Warning: large spoilers for Hill House Haunting ahead!
I could sit here and write compliments for Netflix Hill House Haunting all day. The horror series offers a real scare after the scare, at the same time that it presents a harrowing story of pain, love and the efforts we will make to protect our family. Oh and that Besides unpack a handful of compelling mysteries over the course of its 10 episodes that will gnaw at you until you reach the final few scenes. One of the biggest among them is: what's behind that damn red door? However, before we get to that, let's go back a second and review.
Olivia (Carla Gugino) and Hugh Crain (Henry Thomas) move their five children to the extensive and decadent property of Hill House for a few months a summer hoping to change it and make a lot of money with the sale. Of course, things begin to evolve quickly once it becomes clear that someone, or something? – inside the house you want to avoid leaving the premises alive. Things only get worse when Hugh discovers that even though the house was inspected before buying it, a huge swath of poisonous mold has flourished behind most of the walls due to water leaking from somewhere above.
Finally, Hugh and the caretaker of the house, Mr. Dudley (Robert Longstreet), realize that the water seems to come from a room on the top floor with a red door that they have never been able to open; the large number of keys that the Crains received upon moving does not include a key to that door, and no physical force can pass through the entrance.
There are some scenes throughout the series that see children trying to figure out what's inside the room as well. At one point, the young Shirley (Lulu Wilson) and her little sister Nell (Violet McGraw) kneel at the door, jumping with the lock, but give up after a few minutes. When they turn their backs and go down the stairs, we hear crunches and see shadows moving just below the space in the doorway inside the room, which means that someone is moving there. Creepy, is not it?
When we come to the end of the first season, in which the remaining adult children of Crain return to the home that marked them as children, everything fits in their place: the room appeared to them all in different ways when they were little. For young Theo, it's an almost empty room for her to dance, while it looks like a game room every time Steven enters. For Olivia it's a cozy place to read, and for Luke it's a tree house. (You have the idea) It is not until Hugh tells Steven (Michiel Huisman) adult that the family did not even have a tree house on the property; After all, they only planned to stay a few months, everything starts to grow. sense.
The house is as manipulative as any human character in this show. His singular desire is to keep the people who end up living within its walls there forever; it feeds on them in unique and horrible ways with the hope of attracting them to an eternal trap. So, what's really behind the red door? Physically? It looks like an empty attic when the adult children of Crain are inside him in the end, so, presumably, that is his true form. But over and over again, it is molded to be what children (or Olivia) need at that particular moment in the hope of making them feel more comfortable there.
It is also worth noting that the room is where Hugh, Olivia and Nell meet in the last moments of the series, hinting that it is the core of the house, or at least the door of their twisted purgatory. But, as with most things to do with this show, it might require another look. . . or hit, to be specific.