The horrors faced by the Crain family in The Haunting of Hill House are over. Now, creator and executive producer, Mike Flanagan has returned with a new family, the Wingraves.
2 years after Netflix’s horror hit, “The Haunting of Hill House,” the streamer has released a first look at The Haunting of Bly Manor. Unlike most other shows that get renewed, Hill House will be more of an anthology. Telling a different story with each future installment.
Season 2 is finally making its way to Netflix this fall, and it’s going to be exploring a brand new haunted house and cast of characters.
“At its foundation, the Haunting series is very much about haunted spaces and haunted people”
The photos, released on Twitter, Monday, Aug. 23, gives fans their first look at Bly Manor, the new haunted house setting for the show. While Hill House was based on a Shirley Jackson novel, Bly Manor reimagines another classic horror story. “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James.
In James’ novella, Bly Manor will follow an American tutor who unwittingly takes a job at a beautiful mansion plagued with secrets. “It’s this idea that, the world we’re presented with has all of the answers. But it has hidden meanings and has clues that would help us understand it differently, if we were able to see them,” teased show-runner, Mike Flanagan.
“The first season is very much entrenched in family dynamics and death and grief and loss and child trauma. We all collectively felt like we’d said everything we wanted to say about that,” Flanagan revealed. However, both seasons do share a common theme. “At its foundation, the Haunting series is very much about haunted spaces and haunted people. The way we make those things dance together is really going to be what’s uniform about Hill House and Bly.”
Some Familiar Faces?
In a series of three tweets, Haunting of Bly Manor teased the season would present “A new home,” “A new family,” and “A new story.” But the photos also showcase some familiar faces. Victoria Pedretti (Nellie), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Luke), and Henry Thomas (Hugh), who played key members of the Crain family in Hill House, are all back. Kate Siegel, who played Theo in Hill House, will also star. But her character is being kept under wraps.
The show’s hidden ghosts are set to make a reappearance, too. “The hidden ghosts in the first season turned out to be one of my favorite things to play with on set,” Flanagan said. “The audience seemed to really like them. I loved watching people double back and try to find more of them. It encourages repeat viewing.”
“It’s a lot more frightening, just on a visceral level”
This time around the actors are playing very different characters. YOU season 2 star, Victoria Pedretti, who previously played the older version of Nell Crain in Hill House, returns to take the lead role. An American nanny who becomes the new au pair to two orphaned children in 1980s England. They are played by Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth.
According to Flanagan, differentiating the characters was paramount, and had a lot to do with the change in setting and circumstance. Bly Manor takes place in 1987. “Between the setting in the ’80s, and this idea of a young American abroad, just out on an adventure, it brightened everything up to begin with,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Henry Thomas, (Father, Hugh Crain in Hill House) will play a mysterious Henry Wingrave, uncle to the orphans. Jackson-Cohen, (Nellie’s twin brother, Luke, in season 1) plays Peter Quint. A villain with connections to the Wingrave family.
This next creepy house is also home to Chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Amelia Eve), and housekeeper Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller).
According to Flanagan, the dolls in Bly Manor will be key in understanding the show. “The more attention a viewer focuses on Flora’s dollhouse,” he teased, “the more they’re likely to see what’s happening and why.”
In the words of Flanagan, Bly Manor is “scarier” than what came before. “It’s a lot more frightening, just on a visceral level.”