.
The timeline switches between the first and only summer in Hill House to the present day, where all five siblings are in the midst of adulthood, and their mother is dead. As the show continues, the viewer can start to see that each child represents a different stage of grief and their specific stories show the difficulties associated with that stage of grief.
Steve, the oldest, represents the stage of denial. He spends the entirety of the show denying that he or his family ever saw any ghosts at the house and blames it all on a genetic chemical imbalance. Shirley represents the anger stage, her pent up anger ends up severely damaging her marriage and her relationship with her younger sister, Theo. With a bit of a stretch, Theo represents bargaining. She uses her psychological gift to figure out why her younger sister went back to the house to end her life.
Next, one of the twins, Luke, represents depression. He spends the entirely of his adult life struggling with addiction and feeling the mental and physical pain that his twin sister, Nellie, endures. Lastly, Nellie represents acceptance. After killing herself in the haunted house, she haunts her siblings, helping them to understand the psychology of the house and how it can be beneficial to the family.
Although the TV show is only 10 episodes, the entirety of the series is spent making the viewer hate and fear the house, and they do a good job. We watch as the house destroys marriages and the Crain family both mentally and physically. But, in the last 25 minutes of the season, the show does a complete 180.
The last episode reveals to the viewer that by keeping the house standing and within the Crain family, it protects all those who have died in the house and lets them live on. For example, the grounds-keeper, Mr. Dudley, loses his wife and daughter to the evils of the house. But, because the house is kept under the Crain family name, Mr. Dudley is able to visit the ghost of his wife, daughter and still-born child. The Crain’s are also able to visit their dead family members in the ever present red room.
Personally, I don’t think the ending of the show did the rest of the series justice. We’re just supposed to forgive the house and all its creepy inhabitants after we watched it drive two of the main characters to kill themselves and then come back to haunt the rest of the family? I don’t think so.
I loved the rest of the season and the writers attention to detail. It forced the viewers to remember every little thing about every scene and the writers still managed to catch you off guard and make you doubt everything you thought you knew. Honestly, I felt a little led on by the show. But, like the loyal viewer that I am, I’ll still be itching to see the new upcoming season.