The series stars Michiel Huisman (Steven Crain), Elizabeth Reaser (Shirly Crain), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Luke Crain), Kate Siegel (Theo Crain), Victoria Pedretti (Nell Crain), Timothy Hutton (Hugh Crain), Carla Gugino (Olivia Crain), and Henry Thomas (Young Hugh Crain), and is created by horror director Mike Flanagan – who the cast credits with building a truly terrifying world for their characters to inhabit.
“Mike Flanagan first and foremost is a horror fan; he is making movies for himself and people like him,” said Siegel (who also happens to be married to Flanagan). “That is a rarity, I think, because on some level, horror can be made in one room on your iPhone for cheap, but Mike loves it so much that he approaches it with such romance, almost. He loves his characters the way you would in a Merchant Ivory film, but he still wants to scare the pants off you.” She credited Flanagan with managing to never “reuse a monster or reuse a scare,” as well as finding “new ways to scare people who spend every waking moment in the horror world. He gets to throw all of his best tricks at you.”
Huisman admitted that reading the scripts was even more terrifying than filming the show. “That was the scariest part for me, reading it – now I can watch it because I know it’s coming,” he laughed.