Brandon’s review published on Letterboxd:
I had heard a lot about this series upon its premier last October, but just never got around to watching it for one reason or another. I tried my hardest to keep all the spoilers away, so that when I got around to watching this I would be appropriately surprised. And luckily enough I did.
This was just so addictive and so well done. The minor details that were put in, the intricacies of the plot, the way everything connects, it’s just so smartly written and directed that it’s kind of shocking. Usually, for this horror shows, it kind of derails itself by the end to form a proper conclusion (I’m looking at you, and season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY), but this seemed so fully aware of the story it was telling, that every second of every episode felt necessary.
The ensemble is so good. Both the adult actors and the child actors are perfectly cast and so experienced that it helps sell the story, and keep you invested. Carla Gugino is superbly cast as the matriarch of the Crain family, she never gives anything away, and just allows her presence to speak for itself. Victoria Pedretti is hauntingly beautiful, and your heart aches for her. Both Elizabeth Reaser and Kate Siegel give solid and grounded performances, but I do feel like their characters could have been explored slightly more. The boys (Michiel Huisman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen) are the least interesting imo, but they are solid actors that do solid work in holding the story together. I enjoyed Timothy Hutton in this as well, but he suffers from underdevelopment of his older self.
The eerie beauty of the Hill House is a character of its own. And such an important one at that, and it’s so rich with depth and character. And the details of its look and its feel is so hauntingly scary, but also absolutely intriguing.
This was just an absolute pleasure to watch. I had no intention to binge watch all ten episodes in two days, but once we started this we could not stop. Episode Five (“The Bent-Neck Lady”) and Six (“Two Storms”) are probably some of the best episodes of a horror series ever written/directed/produced. I am anxiously waiting the next series from Mike Flanagan, and I just hope it’s even a percentage as good as THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE.