Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House will premiere in just SIX DAYS, and if you’re not excited, you’re wrong. The Shirley Jackson adaptation could be one of the scariest things to ever hit the streaming network, and I recently got to learn why. Yesterday, at New York Comic Con, I was lucky enough to sit in on a Hill House panel. It took place during the Netflix & Chills event and guys, ‘chills’ isn’t the half of it.
The panel began with some footage of the show. Let me tell you, there is nothing like watching a horror clip with two thousand terrified fans in the same room. The clip focuses on young Luke Crain “accidentally” getting trapped in a previously undiscovered basement. The audience groaned with nerves as Luke shone his flashlight around the dusty room. Then, the whole crowd let out a yell as a grimy and rotted hand appeared just in the corner of the screen. I won’t give too much more away, but believe me when I say I needed no more convincing after just this one scene.
From there, moderator Josh Hororwitz welcomes the cast of the show onto the massive stage. They were, in no particular order, Carla Gugino, Michiel Huisman, Timothy Hutton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Elizabeth Reaser, and Kate Siegel. After they got on stage, the actors dissected the show and their characters. They also went around the stage listing what their favorite horror films were and why, and each answer got a round of applause. If you’re curious, Carla Gugino’s favorite horror film is The Shining. And Kate Siegel’s is The Thing.
“[Mike Flanagan] loves and cares about these characters, but he also wants to scare the pants off of viewers.”
One of the most common themes to come up at the panel was the talent of creator Mike Flanagan. Flanagan is a massive horror fan, and the cast was clear that this made him perfect for Hill House. “He loves watching horror movies and reading horror fiction,” said Siegel, who previously worked with Flanagan in Hush, “He loves and cares about these characters, but he also wants to scare the pants off of viewers.”
After the actors finished recounting a couple tales of shooting the show, it was time to play another clip. This time, we watched Carla Gugino’s Olivia Craine kiss her child and tuck her into bed. Suddenly the little girl wakes. Eerily floating above her is the spirit of a dead woman, her hair wet and hanging down into the little girl’s face. One again, the audience reeled.
As the clip ended and the lights came up, the audience leapt out of their seats. Standing in front of us, wearing corpsey makeup and raggedy clothes, were seven clones of the woman we had just seen on screen. As the panel closed, the women stayed on stage, staring into nothing. An ethereal lullaby began, then slowed, then faded with the lights.
Folks, the panel lasted for all of twenty minutes. But I feel like The Haunting of Hill House will be with me for the rest of my life. The Haunting of Hill House comes to Netflix October 12th. For more NYCC coverage, head to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. For all your horror news, keep lurking at Nightmare on Film Street.