Net­flix and Hulu are re­leas­ing a new hor­ror themed se­ries ahead of Hal­loween.

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - CHRISTO­PHER LAWRENCE SHOW & TELE­VI­SION Con­tact Christo­pher Lawrence at clawrence@re­viewjour­nal.com or 702-380-4567. Fol­low @life_ on­the­couch on Twit­ter.

IN plenty of time for Hal­loween, stream­ing gi­ants Net­flix and Hulu are re­leas­ing new hor­rorthemed se­ries Fri­day — you know, for those view­ers who aren’t ter­ri­fied enough sim­ply by watch­ing the news.

Net­flix’s “The Haunt­ing of Hill House,” in­spired by the Shirley Jack­son novel, fully cap­tures the spirit (pun in­tended) of the sea­son.

In a shift from the book, the se­ries fo­cuses on the Crain fam­ily, led by Hugh (Henry Thomas) and Liv (Carla Gug­ino), who had the mis­for­tune of mov­ing into the tit­u­lar creaky, hun­dred-year-old man­sion as part of their next flip­ping project.

Daugh­ter Nell can’t sleep be­cause she in­sists she’s be­ing men­aced at night by the Bent-Neck Lady. Her twin brother, Luke, can’t sleep be­cause he shares a bed­room with Nell, and she shrieks. A lot.

The Crains’ time in Hill House is seen via flash­backs as a way of il­lus­trat­ing the trau­mas that have plagued the chil­dren well into adult­hood and led to the fam­ily’s splin­ter­ing. Old­est brother Steven (Michiel Huis­man, “Game of Thrones”) has mined some of those tabloid-wor­thy ter­rors for his writ­ing ca­reer, which was go­ing nowhere un­til he penned “The Haunt­ing of Hill House,” his ac­count of grow­ing up in the most fa­mous haunted house in Amer­ica. Sis­ters Shirley (El­iz­a­beth Reaser) and Theodora (Kate Siegel) re­mained close to the af­ter­life by liv­ing at a fu­neral par­lor, while the twins have lin­gered near death thanks to a com­bi­na­tion of the hor­rors they wit­nessed and some poor life choices.

Writ­ten and di­rected by Mike Flana­gan (“Ouija: Ori­gin of Evil,” Net­flix’s “Ger­ald’s Game”), “The Haunt­ing of Hill House” prac­ti­cally oozes with gothic hor­ror. Dread, fore­bod­ing and gen­eral creepi­ness lurk around ev­ery cor­ner in ways sel­dom seen on tele­vi­sion — at least not since Schmidt from “New Girl” got sucked into that bed dur­ing “Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story: Ho­tel.” Even Hill House’s door knobs, which look as though they were ac­quired from the Ebenezer Scrooge es­tate sale, are eerie.

I don’t han­dle hor­ror well, but just watch­ing the first episode late at night in a dark room on my lap­top left me want­ing more.

Hulu’s “Light as a Feather,” mean­while, fo­cuses on four pop­u­lar high school girls cel­e­brat­ing their an­nual rit­ual of get­ting drunk in a ceme­tery be­fore a Hal­loween party.

Af­ter one of them ac­ci­den­tally “Car­ries” the new girl (Ha­ley Ramm) — cov­er­ing her in a red, blood­like goo as part of a locker prank gone bad — they in­vite her to join in their tra­di­tion.

She sug­gests they play the chil­dren’s game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, with the twist that she’ll start the game off by telling each of the peo­ple be­ing “lifted” how they’ll die in grue­somely spe­cific de­tail. Then the girls start dy­ing ex­actly as she pre­dicted.

And peo­ple won­der why no­body ever likes the new girl.

There isn’t any­thing par­tic­u­larly scary about “Light as a Feather,” which feels like some­one chopped a too-long B movie into 10 pieces and called it a TV se­ries.

If you’re look­ing for some ac­tual teen-cen­tric spook­i­ness, though, hold out for “The Chill­ing Ad­ven­tures of Sab­rina” (Oct. 26, Net­flix). De­vel­oped as a “Riverdale” spinoff, “Sab­rina” isn’t quite as bonkers as that CW se­ries, but it’s close. And it’s about as far re­moved from the Melissa Joan Hart sit­com as you can get.

Steve Di­etl Net­flix

Vi­o­let McGraw and Henry Thomas in “The Haunt­ing of Hill House,” de­but­ing Fri­day.

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