Fans that were expecting a carbon copy of the first season may find themselves a little disappointed with The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is more of a Gothic romance than the relatively straightforward horror of predecessor Hill House, but the second season of Mike Flanagan’s anthology series is every bit as ambitious, complex and ultimately rewarding as the original.
The show has already been dominating Netflix’s Top 10 most-watched list and scaring audiences senseless, with many finding themselves unable to sleep after finishing the nine-episode run. Indeed, refitting the concept into an anthology was a genius idea, one that instantly increased the longevity of The Haunting and also gives Flanagan the creative freedom to take subsequent seasons in infinite possible directions.
The horror auteur is already hard at work on his next Netflix project Midnight Mass, which gathers together many of his regular collaborators to tell the story of an isolated island community that have their world turned upside down by the arrival of a mysterious priest, but in a recent interview, the Doctor Sleep director hinted that a third season of The Haunting is very much a possibility.
“A ghost is an impact from the past on the present in every ghost story. That’s all it really is, no matter how you dress it up. A ghost is simply an element of the past that refuses to live in the past and instead just encroaches upon the present that it alters the present. It changes the trajectory of the person who’s experiencing that little piece of the past. That link between memory and ghosts and between ghosts and the past, that is the lifeblood of the show. I feel like there’s no shortage of ghosts in the world for all of us. So, if we could find some common language with which to talk about them, then that’s something we always aspire to do this season or beyond, if that’s the way it goes.”
Flanagan is without a doubt one of the horror genre’s top talents, and Midnight Mass is already shaping up to be a solid companion piece to his previous output, but based on the success that both installments have enjoyed so far, it would be fair to say that The Haunting remains his Netflix calling card. And after Hill House and Bly Manor enjoyed critical acclaim and racked up huge viewing numbers, subscribers will be desperate to see what he comes up with for the third run of episodes, whenever they happen.