• Luis Gomez

"The Haunting of Hill House" is paving the way for more horror at Netflix


Image: Netflix

The times in which boy wizards and sparkling vampires released back-to-back epic franchise movies have come to an end. Similarly, the world awaits the final and concluding season of one of television’s greatest fantasy shows, “Game of Thrones.”

It seems we are in a magical drought.

Netflix’s latest original content proves they are more than willing to pick up the fantasy/horror/magical mantle.

Netflix has had huge success at times with its fiction shows, but it has also struggled in the past with other fiction projects. “Sense8” was a science fiction Netflix show that lasted two seasons. The first season, was not perfect, but overall the story had a central clear focus and pace. The second season, on the other hand, did not fare anywhere near as well. The second season’s writing was long winded and all over the place, without clear storytelling the second season’s episodes were at times not just confusing but worst of all, boring.

Where “Sense8” got lost and bogged down within all its own melodrama, Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House” hit all the right notes in its debut. Interestingly, “The Haunting of Hill House” has often been compared to the TV show “This is Us” but with lot’s of horror thrown in. Both shows are similar in that the story unfolds in the past and in the present, and because a pivotal event in the past deeply shapes the lives of those involved forever. Even amongst so much supernatural activity, at the center of “The Haunting of Hill House” is the family drama, but although the family’s drama is explored, the show never looses its “horror” identity to do so.

Netflix should continue to grow its fictional fantasy/horror catalogue especially because neither film nor television is creating continuous content for this genre. Freeform had “Shadow Hunters” a stylized fictional show involving magical creatures and beings, it was a TV standout, but was recently cancelled. The CW’s new show, a reboot version of “Charmed,” has not been the hit the network likely expected.

Netflix has not confirmed whether there will be a second season of “The Haunting of Hill House.” The show was well received by critics and was even highly praised by the king of horror, Stephen King, who called the show “a work of genius.” The ending of the season seemed to conclude the story, so a second season seems doubtful, and if “Sense8” taught us anything it should be that a second season is only a good idea if the material for the second lives up to the first.

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