I was excited for the Haunting of Hill House series (though curious how they were going to turn it…

John Ohno on 2018-10-11

I was excited for the Haunting of Hill House series (though curious how they were going to turn it into a series, considering that nobody manages to live in it for very long) until I saw the trailer, which made it clear that the way they were going to pull it off is by not actually adapting The Haunting of Hill House but instead just making another haunted house series with visible ghosts.

One of the big ways that Jackson distinguished Hill House from a regular haunted house story is by making it clear that the house isn’t haunted per-se: it reflects the psychic powers of its inhabitants back at them in warped and destructive ways (something borrowed in The Shining) but it doesn’t actually have a memory. The apparitions are primal & surreal, & have no basis in the house’s history — and the hauntings began as soon as the house was built.

In other words, Hill House is not a house haunted by the ghosts of former tenants but an accidentally-built machine for making people haunt themselves. It’s architectural LSD with a strong preference for bad trips.