Haunting of Hill House Creator Shoots Down Red Room Ending Theory

One of Netflix's latest hits – The Haunting of Hill House – has spurred a flurry of fan theories - including one about the final episode and the red room - unfortunately the show's creator doesn't indulge in conspiracies. Adapting a nearly 70-year-old novel by Shirley Jackson, Mike Flanagan created a suspenseful horror TV show that has left fans clamoring for a second season. Flanagan managed to maintain the somber yet eerie pacing of his show up until the very last episode - which is where fans came up with their own theories.

Melding the past and present, The Haunting of Hill House centers on the Crain family and the ways in which a, for lack of a better term, haunted house led to the family's undoing. Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, and Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight) portray the Crain siblings dealing with the aftermath of life in a house that claimed the lives of both their mother Olivia (Carla Gugino) and eventually their youngest sister Nell (Victoria Pedretti). Much of the building suspense in the show surrounds a mysteriously locked red room that the siblings end up trapped within in the finale episode; in fact, they cannot leave the house until their father sacrifices his life for his children.

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Speaking with TV Line, Flanagan expressed an appreciation for his fans' enthusiasm, but simultaneously dispelled any theories dealing with the final episode. Fans, along with star Oliver Jackson-Cohen, had theorized that perhaps the Crain siblings had never escaped from the red room. The proof? When trapped in the aforementioned room, each Crain sibling experienced a dream like-state with a red item playing a significant role. In the final scene of the series, the family celebrates the sobriety of their brother Luke, and eat a crimson colored celebratory cake.

Flanagan stands by the superficial understanding of the show, claiming that the Crain siblings escape; had they not, their father's sacrifice would have been in vain. And although the ending appeared to wrap up too neatly for some viewers, the show's creator intended to give the story a hopeful resolution, saying:

Hugh is dead, Nell is dead, Olivia is still dead. I always looked at it as just having a hint of peace, just a glimpse into the fact that life goes on, and there’s some acceptance for the surviving characters... Acceptance, peace and a little forgiveness doesn’t lessen the loss they experience in that episode; it only shows that life has a way of going on, and that these characters are finally accepting of that.

Regardless of its heavily debated ending, The Haunting of Hill House, thrilled fans from beginning to end. Although Flanagan has taken the time to analyze the message behind his show, fans will always seek out their own hidden meanings, and there's nothing wrong with that. Part of the fun of experiencing a work of art is the ability to interpret its content in one's own unique way.

More: Haunting of Hill House Director Explains How He Shot the Single-Take Episode

Source: TV Line

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