The Haunting of Bly Manor: A Review

What is it that makes a good ghost story? Is it the scares or is it the humanity that runs adjacent to them in the narrative? That choice determines what kind of a ghost story will be spun. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor is a web series available on Netflix. After the success of The Haunting of Hill House, which came from the same creative team had audiences on the edge of their seats in 2018, horror fans were chomping at the bit for The Haunting of Bly Manor. Mike Flanagan is the creator of not just these web series but also some fun and fight filled films. Fans were finally invited to Bly Manor in October 2020. If the ratings are any indication the wait was well worth it. 

Based on the works of Henry James, particularly The Screw, The Haunting of Bly Manor is a story full of twists and turns. It is a frame story that starts the night before a wedding. As the guests talk about ghost stories a guest volunteers to tell of a brother, sister and a haunting. From there we flash backwards to a young American who will be the nanny for two children living in the English country. Bly Manor seems to welcome her at first; her coworkers are friendly and the children seem sweet enough. At first glance everything seems to be just perfectly splendid. However as the series unwinds it becomes apparent that Bly Manor is not what it seems. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor really was well done. The set was amazing and expansive. The characters are so well written. The music is perfect for setting the mood of every scene. The costumes are phenomenal and necessary for the story. The cinematography alone is a reason to watch the show. Every set is a treat for the eyes. 

The writing for the show is just amazing. The creative team fleshed out all of the characters so that the audience could relate to them. The twists and turns are unexpected. The writers did a fantastic job of creating a story that did not need a lot of jump scares to be entertaining. Instead the audience is given a detail oriented tale that just so happens to have ghosts. 

I loved The Haunting of Bly Manor. While it wasn’t quite as scary as other horror shows it has a great story. Every episode was interesting and I looked forward to getting to the next every time. The Haunting of Bly Manor will also have us thinking differently about love stories now as well. 

I would highly recommend this series. It is also a great starting point to introduce someone to horror!

Have a great spooky season and always keep sparkling!

Published by thiathebard

Lover of games, writer of articles and member of Real Women of Gaming. Thia the Bard has been writing from a young age and has always been a fan of the fantastic. She grew up playing video and board games. She loves trying different table top and role playing games. Thia is a proud geek and member of many fandoms. She is also interested in cosplay and Steampunk. Thia is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Time not spent gaming or running around in garb is usually spent writing. Always keep sparkling!

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