The Haunting of Bly Manor: Not a ghost story

Me and daughter saw “The Haunting of Bly Manor” over the course of this week. We started last week and while I was excited initially as I loved “The Haunting of Hill House” and wanted to binge watch the heck out of this, that excitement tampered down once we began watching and so it was only completed over the week. After watching it my daughter asked what I’d rate it on a scale of 10 and I said I’d give it an 8. That surprised her as she thought I might give it a lesser rating since I was kind of bored with it.

I’d give “The Haunting of Hill House” a 10/10 or even an 11/10 if possible – that’s how much I loved it. “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is nothing similar in comparison; but the thing is it is a well taken TV show nevertheless. As a horror story it’s boring and not very scary, and I’d probably just give it a 4 or 5… but who am I to judge all the effort that goes into making it a good story even though it’s not very horrifying. I feel like if I were to give it a 4 or 5 I won’t be doing justice to it.

The first episode started well and set the tone. From there on it goes downhill and like I said I was bored and not much scared. Some of the episodes were a drag. But the second last episode was great in that it tied everything together and explained all that was happening, and the last episode gently winds things down to a soft ending. And as one of the characters says in the end – “this is not a ghost story, it’s a love story” (I am paraphrasing), and to which another replies “it’s the same thing” (again, paraphrasing). I think that captures my feelings on the show too… as a ghost story it didn’t have much, but as a love story (the final episode) and a family drama it was great. It’s just that most of the “ghosts” aren’t really ghosts as you’d think of them, they are more like ghosts of your past or even your inner demons/ alter ego… a very loose definition of the term “ghost” basically.

In case you weren’t aware already this season is based on “The Turn of the Screw” but quickly moves on from it to fresh territory.

I could be wrong but except for the first episode none of the others are directed by Mike Flanagan either. He directed most, if not all, of “The Haunting of Hill House”… while this one had many directors. That’s probably a reason too why tonally this show is different; or maybe this show is tonally different and that’s why he didn’t direct it entirely except for the first one… just to set it up as a spiritual successor of “The Haunting of Hill House” but not be too involved in the details after that.