'The Haunting of Bly Manor' Will Be Scarier Than 'Hill House', According to Director Mike Flanagan

If The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix gave you the creeps, director Mike Flanagan says you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. While he’s not exactly an impartial source on the matter, the filmmaker promises that the second season of the horror anthology show – The Haunting of Bly Manor – is going to be “much scarier” while not being restrained by the decisions made in season one. It’s already known that Bly House will be drawing on the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw for inspiration, but Flanagan also confirms that the season will be pulling from other Henry James ghost stories as well. 

While the premiere of The Haunting of Bly Manor is still a little ways off, Mike Flanagan dropped some info about the impending season to Birth.Movies.Death. Of the new season, Flanagan says: “I already think it’s much scarier than season one, so I’m very excited about it.” Me too, Mike. Me too. And what can we expect from Bly Manor? According to Flanagan, it’s going to be a full-blown Henry James fest:

“We’re looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season, so it very much is a whole new deal. It’s a cool way to expand on some of the things I loved about season one, but within the framework of a new story, without having to be restrained by the decisions we made last time. For Henry James fans, it’s going to be pretty wild, and for people who aren’t familiar with his work, it’s going to be unbelievably scary.”

The Haunting of Hill House drew on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name but also went off in its own direction. For season 2, Flanagan and company are using Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw as source material, but also peppering in references to other Henry James references as well. James wrote ten ghost stories in total, so Flanagan is going to have a lot to work with.

In The Haunting of Bly Manor, a governess named Dani is hired to take care of “two very unusual children.” Hill House break-out star Victoria Pedretti is returning, as well as Oliver Jackson-Cohen. And according to Flanagan, you can expect to see some other familiar faces in Bly Manor. “We’re hanging the season on Victoria Pedretti [playing the governess Dani] and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and in addition to them, there are going to be other familiar actors from season one,” said the filmmaker “Beyond that, I’ve got quite a few candidates among new faces who I really love, but we haven’t formally cast anybody yet.”

The Haunting of Bly Manor will premiere in 2020.

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