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The Haunting of Hill House

Fans absolutely lost their damn minds while watching Netflix' horror-drama The Haunting of Hill House, so it's no surprise that it was renewed for season two.

The first season was based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel, but the next series will feature an all-new cast and story.

Titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, creator Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy will base the next chapter on Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, a classic horror novella centring on a governess and two sibling children.

The first season of the show boasted a massively talented cast of Henry Thomas, Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, as well as an emotionally-charged story.

Set in a dilapidated mansion saturated with ghosts, the supernatural soon takes hold of the young family who live there and haunts them into adulthood, showing flashbacks and terrifying scenes.

The show achieve its whopping 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the audience gripped entirely by the family drama paired with horror, a relatively new idea.

Stephen King, the most famous horror author on the planet, even sang the work's praise on Twitter;

The Haunting of Hill House, revised and remodelled by Mike Flanagan… I don’t usually care for this kind of revisionism, but this is great. Close to a work of genius, really."

“I think Shirley Jackson would approve, but who knows for sure," he wrote, giving the compliment of a lifetime to Mike Flanagan.

Vice president of original content at Netflix, Cindy Holland, commented on season two's announcement:

“Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy are masterful at creating authentically frightening stories that leave audiences on the edge of their seats, but unable to look away.”

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with them on The Haunting series and future projects to come.”

Netflix has embarked on a multi-year deal with Flanagan and Macy,Variety reports, which will see both men produce new TV projects for the streaming giant exclusively .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The series followed five siblings who grew up in the most famous haunted house in America, and we honestly could NOT stop screaming as they tried to escape their past and literal/figurative ghosts.

No release date for The Haunting of Bly Manor has been announced yet, but we already know we won't be able to sleep at night…

It's expected to land in our Netflix accounts sometime in 2020. The whispering voice in the teaser mentions the garden beyond… and the “great emptiness”. We're sh*tting ourselves.

Feature image: @netflix/Instagram

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We all know that friend who has a SERIOUS case of Netflix addiction, and if you don't know which member of your friend group it is… then it's you.

From the Orange is the New Black days, to Black Mirror to the more recent Riverdale phenomenon, certain shows on Netflix really know how to reel us in.

There are days when we don't even get out of bed, all we do is watch shows over and over again and only pause for occasional snacking and bathroom breaks.

It's called dedication, people.

sad bbc GIF

Here are a few key items on the gift list for those Netflix addicted friends or family members, or even just for yourself.

1. Noise cancelling headphones

If your Netflix-addicted gift recipient really appreciates their streaming game, they NEED noise-cancelling headphones.

Or else how can they show how dedicated they are to their true craft? We recommend these audio-technica headphones, you won't be interrupted by anything except good-quality Netflix.

Buy: Amazon
Price: €108.33

2. Wearable blanket with sleeves…of course…

Any decent Netflix fan needs the ultimate blanket for their watching needs.

This snuggie blanket has SLEEVES, so there's no need to get tangled in your blankie and trip as you take a much-needed bathroom break or stock up on snacks.

It's practical, it's cosy, it's a gift.

Buy: New Chic
Price: €15.06

3. Reusable water bottle 

24Bottles have created the perfect reusable water bottle in their Eclipse pattern, and a Netflix addict has to stay hydrated while they're carrying out all of that bingeing.

This one is great value, environmentally friendly, sleek and lightweight. What better gift for a Stranger Things nerd than the present of H2O hydration?

Buy: Gifts for Guys
Price; €14.93

4. Huggable Alpaca Cooling & Heating Pad

Each and every one of us could make use out of this precious baby alpaca cooling and heating pad.

If we're bingeing on Netflix shows like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina or Riverdale, temperature has to be taken into account.

You may get overheated watching Archie Andrews on screen, or need some warming up after seeing the creepiest show of aLL TIME; The Haunting of Hill House.

Either way, the alpaca is bae.

Buy: Urban Outfitters
Price: €25

5. Lovato Candles

You'll be needing a top class atmosphere while you dedicate the rest of your life to streaming services.

Candles are ideal for your shrine to Netflix Christmas movies such as The Holiday, Love Actually, The Princess Switch, A Christmas Prince and The Christmas Chronicles.

