Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Some dead guy (background) and Carla Gugino (foreground) in The Haunting Of Hill House
Screenshot: Netflix

Netflix released the first season of The Haunting Of Hill House today, Mike Flanagan’s family-focused (but absolutely not family-friendly) adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s horror novel classic. We’ve got lots of coverage of the series to help accompany your latest trip into the realm of streaming terror—including Katie Rife’s glowing overview of the entire season, and Emily L. Stephens’ episode-by-episode recaps—but at least some of the show’s details still might evade you on first viewing. Stuff like this:


Yes, in the grand tradition of Halloween classics like Ghostwatchor, to draw parallels to another, more recent exploration of the ways that family will destroy you, the hidden words in HBO’s Sharp ObjectsFlanagan has apparently filled Hill House with subliminal flashes of all sorts of spooks and specters, leering from just out of focus (and for only a few frames at a time) at the members of the doomed Crain family. It’s a lovely way to ratchet up the series’ already impressive sense of dread, especially since aggressive Easter egg hunting is only likely to make viewers feel even more paranoid and on-guard, and the rest of us idly wondering why a particular scene left us feeling so damn uneasy, only to catch a glimpse of someone (or something) staring out of the darkness on second watch.

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