Even as a little girl, nothing brought me more joy than our weekly trips to the video shop. Much to my mum's displeasure, I'd spend hours browsing through the scary movies, only to later list off a dozen reasons as to why she should let me hire at least one of the five I had picked, regardless of what it was rated.
From ‘The Shining’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs’ to ‘IT’ and ‘The Nun’, I have watched my way through a disturbing number of spooky flicks – some terrifying, but most lacking the scare factor I was after.
Sadly, I reached a point in life where I didn't flinch at the sight of dead bodies, blood or guts. No matter how gory or gruesome the film or series was, nothing seemed to scare me anymore.
Then I watched Netflix’s new horror series, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and everything changed.
Loosely based on the gothic horror novel by critically acclaimed author, Shirley Jackson, this series is unlike anything I've seen before.
Jumping between the past and the present, the complex storyline slowly deepens through a series of flashbacks that expose the frightful figures and sinister forces that came out of hiding when the Crain family moved into the haunted mansion in which they resided.
While you might see the first few frights coming, it's impossible to predict what sort of impact these ghosts had on the five young children who lived there at the time until you see who they have become almost two decades on.
As you are brought back and forth through each hour-long episode, the Bent-Neck Lady and the tall floating ghoul stay with you long after the show ends. And in an era of cheap scares, that’s something to hold onto.
While some critics have had an issue with the slow pace of the series, I believe that’s what makes it so brilliant. Mike Flanagan, the series director, cleverly gives each character time to breathe and although some scenes drag on longer than expected, the sudden and shocking twists and turns prove that you are always two steps behind. Trust me when I say this is a show you cannot predict, so don't even bother attempting to.
Every moment counts. Don’t lose sight of that and certainly don't take your eyes off the screen.
For me, 'The Haunting of Hill House' was a series I thought deeply about long after I shut my laptop. My thoughts could barely move an inch without thinking of what I had just witnessed, and what lay ahead.
The suspense is breathtaking. The series is as clever as it is horrifying. And some nights I was so disturbed, I couldn't fall asleep without the light on.
I can promise you that you'll be on the edge of your seat the entire time.