Category Archives: Reviews
It stands to reason that the Haunting of Hill House story has had an influence on me from a young age. I found stories about hauntings, houses, and the supernatural to be endless sources of inspiration even in my teens. When I was in college and out on my own for the first time, movies like 1999’s The Haunting were popular. At least they were among the fans of horror and supernatural films. It was based on a novel written by Shirley Jackson in 1959. It featured an amazing house full of odd rooms, secret passages, and, of course, ghosts. My eccentric little self pined for that house and still does in a way.
It also boasted a well-known blockbuster director in Jan de Bont and a cast that included Liam Neisen and Catherine Zeta-Jones. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely say, watch it for nostalgia sake. It was pretty well done for the time.
Yet recently, it got a massive makeover and has been the talk of horror movie communities all over the internet. Netflix seems to have spared no expense in the creation of the new series The Haunting of Hill House. And I recently sat down to watch it.
I have to say, this is, in my humble opinion, one of the most well-done remakes in the genre. Once I sat down and watched the first episode, I was hooked. I ended up bingeing and watching the entire available series in one sitting. And I am hoping they continue the storyline for more.
Now, die-hard fans of the original films will point out some blatant deviations from the original storyline. However, I think that the writers did an amazing job of changing just enough of the story to enhance its creep factor, bring it to a modern audience, and still manage to make it feel original. (Which, incidentally, is a bit of a pet peeve of mine with the film industry in the USA, to begin with. More on that in another post.) They took, what some are calling a classic, and altered it enough to really tackle modern issues like drug addiction, mental illness, and child abuse. And I applaud the creators for not shying away from more supernatural and psychic elements as well. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised to see how different the story of Hill House unfolded with the family who came to live there. It is a deep story that will, I’m sure, resonate with many people.
The visuals elements were immersive and full of subtle nuance. It is one of those series that you could watch several times and still see new things and draw a new conclusion each time you see it. I’m sure I’ll be watching it again myself in the near future. The darkness of the series isn’t found in the jump-scare tactics that most horror filmmakers rely on. Instead, it is in sadness, personal tragedy, pain, and loss where this series manages to pull at your nerves and set you on edge. Those tactics are well-placed and present for those classic horror film aficionados but, I honestly believe that even without those, this story has enough of a horror element to it that it fits the bill.
I admit to being skeptical about this at first. After all, why mess with something that was good, to begin with. But, I am glad to see that horror and suspense are taking a new direction. I hope that we see new voices, new stories, and a continuation of this style of filmmaking.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend a Netflix weekend when you can watch the whole thing. Once you start, it will keep you riveted to the very end.
I want to post more reviews about books, movies, and tv series that line up with what I write. So you can see more of these posts in the months to come. Have a suggestion for a series, movie, or book? Why not drop it in the comments for me? Or just tell me what you thought of either the 1999 version of the Hill House story or this new adaptation! I’d love to hear what you thought as well.
My post about the Kickstarter fiasco last night. You know, the one where the douchebag was trying to produce a how-to guide on “getting women” that was more a guide on how to on sexual assault. The petition was met with some resistance initially. In fact, it seemed that Kickstarter was just ignoring the 60,000+ people who were against the funding of this project. However, as a signer of the petition I got an email from dosomething.org last night stating that “We Won”.
Kickstarter issued a formal statement of apology. You can view it here: Kickstater Apology . They donated $25,000.00 to RAINN, which is commendable considering that they gave Mr. Hoinsky the $16,000.00 + that was donated to his project. Apparently Mr. Hoinsky has agreed to meet with petition organizers though, what good that will do, I’m not entirely sure. I find it difficult to think that such a person can turn this into a positive project if he continues to produce what his examples exhibited.
I did a great deal of thinking and talking about this issue. My fiance and I actually discussed the whole situation at length and I realized a few things.
Yes, I was angry with Kickstarter for even allowing such a project to go onto the site and be presented to the public. I mean this, for me, is not considered a creative project. The project was not presented as satirical. Frankly, even if it had been presented as a comedic piece, I still would have found it offensive and in bad taste. However, if it had been presented as such, I could have justified it’s inclusion as a creative work. But the bottom line is that the examples submitted were nothing short of promoting sexual violence. I understand the reasons that Kickstarter hesitated and then funded the project. As a creator, if my project had funded, I would have expected to receive the funds as well. They wanted to fulfill their end of the bargain. Fact is, the process is so automated that by the time they acted, it was too late to stop the transfer of funds.
