The Haunting of Bly Manor came to our screens on October 9th, filling each viewer with a range of mixed emotions. While this is a horror series, this particular season takes on a dramatic yet chilling love story that even those who can’t stand horror could enjoy.
This is a follow-up to Mile Flanagan’s popular retelling of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Haunting of Hill House’. While the first season was full of shocks and horror, Bly Manor tells a more chilling story of Au Pair Dani, played by Victoria Pedretti, who grows a relationship with the children (Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) she takes care of, and those around her have their love story told.
Set in a grand and gothic English manor in the 1980s, this season is full of tinkling background piano to create a chilling atmosphere, along with the staple misty lake, moving dolls, paranormal shadows, shapes in mirrors and windows, and hidden ghosts.
As we arrive at the manor with Dani, we meet a cook (Rahul Kohli), a housekeeper (T’Nia Miller), and the gardener (Alex Essoe). Dani is a bright, young woman who is offered a job by Lord Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) to look after his recently orphaned niece Flora and nephew Miles.
Four different love stories are told throughout the show, none of them ending particularly well, however, each is unique and captivating. There are many frightening aspects in this show that will send a chill down your spine and stop you from moving for just a few moments, but the romantic element overtakes the horror genre.
As the show progresses, we learn more about each character’s past and grow to love most of the show’s main characters. The show builds up to give us more background information on the previous residents of Bly Manor and why the manor has come to be haunted.
In episode eight, the flow of the compelling story is brought to a sudden stop when we are shown an entire episode dedicated to the backstory of the ghost who haunts the halls of Bly Manor. Because of this slight hiccup, the story doesn’t flow as well as ‘The Haunting of Hill House’.
As a fan of horror series, you may have watched other shows such as ‘American Horror Story’. Bly Manor hugely differs from such shows as it focuses more on storytelling and less on jumps and demons. The hit show, ‘American Horror Story’ tends to captivate readers by terrifying them at every opportunity.
At its core, ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ is a love story disguised by a ghost story. Regardless of this, the show still manages to frighten viewers and captivate them with a heart-wrenching story of the ghost, family and residents of Bly Manor.
Image Credit: Bly Manor Twitter