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How ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ biggest mystery was hidden from cast



haunting of hill house
Henry Thomas as Hugh Crain

Warning: Spoilers for “The Haunting of Hill

  • Mike Flanagan, the director of Netflix’s “The Haunting of
    Hill House,” revealed how he kept the secret of the “Red Room”
    hidden from the cast.
  • He said that the set had to be “constantly refined” so that
    the actors wouldn’t realize what they were looking at.
  • He added that there needed to be one element that was
    constant so that it would feel familiar when revealed, and that
    was a “vertical window.”
  • Flanagan also said that Hugh Crain could never open the room
    because “he exerts control over the house, on a physical


There are plenty of mysteries in Netflix’s hit new horror series,
“The Haunting of Hill House,” but the biggest was hidden in plain
sight the entire time. 

That means that director Mike Flanagan had to go to great lengths
to keep the secret of the “Red Room” hidden from the cast.
Throughout the first season, the characters are unable to open a
red door when living in the haunted Hill house as children. When
they return to the house as adults, they finally discover that
they had each actually been in the room countless times, and it
acted as their own personal spaces that nobody else could

Flanagan told The Wrap that to conceal what
the Red Room was from the cast, the set was “constantly refined”
so that the actors wouldn’t realize they were looking at the same
set multiple times.

“But we needed one element to be constant so that once the
reveal occurred, a second viewing would feel like it was always
obvious,” Flanagan said. “We chose that distinct vertical window.
We also made sure to shoot the room from the same angle in all of
the episodes leading up to it, so that even the camera framing
was familiar. We really just hoped that Hill House was so
sprawling, people would assume there were just a lot of rooms
they hadn’t seen. What’s odd if they look a little

READ MORE: Netflix’s ‘The Haunting of Hill
House’ cast revealed what disturbed them most about the

Flanagan also explained why the room never opened for Hugh
Crain, the father of the series, played by Henry Thomas in the
past and Timothy Hutton in the present.

“Hugh is a man who fixes things,” Flanagan said. “He exerts
control over the house, on a physical level. He is in charge of
the physical work being done to it, and that gives him a sense of
security, comfort, and order. To put him in a position where he
is incapable of something as simple as opening a door strikes to
the very heart of his confidence as a character. Between that and
the mold, I think it erodes his sense of competence, and
everything else tumbles for him as a result.”

But that doesn’t mean that Flanagan didn’t envision what
the room would be like for Hugh, saying that it would have been
“full of tools and other things from his work.”

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