Review: 'The Haunting of Bly Manor'

Bly Manor
Posted on 10/30/2020
Bly ManorReview of The Haunting of Bly Manor
Melanie Ascoli
Staff Writer
22mascoli@cvsdstudents.org

Every month, Netflix updates their catalog with new and creative TV shows and movies, and October of 2020 has been no exception. It is a tradition for Netflix to release an influx of horror themed content during the month of October and this year it seems they’ve hit the ball out of the park with Netflix’s new original series, The Haunting of Bly Manor. This show, released on October 9th, comes as a sort of sequel to a series from two years ago also made by Netflix, The Haunting of Hill House.

The two shows have a very similar premise, the same actors, and even have a similar name, but what they represent and the way they go about the story are very different from each other. The Haunting of Hill House came to Netflix on October 12th of 2018 with a solid 10 episodes. The basic premise of the series is that a big family moves into a haunted house and weird things start occurring. The series ends with a very definitive ending and director Mike Flanagan thought a second season of the show would drag out the tight plotline they had created. Thus, The Haunting of Bly Manor was created.

The Haunting of Bly Manor, also directed and created by Mike Flanagan, features a similar horror house premise, but is definitely not a copy or recreation of the first series. The Haunting of Bly Manor is essentially about a Dani (played by Victoria Pedretti), an American girl hired to take care of Lord Wingrave’s (Henry Thomas) niece and nephew in the countryside of Britain after their death of their parents. After she arrives though, things start to get weird…

Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who plays recurring character Peter Quint, were also prominently featured in the first series. Their acting in this series is just as exceptional as it was in the first. The acting in this series is certainly one of it’s strongest aspects.

I was also a big fan of the way that the series is shot and directed. Mike Flanagan has a very interesting style that elevates the story far beyond just the plot. All of the scenes and settings are very beautiful to look at it and the style of filming adds to the story monumentally. Mike Flanagan specifically likes to do very long takes with no cuts, some going on for over ten minutes at a time. These scenes add a lot to the show and the experience of watching it.

Overall, The Haunting of Bly Manor was a great show for only 9 episodes. The plot was interesting and captivating and the acting was phenomenal. The show only pales in comparison to its predecessor, but watching it as its own entity without comparison would give you a better perspective. If you are in it for the horror, this series has a few terrifying moments but the real horror comes from the plot and the eerie atmosphere. I would highly recommend this show to anyone just looking to watch something new or fans of horror and darker TV shows. The Haunting of Bly Manor is streaming now on Netflix.
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