The Haunting of Hill House has captured viewers’ imagination and their supernatural powers speculation. With so many surprising reveals throughout the horror drama’s run, it stands to reason that the ending itself could hinge on a slightly obscured twist. The finale seemed to indicate that after a rough ten episodes, the Crain siblings had gotten a somewhat happy conclusion. Well, that maybe wasn’t the case after all.
Star Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played Luke on The Haunting of Hill House, has shared a potential clue regarding the Crain siblings’ fate. If ineed a legitimate twist, it could mean things didn’t end so pleasantly for the Crains.
There’s this thing that happens when we’re all in the Red Room. 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. . . . 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. 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.
Oliver Jackson-Cohen pointed out to The Wrap that whenever one of the Crain siblings was unwittingly in the Red Room, something in their ensuing fantasy is red. He mentioned that for Luke’s visit to the hotel room, his Converse sneakers were red, instead of white as they’d been during the rest of the show. As well, he brought up that Steven had on a red jumper for his own Red Room moments.
The Haunting of Hill House goes on to show the Crains, two years into the future, celebrating Luke’s two full years of sobriety with a cake. When co-star Kate Siegel shared her keen observation regarding the cake being red, it sent off a host of signals within the cast members’ heads. Unfortunately, neither Siegel nor her husband, show creator and director Mike Flanagan, could or would divulge if there was a deeper meaning behind the cake’s appearance.
In a show, where every detail seemed to matter — it makes sense to imagine this one does too. In other words, the choice of a red cake was probably no accident, and the Crains are probably boned for eternity.
If true, the cake would indeed likely be a nod to the fact the siblings never truly escaped Hill House, and probably never would. But even if they aren’t literally trapped within its walls, the cake may be a sign to audiences that Hill House’s dark shadow will surround them for the rest of their lives. Or perhaps the red cake was a sign specifically for the characters to note that the color red can never been looked at the same way again.
Given that the Red Room was referred to by Nellie as the house’s stomach, it is especially interesting that a cake was chosen to be red for the final moments. Something that the characters would ingest also seems like a big clue that strongly connects the Red Room to the actual cake. The coincidence of it being red is one thing, but two coincidences like that seems like a stretch.
In an interview with EW, Mike Flanagan indicated that the first season of The Haunting of Hill House completes the Crain family’s story. As such, do not expect the red cake to necessarily have Season 2 implications. Of course, anything is possible. If there were a new family whose story picks up after the Crain’s, the latter could be bringing new haunts to Hill House.
It is little nuances such as these that will keep fans guessing and likely re-watching to see if they can decipher more clues. The first season of The Haunting of Hill House is currently available to stream on Netflix. As fans await its premiere, an abundance of shows are making their debut this fall on Netflix and beyond, as well as through the 2019 midseason.