The creators of The Haunting of Hill House have returned with their highly anticipated second installment of their Netflix horror anthology series.
This time around the story is taking primarily from Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. I am three episodes into the nine episode miniseries. I decided to divide the review into three parts as there is alot going on and I’m sure more to come in what’s left.
So, the good and the bad.
Character investment: So many of these positives will (obviously) be similar to those from its predecssor. Bly Manor is no exception to really great character investment. We have our protagonist Dani (Victoria Pedretti) who has taken this au pair gig in the late 1980’s to look after two orphaned siblings.
The only real thing to her that has still not been explained, up to the third episode, is just who the hell is she seeing in the mirror? My guess is that she is responsible for this man’s death and this is why she ran all the way to the UK.
This is the easiest thing to assume, but I’m hoping there is more to the story than that.
We have the three members of the manor’s staff; Owen (Rahul Kohli) is the manor’s cook and has since moved back to Bly to look after his very ill mother. By the end of episode three we learn that his mother has now died. This is the biggest piece to his story and involvement in the show so far, and I can’t believe that this story with his mother ends there… This is a show with ghosts afer all!
Jamie (Emilia Eve) plays the grounds gardner. She’s the cool, distant, and aloof character. Honestly everyone in this damn house is suspicious AF but her indifference is the least peculiar. From her first scene with Dani I assumed that they would have some kind of romantic connection and that seems to be right! Now, just don’t die!
Hannah (T’Nia Miller) I do not trust. I know, I know, she seems just as spooked and flabbergasted as everyone else by some of the stuff going on, but there’s something not right… For starters she doesn’t eat. What on earth is that about? The most we’ve seen her consume is the cake batter Owen gave in that flashback. Key to recognize is that it indeed was a flashback. Something happened with Rebecca’s(Tahirah Sharif) death. This is the biggest mystery of the show so far. Things aren’t adding up and I can’t shake that all of these people, excluding Dani, know more than they’re letting on…
Miles: Where the F**** did they find this kid? His performance in this show so far is brilliant. He’s played by the young Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and he’s been a scene stealer since episode one.
He’s perfectly creepy and excellently suspicious. I have a guess, just based on that demons and pigs scene, that he is actually possessed. I think Peter (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is indeed dead and not “miles away” like the staff seems to think. I think he is haunting the house with Rebecca and is somehow posessesing Miles. The flower thing, the violent grips, the adult-like behavior, the perverted peeping…Yeah, I’d put money on it.
Peripheral Spooks: We remember that during Haunting of Hill House one of the most impacting creative choices of the series was to include ghosts within the peripheral of scenes even when they weren’t focused on scaring the audience. Bly Manor brings back that tactic only on a lower scale; we see this hooded figure showing up in multiple shots throughout the first three episodes. We have to assume this is “the lady in the lake.”
I’m enjoying playing “Horror Where’s Waldo” but I am also a bit bummed that it isn’t new! No offense to this season, it won’t lose points for it, but it’s a reminder just how special the first show was two years ago.
Wee Slow: I know for a fact Im going to regret this very soon. Here it goes. The first three episodes are a bit slow when it comes to the scares. No real big popups are mind F****. Alot of teases! That’s for sure. Yet nothing really standing out so far.
There are six episodes left of this thing. I know it’s going to pick up. I know it’s going to make me S*** myself. I’m the biggest chicken when it comes to horror I honestly don’t know why I’m watching this. I’m committed to finishing though!