And why is their disconnected, heavy-drinking uncle, who first posted the job listing six months ago, so reluctant to hire anyone for the position at all? The only issue? We want to hear from you! Now, Flanagan happens to be very good at atmosphere. It takes approximately 500 minutes for creator Mike Flanagan’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor” to tell a story that would have been just as effective at 120, or even 150 minutes, with fewer characters. Great characters and great storytelling. Flanagan’s revisionist take was a hit with critics and horror aficionados alike, garnering praise from King and director Quentin Tarantino for being both spooky and emotionally rich, with a careful, compassionate focus on its characters and their inner lives. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. The Haunting of Bly Manor review – horror with a chilling lack of shocks.

It’s not the follow-up to Hill House that many are probably expecting. The Haunting of Bly Manor will not be remembered as fondly as The Haunting of Hill House, but on its own, it is a solid piece of gothic romance horror. Nick Harley is an entertainment journalist and alumnus of Ohio University's E.W. Here are just a few examples: the death of the parents, the uncle’s refusal to visit Bly Manor, a housekeeper who seemingly travels through time, a faceless ghost who roams the halls every night, the au pair’s debilitating fear of mirrors, and Miles’ dramatic turn into a troublesome child. Look no further than Flanagan’s own box office dud “Doctor Sleep,” which played as a follow-up to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” even as it hewed closer to succeeding Stephen King’s novel. Our unnamed narrator takes us back to 1987, when an American teacher named Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti) interviews to be an English family’s au pair. .cls-2{mix-blend-mode:screen}.cls-3{fill:none;stroke:red;stroke-miterlimit:10;stroke-width:4px}.cls-4{fill:red}. A wonky framing device doesn’t quite justify itself and this year’s standout installment, the fifth episode centered on housekeeper Mrs. Grosse, feels like a direct riff on the best episode by rival streaming service Hulu’s horror anthology series, Castle Rock. 'Grand Army' Review: Netflix's Problematic 'Euphoria' Imitation Is All Over the Place, Shooting 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' to the Rhythm of Aaron Sorkin's Layered Script, The Must-See Movies and TV Shows on HBO Max, Oscars 2021: Best International Feature Film Predictions. How Closed Theaters, Drive-In Movies, and Netflix Supremacy Are Shaping Oscar Season, ‘Chicago 7’ Vs. the World: How Aaron Sorkin’s Awards-Friendly Epic Jolted a Strange Awards Season, NYFF Director Eugene Hernandez Explains the Rollercoaster Ride to Programming a Film Festival Without Theaters, Introducing ‘Deep Dive’: Damon Lindelof and His Team Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Watchmen’, ‘Succession’: How Editing Helps Every Dinner Scene Come to Life — Deep Dive, Becoming Hooded Justice: The ‘Watchmen’ Craft Team Analyzes the Emotional, Pivotal Scene – Deep Dive, 40 Must-See New Movies to See This Fall Season, The Best Movies Eligible for the 2021 Oscars Right Now, Jessie Buckley Won’t Explain ‘Ending Things,’ but She Will Reveal What Terrified Her Most. In the new, cancellation-happy era of Netflix (the latest victims: the fun yet thoughtful Teenage Bounty Hunters, the un-renewed cult favorite GLOW), it seems the safest thing a creator can make is not a sprawling tale requiring many seasons, but something tight and cancel-proof, like a limited series or an anthology show. It requires patience as well as faith that the show can actually deliver satisfying answers. Pedretti, in particular, is incredible, able to seamlessly slip between warm caregiver and a tortured wreck. Maybe not for them. And the conclusion feels much more of a piece than Hill House‘s did. Unlike the legion of frights tucked under every bed and behind every creaking door in his original haunted house, Flanagan’s “Bly Manor” is an unhurried, allegorically dense, romantic melodrama. Most episodes are structured like their own ghost story, either introducing or explaining something important. If you watched the prior series, you can have fun seeing the different ways Flanagan deploys his repertory players: For instance, the London-born Jackson-Cohen played an American in Hill House, and here has a thick Scottish burr, while Thomas tries on a posh English accent. And many of freakiest moments come from the simplest of effects, like an unknown woman’s hand coolly sliding into the frame without explanation while Dani is having a conversation with Flora, to place a finger on the adorable little girl’s forehead. But Bly Manor stands completely on its own, offering many of the same thrills, chills, and, yes, frustrations of Hill House without requiring anyone to have watched the earlier series. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. Flanagan explores these relationships while delivering a powerful and poignant message about moving on in the face of grief. "This "somewhat deflating disappointment" simply can't follow in Hill House's footsteps because it's "too … Once this initial cast of characters has become acquainted, it’s not long until inexplicable circumstances start forcing questions to be asked, history to be divulged, and deep-seeded trauma to be unearthed. It belongs to someone I knew. Victoria Pedretti in “The Haunting of Bly Manor”, Near the end of “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” after the season’s narrator finishes spinning her yarn to a heedful audience, one listener chimes in with a word of advice. The kids are a puzzle — perfectly splendid little angels in one moment, unnerving monsters the next — as is the question of what happened to Dani’s predecessor, Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), and Uncle Henry’s exceedingly shady sidekick Peter Quint (Jackson-Cohen).