Review of ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’

Erik Feliciano, Reporter

After two years of waiting, the follow-up series to the “Haunting of Hill House” has finally creeped its way onto Netflix.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is the newest addition to the anthology series created by Mike Flanagan. It was released on Oct. 9, and acts as a loose adaptation of the 1898 novella, “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James.

For all intents and purposes, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” seems to be less of a horror series and more of a romance. “Bly Manor” does have a few jump scares, but it does not overly rely on them. I can count on one hand how many times I jumped due to being scared. The show relies on tension and making you feel uneasy at the thought of something happening.

The series starts out in the present day, on the night before a wedding. A group of guests, as well as the bride-to-be and her fiancé, share ghost stories around a fireplace. This is what starts the story of “The Haunting of Bly Manor.” What follows are many twists and turns and some very unexpected surprises that tie throughout the manor. 

In the story we find Dani Clayton, who had recently moved to London from the United States. As Clayton is looking for work, she accepts a job request from Henry Wingrave to work as a live-in governess for his two orphaned niece and nephew Flora and Miles Wingrave.

Flora is a very upbeat and cheerful girl who acts like a normal child, but you can’t help feeling that there’s something wrong. Miles, on the other hand, is a character that’s difficult to place and at the start of the series you get the feeling that he’s a troubled child. There are moments where he’s just an everyday 12-year-old boy, but then out of nowhere he’ll either act very odd or have outbursts of rage for absolutely no reason.  

Dani initially considers this an easy enough job as she was previously a school teacher and expects that caring for two children wouldn’t be too much of a challenge given her background. But as the series progresses that can’t be further from fact as she constantly faces the ghost of her past as well as the supernatural events that take place in Bly manor.

Throughout the series, Dani also gets to know the other residents of Bly Manor:  Owen the chef who can’t seem to go five minutes without making a terrible pun, Hannah the housekeeper who is completely devoted to Wigrave family and will do absolutely anything for them, and finally Jamie the gardener who has the sharpest tongue of the group and from the very start might grow to be your favorite character. Dani’s relationship with these characters deepen extensively as the show progresses, especially with Jamie. You can really feel the bond that these characters have with one another.

As the series comes to a close, you can’t help but feel sad about the experiences that these characters went through and the bonds that were made throughout the series.

All in all, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” isn’t exactly the scariest ghost story in the world and will more than likely make you shed a few tears. Nevertheless, it’s still a great show.

Putting all of this into consideration, Spinnaker gives “The Haunting of Bly Manor” a 4 out of 5 sails.


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