Innocent souls | The Haunting of Hill House A Netflix Original.

Tuesday 30 October 2018


I've slowly been sucked in by Netflix Originals this year and it's been hit and miss at times but as soon as I saw that The Haunting of Hill House had been added I was drawn in and knew instantly it was my kind of show, although it didn't actually feel like a show if I'm honest it was more like a drawn-out movie but done really well. As soon as I put the first episode on I told my friend Sarah she needed to watch it, not just because I was pooping myself but because I knew this would be her kind of thing and I was right, before I knew it she had finished all 10 episodes and was waiting for me to finish watching them so we could talk about it, whilst I was getting through them we also convinced our friend Beth to start watching then she became hooked too and had the same reaction Sarah and I did.

When the show started I instantly knew that it would creep me out and that the build-up within the show would make me want to hide behind a pillow, from the start we are introduced to the Crain family, still fairly young the family of seven move into Hill House so that the father can do it up and sell it for a pretty penny, he was convinced this would make them rich and worked as hard as he could on restoring it. The restoration was supposed to stay there short term until the house was ready to sell, Mr. Crain faced a huge issue when he discovered black mold and as someone who lived in a house with black mold it's very hard to get rid of and can cost a hell of a lot of money as well as affected your health but alas Hill House was riddled with it!

Whilst Mr. Crain was dealing with the mold the house started to slowly take hold on each family member, some were affected subtly but others had the full force of what the house had to offer, especially Mrs. Crain (Olivia), the house was able to make her paranoid and feel the need to protect her two youngest children Luke and Nell who are twins, the whispers from a ghost within the house convinced her that they shouldn't leave Hill House and the safest place for them was within the grounds and walls of the house, it drove her to madness and she eventually killed herself but before this she planned to poison her twins, Mr. Crain soon realised and got all 5 of his children out of that house and away from their mother. Whilst they got away a ghost drove Olivia to fall to her death and she was now forever trapped in Hill House along with the ghosts of many other people who died there.

Although all five of the children were pretty young their mother's death and the fact that their father never got their mother out of the house when he made them leave, it affected them all in different ways, their minds in a terrible state because they never truly knew the truth behind their mother committing suicide. The eldest of the five was Stephen, he cashed in on their trauma by writing a book about the events that took place at Hill House, most of the siblings weren't thrilled with this and held a grudge against him because he never saw half the stuff the others did. Stephen was always more than happy to be by his dad's side and helped him and didn't spend as much time with his siblings. In Stephen's book he took a lot of credit for things that happened to his siblings, things he didn't see nor believes in, he was always very skeptical and decided to get a vasectomy as he didn't want to pass down any mental health issues to his future children. He and his wife had been trying for a baby for years and he never once told her the truth until the very end when he finds out the house was to blame for his mothers death and although it was the house doing these things it was able to reach down into peoples darkest fears and play on them, breaking them down bit by bit and making them vulnerable.

Shirley is the second eldest, I found her to be very hard faced, she put up a wall of ignorance but not in a rude way more so closing off what happened to her, she gets very mad at her siblings whenever they talk about the house and doesn't want to have to deal with the past trauma. I know for a fact Shirley is compassionate though and seeing death when she was younger after the kittens she found all died sparked something in her to run a funeral home with her husband which is slowly going doing the drain because of financial problems and her stubbornness to take a cut of the book sales that Stephen offered to her. At first glance it looks like she has a happy marriage but she is hiding a big secret, she slept with another man who was married, the house was able to use this to its advantage and Shirley became haunted by her mistake and kept seeing this man even though he isn't dead). Towards the end of the series, she starts to be more open and show her caring side when she finds out her brother Luke is in danger she knows she has to help him.

The third sibling is Theo, she has become one of the most popular characters who is a lesbian, she is feisty, honest, up front and to the point. She gives no shits and certainly knows what she wants. Theo is the type of women I hoped I would be but unfortunately, that isn't the case but I can always try in the meantime. From a young age, Theo has always known she wasn't like her other siblings, a gift was passed down to her from her great-grandmother on her mother's side, Theo could see the dead as well as communicate with them and find out how they died, her hands were always cold and she would always wear gloves and passed it off as being a germophobe which no one really questioned. Theo was happy enough to take a cut of the book sales and she used it to get her degree so she could become a psychiatrist and help others even though she refused to take her own advice and felt like the black sheep of the family. None of them knew she was a lesbian until they were at Nell's wedding and she slept with a bridesmaid but they all realised it made a lot of sense and didn't question it or bombard her with their opinions.

Nell and Luke are the two youngest and twins as I mentioned before, they have been close all their life but once they became adults Luke kind of drifted away from Nell and his other sibling and developed a drug addiction, what's interesting about the twins is they can feel each other's pain so Nell would get the effects of Lukes drug addiction, on top of that Nell suffered from sleep Paralysis which made her life hell. Since she was a young girl living in Hill House she would see Bent Neck lady and throughout adulthood, she was plagued by this spirit, I don't want to say exactly how Nell died but when she does Luke has been 9 months drug-free and keeps feeling as if he is having a come down when in reality he feels cold and is having these symptoms because Nell has died and he wasn't aware. Both Nell and Luke were pretty young when their mum died yet her death had a terrible effect on both of them and they weren't as strong nor as stubborn as the three eldest. Nell made the ultimate sacrifice without even knowing, the house took her but she wouldn't allow the house to take her siblings.

The Crain's didn't deserve the torture inflicted on them and every one of them had an innocent soul in my opinion, all the siblings had issues but their love for one another is what saved them, whereas their mother's love was used against them, the house didn't just affect them as a family it had taken a lot of victims. I found myself saying why don't they just destroy the house even before the series ended but soon realised that the house wouldn't allow that which was proven when Luke tried to set fire to it I came to realise how evil that house truly was, it pulled Luke in and tried to kill him but his siblings got him out of that house before it could win, unfortunately, a sacrifice was made, their father chose to be taken in their place and the house accepted, it was the purest act a parent could possibly make and it proved what he was willing to do to keep his babies safe, just like when they escaped Hill House all those years ago. The show may be a horror but I think it's much deeper than that, behind the horror are vulnerable people whose weaknesses were used against them, what was your take on the show?

Elle May

I just want to add that I'm halfway through the book right now and it's very different to the series, it's clear what inspiration was taken from the book for the series though and it's n a different timescale, I'm enjoying it right now, hopefully, the end won't disappoint me! *Update* I finished the book, it's very different from the series but in a way I'm glad as I didn't find myself comparing the two. 


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