The Haunting of Bly Manor Review

October 5, 2020 at 5:26pm
By Jason Stettner

This is a Netflix Original series that is the next season of this anthology series. It follows the incredibly well developed and spooky show, The Haunting of Hill House. It’s not nearly as terrifying, and really does leave behind the scary vibes. Somewhat more of a romance I suppose, with slight chills.

It’s still decently entertaining and well done, at the same time it’s not close to what I had anticipated. I was definitely ready for another round of emotionally scarring terror, and that just wasn’t the case. Anyways, this series is a standalone story arc. It follows an American nanny brought over to a British location called Bly Manor.

This is Dani (Victoria Pedretti), with a great performance from the actress. If you’re familiar with the previous season you might recall who this is, and she’s not the only actor that comes back. They’re not playing the same individuals when it comes characters, they’re just returning in new positions.

Anyways, Dani is taking care of two young children. These individuals have been having problems due to the loss of their parents, and their previous caretaker. It’s an interesting journey to understand what happened, and the general mystery at play here. These all get revealed over time, but are largely predictable if you’ve seen Hill House.

Not in the sense that it’s the same, but the story beats are very similar. There’s a heavy focus on memories, being tied to an area and many flashbacks. They deploy them better here than the first time around, at the same there’s a second last episode that sort of takes you out of things almost. It slows the pacing down entirely, to give you context and it was strangely done quite honestly.

It was a neat episode, but too standalone. Past that, it’s an interesting series that has some unique themes to it. I just wanted something more terrifying, I don’t think there was a moment where I was truly feeling the terror like I had with the prior series. It’s just, a bit disappointing I suppose that they took this direction with it.
The Haunting of Bly Manor Wallpaper
The performances here were largely great, Pedretti is particularly excellent. The young kids also do a splendid job, since they’re doing double shifts essentially. It’s fun to see that be revealed over time.

There are other characters, but they’re not quite as important. They fit their roles well, and are used efficiently. I would have liked to see Kohli’s chef character used more here, as while essential he doesn’t necessarily filter into the modern time as much. Which is a shame, since he’s quite entertaining throughout.

This was beautifully well shot, definitely visually similar to last season which was great. It’s pleasant to view, and hauntingly eerie at times. Still, way too much brightness and cheer in this. I’m looking for more dread and scares, there were fewer chilly moments throughout. I just really expected to be scared, and wasn’t. It was about some emotional aspects, and the relationships individuals have.

The Conclusion

The Haunting of Bly Manor isn’t really much of a horror series, but it serves as an alright second piece of this anthology series that I hope continues. I just, wanted to be terrified and never really was. It was unsettling at times, but not spooky like Hill House was before it. It’s got great characters here, deals with some problems that arise due to emotional issues and that was neat.

It’s got some strong moments to it, and it provides a solid viewing. I enjoyed it, while at the same time having anticipated that something else was going to be presented. I kept waiting for some sort of darker twist, and that really didn’t ever come It was mostly predictable, being almost too present in showing you the details you need to know.

It hits similar beats to the first season, but still does well as a standalone. It’s a full story arc, so don’t expect this particular tale to continue. Hopefully the next time around, assuming we get more, it leans into the scares further as that’s what I sort of anticipated. Still, it does provide some entertaining moments, and a story with deeper meanings throughout.

The Haunting of Bly Manor Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix

Rating Overall: 7.5

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner