16th Oct2020

‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ Review (Netflix)

by Paul Metcalf

It may seem strange to call a story that at first appears to be a retelling of The Turn of the Screw to be a love story; but The Haunting of Bly Manor is a show that slowly burns into your subconscious, before introducing something that will stay with you for quite some time.

When Dani (Victoria Pedretti) agrees to become the nanny for two orphaned children, she soon finds that things at Bly Manor, their home are not what they seem. Already haunted by ghosts of the past from which she’s trying to escape, the manor’s secrets may be the answer she needs, as well as a danger she may be unable to escape.

The main core of The Haunting of Bly Manor is the aformentioned retelling of The Turn of the Screw. Many horror fans will have seen many movies based on this, and will recognise the story points straight away. What Bly Manor does, is tell a GOOD version of the story… I will admit I was tiring of the show by the fifth episode, wondering why there were so many episodes. When the answer hits, then you realise what a good show it actually is.

Wrapped around The Turn of the Screw is another slow burning story that slowly introduces itself, in some ways you don’t even realise it is being done. You just notice that there are many unanswered questions being raised, and themes that are opening the audience of the show up to new undiscovered parts of the story. When we reach finale episodes, this is when the show changes from a creepy retelling of a classic story, something much better.

To say much about what the secret of The Haunting of Bly Manor is, would ruin the surprise for those yet to see it, but for those who have watched the show already, they will know what I am writing about, and hopefully agree. I’m sure there are some people who didn’t react the same way, but that is more based on personal opinion.

What I take from The Haunting of Bly Manor is that it is a creepy show that doesn’t go attack for all out scares, but looks to tell a Gothic horror story that will actually stay with the audience. There’s more than one ghost story hidden within both the manor’s and the stories core and when these come together, we are given something that is truly original.

If there is one episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor that stands out, it is the eighth, which is not only beautifully made, but is very important to the plot. I will also say that the finale itself is a very fitting closure to the season, and is actually quite beautiful in the way that it closes the story.

It is fair to say that The Haunting of Bly Manor may not be for everybody. It is a tale that at times can feel slow, and does take it’s time to finally reveal it’s secrets. For those people who are willing to keep watching though and find out the secrets, they will find a very satisfying ending to a very good ghostly tale which is perfect for Halloween.

**** 4.5/5

The Haunting of Bly Manor is available on Netflix now.
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Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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