As the second part of Mike Flanagan’s “Haunting” anthology series for Netflix. The Haunting of Bly Manor had a great deal to live up to after how good The Haunting of Hill House was. This show managed to keep much of the crew from Hill House as well as many of the actors, who are now playing different roles, kind of similar to what American Horror Story does.
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You can download or stream the film from Netflix. Click on the Download button at the end of this review.
The Movie Review
I did not learn until after I had watched the series, which consists of nine episodes, by the way, The Haunting of Bly Manor is actually an interpretation of the classic horror story, The Turn of the Screw. It is a very interesting twist and once I knew it, I could see it and appreciate what Mike Flanagan had done here.
The setting is England in the 1980s and we have an American au pair called Dani who has been hired to look after two young children, Flora and Miles in a creepy manor. Their parents died while trying to work on their marriage in India. Since then, their uncle who is now responsible for them is always at work in London and wants Dani to look after them at their home, Bly Manor.
Bly Manor is a fantastic setting for a horror show! It has a very gothic and almost Tim Burton kind of look to it and the manor is as much a character in the show as the actual people. It does not take long for spooky stuff to start happening and when Flora warns Dani in the first episode not to come out of her room at night, you know this place is not going to be good for Dani.
The Haunting of Bly Manor is far more character-driven than The Haunting of Hill House. Dani has an interest in the gardener, Jamie and I found Jamie to be a real highlight of the show, she was a lot of fun. My favorite characters in the show though are housekeeper Hannah and Owen who have such a lovely friendship and the way they are with each other was a part of the show I truly did enjoy.
The two child actors who portray Flora and Miles are incredible! Flora is a lovely, but strange girl with the catchphrase “perfectly splendid” which she likes to say all of the time. Miles gave me major creepy vibes the moment I met him as he acts way older than he is, but this all soon makes a great deal of sense.
There are many things going on in The Haunting of Bly Manor and the different ghosts in the manor, their stories and motivations are what really drives things. There is not the same amount of jump scares that Hill House has. Instead, we have a much slower-burn type of show. If that is better or not is ultimately down to the person watching it.
I found the character-driven and slow pace nature of the show to be good. I liked how we got to feel like we really knew these characters. While it may not be as straight-up scary as The Haunting of Hill House was, it has a real sense of dread and a creepy vibe that still manages to get under your skin. While I personally prefer Hill House, I can see why some people may like Bly Manor better and I still really enjoyed the show.
- The child actors are fantastic in their roles
- I liked how they brought back some of the cast from Hill House
- Bly Manor is one of the creepiest-looking houses I have seen in a movie or TV show!
- The show is much more character-driven than Hill House was
- There is not the same amount of jump scares that Hill House had
- I can see some people not liking the slower pace of the story being told here