I love horror, in any format possible, because it’s a multi-faceted genre. There is more to horror than jump scares and gore. The fact of which isn’t realized to a large amount of people and that is sad to see. My husband and I watched Haunting of Bly Manor over the weekend and I have many thoughts on it. I don’t review shows or movies on this blog but seeing as it’s that spooky time of year I thought that this was a great time to give it a go.
This is going to be a spoiler free review so I will not talk about any plot specific details. If you want a more detailed review feel free to let me know in the comments!
I went into this with a specific expectation. That it would be like The Haunting of Hill House. I was looking forward to being scared thoroughly like I was with Hill House. I’ve never read Henry James so I didn’t know anything about what kind of horror writer he was. I just new that I loved Hill House and I had the desire to love Bly Manor for all the same reasons.
However what Bly Manor is can’t be confined by or compared to Hill House. I realized after watching that Henry James is a Gothic Horror author and with that he doesn’t tell the usual ghost stories or horror tales. Bly Manor is a ghost story, a love story, a tragedy, a drama, a psychological thriller, a comedy even at times. It’s a wealth of emotions that you feel from the start and that hold you til the end.
I can’t say that it’s better or worse than Hill House because it’s nothing like Hill House and for that I’m happy. We got something with so much depth. I found it to be a wonderful change to my expectations, but it’s not without it’s faults.
There were things that didn’t need to be there. I don’t think we needed as much, “Perfectly Splendid” and “She sleeps, She wakes, She walks..” as we got. I think that the episode about Hannah dragged a little. I think that there were plenty of moments that could have been condensed without sacrificing the plot at all. Some scenes that felt repetitive, while I understood why they did them, they wore on me at times.
Despite that, I loved the characters. Their interactions with each other, from the parts that were scary to the parts that were heart-wrenching, where some of the best acted scenes I’ve seen. I love the love story that this is and I love the ghost story that this is as well. How I felt for all these people and the terror that they went through from the children all the way to Hannah herself stayed with me throughout each episode.
My thought is to say, watch this if you want to feel something, but don’t expect to be scared in the same way that Hill House scared you. Prepared to cry, to laugh, to have those full body chills that all us horror lovers love so much.
What did you think of The Haunting of Bly Manor? Did you watch it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Bly Manor as well!