My Thoughts Four Episodes Deep Into THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (Spoiler Free)
If you were a fan of Netflix and Mike Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House the way I was, you've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Haunting of Bly Manor (October 9th on Netflix). Netflix was nice enough to let us check this out before it's release date tomorrow and four episodes deep, I have some strong opinions.
First off, Flanagan is as sharp as ever with his direction. This show effortlessly weaves through confusing timelines and story points like it's nothing. Every great director has their marks and for my money Flanagan is the Michael Jordan of that particular skill. The aesthetic is still there, the blurry, Fall feeling, spooky, depressing almost blurry sheen over every scene. It's beautifully shot and beautifully acted. There's a lot of emotion, grief, tons of love stories and heartbreaks.
Four episodes in though....where is the horror?
I'll be completely honest with you here, as much as I was impressed by all the aforementioned talents brought forth in the acting and drama, there are moments where I felt like I was watching a Lifetime program with my mother. I understand grief and dread and fear go hand in hand. I'm a fan of Hereditary. I thought it was done fantastically in The Haunting of Hill House but that show had moments from day one of pure "holy fuckin shit did you see that thing move??!?" in between dramatic dialogue sequences. Here however, I'm left after (the very few) scare attempts with a...."huh" like I just found out the McRib was back at McDonald's but never really liked it anyway.
Throughout the first episode of Bly Manor they have essentially used one singular scare and repeated it about seven times. When I say one singular scare, I mean it. The same oogey boogey doing the exact same oogey boogey thing seven to ten times.
I'm enjoying the performances and am impressed by the story weaving but good lord, the atmosphere has gone from the ghastly and spooky October feel I was looking forward to wheat fields and British romance vibes. Here's hoping the next six episodes ramp things up. It's not bad, it's just not whatsoever scary so far. Again.....so far. Emphasis on the so far. I have hope in the Flanagan man again. Jesus christ, that line was so awful I have to leave it in as punishment. More to come so be sure to subscribe to the youtube channel and the email newsletter below for more horror inside of both you and your inbox.