By: Thza Kanapathipillai and Joelle Silvestri
We should probably preface this article by telling you that despite the look of the show, The Haunting of Bly Manor honestly wasn’t too scary. So if you are a fan of horror and drama but don’t want the pants scared off of you, then this show is for you. In our opinion, the scariest part of the show was probably one very creepy smile from Henry Wingrave (the uncle of the children that reside in Bly Manor), and you would probably agree with us if you had seen it. But despite the lack of scariness, this show reeled us in with its storyline and plot twists!
The Haunting of Bly Manor is a follow-up to the show The Haunting of Hill House. The Haunting of Hill House is an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel. Much like the Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor is also a tv show adaptation of a novel. The Haunting of Bly Manor is loosely based on Henry James’s 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw, which itself has already been adapted numerous times over the years. However, the stories are completely different, and you do not need to watch one show to understand the other.
Victoria Pedretti plays Dani Clayton, an American au pair who has many haunting secrets, much like the family she works for. She is hired by the uncle of the two orphaned children to replace the first au pair who tragically died. Set in 1980s England, she arrives at the beautiful Bly Manor surrounded by an emerald green English countryside and meets the two children she has to take care of, Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith), along with the housekeeper Hannah Grose (T’Nia Miller), house chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), and the gardener Jamie (Amelia Eve). As Dani continues to deal with her demons, she notices odd behavior in the children and begins to uncover strange secrets from the past of Bly Manor.
There were many aspects of the show that we absolutely loved, like how the show included POC and LGBTQ+ characters. We agreed that all of the actors were perfect for their roles and carried out the show admirably. Even with its many plot twists, this show was easy to follow. Helpful backstories and flashbacks explained certain motives, along with the many secrets that are revealed. Overall, we give the show an 8/10 ghosts on the ghost meter.
If you are looking for a show with a little bit of spookiness and a little bit of mystery, then The Haunting of Bly Manor is perfect for you!