The Haunting of Hill House takes you through a truly horrific and nightmarish journey and that is what I loved about the show, and it ended with a happy redeemable ending.
Not all horror movies have to have a jacked-up ending that leaves audiences feeling like crap afterward. Horror films can have happy ends too!
There was a very depressing and more disheartening ending for The Haunting of Hill House that was examined. This ending clearly would have changed the way the show was accepted by audiences.
If you didn’t end the show yet, don’t read ahead.
In the final episode of the series, we see the members of the Crain Family become trapped in Hill House. We learn that after years of thinking they were never able to get into the Red Room, they actually spent a lot of time in the room, but never realized it. The room would pretty morph into whatever is that the Crain kids wanted it to be. Some of those things included a treehouse, a dance studio, a family room, etc.
There is one constant visual clue that lets you know that the kids were in the Red Room. There was a distinct rectangular window in the background.
The series ends with the surviving Crain Family managing to escape from Hill House and we see a montage of the Crain family recovering from their nightmarish experience at the house, and at one point we see Luke Crain surrounded by his family celebrating two years of sobriety.
Well, this is where director Mike Flanagan would have put the dark twist in. When talking to Thrillist, he explained that in the place of the framed painting in the background they almost put in that rectangular window from the Red Room:
“One thing I can say is that we talked for a very, very long time about putting the Red Room window, that weird vertical window, in the background of this shot. And I ultimately decided not to. It was too cruel. But there was a lot of talk that this peace might not be real. In the version we ended up going with, I think it absolutely is real. We committed to that course of action.”
If they did end the series like this, it would have meant that the Crain family never left the house, that they were still stuck in there living in a delusional state of mind. That would have been such a wrenching ending! But, they didn’t go that route.