The Haunting of Hill House was one of Netflix’s biggest breakout hits of last year, with the horror series winning huge acclaim from both audiences and critics. It wasn’t just the scares that saw the show become so popular though, as it was also an expertly-crafted piece of small-screen filmmaking that featured incredible performances from the ensemble cast as well as some inspired direction, particularly in the sixth episode, “Two Storms.”
Hill House may have come to a definitive conclusion at the end of the first season, but fans and Netflix executives were desperate for the show to continue. In an astute creative decision, creator Mike Flanagan opted to turn the concept into an anthology series, with follow-up The Haunting of Bly Manor bringing back many of the cast members for a period piece based on Henry James’ 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw.
This will instantly give Bly Manor an entirely different aesthetic and atmosphere from its predecessor, and in a recent interview to promote his latest directorial effort Doctor Sleep, Flanagan also promised that the upcoming batch of episodes will be much scarier than Hill House.
“It’s scarier. It’s a lot more frightening, just on a visceral level.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor won’t just be limited to adapting The Turn of the Screw though, with the series set to incorporate elements from many of James’ supernatural stories, which gives Flanagan much more material to work with in an effort to surpass the success of Hill House.
“Turn of the Screw is kind of the backbone of the season. But that’s been adapted so many times. So, we’re able to open up his entire library of ghost stories, stuff that’s never been adapted, and build the whole season out with the entirety of Henry James’ supernatural library. And that has been a real treat, because we really get to do things that I’ve never gotten to see before. Turn of the Screw is really just our way in.”
Anticipation for the second season is already high, but with the showrunner having proven his credentials in the horror genre in both film and television thanks to the likes of Oculus, Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep and The Haunting of Hill House, there’s every chance that he’ll knock it out of the park once again.