For horror movie fans, the series “The Haunting of Hill House” was an exciting new addition to Netflix. It is a show unlike any other, filled with terrifying scenes that will keep you up at night and plenty of jump scares. The scenes have a perfect slow buildup that leaves you both anxious and terrified just waiting for something terrifying to happen. Audiences everywhere have been chilled to the bone watching this show, but they aren’t the only ones. (Warning: Spoilers below.)
Leading Up to the Scariest Scene in The Haunting of Hill House
If you watched the series, then you may remember the scene at the end of episode eight. Sisters, Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser) and Theo (Kate Siegel) are driving back to Hill House hoping to rescue their brother, Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). In case it has been a while since you have watched or have repressed it from your memory, let’s recap what led to the scene that scared the cast members. When their sibling, Nell (Victoria Pedretti) was a child (played by Violet McGraw) she had recurring visions of a terrifying ghost that haunted her until adulthood. As an adult, she has nightmares of this ghost, which she calls “the bent neck lady”. The bent-neck lady herself is terrifying when you don’t add in any jump scares. One of the twists is revealed later on after Nell is beckoned back to Hill House. Once there, she sees the ghost of her mom, Olivia (Carla Gugino). She walks around the house in a trance, seeing visions of her happy family. In her disillusioned state, she begins dancing with her husband, even though he is not there. While in this trance, her mother hands her a necklace that was promised to her years ago, or at least, that’s what she believes it is. Olivia instead handed her a rope, and as Nell places it around her neck she snaps out of the delusion a little too late. Her mother pushes her down the steps and she tragically dies. Her neck breaks, and she becomes what her biggest fear has been her whole life – the bent neck lady.
The Scene in “The Haunting of Hill House” That Even Scared the Cast
So, now that we know Nell and the bent neck lady are one and the same, the scene under discussion will make a lot more sense. It’s Halloween night, and Shirly and Theo are desperately searching for Luke who is on a mission to burn Hill House to the ground. As the sisters are driving back to Hill House, an argument erupts. After discussing why Luke is going back and if he may possibly be committing suicide, a different topic is brought up. Shirley wants to know what happened between Theo and her husband. Theo does her best to describe the situation, but Shirley takes it as an excuse to sleep with her husband. Suddenly, Nell erupts from the back seat to the space between their seats and begins screaming loudly. In a panic, Shirley swerves the car to the side of the road. Theo, absolutely horrified, flees out of the car and begins crying. It seems that this scary intervention is what the sisters needed to finally come together. Theo tells her sister she touched Nell and felt nothing. She then apologizes and Shirley helps her sister back up. Turns out, the director, Mike Flanagan, instructed Eleanor to scream sooner than it was written in the script. In their minds, they had a bit of time to prepare for the jump scare, so their reactions were 100% genuine.
Why This Scene Was So Important
Nell’s terrifying outburst is one of many examples of how this series skillfully combines both horror and family drama all in one show. As with your typical jump-scare, the fast movement and loud noise are enough to make you scream out loud while watching. However, it serves a purpose to the characters in the show. Nell appeared suddenly in order to stop the sisters from arguing so they can come together. Unfortunately for Elizabeth and Kate, this scene was a turning point for their character’s relationship. The director wanted their reactions to be completely genuine in order to not only scare the audience out of their seats but to add more emotion to the overall storyline. This scene is also arguably the most terrifying moment of the entire show. While normally you get a little indication a jump scare is about to happen, you get no music or lighting effects with this one. One second, you’re wrapped up in the sister’s argument and the next second you and the cast are jumping at Nell’s guttural scream. So now you know what to expect if you watch “The Haunting of Hill House“, though we have a feeling this scene will still chill you to your core.