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Seeing as how I've been nothing but sick the last four days, I took it upon myself to finish The Haunting of Hill House and frankly... it was rather disappointing. Again, spoilers ahead.
Although about paranormal ghosts, the show also tackles addiction, suicide, and other topics that plague our society, which I applaud. "The Eulogy" episode reminded me of the two funerals I attended last month and struck a bit of a nerve with me... up until Luke was almost pulled into the grave by his dead mother. After that, there were a few twists and turns that both shocked and puzzled me.
What shocked me the most was the revelation Hugh gave to Steven; that the Crain children never had a treehouse. In fact, that was what the Red Room had projected itself to be to Luke, as well as a dance studio for Theo, a game room for Steven, and a playroom for Nell. That was something I hadn't seen coming, which fit perfectly in the season finale.
Admittedly I was wrong about Mrs. Dudley's character. She wasn't evil as I had predicted. In fact, I identified with her when she told Olivia that she should trust her instincts when it came to the well being of her children because the world is "hungry and cruel." After losing her first daughter, she believed the only way to raise her second was to keep her locked away. Of course, that point proved to be moot after Olivia poisoned her.
I was, however, thrown off by the character/element of Poppy driving Olivia into insanity by convincing her that Hugh was planning to take her children into the darkness. A lot of what she said wasn't making sense to me because Mrs. Dudley only shed a tiny bit of light on her backstory; sent away to an asylum and met the love of her life there. Also when the ghost of Mrs. Hill mentioned that "she lies," I was hoping there would be more of an explanation as to Poppy's motives, not just her being dead and insane.
An element that was really starting to annoy me was that the last few episodes were turning more and more to monologues for certain characters like Olivia, Nell, and Poppy. It was all about them trying to sway another character to see where their thought process was coming from, but I think it backfired a bit for Nell considering she was dead and her sibling weren't. Monologues, I believe, are good for opening a series, but used too many times from different points of view and they lose the intended affect the writers wanted them to have on people.
There's more I could discuss, but really I just want to get to the main thing that bothered me with finishing the season.
In the remaining ten minutes of the season finale, the show was given an ending that belonged more on an episode of This Is Us rather than a horror series. (If you listen to the music, you'll hear it.) After everything the house did to the Crains, there really wasn't much of a fight to annihilate it, much less find its source of power. Shirley admits to her husband that she had an affair, Luke reaches two years of sobriety, and Steven leaves Hill House as twenty pairs of ghost eyes watch him.
I'm no expert on script writing, but usually shows like these tend to end on a cliffhanger so that it leaves its audience practically demanding a second season. This show didn't do that. I'll admit, perhaps they wanted to focus more on the impact the house had on the Crains in their adult years than on the actual horror of it... but then why call it a horror series?
Personally I feel like the show would've been better if they alluded to the house's paranormal existence for other seasons to come and the first season focus primarily on the Crains as adults dealing with the death of their sister. Much like my attitude about The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I won't be tuning in for the second season.
(Also I realize now that it's spelled Crain and not Crane. Apologies.)