Director Mike Flanagan has been steadily building a solid horror resume, with winners like “Hush” and “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” and with “The Haunting of Hill House,” he’s delivered his first bona-fide masterpiece. Across ten episodes, Flanagan’s show uses the Shirley Jackson source novel and its two major Hollywood adaptations as springboards, weaving a tale of familial dysfunction and unresolved trauma that is impressively well-acted, directed and written. Each episode is excellent in its own right, with its well-developed characters and the unpredictable nature of the show’s overarching narrative, but it’s episodes like “Open Casket” and “The Bent-Neck Lady” that really demarcate it as a budding classic in own right – “The Bent-Neck Lady,” in particular, manages to elicit tremendous emotion and downright shocking scares, and is one of the best episodes of any show I’ve seen. Among a terrific cast, Henry Thomas and Timothy Hutton both delivery terrifically sustained performances, seamlessly playing the same character in different eras.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)