The Haunting of Hill House, based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, centers on a group of siblings who grew up in the most famous haunted house in America. Hill House — which premieres October 12 — and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are just two of the new scary shows Netflix will offer this October. It's gonna be a good one!
The series is all about the Crain family: Hugh, Olivia, and their five children. About 25 years ago, they moved into Hill House to renovate it, but something went wrong. Olivia was murdered, which left the children with a lifetime of issues. In the present, the Crain children are still struggling with the trauma. The series has a similar style to that of vastly successful NBC hit, This Is Us. It meshes flashbacks of the past with the story of the present, all while following the lives of the Crain brood.
In the trailer below, the siblings are clearly still haunted by the memory of their time at Hill House, but their parents also get a decent amount of screen time — much like Jack and Rebecca on This Is Us. The series will demonstrate how the events of our past help shape our future, but when they're this dark, that's not always a good thing.
While the show has yet to air, everyone should know a few details before tuning in.
Here's what we can share about Netflix's ghostly tale.
Who stars in the series?
The cast includes Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones), Carla Gugino (Californication, Entourage), Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton, Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil), and Elizabeth Reaser (The Ex List, Manhunt).
It also features Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, McKenna Grace, Paxton Singleton, Violet McGraw, and Julian Hilliard.
Is the series the same as the novel?
There are some differences between the novel and the show. Most notably, the show will follow the Crain family in two timelines. The novel only focuses on the family as they move into the house, but the Netflix series will also show the aftermath and how the children continue to be haunted.
How does it all begin?
The premiere begins with the family being reunited after years apart. Sadly, one of the kids dies by suicide — a tragedy that is linked with the family's past. The death forces the rest of the family to come together and sift through the shadows.
What are the Crain kids up to in present day?
Steven (Huisman) is a supernatural skeptic and novelist that turned his family’s story into a bestselling book (his book features writing from Jackson’s 1959 novel).
Shirley (Reaser) is a mortician who uses her profession to exercise some control over the loss she experienced as a child.
Theodora (Siegel) is a therapist who helps children, but is otherwise unable to form any kind of meaningful connections.
Luke (Jackson-Cohen) is a struggling addict who’s spent his entire life numbing himself in one way or another. He is considered the family screw-up.
Nell (Pedretti), the youngest, has recently begun seeing visions of the disturbing “Bent-Neck Girl” who haunted her childhood.
How are critics rating it?
TV horror can be tricky, but early reviews of the show seem promising. The series is 100 fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which is outstanding considering horror films are among the lowest rated.
Critics are also raving about the show:
GQ's Tom Philip said, "Hill House isn't just scary, but a seriously well-structured and well-considered story about the persistent insidiousness of trauma and the tragedy of not fully knowing another person. The siblings all share a deep pain, but that pain manifests and is expressed in different ways that often end up hurting the others. In its quieter moments, Hill House finds room to explore some heartbreaking dynamics around family, mental illness, addiction, and pain."
Likewise, Variety's Daniel D'addario stated, "With brutal effectiveness, The Haunting at Hill House will fill viewers’ hearts with dread, not at the ghosts and apparitions that do, indeed, play a role, but at the wages of time and of pain that’d be easier shared but that’s impossible to talk about. The clever idea to widen the aperture of a horror tale — to tell the story after the haunting seems to have ceased — has given viewers a very special show, one that knows the scariest hauntings are not by ghosts but by memories."
Will there be a Season 2?
It's not confirmed, but it's not impossible. Given the timeline, it's possible other families have lived in the house, or that the Crain family could be haunted by the house for years to come. Whatever the case, don't give up on seeing more of The Haunting of Hill House.
There was also a good amount of fan buzz following the release of the spooky trailer.
As for myself, I'm beyond excited to tune in. Mixing family drama with horror, combining two timelines, and showing the impact of trauma after a ghostly experience? That's everything I've ever wanted from a horror series.
Stream every episode of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix beginning October 12.