That sweet 100% Rotten Tomatoes score promises to get your blood pumping.
WHATCULTURE – Netflix’s latest horror series has got a selection of critics all hot under the collar already, achieving a highly coveted ‘100% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes’ score since September 25th with more reviews still set to roll in. Whilst it’s early days for the new addition to Netflix’s vast bank of originals, there’s plenty working in the TV show’s favour that suggests the favourable attention isn’t simply a media ploy before release.
The streaming giant has been producing a steady flow of excellent television content for the past few years, banking on titles such as Stranger Things, Dark, and Mindhunter for solid creepy content; and that’s to say nothing of the runaway success of shows like Orange is the New Black and their take on Jessica Jones and other Marvel properties. Netflix know what they’re doing when it comes to creating engaging, unique franchises, so it should come as no surprise that The Haunting of Hill House is lining up neatly with their dedicated Originals brand.
What makes The Haunting of Hill House that much more interesting is that is already has a solid source material. Based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name, the narrative is described by Netflix as: “flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.”
Reimagining Jackson’s classic tale of a paranormal investigation revolving around a haunted house, the TV adaptation seems like it will focus on the energy and tone of the Gothic tale rather than its storyline outright – offering something for fans old and new in the process.
The Haunting Of Hill House has appeared on screen before however, with both a faithful 1963 version and a less appealing 1999 version that then served as the basis for Scary Movie 2. Both were simply titled ‘The Haunting’, so retain an air of separation from this new project, which in the case of the later movie can only be a good thing for most watchers. The fact that the novel has so much potential for recreation, as well as a few attempts already under its belt, is obviously a plus for some impressive writing as well.
That Mike Flanagan will be helming the direction is another strong mark in its favour. Previously releasing the amazing home invasion movie Hush, and the excellent adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Gerald’s Game (also starring Carla Gugino who will be in this series), Flanagan’s track record with Netflix is one of quality.
Oculus, Absentia, and Ouija: Origin Of Evil – a prequel far superior to its predecessor – also comfortably fit into his back catalogue, which is only further testament to both his adept directing ability as well as sensibilities for original, bone-chilling horror. If anyone is going to make this series great, it’s this guy. And if you need more convincing, then here’s Tom Philip’s own rave review for GQ:
“The Haunting of Hill House is the first great horror TV show ever. […] It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s !*$% fantastic.”
Whilst all the ingredients are surely coming together to make one brilliantly crafted Halloween cake, the one criticism that seems to follow the new series is that it takes it’s time in setting up the premise. Arguably, this isn’t even a bad thing – but viewers should bear it in mind that The Haunting On Hill House might take a little bit of ‘bearing with’ before you get to the juicy stuff.
Packed with a solid cast, a well-worked premise, and a director capable of magic when it comes to spooky screen work, the stars seem to have aligned in all the right ways for Netflix’s latest endeavour. Critics only seem to be confirming what would be suspected to be a great thing anyway.
The Haunting of Hill House will hit home streaming services with as a full 10 episode series on October 12th – just in time for some seasonal spookiness before Halloween rolls around.