Throughout the 10-episode first season of the horror series, loosely based on Shirley Jackson's novel of the same name, the Red Room becomes the bane of every Crain family member's existence, acting, according to Nellie, as the "stomach" of Hill House, slowly digesting each family member into sentience. While all of the Crain children had spent time in it as children and they appeared to make it out in the season finale, Luke Crain actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen revealed that one color that appeared in the final scenes could actually hint to them still being trapped.
"There's this thing that happens when we're all in the Red Room," Jackson-Cohen told The Wrap. "Whenever each child, each sibling, is in the Red Room, something in the fantasy is red. And it'll be a very, very small thing. For Luke, when Luke gets taken to the hotel room, he's worn Converse throughout the show, and all of a sudden his Converse are red. And it's so slight you can barely even see it. And I think Steven is wearing a red jumper [in his fantasy.]"
According to Jackson-Cohen, the final episode of the season finale, in which the remaining Crain siblings are gathered around Luke as he celebrates two years of sobriety, possibly contains that something red that could possibly hint at the notion that they truly never escaped.
"And so there's something at the end — it was Kate [Siegel], who plays Theo, who kind of pointed it out to me — with Luke's sobriety cake," he continued. "Um, she went, 'The cake is red.' And on set I went, 'Oh, my God!' And she went, 'I don't know!' And I asked Mike [Flanagan], and he went 'I don't know.' And so I can't tell whether or not I'm just crazy with this — or whether or not it's something that could have legs."
Director Mike Flanagan had previously revealed that not only did the season one finale contain a number of Easter eggs, but it was also supposed to end in an entirely different way, with the Red Room's window in the background of the final season, hinting at them still being in Hill House.
"We toyed with the idea for a little while that over that [ending] monologue, over the image of the family together, we would put the Red Room window in the background," Flanagan said. "For a while, that was the plan. Maybe they never really got out of that room."
Ultimately, Flanagan felt that the ending would have been too cruel, and he opted to send the Crain's off on a much happier note, though that doesn't mean that the ending scene wasn't just something that the Red Room had fabricated.
All 10 episodes of The Haunting of Hill House are now available to stream on Netflix. Currently, there is no news on whether or not the series will be renewed, though any future seasons would likely move focus from the Crain family and become something more of an anthology series.