Coming Soon: The Haunting of Netflix

Add The Haunting to the list of classic horror movies being remade for television… sort of. Deadline.com reports that Netflix has ordered a 10-episode series based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Considered one of the best ghost stories of the 20th century, the book has been adapted for the big screen twice, in 1963 and 1999.

Whether or not you like this trend, there are some big names behind the project. Trevor Macy and Mike Flanagan have worked together as writer/director and producer on Oculus, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Hush, as well as Netflix’s upcoming movie, Gerald’s Game. Macy will executive produce the project, and Flanagan will write, direct and executive produce.

If that’s not enough name-dropping, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV is also involved. Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin TV, who are supposedly fans of the book, tracked the rights to Paramount Television. They recruited Macy and Flanagan, sold the pitch to Netflix for development, and Netflix gave it a straight-to-series order. (Frank and Falvey will also executive produce the project.)

This sounds pretty good… on one condition. It’s got to be limited to its original 10 episodes; it can’t continue to another season (unless it’s an anthology). The story, which takes place during an investigation of paranormal activity at an evil old house, isn’t ongoing. Also, to stretch the single story beyond 10 episodes would be too much; the audience would surely lose interest.

Then again, who knows what Flanagan and company have up their sleeves? It may be more than just a simple remake, reboot, or whatever we’re calling them these days. There are plenty of examples of movies I never thought would have enough story to run longer than one season. One of my favorites is Bates Motel, which lasted five and I’m eagerly awaiting news about The Exorcist returning for a second.