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Haunting of Bly Manor | Stream or Skip

If you've watched 1960's "The Innocents" or read "The Turn of the Shrew" you'll be familiar with this classic ghost tale. The Haunting of Bly Manor is the Haunting of Hill House is much younger niece or nephew.

This is a prime example of a traditional ghost story straight out of the 1800's and brought to modern audiences. With that said, it's not as thrilling and fear-inducing as it's predecessor Haunting of Hill House.

Going into this new season, there were big shoes to fill after the success of 2018's Haunting of Hill House. The first season is highly regarded due to it's stunning and innovative use of cinematography, performances, and it's cultural impact of bringing classic horror back into the mainstream. This season, however, I found to be slightly...underwhelming.

So where does this fall short, there's a vacancy of thrills in this new season, and the overstuffed plot had my attention skip from one plot point to the other. This season was an adaptation of 'The Turn of the Shrew' known as one of the best ghost stories in traditional literature, however, they tried to interweave a few other shorter stories as well. In my opinion, this was the mistake as the sub-ghost stories were unnecessary and short-lived. Anytime I was beginning to be intrigued the plot, it would change course to another story or character without fulfilling the previous beat.

On the production side, Bly Manor was extremely and surprisingly bare. Shots were not stylized and no frames truly stuck out to me after viewing. I look back at that 10-minute sequence from Hill House in the funeral home, of the single-camera floating throughout the space as it changes around with a multitude of characters all choreographed perfectly to interact at the right moment. Bly Manor didn't integrate the camera into it's use of storytelling like the previous season.

Bly Manor is a huge shift in tone versus it's previous season, but as a follow up this is where I believe it falls short. The bar was raised so high, that this particular ghost story and it's execution could not compare.

This is the issue with many series that have an anthology or relation to another series although I think the haunting of [blank] brand still is one of the better horror series in modern times. There were so many moments that could’ve been you in such an effective way that was just undercut we’re up or underwhelming.

Mike Flanagan always has always had a strange approach to his visual effects, that most times is not as realistic as most modern series go for today. When it comes to the horror and sci-fi and thriller genre this is something that most of the time expected the facts don’t totally look out of place but are quite animated versus the dark Gothic aesthetic. In Bly Mannor versus Hill House the effects we’re fairly poor. It was also a similar effect to like Flanagan's film Oculus in the echoing of the mirrors the blended in faces and the reflection of the glasses.

We’re Haunting of Hill House had me scanning the screen at all possible moments, Bly manor was a show I could simply just play in the background. Nothing was directing my focus to the screen. Hill House made you engage in the most thrilling eye gluing experience I've had with any Netflix Original.

I was quite surprised that it was so underwhelming versus it successor and although I do commend

the production for continuing 'the haunting of' legacy, I was just hoping that they would continue their success throughout this next series.

Will I still be checking out next year's season if they choose to green light...absolutely.

What I do appreciate about this series, in general, is that it keeps the classic gothic horror genre alive. There’s a lack of this Gothic classic whore in modern media in the 20th century and as a fan of all things horror, and traditional gothic horror being on of my favorites, I only wish the best for this series future.

It’s unfortunate but it’s a skip for me. Although this is a great series to get you into the spooky season and for a general viewer who maybe doesn’t like horror too much is a great watch. Bly Manor didn’t affect me the same way as Hill House did. Now is that personal preference...possibility. However, in general production, story arch and

They were so many points that never came to fruition, dialogue about a nun and the dolls in the dollhouse, that in a Hill House setting would’ve terrified me to find walking around in the background.

It's difficult to not compare the series with it's successor, but this season dropped the ball.

This is also the issue with follow up series, as it will always be compared to it's successor.


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