Will We Ever Get A Third Installment Of Mike Flanagan's Haunting Anthology? Here's What We Know

Mike Flanagan recently delivered a YA Netflix series called "The Midnight Club," which focuses on a group of terminally ill teenagers grappling with grief and death. In our review of "The Midnight Club," /Film's Chris Evangelista described it as a rare Flanagan misfire, as the series lacks the convincing scares and subtleties of his usual horror offerings. Irrespective of whether one thinks that "The Midnight Club" lived up to its hype or not, it is clear that the latest YA horror series is completely different from Flanagan's "Haunting" anthology series.

Flanagan's "The Haunting of Hill House" and "The Haunting of Bly Manor" are two shining examples of horror with heart, as both installments deal with the emotional aspects that constitute a haunting. Due to the immense popularity enjoyed by both "Hill House" and "Bly Manor," it is natural for fans to expect a third "Haunting" installment. Shedding more light on the situation, Flanagan recently spoke to TVLine and said that the "door is open" for a potential "Haunting" series in the future:

"What makes the Haunting the Haunting, and if and how we could re-approach it is something we talk about pretty frequently because we've always left that door open...[But] we don't want to do it just to do it."

As a lot of thought and care goes into forging these anthologies that weave an intricate web of emotional ghost stories; it makes sense that Flanagan does not want to churn out one just for the sake of it. However, there's a strong possibility that Flanagan and his team might return to the idea when true inspiration strikes. 

What qualifies as a Haunting series?

In the same interview linked above, Flanagan clarified that the intention behind every "Haunting" anthology is to base it on a piece of "classic horror literature" that has been adapted before in some form, as it would allow Flanagan and his team to "do something different with it." "Hill House" and "Bly Manor" are based on Shirley Jackson and Henry James' works, respectively, and both stories contain real ghosts that haunt the characters in different ways. While Flanagan's upcoming "The Fall of the House of the Usher" is based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same name, it is not a part of the "Haunting" series as it is "not just a ghost story." While Poe's short story contains elements of gothic horror, the psychological landscapes of the characters are more complex than the supernatural events that surround them and titular house. 

The same can be said about Flanagan's brilliant limited series, "Midnight Mass," which contains horror elements that have more to do with religious trauma than an actual ghost story. Despite the horrific, eerie nature of "Midnight Mass," and the presence of supernatural elements, the series is not a "Haunting" installment, as it works best as a standalone horror offering.

Meanwhile, "The Midnight Club" is a whole other ballgame, as it is a departure from Flanagan's usual directorial style and it is markedly different in tone and subject matter. As the requirements for a "Haunting" anthology are pretty thorough and rigorous, it is possible that Flanagan might take some time before coming up with a compelling narrative that ties well into his core approach to horror. While that may be well into the future, there's always hope to hold onto.