TV Review: THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE | Season 1 Available on Netflix

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Ho. Ly. Shitballs. Seriously.

I know, I’m late to the party on this one, but better late than never always applies, right?? I’m not a huge horror fan, so I tried to avoid this one like the plague. I’d watched the trailer and part of me wanted to watch the show, but the other part of me didn’t want to have nightmares for the next week, so I said NOPE!

BUT, here I am. After finally giving in and watching it over the last few days, I’m here to tell you that if you haven’t watched this yet . . . DO IT!! What a great show! Everything from the story to the cast (both in past and present) to the directing to the effects was phenomenal. I was terrified, but also could not stop watching even when that one part of me really wanted to.

SYNOPSIS: Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it. 

As the synopsis mentions, Netflix’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE follows the Crain family in two separate timelines. The first is the family of seven moving into Hill House as Hugh and Olivia Crain attempt to flip and sell it. The family begins to experience paranormal activity that seems to increase the longer they remain in the house. The second timeline shows the family, now adults, still attempting to deal with the aftermath of what transpired during their time at Hill House as children. Both timelines weave in and out together in a way that works perfectly with each episode’s progression.

The show is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. Word to the wise . . . do not watch the show and then read the book trying to get answers you may not have received on the show! I’m only on the third chapter of the book, but these are two completely different situations. The book focuses on random people being invited to stay at Hill House, whereas the Netflix Original show focuses on the aspect of family and how these terrifying, traumatic events can cause a ripple in the lives of those who experience them.

Fun Fact: While watching episode 8, “Witness Marks,” one of the scariest scenes for me, personally, literally took my breath away. Maybe 5 minutes after that scene, the lights in my house flickered. I didn’t mention it to anyone because I figured it was probably just in my head because this show is insane, but nooooooooooo. My mother and brother both said they noticed it also. Half of the lights in our apartment complex had gone out. Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t think you want to know what might’ve happened to me if the power had gone out in my apartment as I was watching this show.

With that being said, I’m really surprised at how much I enjoyed watching this show. It’s one of those ones where you really can’t even attempt to try to figure anything out. It has twists and turns and you don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. You become invested in these characters, both as children and as adults. Kudos to Mike Flanagan for delivering a fantastic horror show that is terrifying and lovely and freakishly interesting with the perfect cast to go along with it. Well done!

I do still have some questions:

Why does Hugh Crain say that Hill House is the most dangerous for Steven?

Why could the adult Crain children “speak” with Nell, but not with their mother?

Why does it seem as though Nell was sort of targeted as opposed to any of the other children? Her and Luke experienced the most traumatic of the experiences, but I got the sense that the house wanted Nell to come home more than any of the other children.

Also, I’m not sure if I missed something in my tensed-up, anxious state of watching, but, in the finale, why does Steven ask Hugh what he saw? He’d always been so fixated on what Hugh wasn’t telling the children about the night they left Hill House, but I feel like I missed what it was he was blocking out.

Lastly, I want to know how it was for these younger children to film a show like this and have to say some of the things they had to say and see some of the things they had to see. Here’s to hoping they’re all just really great, young actors that won’t be scarred for life!

 

If any of you have watched and have theories, please let me know what your thoughts were! It was also announced recently that there will be a second season titled The Haunting of Bly Manor to be released in 2020. Do you think they’ll bring back some of the same actors the way that American Horror Story does? I really enjoyed the casting for this show, so I’m kinda hoping they do!

 

 

Movie Review by Kristin: THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY

IMG_1667Good morning, everyone!

I was browsing the available content on Netflix this weekend and stumbled upon this cute little movie, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY.

SYNOPSIS: In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

I’ve been so impressed with the quality content Netflix has included in their library lately. I’m a sucker for movies and a sucker for books, so this one was a no-brainer for me. The cast was great and the storyline was interesting. The story is set in the 1940’s and follows the characters retelling their experiences of Nazi Occupied Guernsey to London author, Juliet Ashton. While she intends to write an article about the society and their experiences, she finds and values their friendship even more. She begins to reevaluate what she wants for her own life and helps the group find some sort of peace once they open up about the loss of a friend.

The scenery in the film was absolutely lovely and we get a glimpse of England (for those of us who have never had the pleasure of visiting). The performances were great in this. Surprisingly, Kate Winslet was slated to portray Juliet Ashton, but she dropped out of the project before filming began. Honestly, as much as I love Kate Winslet as an actress and human being, I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role other than Lily James. She really embraced the role and gave such an endearing performance.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY does run a bit long — it sits at 124 minutes. It does include some drama, some comedy, a few flashbacks and the recipe for an old-fashioned romance, so it’s not difficult to hold your interest (in my opinion).

This is truly a beautiful story of love, friendship and the sadness of friends lost.

Movie Review by Kristin: IRREPLACEABLE YOU

IMG_1668Holy crap.

I admit that I can be a bit emotional at times during shows like This Is Us and movies like Love, Simon. None, however, have made me ugly cry quite like this one.

SYNOPSIS: Recently engaged couple Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman) find their dreams for the future shattered when she receives a terminal-cancer diagnosis. Abbie copes with the news by attending a support group, and by trying to plan the details of Sam’s life after she’s gone — which includes finding him a new partner.

IRREPLACEABLE YOU is a bit predictable in the sense that the main characters, Abbie and Sam, discover her diagnosis so early in the film, but the way it’s handled is heartbreaking and lovely all at the same time. I also feel like it was a bit sugar-coated because we never saw Abbie get extremely sick the way that we know cancer can play out — but I’m kind of thankful for that. We know what’s happening, we don’t necessarily have to witness every detail. In that respect, I also think it’s very telling that you’re able to be so emotionally invested in this couple despite not seeing the very worst of this horrible disease. It says a lot about the actors in each scene.

The performances by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman were very sweet and raw. You really felt the love they had for each other, which made the outcome even more beautiful and heartbreaking. With that being said, even though the ending is predictable, watching it play out in such a way had me hooked. It was also fun to see Christopher Walken play a friend to Abbie throughout the film and, ultimately, being the person who made her look at her life differently.

My only complaint is that we didn’t get enough scenes with Kate McKinnon in them! Aside from that, this was a great little movie. One of the moments that really got me was when Abbie tells Sam that she thought planning his future would hurt less than her accepting that she won’t be around to see it. UGHHHHHHH. If you like the odd concoction of sad, romantic and funny movies, I definitely recommend this one.

Side note: I absolutely loved Sam’s dimples in the movie, and I was absolutely SHOOK to discover that he played Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones! Yes, the one that hooked up with Khaleesi and got dumped! Funny what a pair of glasses and a shave could do!