Today Kim is bringing you a book review/Netflix TV show comparison of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson! This classic was first released 60 years ago this week!
Author: Shirley Jackson
Published: October 16, 1959
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
Ivan and I are weird horror freaks, that’s just the way we are. So when we find something scary, we run with it. Ivan’s brother suggested we watch The Haunting of Hill House tv show on Netflix so we did and it was amazing! Believe it or not, we did not consider it to be horror. There were definitely some scary elements, but it was mostly drama/mystery/thriller. I fell in love with Hill House and all the characters. Naturally, I wanted to read the book and see how it compared. Now, don’t get mad . . . Are you ready? I actually preferred the tv show over the book. I said DON’T get mad! Hear me out. Y’all know that I am not the deepest person in the world. Sometimes, in order for me to get things, you gotta spell it out pretty clearly. Shirley Jackson is definitely good at the horror element, it’s just that she is far more implied; whereas the tv show is more explicit in its horror.
I still love the book so much. Jackson managed to build up the tension so well that my shoulders kept creeping up towards my ears. I just kept waiting for the snap. My one real issue with the story is that I feel that the ending was a little anticlimactic, while I was reading it. Once I sat and considered for a while after, I liked it better. It also left a lot of questions, definitely on purpose and very well, but y’all know me, I like lots of answers and getting all the information and learning everything I possibly can.
Dang, this totally sounds like a negative review, but I promise it isn’t! I really enjoyed the book and I want to read it again later to see what I missed. The story itself was creepy and fascinating and the characters were all interesting and likable. Hill House is scary and you feel the “offness” on every page. I absolutely recommend it even to younger readers. A classic, chilling story that should satisfy most readers.
Kim’s Video Comparison: