Saturday, November 7, 2020

THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (2020)

A story of Centuries of Dark Secrets of Love and Loss

VR Critique Meter: 3.5/5



  • Premiered Date: 9th October 2020
  • No of Seasons: 1
  • No of Episodes: 9
  • Total Runtime: 8Hrs 14mins
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
  • Subtitles: Yes
  • Streaming Portal: Netflix

 


The Haunting of Bly Manor can be considered to be a parallel sequel to the series The Haunting of Hill House released in 2018.



Haunting of Bly Manor instalment takes place within the walls of a fictional mansion located in the British county of Essex. The story is inspired by the book called The Turn of the Screw by Henry James released in 1898. A movie called The Innocents was released in 1961 based on the book. The series has horrifical instances with much more added drama flavour.



The series takes place in the period of ’80s, followed by a women (Carla Gugino) narrative about a found family and doomed love. The tragic death of a governess, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American teacher (Victoria Pedretti) as an au pair to care for his orphaned nephews (Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), who live in Bly Manor with the house cook, Owen (Rahul Kohli), the gardener, Jamie (Amelia Eve) and the housekeeper, Mrs Grose (T'Nia Miller). But in the mansion, not everything is what it seems: centuries of dark secrets of love and loss await to be discovered in this chilling Gothic tale. In Bly Manor, dying is not the same as disappearing.


Victoria Pedretti is Dani Clayton, a young American au pair with as many secrets as the family, she was hired for. She finds herself in the beautiful Bly estate, surrounded by the green English countryside, with two curious children to take care of: Miles and Flora Wingrave, played by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and Amelie Smith, who are fond of both the newcomer and the catchphrase "perfectly "combined with an adjective. But things are not what they seem: the housekeeper Hannah Grose (T'Nia Miller) continues to skip meals at the table, chef Owen (Rahul Kohli) describes Bly Manor as a "gravity well" that traps people, and handyman gardener Jamie (Amelia Eve) is quite sarcastic and masculine with clothes getting bigger than her and a secret she keeps to herself.


The newcomer begins to glimpse people no one else seems to see. There is a mystery surrounding the deaths of Miles and Flora's parents, as well as the previous housekeeper Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), who drowned in the nearby lake. Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) the boys' uncle also seems to have something to hide and sticks to the bottle much more often than usual in his studio in London. The director tries to take care of his characters by enveloping them in their psychological trauma. Instead of focusing on just one character in some backstory, he uses a doppelgänger, a supernatural double, and a maze of memories to uncover the characters' hidden scars.



Every now and then certain philosophical conversations about life and death slow down the story and the ghost gallery continue to show its presence. Very slowly we learn that things are wrong. Young Miles has been expelled from boarding school for unspecified reasons, while his sister Flora, who looks possessed and sees ghosts, insists Dani don't leave her room at night. Dani herself has a secret; she often sees a man with bright eyes in the mirror. There are not many terrifying scenes, everything is quite psychological and when some of them cannot get out of the estate we find out why.


Despite its nine episodes, 'The Curse of Bly Manor' has a slower pace, sometimes too vulnerable by its kilometre-long monologues or the repetition of scenes and situations that could confuse and exhaust the audience. Of course, the latter is nothing but a practice forced by the plot itself, in the end, it makes all the sense in the world. You just need to have the endurance to handle it.
 
VR Critique Meter: 3.5/5



PS: Please watch the series in high definition or 4K enabled screen with Dolby surrounded speakers to feel the aura. I watched the series with High definition with HDR enabled screen along with Dolby surround speakers.

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