Get yourself in the mood for some treat yourself time.

Buy: Lovato Candles
Price: €21.95

6. Fairy lights

Setting the mood involves creating the perfect lighting.

Fairy lights are your best buddy when it comes to getting a sense of total relaxation and cool vibes for your Netflix sessions.

Festive Lights have some unreal ones on offer, including these ORCHID ones, which we are frankly dying to buy. Dying. Dead. Deceased.

Buy: Festive Lights
Price: €4.48

7. Ice Cream… for obvious reasons.

Whether you're watching a sob story, rom-com or straight-up horror, you'll be needing some frozen yoghurt or ice cream to keep you company.

Irish brand Nobó make dairy-free frozen yoghurt that is honestly one of the best things we have EVER tasted. 10/10 would recommend for a Netflix friend.

Buy: Nobó
Price: Ranges by product

8. Luxurious fur throw blanket

Surround yourself with luxurious fur as you stretch out on the sofa and watch yet another TV programme.

You know how it is… promise yourself it will only be 'one more episode', and four seasons of Drag Race later, you're sprawled out on the ground covered in popcorn.

Have this gorgeous fur blanket with you for support, at least?

Buy: Urban Outfitters
Price: €119

9. Just Eat voucher

For Netflix nights with the gals, a night in watching movies with your significant other or just to stock up on food for yourself, Just Eat vouchers will go a long way.

You'll need all of that energy to finish Black Mirror, trust us.

Buy: Just Eat
Price; Whatever your bank balance allows

10. Stranger Things Monopoly board

We have no idea who came up with this absolutely outstanding idea but we THANK THEM.

Play the classic monetary board game with Eleven, Mike, Hopper, Lucas, Will, Joyce, Mike and Nancy and prepare to battle against the Upside Down… cash money style.

Buy: Easons
Price: €29.99

11. Rick and Morty mug

The classic animated satiric comedy has resulted in an absolutely MASSIVE fanbase, and every fanbase needs a mug. FACT.

This Rick and Morty mug is the best thing you'll see today, the alcoholic science genius is the perfect face to have on any drink holder.

Buy: Emp
Price: €14.99

12. Riverdale Southside Serpents t-shirt

Riverdale fans, your time has come.

If you want to feel fierce in your Southside Serpents gear, try this Red Bubble t-shirt to get in the gang zone and embody your inner Jughead Jones.

Buy: Red Bubble
Price: €18.36

13. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book

Read the basis behind Netflix' hit series, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

The young half-witch Sabrina Spellman must decide between an unearthly destiny or her mortal life on her sixteenth birthday.

Archie Comics' most recent horror sensation is a decent read, consider it 'research' for your Netflix binge.

Buy: Book Depository
Price: €13.94

14. 'I Do Marathons' t-shirt

Ah, the classic humorous t-shirt relating to how lazy you are. Perfect for a gift.

We're all human, and good quality humans have extreme Netflix marathons. It's just life.

If you don't do it, we can't understand you as a person.

Buy: Red Bubble
Price: €17.72

15. Gourmet popcorn maker

Why make microwave popcorn when you can create your own gourmet popcorn in this gourmet contraption from Brown Thomas?

Your Netflix loving pal will shower you with gratitude for this present, we promise.

Buy: Brown Thomas
Price: €30

There you have it, friends.

All of the gifts and goods you'll need for the perfect Netflix bingeing session this Christmas.

Enjoy waking up covered in melted chocolate and regret at losing the last 26 hours to whatever show has changed your life.

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‘No live organism can continue to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality’

From the opening line, Netflix’ new offering The Haunting of Hill House grips the audience, enrapturing viewers with its amalgamation of family drama and pure unadulterated horror. Based on the 1959 book by Shirley Jackson, Mike Flanagan adapts the series into a sharp and modern offering which has earned rave reviews from critics all round.

Flanagan writes, produces and directs the 10 part series which King of Horror Stephen King refers to as a ‘work of genius’ In past versions of the story, we were only given the haunting itself, but Flanagan’s spin grants us the aftermath which leaves just as much of a chill in your bones. The emotionally charged series avoids the blood and guts of the gothic-horror novel but it remains a visceral viewing nonetheless.

