The Netflix sequel of your nightmares promises to be “pretty wild” and “MUCH scarier than season one”, plus it’s streaming on Netflix much sooner than you might think. Here’s everything you need to know about the terrifying new horror series.
The Haunting of Hill House was easily one of the most talked about TV shows of 2018… and for good reason: it was bloody terrifying. And now series creator Mike Flanagan has confirmed that the show’s second season is going to be even scarier than the first.
It’s also coming a lot sooner than you might think. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Flanagan revealed that production on the show was “going great” and that they were “about a third of the way through”. The series is set to debut on Netflix in early 2020, which means that it might be only a matter of months before we get to see the terrifying new episodes.
Keep your eyes peeled for some of your favourite characters from The Haunting of Hill House, too. Even though the second season will be focusing on a new author’s work – more on that in a second – some recognisable faces from season one will be making an appearance.
“There’s not a narrative connection, but there are little Easter eggs, for sure, not only in small details but in moments of dialogue and in some of the ideas from Hill House,” Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly. “There are definitely going to be things that will set off that little dopamine rush that those kind of connections create. But it’s not a direct connection from a story point of view.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor isn’t going to be a straight sequel. As previously reported, Flanagan and executive producer Trevor Macy are working on an anthology series, which means the next installment will focus on a completely new story and a new batch of characters.
The Haunting of Bly Manor will be based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, which tells the story of a governess hired to look after a pair of siblings. However, several ghosts around their manor house exhibit a supernatural hold over the children.
“We’re looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season, so it very much is a whole new deal,” Flanagan told Birth Movies Death.
“It’s a cool way to expand on some of the things I loved about season one, but within the framework of a new story, without having to be restrained by the decisions we made last time.”
Adding that the series will reimagine the most terrifying aspects of James’ work and present them to an entirely new audience, Flanagan said: “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.
“I already think it’s much scarier than season one, so I’m very excited about it.”
Take a peek at the new teaser trailer for yourself below (if you dare).
The trailer does not give us too many clues about the new series, which will land in our Netflix accounts sometime in early 2020. However, a whispering voice does mention the garden beyond… and the “great emptiness”.
Then there’s that strange creaking sound to decipher. It’s a little like the sound an old swing might make as you settle into a rhythm of back-and-forth into the sky.
It also, though, sounds an awful lot like the twist of a hangman’s noose. Which, y’know, is probably a hell of a lot more likely, considering what happened to Nell (Victoria Pedretti) in season one of The Haunting of Hill House.
As previously mentioned, the new series will not be a straight sequel, which means we will not be following the Crain family this time around. However, it has been hinted that there will be nods to the previous show’s characters.
Based on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, The Haunting on Hill House boasted an incredibly talented cast (think Henry Thomas, Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel and Oliver Jackson-Cohen), an emotionally-charged story, and a dilapidated mansion filled to the brim with ghosts. All of which helped the show achieve its whopping 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
And it wasn’t just critics who were fans: ordinary folk watching at home were obsessed as well, taking to Twitter in their droves to praise Flanagan’s work.
“One of the most terrifying, nail biting, hide behind the couch, don’t even breathe, I’m going to pass out from fear things I have ever watched. In. My. Life,” wrote one.
Another, in screaming capital letters, said: “WHY DID I DECIDE TO WATCH THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE AND ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT I CAN’T SLEEP NOW I DON’T NORMALLY WATCH SCARY FLICKS WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF.”
And even Stephen King – aka the greatest horror writer of all time (we’re big fans, OK?) – chimed in to say: “The Haunting of Hill House, revised and remodelled by Mike Flanagan… I don’t usually care for this kind of revisionism, but this is great. Close to a work of genius, really.
“I think Shirley Jackson would approve, but who knows for sure.”
According to Variety, the seven-episode series, titled Midnight Mass, will “follow an isolated island community which experiences miraculous events – and frightening omens – after the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest”. Which sounds… well, which sounds more than terrifying, in this writer’s humble opinion.
As previously reported, Netflix has entered into a multi-year television deal with Flanagan and Macy, which will see both produce new TV projects exclusively for the streaming giant.
“Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy are masterful at creating authentically frightening stories that leave audiences on the edge of their seats, but unable to look away,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with them on the Haunting series and future projects to come.”
Flanagan and Macy added: “Netflix has been an important part of our story, and we’re proud to have worked with them on The Haunting of Hill House…
“We look forward to much more.”
Intriguing, eh? While we know next to nothing about the new series, one thing is pretty much guaranteed: it won’t be the sort of show you should watch on your own – or before bed. Unless, of course, you’re content to spend the rest of the night shivering in terror under the duvet. Roll on 2020, already!
Feeling brave? The series is available to stream on Netflix in the UK and US now. Season two will be streaming on Netflix in early 2020.