… is the best work about death and the other world that I have seen.
A ten-part, non-linear, dramatic film that tells in two times the story of a dysfunctional family struggling with grief and seeking the strength to defeat their demons.
On the one hand, this is the story of a young married couple of an architect wife and a realtor husband who purchased an old estate in order to renovate it and sell it to new owners. They move there with their five children in the early 1990s – and little by little their life turns into horror. The servants refuse to spend the night in the castle, children cannot sleep at night and complain about someone’s presence, the house is covered with a strange dampness, and upstairs there is a single locked room with an openwork red door to which no key fits.
In the end, the father breaks down and evacuates the children from the estate, and this is the last time they see their mother alive.
Twenty years later, children do not speak to their father (and, in part, to each other), blaming him for what happened. The eldest of the children became a writer and became famous for his debut horror novel based on childhood memories, another founded a funeral agency and is trying to raise children, the third has fenced off from everyone and became a psychologist, the younger twins are addicted to drugs and antidepressants … and everyone is still since then she suffers from hallucinations and post-traumatic stress syndrome, especially the youngest of the sisters, Nelly, who again begins to see the “Aunt with a Crooked Neck”, who has tormented her all her life, and decides to return to where it all began – to the mysterious Hill House…
The Haunting of the Hill House is a sad Gothic novel in a modern twist, an exploration of the obsession with the ghosts of the past in the light of psychoanalysis and therapy,
a tragic story of a cursed family, psychologically accurate. (If desired, all the events of the film can be interpreted by the genetic predisposition of its characters to schizophrenia; even the main technique with which he scares is the silhouettes of people appearing and disappearing in the background, whose invisible presence is felt in almost every scene filmed inside the old house – even it looks convincing as one of the symptoms of insanity and paranoia.)
However, “Haunting of the …” is not a groundbreaking horror movie: although there are many harsh and unpleasant, frightening scenes, some of them may seem predictable. But the multi-part film takes not only visual horrors, illustrating the slow descent of the mind of each of the heroes on whose behalf the story is being told. For the form of the series, it is more important that it is an unusual, complexly constructed work.
However, “Haunting at Home …” is not a groundbreaking horror movie: although there are many harsh and unpleasant, frightening scenes, some of them may seem predictable. But the multi-part film takes not only visual horrors, illustrating the slow descent of the mind of each of the heroes on whose behalf the story is being told. For the form of the series, it is more important that it is an unusual, complexly constructed work.
Here, the same events are shown in scattered fragments, from different points of view, like memories that mirror rhyme with what is happening now, creating an emotional and deeply engaging story. Moreover, the first few episodes clearly tell the events from the point of view of each of the grown children, father and even mother. Everyone remembers separate fragments of events, and only the memories of all participants allow us to compose a complete picture of the tragedy at home. To put it simply, “Haunting at Home …” is not at all about the ghosts silently standing in doorways and looking into your face while you sleep. It is about other ghosts – real ones living inside us. The ghosts of guilt, fear, loss and bitterness. About lost childhood and ruined destinies.
I’m so sorry for the kids …
Sometimes this film about death, loss and acceptance of the inevitable is very hard to watch.
Closer to the end, the mystical part of the plot has a logic and backstory that will answer all the questions, throw you into the cold and leave a feeling of bittersweet satisfaction. The past and the future, the illusory and the present, will intertwine in a bizarre dance – and in the end it won’t matter if it was all a history of hereditary psychosis and hallucinations, or if a house inhabited by ghosts really was feeding on its victims. The finale of the story brings it to the metaphysical level of a parable, not even a fairy tale (unlike any “Astral” or “The Conjuring” – with all due respect to the success of the series of these films and the talent of their director, James Wang, this is nothing more than entertaining horror rides).
Haunting of the Hill House is a deep, intelligent, original yet accessible, masterfully written and very atmospheric statement about an empty family, deep love, loneliness, grief and loss, death and memories as the only way to overcome it. A poetic and sad, eerie and sad multi-part film, built as large and impressive as the very estate of an unhappy family, a novel.
You should see this, believe me.
Self-taught artist, writing his first book, dreaming of bigger things & drawing something he enjoys with passion and hope to get better in skills.
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