Netflix has ordered The Haunting of Hill House season 2, which will focus on a new story and characters. A loose adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 gothic horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House season 1 told the tale of the Crain family and how their lives are forever shattered after they spend a summer fixing up the eponymous manor, Hill House. Season 1 was widely praised for the way it uses supernatural horror tropes to explore themes of addiction and emotional trauma, in addition to its acting and craftsmanship (most notably, one of the episodes was filmed as a collection of long takes edited to seamlessly flow together).
Following the show’s premiere last October, fans have been speculating about whether season 2 will come to pass and, if so, whether it will continue to follow the Crains or shift its focus to another group of people who take up residence at another haunted house. Showrunner and creator Mike Flanagan, who also directed all of season 1 and cowrote several of the episodes, even considered ending the first season on a cliffhanger early on its development, but quickly abandoned the idea. Now, Netflix has confirmed the TV series will live on as a horror anthology.
The news was reveled as part of a larger announcement that Flanagan and his longtime producer Trevor Macy has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, following the success of The Haunting of Hill House season 1. Netflix has further confirmed that Haunting of Hill House season 2 will premiere in 2020 and released a teaser that hints at the season’s title. The streaming service has since spilled the beans and revealed that season 2 is titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, after the house from Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw. You can watch original teaser and the subsequent title confirmation clip, below.
Turn of the Screw was published in 1898 and, much like Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House novel, is a gothic horror story about people (in this case, a governess and the two children she cares for) who live in a remote estate that may or may not be haunted for real. Much like The Haunting of Hill House season 1 played fast and loose with the characters and plot of Jackson’s source material (to the degree that it was practically an original story), it stands to reason that season 2 will follow suit and deviate significantly from the events in James’ novella. That’s probably for the best, especially since Steven Spielberg’s Amblin is scheduled to release its own Turn of the Screw adaptation, The Turning, in theaters early next year.
It sounds like the plan is for each season of The Haunting anthology series to focus on a different haunted location and explore themes similar to those featured in season 1. It’s almost the same approach that AMC is taking with its own hit horror show The Terror, which began as a limited series in 2018 but has since evolved into an anthology where each season explores a different historical horror narrative (season 2, for example, will focus on the Japanese internment camps in WWII). With Flangan returning as the lead creative, The Haunting of Bly Manor is in good hands and has a pretty respectable shot at matching or maybe even surpassing the quality of The Haunting of Hill House.
The Haunting of Bly Manor premieres on Netflix in 2020.