In 1959, Shirley Jackson published The Haunting of Hill House, the definitive haunted house book. The novel is so iconic and impressive that it inspired the career of Stephen King, who called it “one of the finest books ever to come out of the [horror] genre.” The book was adapted for the screen as The Haunting in 1963, and again in 1999. Now, the full title has been restored for a ten episode Netflix series, and today we got our first peek at the trailer.
Here’s the premise straight from Netflix’s press release:
The Haunting of Hill House is a modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s legendary novel of the same name, about five siblings who grew up in the most famous haunted house in America. Now adults, they’re reunited by the suicide of their youngest sister, which forces them to finally confront the ghosts of their own pasts… some which lurk in their minds… and some which may really be lurking in the shadows of the iconic Hill House.
For those familiar with Jackson’s novel, that’s a pretty huge diversion from the source material. The book follows a woman named Eleanor who partakes in a scientific study to prove the existence of the paranormal at the titular Hill House. Eleanor and a team of other psychically gifted people try to “unlock” the ghosts of the house, which has a damaging effect on Eleanor’s psyche. The book straddles the line between what’s real and what’s in our head, never definitively taking a side, instead using the paranormal to explore gender roles and female identity politics.
Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House–which was created by Gerald’s Game‘s Mike Flanagan, who directed all ten episodes–throws out the book’s plot, although a gander at the character list teases that it might be a reimagining of the source material. Timothy Hutton plays a character named Hugh Crain, which, in the novel, is the name of the man who built Hill House. Curiously, Victoria Pedretti is playing Hugh’s daughter, Nell, which is the nickname Eleanor goes by in the book. In the original text, she isn’t Hugh’s daughter, and her possible familial ties to the house are only hinted at. Instead, the new series seems to be taking a nugget from Jan De Bont’s 1999 The Haunting, where Eleanor was a great-granddaughter of Crain’s.
The rest of the cast includes Carla Gugino, Michiel Huisman, Henry Thomas, and Elizabeth Reaser, and will premiere October 12 on Netflix. We’re itching to see how all of the pieces fall together.
Are you excited for a new take on The Haunting of Hill House? Let us known below!