Blu-ray Review: THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (Extended Director’s Cut)

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE is the critically acclaimed, modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson‘s legendary novel about five siblings who grew up in the most famous haunted house in America. Now adults, they’re reunited by the suicide of their youngest sister, which forces them to finally confront the ghosts of their pasts… some of which lurk in their minds… and some of which may really be lurking in the shadows of the iconic Hill House.

The series was created, directed and executive-produced by horror mastermind Mike Flanagan and stars Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti with Lulu Wilson, McKenna Grace, Paxton Singleton, Violet McGraw and Julian Hilliard. Trevor Macy serves as executive producer alongside Flanagan. Meredith Averill acts as co-showrunner and executive producer. Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank also executive produce.

The story for The Haunting of Hill House centers around the Crain family; Hugh and Olivia and their five children – Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke and Nell. They move into an old mansion to renovate it and the plan is to resale it once it’s completed but their plans quickly change due to some unforeseen circumstances. There’s unexpected repairs that are needed which turns their quick turnaround into an extended stay but that’s nothing because the family finds out that this old house is haunted and something sinister has latched into them.

What happens is, the Crain family suffers a tragic loss that leaves this once close knit family divided and the only thing that’s able to bring them back together is another unfortunate loss that happens many years later. Their story plays out through two different timelines and finally reveals what actually took place so many years earlier that left the Crain family emotionally scarred. The surviving members end up back at the haunted mansion where the past meets the present in a reunion that’s full horrors but there’s also redepemtion and forgiveness in the end.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see up at the top of the page and the back includes series details, some images, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the episode listing and synopsis for each one. The three Blu-ray discs are light blue and feature the series logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I had a blast revisiting The Haunting of Hill House and in my opinion it’s one of the best things to come along on television in a long time. This is master storytelling at its best and each atmospheric episode is full of eerie suspense that keeps the first time viewer guessing what’s next or what happened or even who did what? It’s not bad after a second and third viewing either! The cast does a great job with these interesting characters and each one of them has an important part to play in this thought-provoking story. There’s two complex timelines, one in the past and one in the present, and they slowly come together to tell this yarn about this close knit family that might be as haunted as the old house they were renovating. It’s really a touching tale about this family and the tragedies they go through but in the end there’s also a small redemption quality that’s introduced that gives the series a very satisfying conclusion. There’s also some amazing special effects (practical and visual) that’s used in each episode. Mike Flanagan is one of the best filmmakers and storytellers we have out there today and in my opinion The Haunting of Hill House is his best work to date. That’s saying a lot because Flanagan has cranked out some fantastic work since he hit the scene back. A lot went into the making of this series and I think it’s a modern day classic. This set features all 10 episodes from the acclaimed first season, including, for the first time, three Extended Director’s Cut episodes with never-before-seen content. The Haunting of Hill House will be available on a 3-Disc Blu-ray Set on October 15th, just in time for Halloween.

Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

Run Time: 3 Discs / 10 Episodes / 569 Minutes + 212 Extended Minutes

  • EP 101: Steven Sees a Ghost
  1. Steven Sees a Ghost Extended Director’s Cut
  2. Steven Sees a Ghost Extended Director’s Cut Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan
  • EP 102: Open Casket
  • EP 103: Touch
  • EP 104: The Twin Thing
  • EP 105: The Bent-Neck Lady
  1. The Bent-Neck Lady Extended Director’s Cut
  2. The Bent-Neck Lady Extended Director’s Cut Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan
  • EP 106: Two Storms
  1. Two Storms Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan
  • EP 107: Eulogy
  • EP 108: Witness Marks
  • EP 109: Screaming Meemies
  • EP 110: Silence Lay Steadily
  1. Silence Lay Steadily Extended Director’s Cut
  2. Silence Lay Steadily Extended Director’s Cut Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles: English and English SDH

Special Features: The extras include exclusive commentary by creator and director Mike Flanagan on four episodes. See episode listing up top.

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