I will be honest with you, as I always am — I am a fan of the thriller and horror genre. When The Haunting Of Hill House came out, it took me no time to binge through the whole season. Also, it may sound like an unnecessary detail, but I did re-watch the whole thing because it was honestly that good! So as an avid fan I was eagerly waiting for the sequel, The Haunting Of Bly Manor. Does this second entry to The Haunting series do justice to the previous one? Continue reading this review to find out.
Fun fact: This series is loosely based on an 1898 horror novella by Henry James, The Turn of the Screw.
What is the catch?
While there are some stories that make you jump from the very beginning, there are some that bring an unsettling vibe that stays with you. The Haunting Of Bly Manor begins on the same unsettling, eerie, and chilly note. The first episode begins with a guy giving a toast at a rehearsal dinner, but the ominous music sets the tone right for the story to follow.
As the dinner ends, the guests move indoors and gather around the fireplace to share some spooky stories. One guest with an unnerving aura around her decides to narrate a story. She claims it’s not her own story but promises that it has a lot of ghosts in it. Her story dates back to 20 years ago about a young American teacher, Dani Clayton interviewing for a full-time au pair at the Bly Manor to look after two well-mannered children who lost their parents. Their wealthy uncle, Henry Wingrave, had been looking to find a perfect fit for the position for almost six months now. As both strike a deal, the only question is — what is the catch?
Running from the ghosts of the past
While Bly Manor has no connection to the Hill House, the narration and direction somehow steer towards the previous series. As Dani prepares to walk into the Bly Manor, she knows she is running away not only from her past but also the ghosts from her past. The continuous reflection of a black figure lurking in the mirrors gives her the push to make a run from her life. But as she walks in with the ghosts of her own, she realizes the ones she carried along weren’t the only ones in the mysterious manor.
With the two kids, Flora and Miles, playing the perfect innocent kids, things don’t quite add up to their odd behaviour sometimes. From locking Dani in a closet to running out of the manor late at night, these aren’t kids who just like to play harmless pranks. While Miles has an eerie and disturbing aura due to his boarding school experience, Flora keeps dolls all over the house to keep everyone safe. If there’s one thing that is certain, it’s that the kids have secrets of their own, and dark and foul ones perhaps.
Would I recommend watching it? Absolutely!
Even though it is very different compared to the jump scares, lurking ghosts at every nook and cranny, and the twisted tale of the Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor is no less of a chilling tale. With well-built characters, each with their own stories laced with abomination and terror, it brings together a tale different from the Hill House, but almost equally compelling.
This series gives the perfect kick start to the spooky season and it won’t disappoint you. However, if you are expecting jump scares and shutting-your-eyes sort of scenes like the ones in the Hill House, you won’t get that. None the less, a captivating tale with an ominous mood and secrets that had been buried long ago, this one is an absolute delight if you love a good horror story.