Spoiler-Free Review of “The Haunting of Bly Manor” on Netflix: Perfectly Splendid

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Everything yields to time…even the soul.”

The Haunting of Bly Manor is the second season of The Haunting of Hill House horror anthology series. Based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the second season takes a fresh take on the classic ghost story. The Haunting of Bly Manor stars Victoria Pedretti, T’Nia Miller, Tahirah Sharif, Amelia Eve, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Carla Gugino. The second season premiered on October 9th 2020 with nine episodes (approximately 55 minutes in length).

Dani is looking for a fresh start in London and comes across an ad for a live-in governess position at Bly Manor. Upon her arrival, she quickly discovers that there is a mystery surrounding the property, endangering the lives of the children as well as her own.

Here is the trailer:

The Haunting of Bly Manor has the potential to take this ghost story to the next level, but after the disappointing 2020 film, The Turning, it may need to do a lot more to keep its audience invested. Does The Haunting of Bly Manor live up to the welcomed scares of the first season? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Haunting of Bly Manor Dani 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Chilling and intense scares.

I wouldn’t say that the second season scared me as much as the first one, but it was a different kind of fear building throughout the episodes. It was more of an unrelenting chill that wedged itself deep within my bones. While it was a different approach, the fear was real and there were some genuinely scary moments sprinkled in that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Haunting of Bly Manor Rebecca

Images courtesy of Netflix

Incredible characters.

You will recognize some familiar faces in season two as many of the actors from the first season returned to reprise different roles, which was a lot of fun. Some of the newcomers were absolutely brilliant as well and I have to say that the characters all had so much depth.

I think that the women really stood out for me in the second season. Each character flashback or reveal was so powerful and it really helped me connect even more to the characters.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Images courtesy of Netflix

Reveals that are worth the wait.

Each puzzle piece was threaded together with perfect execution. As soon as I thought I had something figured out, I was thrown for a loop. The slow burn build was extremely rewarding and well worth the wait. Even though the episodes were on the long side, I was completely mesmerized by every single scene.

The Cons:

The Haunting of Bly Manor Carla Gugino

Images courtesy of Netflix

I really don’t have one con to list. The only thing I will mention is that this may be more of a beautiful piece of gothic romance rather than a true ghost story. However, I thought that worked perfectly. What I witnessed transcended the need to classify this show to a specific genre. The presence of a storyteller really allowed the classic words to come alive across the screen while bringing in new elements to the story.

So am I in or out?

The Haunting of Bly Manor Dani

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 1000 percent!!!!!!

This may be the best show I have watched all year. I thought that everything was executed perfectly. This show struck me to my core. I laughed, I cried, and I found myself beyond connected to all of these characters. There is something to be said about a piece of work that can resonate with you that much even after it’s over.

Perfectly splendid and then some!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Haunting of Bly Manor in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “The Haunting of Hill House” on Netflix: A Worthy Horror Series filled with Bone-Chilling Moments

“I am home.”  But what if you share your home with ghosts and spirits?  I’m not talking about Casper here, but potentially dangerous and manipulative spirits that can haunt you for the rest of your life.  The Netflix series is based on the book by Shirley Jackson, which was also the inspiration for the film, The Haunting.  There were two versions of the film in 1963 and in 1999 as well.  The Netflix series follows a family who grew up at Hill House and flashes between the past and the present, unraveling the mysteries there.  Each member of the Crain family encounters something different, but they are all connected to the house in one way or another.  They desperately try to overcome their terrifying and traumatic past, as new obstacles and threats continue to surface in their present.

The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 12th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that the series was a pleasant surprise.  There were absolutely terrifying moments that will have you going to sleep with the lights on for weeks to come and other moments that were so incredibly heartwarming and unpredictable.  The show somehow successfully blends family drama in with genuine horror, giving me almost a Brothers and Sisters vibe, while continuing to provide me with frightening moments.  The acting is absolutely incredible and the writing and dialogue is somehow poetic, luring you in to Hill House completely.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out The Haunting of Hill House are: 

5

This show is genuinely scary. 

I’m not talking about the typical jump scares that almost seem unnecessary and essentially become predictable, as you can almost count down to the next moment that is meant to make you pop out of your seat.  The scares on this show are not forced and they seamlessly connect with the rest of the plot, which make them that much more terrifying in my opinion.  You may have nightmares about “The Bent-Neck Lady” like me, but the show will continue to provide you with worthy bone-chilling moments up until the very end.  I found myself needing to watch the show with all the lights on, even during the day.  It’s seriously that scary and even if you don’t scare easily, you will appreciate the way these terrifying moments emerge.

4

Something different.

While some fans have been apprehensive about the series following a different plot, this works to the show’s advantage.  It allows us to be presented with an entirely unique mystery in familiar territory and branches out further to form its own identity, separate from the novel and the films.  If you are looking for just another remake of the films, this is not the show for you, but I would encourage you to give it a try anyway because it is well worth the watch.

3

Episodes 3, 5, and 9.

While all of the episodes were brilliantly done, these three were absolutely incredible.  I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention.  While important plot points are learned during these three episodes, there is something so incredibly magnetic about them.  I found myself completely lost in the story during these three episodes in particular, unaware of anything else going on around me.  That’s how good they are.  Make sure you have your popcorn ready in advance!

2

The cast.

I was initially overwhelmed by the large size of the Crain Family.  We meet Hugh and Olivia Crain, played by Timothy Hutton and Carla Gugino, and their children:  Steven, Shirley, Theo, Luke, and Nell.  The show flashes back between past and present quite frequently and everyone in the cast was absolutely terrific.  I give standout performances to Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel (older Theo), and Elizabeth Reaser (older Shirley), but truly everyone was amazing.  You really believed that they were all family and found yourself connected to each and every one of them as the episodes continued.

1

The family drama works.

Part of what made me enjoy this show so much was the fact that I was completely connected to the characters.  I wasn’t willing to part with any character and I found myself rooting for them more than I normally would when watching a horror film.  The show does an excellent job of combining the terrifying and unexplained moments with the horror we deal with in everyday life.  I’m talking about unspeakable crimes that are committed, grief that we need to endure, addiction, and guilt that will eat us up from the inside if we let it.  The show seamlessly blends the supernatural horrors with these very real ones, connecting us that much more to the characters and the story.  While I initially thought that perhaps the show might have been better suited as a film, I quickly realized that this is not the case.  You would lose out on the connection to these characters and the mystery unravels in perfect tempo, leading up to a satisfying crescendo at the end.  While the series is not your average horror movie, it elevates to something more powerful and resonating.  You won’t be disappointed.  Ready to watch?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Haunting of Hill House in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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