The Haunting Of Hill House Season 2: Everything We Know So Far
For many, The Haunting of Hill House was one of 2018's best new shows. The horror drama was an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's classic 1959 novel and across ten hours, delivered a story that was scary, dramatic, and moving in equal measure. It was written and directed by Mike Flanagan, who previous helmed the Stephen King adaptation Gerard’s Game for the streaming giant, and featured a fantastic ensemble cast that included Timothy Hutton, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, and Kate Siegel.
As well as serious scares, dazzling direction, and powerful acting, the show also had a definite ending. The story of the Crane family and their experiences with the haunted house of the title spanned more than 20 years and reached a powerful conclusion, closing the story in a highly satisfying way. As Flanagan said: "I think we tied up all of those threads exactly how they should be."
But while the story of Hill House is over, there are plenty more haunted houses out there. In February, Netflix confirmed that a second season--titled The Haunting of Bly Manor--will be released in 2020. This will be an entirely separate story that takes inspiration from another literary classic--Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. While specific details are, unsurprisingly, unknown, we do know a few things about this new show. So here's everything we know so far about The Haunting of Bly Manor...
What's Bly Manor?
Henry James's The Turn of the Screw was first published in 1898. It tells the story of a woman who is hired to look after two children in a country estate, where she starts seeing ghostly figures. In James's novella the house is simply called Bly, as opposed to Bly Manor--and don't expect that to be the only change. The book is less than 100 pages, and if the show is set to be a similar length to Hill House, a lot of new material will need to be added. The Turn of the Screw has been adapted several times before, most notably as the classic 1960 movie The Innocents, and a new film version is also due for release in January 2020. Titled The Turning, it stars Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), and is produced by Steven Spielberg.
Flanagan is back
Mike Flanagan has confirmed that he will return for The Haunting of Bly Manor. Over the past few years, he has emerged as one the best filmmakers working in horror; as well as Gerard's Game, he directed such movies as Hush, Oculus, and Ouija 2, all of which demonstrated his skill at combining scares with strong characters and genuine emotion. And fans won't have to wait until Bly Manor for his next project--his movie adaptation of Stephen King's Shining sequel Doctor Sleep is due for release in 2019.
What happens in the teaser?
Netflix released a short teaser to announce Bly Manor. There's no footage in there, but we do get lots of spooky, atmospheric sounds and a voice whispering a scary passage from James's novel: "The terrace and the whole place, the lawn and the garden beyond it, all I could see of the park, were empty with a great emptiness."
One of the most discussed aspects of Hill House were the hidden ghosts. Flanagan and his vfx team placed spooky spectres in background of many of the scenes set in the house--some were fairly obvious, some required serious freeze-framing, but all had fans scouring every episode to spot these mysterious apparitions. Even though the location and characters are changing for the second season, Flanagan has confirmed that the hidden ghosts will be back. "We are already discussing how to up our hidden ghost game," he tweeted.
Who's getting haunted this time?
The cast has started to take shape in recent months, and so far, three of the cast members of Hill House have been added to the upcoming season. Henry Thomas, Victoria Pedretti, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played young Hugh Crane, older Nell, and older Luke in the first season respectively, will all appear in Bly Manor in new roles. Flanagan has confirmed that Pedretti and Jackson-Cohen will be the show's leads, with Pedretti playing a Governess named Dany, who is taking care of two children in the spooky house of the title. The only thing you won't see is cameos from actual characters from Hill House. "I don't really see a need to revisit those characters, even in cameos," Flanagan previously stated. "I want to remember them the way we left them, and leave them to their lives."
Let's get scary
In an interview with BirthDeathMovies, Flanagan explained that the new season will use James' novel as a "jumping off point," so expect plenty of new material to be added to the story. Flanagan has also promised that it will be "much scarier" than Hill House. "For Henry James fans, it's going to be pretty wild, and for people who aren't familiar with his work, it's going to be unbelievably scary," he said.
When Can We Watch It?
So far, the only date that Netflix had given us is 2020. But given the scary subject matter, a release near Halloween seems likely, especially as Hill House also debuted in October.
Will there be a third season?
If Bly Manor is as popular and acclaimed as Hill House, a third season is very possible. There are plenty of other great horror novels featuring haunted houses that could be tackled, such as Hell House (by I Am Legend's Richard Matheson), Slade House (by Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell), and Michael McDowell's terrifying The Elementals. And after years of terrible sequels and rip-offs, that perennial favorite The Amityville Horror could definitely use a new version from some talented filmmakers.