Haunting of Hill House alum to appear on Penny Dreadful sequel series

Photo: Julian Hillard.. The Haunting of Hill House.. Steve Dietl/Netflix
Photo: Julian Hillard.. The Haunting of Hill House.. Steve Dietl/Netflix /

Julian Hilliard was a sensation in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. It looks like his next project is a recurring role in the Penny Dreadful spin-off.

When Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House made its debut, viewers thought they knew what to expect, which was a good haunted house story. Those familiar with the Shirley Jackson novel of the same title were a little dubious once they found out the series was not going to be the story they knew so well, but would instead be “loosely based” on the source material.

What we didn’t expect was the emotional wallop Flanagan’s series would pack; one part eerie ghost story, one part family drama. The Haunting of Hill House caused people to weep just as often as it made them shriek with fear.

The reason for this mixed bag of feelings was simple: Hill House was the story of a family suffering from the trauma they endured at the hands of Hill House many years ago.

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The Crain family members as adults were played by a talented array of actors, but what really hit us in the gut were the young actors portraying the characters as children.

Paxton Singleton, Lulu Wilson, McKenna Grace, Violet McGraw, and Julian Hilliard gave stellar performances as the youngest victims of the very haunted house they all lived in for short, terrifying time.

By the time they left Hill House with their father (played by Henry Thomas), the children had lost their mother (Carla Gugino) and been terrorized by the resident ghosts countless times.

In particular, McGraw and Hilliard were astounding, given their ages, and the then six-year-old Hilliard really tugged at the heartstrings. His Luke tried to find ritualistic ways to ward off the nasty spirits, including putting seven buttons in a circle (one for each member of the family) and touching each one as he counts them out loud.

He is heartbroken that his parents don’t believe his stories about the menacing entities he has encountered, and they think his new friend Abigail is imaginary.

In addition to Hill House, Hilliard has appeared in Color Out of Space (with Nicolas Cage), Greener Grass, and Never Goin’ Back. Even better, his next big project is the revival of the Showtime series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, where he will play the young son of Piper Parabo’s character. It’s a key recurring role for the young actor, and it makes my heart happy to see him in yet another horror series.

Despite his mad acting skills, Julian seems like an average kid in many ways. He loves Ghostbusters (a crazy cute photo on Twitter showed him dressed up as one of the Ghostbusters for Halloween).

Haunting of Hill House
Photo: Julian Hillard.. The Haunting of Hill House.. Steve Dietl/Netflix /

In an interview with the Dallas Observer, he said his dream role would involve “running from a dinosaur. I want to be in a Jurassic World movie.” He shrugs off auditions, saying that they don’t really make him nervous, and he seems to enjoy the play-acting aspect of his career.

What will the future hold for the talented young man? City of Angels is said to be a “spin-off” series of Penny Dreadful. It will be set in 1938 Los Angeles, as opposed to the first three seasons, which were set in Victorian London. The series is set to go into production soon.

I am personally keeping my fingers crossed in the hopes that Mike Flanagan will cast Julian in The Haunting of Bly Manor. Bly Manor is based on the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw, which does include a young boy as a major character. This could be good for Julian’s Hill House twin Violet McGraw as well since there is also a sister character involved.

As much as I look forward to seeing Julian in many more horror/thriller movies and series to come, I hope he gets his wish. Surely there will be more Jurassic World movies to come, and surely there is a chance that he may get to run from a dinosaur eventually!

Next. Penny Dreadful sequel adds another high-profile cast member. dark

Were you impressed with Julian Hilliard’s performance in The Haunting of Hill House? Will you be watching Penny Dreadful? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is set to premiere sometime in 2020.