I I’m not a horror fan. I am so frightened in real life and by it, thank you, and I also stumble because of the great obstacle presented by the fact that ghosts and their people cannot be obscured. The horrors of humanity go far beyond man’s worst efforts – the supernatural does not even make him on the horizon of fear. Halloween is the most boring time of the year.
Still, I find myself enjoying the haunting of Bly Manor, a follow-up to Mike Flanagan’s Shirley Jackson’s classic The Hunting Hill F Hill House unexpected hit retailing. So something went wrong somewhere. And I really think, one side of the natural bias, it’s with the Bly Manor. It seems to have been shared with shock, horror, conspiracy, the need to extract information at regular intervals, and the need for a proper script.
It goes a little further in the second half but overall the characters and spectators are wandering aimlessly through the welter of half-signs, uncoupling tinkling background piano scoring and all paranormal perfenalia can catch a virtual gothic mansion. There are misty lakes, lilies, dolls of life, flitting shadows, shapes in mirrors and windows and mummies are bloody everywhere. The place is full of unsettling small figurines. You can’t move for mummies. Unless they are mummies but the bored corpses of script editors. Or dialect coach. But we’ll get to that.
The original story is largely based on Henry James’s fitted novel The Turn the F-Screw. This action was organized in 1987. Danny Clayton (Victoria Pedretti, upgraded to lead the actor after her scene-stealing turn at Hill House) is a brilliant young California thing that Lord Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas, also takes the job Hill offered earlier) home and much earlier, Of course, ET) will take care of his most recent orphaned niece Flora (Amelie B. Smith) and nephew Miles (Benjamin Evan Ensworth) at the ancestral home, Blai Manor. His regime has also died recently. “Dani, no!” You will cry Also donates.
The manor has a friendly housekeeper, a friendly chef and a friendly gardener. You’ll look inland, spooky or otherwise futile, but there’s nothing to distract or distract the viewer, except to take care of the house and prepare to eat. And speed is fatal, not well. Very, very slowly we will learn that things are wrong. Miles has been expelled from boarding school for indefinite – and anticlimactic – reasons. Flora Mummit is mad, and insists Dani not to leave her room at night. Dani himself has a secret. Even more slowly we will learn the nature of torture, and for a long time, after you stop caring, you have come to a conclusion. There is no propulsion, no sense of danger accumulates, there is plenty of time to fade into any momentary danger. It’s very quiet harassment. It’s not horror.
The only horrible things are the accents and the language. According to Thomas, Lord Vingrave’s estate is in “Visix”, and the problem can best be explained by what Miles’ teacher – the late-middle-aged man in the dog collar of a posh boarding school in 1987 – tells the class. The “big takeoff” from the gospel story assures the boy that “this room is a safe place for questions”, and calls Dani “darling” while taking care of the house. After all, should we know that children, who talk like “absolutely gorgeous” and “I sometimes forget myself” are like weird, possessed or just posh written by a guy with a dressed teen ear.
Even so, if all you have to do is be a bit unconventional in the atmosphere, enjoy your time at Bly Manor. Hill House fans will be hoping to return to spooky form next time.
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