Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is a 10-hour exploration of the ways we carry our trauma. There’s an authenticity to the way Hill House tells its story of emotional wounds and mental illness, but in the final episode, Hill House creator Mike Flanagan made decisions that left many viewers less than satisfied.
Yes, Hill House skillfully illustrates the enduring trauma of loss—and manages to terrify viewers with ghosts and jump scares—but something feels off about the ending of The Haunting of Hill House. The final episode shifts the entire season tonally, and some things in Hill House simply don't make sense.
There’s certainly an argument for giving the audience and the Crains a happy ending. If you binge-watched the series, an optimistic ending was likely a welcome reprieve from the overwhelming sadness that permeated much of the show. Still, it's unfortunate such an interesting series that captured the raw intensity of depression, anxiety, and addiction didn't end on a note as powerful as the ones struck throughout the first nine episodes.