Although the new Netflix limited series The Haunting of Hill House is based on a classic horror novel by Shirley Jackson, the show itself may share some similarities with another, more recent genre milestone.
Horror auteur Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil) is the filmmaker behind this latest adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. But he has essentially jettisoned nearly all of Jackson's original story — about four strangers who come together to investigate the title edifice and its sinister history — in favor of a tale in which growing up at Hill House has lasting effects on the five siblings who lived there with their parents.
A new clip posted by EW.com delves further into the story, the characters and the show's two timelines:
The series portrays the Crain kids as both children and adults, using two different sets of actors for each, and in that sense it bears a bit more of a resemblance to Stephen King's 1986 novel It than Jackson's 1959 book.
Both the original 1990 miniseries and the two theatrical films (the second of which is coming next September) based on It portray the story's main characters as children and grown-ups, employing different actors for each era.
In It, the title monster awakens every 27 years from its slumber underneath the town of Derry, Maine. The characters are around 11 years old when they first face the creature, and all in their late thirties when most of them return home.
Since the kids in The Haunting of Hill House are siblings, they're not all the same age, but they all reconvene 25 years after their first experience with the mansion to confront whatever lurks there and has plagued them ever since.
The Crain children are played in their younger years by Paxton Singleton, Lulu Wilson, McKenna Grace, Julian Hilliard and Violet McGraw, while the adult versions are embodied by Michael Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti. Their parents are portrayed by Henry Thomas and Carla Gugino, while Timothy Hutton takes over as the older Mr. Crain.
Despite the vast changes from the source material, reviews for The Haunting of Hill House are largely positive so far. RogerEbert.com said it "contains some of the most unforgettable horror imagery in film or television in years," while Nerdist called it "a special treat for horror fans." TV Guide noted that it took massive liberties with the original text, yet nevertheless calls it "a completely original, but equally brilliant tale."
All 10 episodes of The Haunting of Hill House will be available on Netflix this Friday (Oct. 12).