The Haunting of Bly Manor Review
The next anthology of The Haunting of a haunted house was not what I expected...
The Haunting of Hill House was an intense, scary series that brought chills down your spine not knowing if the bent-necked lady were to appear or not. The sub plots were intriguing and the house brought a sense of mystery because you weren't sure what dead soul was lurking around the next corner. I kow what you're thinking, this isn't a review for Bly Manor, but it is. I just wanted to express the difference between both seasons.
In Bly Manor, a man needs a live-in nanny for his niece and nephew after their previous nanny commits suicide. Right after their parents are killed in an accident out of the country. This nanny, Dani, hails from America and gets the job after a real conversation with the uncle. When she goes to Bly she starts noticing that the children are not quite normal children. They experience strange bipolar-like attitudes, always looking off in the distance during conversations and never giving straight answers to their adult companions.
This show was like 90% sad and 10% scary, almost the opposite of Hill House. This month I was excited for this show because Hill House was scary and kept me on my toes, but this just made me sad. Sad for every party involved. The children were being manipulated by the ghosts of their uncles employers which they could only see, Hannah was not herself a.k.a she was dead the whole show, but no one knew except for Peter who was inside Miles to kill her, the cook and the gardner are completely oblivious to everything, and Dani is being haunted by her past fiance who looks at her in every mirror. However, none of these aspects of the story were even scary. They were depressing and made you just sad for everyone. My heart literally dropped at the end because of the sadness each character felt at one point.
The story is told by a narrator who we find out to be the gardner Jamie, who falls for Dani part way through the show, and she is at a wedding for a couple we don't know with people we figure out who they are at the end. She starts by saying it's a ghost story. In the end, the people she is telling the story to say that it's a love story. And you know what, IT IS! It's a dramatic romance series with scary elements on the side. The story teller was good and I thought her part was calming because her voice was soothing. The only thing I didn't like about that part was that they only showed them in the beginning and then the ending. Usually when we see a narrator telling a story in the beginning, the flow of the show goes back to them, but this didn't have that and I was very curious about the future people of the story as well as the past versions of themselves. I wish we saw more of that.
The second to last episode we are made aware of the hauntings and their origins. We get to meet the Lady of the lake and how she became to be. Viola and her sister Peredita are the new owners of Bly after their father dies. Needing to marry because back then the fortune goes to the men, Viola marrys her cousin Arthur. Shortly after they marry they have a baby girl, Isabel. Then Viola comes down with some form of lung illness and slowly fades with only her sheer will keeping her alive. I won't go into the details of this episode except with what I said above. This was honestly the saddest part of the whole show, but the best part. The character we saw a few times in the background is finally getting her time to shine and what a time it was. It was so sad, yet such a powerful story. All this woman wanted was to be with her husband and daughter, but her sister was selfish and took that all away from her. Plus the way she killed her sister was probably the scariest part of the show!
After Dani absorbs the lady through the mantra, "It's you, It's me, It's us," that the lady spoke to her daughter many years ago, her and the lady become one. Dani feels the power of the lady trying to seep through and she trys to be happy and spend the last remaining days she has left with the one she loves until she can't hold back Viola any longer and has to succumb to the lake floor.
Some frustrations I had with the show- I hate how the kids completely forgot about everything that happened at Bly. I mean good for them now they can be happy and whatever, but the experiences that they had mean they forgot about Dani and what she did for them. Flora completely lost her accent because her and her family went to America after the events that happened. And I hate what they did to Dani. She deserved to be happy with all the trauma she faced in her life leading up to the moment where she technically absorbed the lady of the lake. AND since technically she absorbed the lady and she forgets everything wouldn't she go back into the normal habits of sleeping, waking, and walking? There are some lose ends that don't make sense.
The story, however, was beautifully told and it made me really enjoy the show in that way. I also love anthology series. I am a person who hates monotonous shows that don't give substance (sitcoms and reality TV, mostly), so watching this show was really pleasant. Especially seeing the actors in a new light and having them portray different characters really shows that these actors have talent. But my husband and I were looking for a really good scare and that's what the trailers and posters were hinting at, that we were going to have an insane series like Hill House.
I do recommend watching it though! Happy watching!