The Haunting of Hill House Discussion

Now after writing up a spoiler free review I wanted to do a follow up with a spoiler full discussion and what I feel happened so of course spoilers for the series and if you haven’t watched there is my review an all episodes now on Netflix.

First of all in case it wasn’t clear from my review I really enjoyed the show, it was a well written and made horror series with a compelling story and creepy to boot.

The biggest aspect that was a mystery from first to last episode was the red room. Starting from the colour of the door to it being inaccessible that it was a major part of the story involving the ghosts. In the final episode we find out that it was a horrible reverse room of requirement (for you Harry Potter fans) that becomes your ideal room at the time and the ghosts use it to keep you there. It also mostly blocks out the outside world seen when young Theo is dancing to a music video and it keeps out Nell and Shirley. Thinking on it after finishing the show when mentioning the respective room it appears as e.g. a reading room for Olivia or game room for Stephen the other characters are unfamiliar with those rooms and only see what the ghosts show them. Thinking on it as that and also where the Crain family are taken while under the influence of the house as adults and seeing alternate realities to keep them there again. Nell’s ghost referring to the red room as the ‘stomach’ of the house is interesting and indicates that the ghosts of the house plan to gradually feed on them, harking back to Hugh referring to the family as an “unfinished meal” to Hill House.

A key plot point was the somewhat supernatural abilities that the family have, particularly Theo and Olivia. Theo of course with the ability to sense people’s feelings through touch and Olivia seemingly something similar and doesn’t seem to be afraid or even really mind the ghosts she sees. Another aspect of the show that was less developed was the time travel and visions of the future throughout. In the Nell centric episode we find out the bent-neck lady was her future self killed by the ghosts and visiting her younger self at various moments throughout her life both during and after living at Hill House. It is unclear if it was from the ghosts or herself but at a few points Olivia sees moments in the future with adult Nell in the funeral home morgue, adult Luke dying like he is in the red room but also a vision of the young twins talking about what will happen to them in the future after Hill House. This means either Olivia or the ghosts have the ability to see moments in the future and sadly the latter prey upon that.

On a final sombre note we discover throughout and at the end that anyone who passes away in Hill House comes back as a ghost. It’s not clear if this is through choice or with unfinished business but many of the Hill family are ghosts as well as Olivia, Nell and Hugh and at least Mrs Dudley and her daughter Abigail which is where they show ends and we are left to assume they spend their afterlife there.

Anything you feel I missed leave a comment, have a great day.