The Haunting of Bly Manor proves every love story is a ghost story
The Haunting of Bly Manor, which premiered last week on Netflix, makes me a little sad that I never had Seen from a Ghost. This is the second series from The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan. Like American Horror Story, the Haunting shows are anthologies, each series telling a stand-alone story. In other words, they are not linked other than by cast and aesthetic - each show is first a drama and then a horror show, largely taking place in lush realms and creepy.
Like Hill House, Bly Manor is based on a fundamental horror text. For this tour, Flanagan chose Henry James 's 1898 short story The The original story is told in flashback by an anonymous narrator who tells the story of a housekeeper hired to take care of the niece and newish of a rich man in the majestic Bly mansion. Over time, the housekeeper begins to see people who may not really be there, and she also suspects that something is wrong with the children. Bly Manor uses its source material as a loose frame for the narrative, filling in the spaces between the major beats of the original plot with stand-alone stories about people haunted by very real things (like guilt or jealousy) that at times take on a supernatural dimension (ghosts).
Bly Manor begins in 2007, with a ghost story told by a woman (Carla Gugino) on the eve of a wedding in an old historic mansion. Its story is set 20 years earlier, when a woman named Dani (Victoria Pedretti), living abroad in London, takes a job from the wealthy Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) to be a housekeeper to his niece and nephew, Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) and Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth). She therefore moves into the dark Bly Manor to take care of her new responsibilities.
But something is wrong with Bly - children have clearly seen things that no child should see, and someone seems to be experiencing it. west wing, which is supposed to be closed. Meanwhile, Dani runs away from something that causes her to cover all the mirrors she encounters.
Despite all of this spooky setting, Bly Manor isn't terribly important for those moments that make you want to hide under the covers. Like the short story it is based on, the series is a gothic romance, which means it is more interested in the supernatural as a way to explore indefinable feelings, like terror. or love. The genre never tends to be very popular in its day, as it is often confused with the simpler version of horror: the creepy genre.
Like the ghosts at its heart, Gothic romances tend to develop in the narrative, as more and more people tell their tragic stories. There are some scary moments, but the series contrasts slightly with that. The Haunting of Hill House, which produced a number of delightfully spooky episodes during its run. Bly Manor is trying something harder.
Its nine episodes Interweave in a number of tragic stories as the series expands its reach, growing to fill the dark halls of the eponymous mansion. We hear of the housekeeper, Hannah Grose (T'Nia Miller), so lost in her work that she gets lost, seeming to forget her own biography. About Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), whose whirlwind romance ends, as one would expect, with a tragedy. (Gothic romance.) About the story ofBly Manor itself. This adds to a series that believes the real beginning of a ghost story is a kiss, not an obsession, because loving ultimately means crying. Ghosts are nothing but pain that has managed to bend the rules of the natural world.
In The Haunting of Bly Manor, like The Haunting of Hill House before it, real ghosts hide in the edges of the frame, just blurry. Spotting them is a fun and scary diversion - mainly because the characters on the show don't notice them.
Look closely and you will see them: a plague doctor appears in different rooms; elsewhere, a soldier seems blurry. They are different from the ghosts actors can see and from those who terrorize them. They make you wonder what ghosts haunt the spaces you cross each day and the stories that mightt hide in familiar places.