The narrative structure flicks between the past and the present over a 20 year timeline, each episode focuses on the existential, but nonetheless frightening journey of the Crain family trying to come to grips with the ghosts of their past.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It begins with five children who are tragically ripped apart and left with lifelong scars and repressed ghosts from their childhood in Hill House.They are subsequently brought together by a death, and must then realise the complicity of the house in each of their failings as adults.

In 1992, when the kids are still at the titular house, they're plagued with visions of ghosts, zombies, and supernatural beings which affect each of them in alternative ways.The intermingling of the real and possibly imagined creates an atmosphere of anxiety and fear, where the viewer cannot decide which is worse: the horrors of the mind or the darkness of reality.

Olivia and Hugh Crain (played by Carla Guigino and Timothy Hutton) move into Hill House in the hopes of ‘flipping it’- renovating it and selling it for profit. Predictably, their dream becomes a total nightmare, and the house never becomes a home. They have five children- non-identical twins Nell and Luke, Steven, Shirley and Theodora.

Within a month Hugh takes the kids and flees, leaving Olivia behind whose sanity has crumbled within the walls of the home. The children grow up, and Hugh still refuses to tell them how their mother died that fateful night.

Source: Instagram/@_haunting

Each of the children has ghosts which plague them even as time moves on. For example, Luke’s dependence on drugs leads to bitterness among his siblings, and Steven’s horror novel about the house causes anger, as the family believe he is capitalising on their grief. The children act as the narrative backbone, and there are strong performances from each cast member regardless of age.

Mike Flanagan uses genius plot devices to maintain the massive tension for an entire ten episodes, and touches heavily on the notion of trauma informing a person’s future as well as the fundamental notion that there are infinite types of ghosts in every form imaginable. Attention to detail is phenomenal, from the cinematography to the character arcs, there’s even a cameo from Shirley Jackson in the form of her infamous novel The Lottery, which Theo is seen reading in episode one. 

Flanagan uses oft-seen horror tropes and concepts such as dark corridors, old rickety mansion, locked doors (the red door will steal the breath out of your lungs), monsters under the bed among others. There are nods to Stephen King throughout, from the use of twins (The Shining) to the use of locked doors and keys. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The designs of the figures that appear are absolutely terrifying, I won’t give anything away but there’s a woman with stringy black hair, a muffled scratchy voice and a crooked neck that will haunt my imagination for life. Flanagan investigates the idea of fault, such as the tragic neglect of Nell in her all-consuming pain of the haunting, in alternating ways, as well as the concept of childhood leaving a stain on your adulthood. 

It begs the question, what does one owe to others who shared the same experiences, and what is the true limit of family. The series is intensely psychological, and explores the Freudian notion of the psyche in the form of a house.

Olivia, when designing their ‘forever home’, refers to a house as a body which “works together to keep you healthy.” This insinuates that the children’s trauma from their childhood home has seeped into every part of their present beings- mentally and physically.

Source: Instagram/@_haunting

Family loyalty is called into question, and foreshadowing is beautifully woven into the series through skilled storytelling. As the children flee the house, Steven’s father tells him to “keep your eyes closed, no matter what.” Steven later brings this into his adulthood, becoming a sceptic and never believing in the paranormal occurrences of his siblings and parents, instead blaming their unstable mental health.

Doubt and the importance of believing in the words of children prove to be of imperative value throughout. Absolutely zero comfort is given throughout, Flanagan never answers the question on whether the apparitions are real or imagined.

Contributing prodigious cinematography matched with exceptional writing, The Haunting of Hill House parallels family drama with an impressive horror story, and successfully morphs a classic into the modern world.

Source: Instagram/@_haunting

The show has already made a massive impact- on both the genre itself and those who have seen it. Talks are already in place for a possible season two.

High quality, psychologically charged horror has been steadily growing: Get Out is a landmark much needed change in horror, for example, as is the brilliantly original tour de force that is A Quiet Place.

Hill House is perfect for Halloween, but just don’t watch it alone in your house or you may have to move out.

 

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