Netflix and Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House was one of the streaming giant’s biggest breakout hits of 2018, capturing the imagination of horror fans and critics alike, with the show garnering rave reviews for incredible production design, top-quality performances from the ensemble cast and some precision filmmaking, with sixth episode “Two Storms” in particular singled out as one of the best standalone episodes of television in recent memory.
Despite wrapping the story of the Crain family up by the end of the tenth episode, Hill House proved to be so popular that a new batch of episodes was soon commissioned, retro-fitting the horror show as an anthology series. Set to adapt several of novelist Henry James’ works, period-set The Haunting of Bly Manor is currently shooting and is expected to hit Netflix by the end of the year.
The sophomore season will bring back many Hill House alumni, too, with Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen set to play the lead roles alongside Flanagan’s wife and frequent collaborator Kate Siegel and his lucky charm Henry Thomas, who’s appeared in the director’s last three theatrical releases.
In a recent interview to promote his villainous turn in The Invisible Man, Jackson-Cohen was asked about the status of The Haunting of Bly Manor and believes that the show’s upcoming return will live up to the lofty expectations that now surround it.
“The hard thing is, is The Haunting of Hill House was, this makes me sound arrogant, such a brilliant show. I really loved it. It was such an incredible story, what Mike had done. And so the hard thing was, how’s he going to kind of make a second one and it be equally as brilliant? And he has, which is just phenomenal. We finished shooting, I left The Invisible Man to go and start on Bly Manor, and it’s quite the story. He’s so clever, Mike Flanagan.”
Flanagan has proven himself to be one of the horror genre’s premiere talents in recent years, and the level of detail that went into crafting Hill House was often remarkable, with re-watches of the series offering plenty of background moments that fans didn’t catch the first time around. Given how popular the show turned out to be, the pressure is now on the cast and crew of The Haunting of Bly Manor to deliver a second season that lives up to the hype that comes with following up something that managed to capture the public’s imagination in such a huge way.