This Theory About 'The Haunting Of Hill House' Is Going To Ruin You
What if the Crain children never escaped the red room at Hill House?
The Haunting of Hill House may not have ended the way we thought.
In an interview with The Wrap, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who plays adult Luke on The Haunting of Hill House, teased an easter egg that will rock your world: Whenever a Crain sibling was in the "red room," a red item was present — and it extended beyond their time in the house. While we put together a list of Hill House details, we did not expect the emotional trauma this show would put us through (on par with NBC's This Is Us), and this theory just makes it so. much. worse. Despite the shortcomings of Netflix's adaptation, its story was so good, and this theory makes us want even more.
"There’s this thing that happens when we’re all in the Red Room," Jackson-Cohen continued. "Every, uh — again, I feel like I have to be careful if I’m saying this right. [laughs] But whenever each child, each sibling, is in the Red Room, something in the fantasy is red. And it’ll be a very, very small thing. For Luke, when Luke gets taken to the hotel room, he’s worn Converse throughout the show, and all of a sudden his Converse are red. And it’s so slight you can barely even see it. And I think Steven is wearing a red jumper [in his fantasy]."
As children and as adults, something was always red whenever a Crain sibling was in the Red Room — the room no one realized they were in until it was revealed at the end of Season 1. For example, for Luke, it was his treehouse. Steven played video games in what appeared to be a media room, and Theo danced in front of a TV. Each time, there was a red item present — bright red, like Luke's converse in the screenshot below.
While this may not seem important, what the actor said next will keep you awake at night wondering if the Crain siblings will ever get the happy ending they deserve.
"And so there’s something at the end — it was Kate [Siegel], who plays Theo, who kind of pointed it out to me — with Luke’s sobriety cake," he continued. "Um, she went, ‘The cake is red.’ And on set I went, ‘Oh, my God!’ And she went, ‘I don’t know!’ And I asked Mike [Flanagan], and he went ‘I don’t know.’ And so I can’t tell whether or not I’m just crazy with this — or whether or not it’s something that could have legs."
We're officially worried. Did Theo, Luke, Steve, and Shirley escape the Red Room, or did Hill House eat up the entire Crain family like it set out to do when they first moved in? As the stomach of the house (like Nell called it), we can't imagine it would have let them go. Their dad's sacrifice might have appeased one spirit, but the house is what came after the family. If they didn't survive, I'm going to be upset. The ending of the series wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped it would be.
Jackson-Cohen went on to discuss the future of the show, and though he had to be tight-lipped for fear of the wrath of the Netflix gods, he might've spoiled that the story of Hill House is far from over.
When he was asked if he wanted the story to continue, he said, "Well, I think it’s always a bit of a tricky one. When you fall in love with playing a character, it’s always a hard thing. Even if it’s just a movie, a standalone movie. It feels quite sad to say goodbye to the character, in a way, as an actor. Especially someone that you love so much."
"So I think whatever direction — again, I have to be so careful about how I answer these questions," he continued, "because Netflix supposedly hired snipers to like live opposite our houses and just shoot us if we say anything else."
“I think, you know, the great thing about the show is it can go anywhere. You could revisit the Crains," he said. "There’s Easter eggs in the show that not many people have actually picked up on yet — which I find quite surprising — where you could very, very easily go back and visit the Crains. You could do an anthology, which I know is what Mike definitely feels he wants to do."
Count us in. We're definitely down for more spooky, emotional thrills in Hill House.