I get it. Really, I do. It still seems like too little too late.
There was no reason, given the severity of the allegations against this project, that it could not be suspended pending an investigation into the project and its compliance with the terms of service. As a creator, yes, it would have been an inconvenience to not receive the funds immediately. The fact is, if my project was on the level I know I would have received my funds once their inquiries were concluded. The fact that Kickstarter failed to act at all is my complaint.
After all the discussion – especially with Charles – I realized that while I was upset with Kickstarter, I was more upset with the fact that there were people out there willing to promote and support such an endeavor at all.
We’re living in the year 2013. I had hoped that, by and large, we had evolved beyond thinking that one sex or the other is there to be objectified. That we would somehow find a way to get past the nonsense that says women are there simply to fulfill some sort of physical need. That we can find a way to respect one another and live with a certain amount of respect for our fellow human beings.
Then, I remembered that every time you turn on the television, watch the news, or read online or in print you see story after story about people being abducted, raped, beaten, murdered, and tortured. If it isn’t here in the USA, its somewhere else. That, is what is really disheartening for me. That we can’t just live and let live. We can’t seem to get past our propensity to hurt one another. That there are handbooks on how to do these things and then, there are people out there, like Mr. Hoinsky, who are more than happy to put the ideas in people’s heads to do nothing more than harm others.
Yes, it is just sad to me that we can’t seem to get beyond it all.
Since this blog is supposed to be a little bit of a window into my world for all you readers. I’ve decided to do a little thing I’ve seen here and there on the internet but, of course, I’ll put my own twist on it.
Without further ado, I give you The Currents List
Currently Listening To: My mom skype chatting with my nieces in Kentucky. Love hearing a kid giggle.
Currently Watching: Nada. The TV is off but, my fiance got a hold of Season Two of Once Upon A Time. I’m really excited to watch it this weekend with him.
Currently Eating: Will be having something sweet in a bit but nothing at the moment. It’s my momma’s birthday so, I think there is a brownie or cake sort of thing in there.
Currently Drinking: Iced tea. Yep, I had two bottles of Coke earlier. I really need to ween myself off of those. I am taking a water bottle with me tomorrow. Hoping that helps.
Currently Wearing: A tank top and shorts. I’m already in pajamas as I’m writing this to post the next morning. I have to leave early to get to a different clinic so I’m not going to stay up as late as usual.
Currently Working On: Marketing copy, Continuity Edits on the Work In Progress.
Currently Looking Forward To: Time with my hubby-to-be and the kiddo this weekend. Working so many days keeps me away from them during the week right now but, that will all be changing soon. And they know I love them.
Currently Reading: I actually just finished an inspired Young Adult book by and author named Ransom Riggs. It is called Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
I was inspired by this book’s inventive story and delivery actually. I was captivated by the excerpt that came across my desk back in 2011. I immediately wanted to have it in my personal library but I wasn’t able to acquire it for a number of unimportant reasons. Then I happened upon it in a store a couple months ago and was so excited over it that my fiance bought it for me. Now that I’ve finished reading it, he’s starting to read it. I have a feeling that it will go through a number of hands before it finds a place in my fledgling library when we move.
Riggs has an easy to read style that seamlessly blends description and dialogue. The concept of basing the story around these peculiar vintage photographs was positively inventive, in my opinion. The quirkiness of the story and the striking impression of the characters he created for those photos is both intriguing and endearing. I was left wanting more as the book ended and was delighted when my fiance looked online and found that there is indeed a sequel in production now. I will definitely be looking for it on bookshelves and will purchase the hardback copy for my collection. It is a story that I hope to share with my kids one day.
This is the trailer for the book:
And you can purchase it on Amazon.com here
I don’t know what I will read next. However, I’m actually going to have to take something with me to the clinic tomorrow. From what I’m told it is fairly slow there and that most people who fill in take something to read. Who knows, maybe I’ll get some drafting done while I’m there. Reading is good too though. Just need to find a new book. I think I have s Stephen King book that I haven’t read yet in the back room. Perhaps I will take that.