Netflix: The Haunting of Hill House finale (Silence Lay Steady) recap

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The Haunting of Hill House – Courtesy Netflix

Hugh wakes up outside the room, and old gross, decaying Poppy is there. She recites a creepy poem about a murderer, and Olivia makes her leave.

Olivia tells Hugh that “everyone is home.” She asks how long it’s been, he says too long. She asks what he was doing, he tells her he was holding the door closed, “so hard that I didn’t have arms left for the kids, and the monsters got through anyway.”

Olivia says the monsters are outside, everyone is safe here. Hugh says they’re dying, and Olivia insists that they are “waking.” He says they can’t protect them, that no matter what bad things happen, they have to watch it all.

Olivia says, “It’s a horror”, and he says it doesn’t have to be. He saw their daughter dance at her wedding. Olivia says this is their forever house, nothing bad will touch them. Hugh responds, “Nothing good will, either. Open that door.”

She says she won’t let them leave, they’ll die, he says they’re dying now. Olivia sobs and says she’ll be alone again, and Hugh says if she opens the door, he’ll make a promise to her.

Inside, Luke is dying, and Hugh opens the door. As Hugh and Steve support Luke, Steve sees something, and looks surprised. They get Luke in the car, Hugh tells Theo and Shirley to go ahead, he and Steve have one more thing to do. As they leave, Hugh says, “It’s probably best you didn’t say anything.” Steve asks, “What did I see?”

Steve turns and sees young Hugh get out of his car, and run inside to find Olivia. He hears him scream, and walks in to see him cradling Olivia’s body. Hugh is crying, and asks Mrs. Dudley what happened. She says “We were looking for…” Mr. Dudley walks in, Hugh says, “I can fix this.”

Mr. D tells him he can’t fix it. He says their daughter snuck out of the house, and we can see by Hugh’s face that he knows now who the little dead girl is. He takes them to Abigail.

The Haunting of Hill House – Courtesy Netflix

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The Dudleys are distraught. Abigail’s ghost is at the door, Mrs. D embraces her, and asks who hurt her, and she points. Hugh looks down at the foot of the stairs and sees Olivia’s ghost next to her body.

Hugh says he’s going to burn the house, Mrs. D says no, Abigail is still here. Mr. D says he will bury Abigail, no one will know what Olivia did. Hugh says, “That wasn’t her”,  the Dudleys say they know what really happened, the kids don’t need to know. Hugh can keep the house, keep the Dudleys on so they can be with Abigail, and they will keep everyone else out and let Hill House starve.

Mr. D says the house is full of precious things, “and they don’t all belong to you.” Mr. D and Hugh shake hands, and the deal is made.

Steve tells his father, “I wish you’d told me”, and he says “You didn’t tell your sisters what you saw; some things can’t be told.” We then see what Steve saw earlier, Hugh’s body at the top of the stairs. Steve tells Hugh he’s sorry, and Hugh tells him it’s all his now. The house, and the promise. He tells Steve that he, his kids were the best part of his life, and that he’s proud of them. He is suddenly young Hugh, who tells him he was lucky to be his Dad. Young Hugh turns and joins Olivia and Nell in the red room. As Steve walks out of HH, we see the ghosts standing behind him, and he does not look back.

Steve is with Leigh, telling her he has been wrong. He says that ghosts are guilt, and most of all, ghosts are wishes. We see Shirley with Kevin, preparing to tell him about her one-night stand. “Love me hard for a few minutes, I’m gonna jump. I’m asking you to hold my hand while I’m falling.” He takes her hand.

The Haunting of Hill House – Courtesy Netflix

Steve tells Leigh that he wishes he had been a better husband, son, and brother, and we see Theo packing up to move, with Trish’s help. She throws away her gloves. Steve says he wants to come home, and Leigh embraces him.

At Hill House, we see Mr. Dudley carrying Mrs. Dudley in his arms, and laying her on the floor; we can see that she’s dying. He tells her, “We’re here, we made it.” He sees a younger Mrs. D standing holding a baby, Abigail by her side. We hear Steve say, “Love is the relinquishment of logic.”

Luke and the family (including a pregnant Leigh) are celebrating two years of sobriety for Luke. They are happy.

We are inside the old, decaying Hill House and we hear Steve reading. “Hill House, not sane, stands against its hills, holding darkness within.” He closes with, “Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone. And those who walk there…walk together.” And that is it, the end of their story.

I read that Mike Flanagan toyed with the idea of throwing a dark curve at us in the final scene, where we would see the tell-tale narrow vertical window belonging to the red room in the background, and while I admire the creativity of that idea, I am glad he went in the other direction. I thank all of you, dear readers, for following me on this journey, and I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.

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