The Haunting Of Series Should Continue the Thread of Loss and Horror in Season Three
The most powerful theme throughout Mike Flanagan's Haunting Of series is that our real demons are all internal. Whether it's grief, addiction, or PTSD, the actual horror connecting Hill House and Bly Manor is how our pain manifests into our physical world.
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"There’s safety in metaphor, and the best horror uses that to let us explore these dark ideas and fears in a cathartic way that also encourages individual bravery. It can sometimes be too much to confront really difficult things like death, trauma, abuse, loss, mental illness, etc. directly," Flanagan has said of his genre. "They’re hard enough to grapple with in our day to day lives. But when we approach these things metaphorically, we can process them differently. It’s safer somehow. And because the genre is designed to create fear, and you will yourself to power through that discomfort, it helps make us just a tiny bit braver by the time the credits roll. This genre is like light exercise for our courage."
And so, with the familial horror of Bly Manor behind us, the question fans are now facing is where will Flanagan take the Haunting Of anthology in Season Three? Here's everything we know about where this series could go next.
Season Three Has Not Officially Been Announced
As of October of 2020, the Haunting Of anthology series has not been renewed for a third season. But this probably won't be the case for much longer. Since its debut on October 9, Bly Manor has held steadfast to the coveted No. 1 most popular spot on Netflix. After Hill House, it took Netflix four months to renew the series for a second batch of episodes, so be sure to keep an eye out for a renewal soon enough. And the good news is that Netflix has signed a multi-year deal with Mike Flanagan and executive producer Trevor Macy.
But so far, the main cast is staying pretty quiet.
“I think that it’s one of those where, if ‘Bly Manor’ does well, then I’m sure conversations will happen with Netflix,” Bly star Oliver Jackson-Cohen told The Wrap. “But it’s entirely up to Mike and entirely up to what ideas he’s got up his sleeve. But I think all of us would definitely collaborate and work with him again, if the opportunity arose. But there is genuinely nothing concrete as of now.”
What Would Season Three of The Haunting Of Series Be About?
This is the fun part. We know Flanagan has drawn clear boundaries around what he considers a Haunting Of story, given the source material for Bly Manor and Hill House. The next entry in the anthology series will likely be another familial horror story set in a haunted house.
Macy has confirmed that the series will continue to adapt and "remix" horror novels. And they certainly have plenty of options to choose from. One good choice could be The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons. While not as old as say The Turn of the Screw, which Bly Manor was based on, The House Next Door hits all of the Flanagan highlights. Just take a look at the plot description, and you can immediately picture Flanagan's favorite stars inhabiting this story:
Thirtysomething Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in a charming, peaceful suburb of newly bustling Atlanta, Georgia. Life is made up of enjoyable work, long, lazy weekends, and the company of good neighbors. Then, to their shock, construction starts on the vacant lot next door, a wooded hillside they'd believed would always remain undeveloped. Disappointed by their diminished privacy, Colquitt and Walter soon realize something more is wrong with the house next door. Surely the house can’t be haunted, yet it seems to destroy the goodness of every person who comes to live in it, until the entire heart of this friendly neighborhood threatens to be torn apart.
Another great option would be for Flanagan to adapt a second novel from Shirley Jackson. The Haunting of Hill House author's final book was 1962's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is often considered her final work. Like Hill House and Bly, this includes some of Flanagan's favorite themes, as the synopsis reads: "Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate." The only problem with adapting this book is that it was recently turned into a 2018 movie, which might make Flanagan unlikely to tread the same ground so soon.
When Would The Haunting Of Season Three Be Released?
Sadly, it might be a long wait. There was a two-year gap between Hill House and Bly Manor as Flanagan worked on other projects, and that's looking like it will be the same story for Season Three. Flanagan is currently working on two other Netflix horror series, which have been impacted by COVID-19
Production on MIDNIGHT MASS, which was scheduled to begin Monday, has been temporarily shut down (along with the rest of Netflix’s scripted productions.) Wishing safety and health for our amazing cast and crew. #Covid_19— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) March 13, 2020
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Right now, the most optimistic bet is that the Haunting Of anthology series will return for a season three in October of 2022.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.