‘The Haunting Of Bly Manor': All We Know So Far About The Sequel That May Beat The Original Series
Even though we know we’ll most likely have nightmares for days after, everyone seems to love a good horror movie. Maybe it’s the intrigue of the paranormal, the fear of the unknown, or the suspense that sparks a rush of adrenaline within us, but we just can’t seem to stay away from them. Last October, Netflix (once again) blessed us with ‘The Haunting of Hill House.’ With a seemingly satisfying finale of the series, we’re thrilled to find out that it’ll be coming back for a second season.
THE FIRST SEASON THAT BECAME A HIT
'The Haunting of Hill House' isn’t your typical horror television series. The show is based on a Shirley Jackson 1959 novel of the same name. The 10-episode series follows the story of the Crain family as they move into their new home. The family consists of parents Hugh and Olivia, along with their five children Steve, Shirley, Theodora, and twins Nel and Luke. Their ultimate goal was to restore and renovate the run-down property, and then sell it for a huge profit.
However, things start to go south - and fast. The family was forced to reunite by a tragedy and had to physically (and psychologically) confront the ghosts from their pasts. Needless to say, the events that begin to unfold throughout the series are dark and spine-shivering.
Although based on Jackson’s novel, the actual story within the book compared to the big screen adaptation was very different. The family aspect and certain themes were changed. The idea of all the characters being siblings, plus the concept of the story taking place within both the past and future, were two major themes that were originally created for the series.
The show landed on Netflix just before Halloween (excellent timing), providing viewers with the perfect, horror binge-watching material for the holiday. And, it ended up being a smash hit. The reason behind the show’s success is because, as we mentioned at the beginning, it’s different from your regular scary movie.
We’ve already become accustomed to the typical jump-scares, gory scenes, and a seemingly meaningless plot within the horror universe. On the contrary, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ provided its viewers with an intricate storyline, psychological twists, grief, and of course - infamous (and honestly terrifying) jump-scares.
The show received positive reviews from critics as well, with a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and made many people’s best shows of 2018 lists. Due to its success, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the show has been renewed for a second season. But this time, things will be a little different. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creator Mike Flanagan talked about show’s future:
"The story of the Crain family is told ... I love the idea of an anthology as well. But to me, I felt like the Crain's have been through enough ... We toyed with a cliffhanger ending and we toyed with other ideas, but ultimately, in the writers' room and with the cast and everything else, we really felt like the story demanded a certain kind of closure from us and we were happy to close the book on that family."
THE SECOND SEASON'S PLOT
Let’s look at some of the changes taking place. Firstly, there’s a different title; rather than ‘The Haunting of Hill House, the second season was named ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor.’ Based on this fact, we can safely assume the location is going to be different. And now we know for a fact that the plot will be based on a different family, too, because the Crain family story’s been officially wrapped up.
Secondly, it’s not going to be based on the same novel anymore. This time, the show will be an adaptation of Henry James' 1898 horror novella ‘The Turn of the Screw.’ The movie was actually already adapted to the big screen back in 1961 into a movie called 'The Innocents,' which was directed by Jack Clayton.
The book is based on a young woman who was hired to be a governess to two orphaned children; these children live in a mansion called Bly, hence the name of the new title. As soon as the governess arrived at the house, she sensed that something was wrong - she felt that there was an evil presence amongst them. Soon after her realization, she starts seeing two ghostly figures roaming the grounds and seem to be following and targeting the two orphaned children. We didn't even know it was possible, but the plot for the second season so far sounds even more horrifying - and we're loving it.
Flanagan also stated that the first season sets up the second one - which means we might get some glimpses and links back to the Crain family. In fact, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who plays Luke in ‘The Haunting of Hill Manor’, revealed that the first season’s finale has a handful of easter eggs that can only be discovered by the most attentive viewers. He went on to explain,
"Very, very slight; they're not so obvious. Again, it's [writer] Mike [Flanagan] being a genius. There's something in the background somewhere. It probably feels like it closed a book, but if you look closer it's very much not closed."
ANNOUNCEMENT AND RELEASE DATE
Netflix made the announcement of season two by releasing a cryptic teaser, with voices whispering a passage from the mentioned Henry James’ ghost novel. The specific release date hasn’t been announced yet, but we do know that 'The Haunting of Bly Manor' will come out sometime in 2020.
Since season one was released in October 2018, we can assume that they might plan for another October release date, emphasizing on the Halloween season. And, according to E! News, it sounds like there’s going to be more in store for us over the next couple of years; the show’s executive producers, Mike Flanagan, and Trevor Macy signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.
Unfortunately, until then all we can do is wait - and possibly rewatch the first season to find those easter eggs before the season two release. What was your impression of the show? Are you just as excited for the story to be continued? Let us know in the comments! Stay tuned for more updates.