The Haunting of Bly Manor finally began streaming on October 9, and it quickly became number one on Netflix’s Top Ten in the US Today category.
A lot of fans immediately binged The Haunting of Bly Manor, especially those who loved The Haunting of Hill House, which premiered two years ago on Netflix. And a lot of those fans immediately began complaining that the series wasn’t scary enough, or wasn’t as scary as its predecessor.
The thing is, many people had the same complaint when The Haunting of Hill House was at its peak, I even wrote a piece about it at the time. They complained that it was too slow, it was boring, it wasn’t scary enough. Meanwhile, others were claiming that it was giving them nightmares and making them cry.
So, what about Bly Manor? Let’s break down the complaints and try to sort them out, shall we? We’ll start with this one:
The British accents are so bad! Are they really? Or are horror fans just nitpicking? It may surprise some of the complainers to find out that several of the actors are actually British. Counted among the English actors are Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Peter Quint), Amelie Bea Smith (Flora), T’Nia Miller (Hannah Grose), Rahul Kohli (Owen), Tahirah Sharif (Miss Jessel) and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (Miles).
It’s not scary! I disagree with this statement, and I will attempt to not give spoilers in my reasoning: The storyline involving the well was scary, the blurry-faced ghosts were scary (especially the scene where Flora is singing in her bedroom, and that thing behind her tries to sing along), the lady in the lake was super scary, and I defy any of the complainers to honestly say they wouldn’t be TERRIFIED if any of the spectral characters approached them in the middle of the night.
Honestly, the entire story was spooky and chilling, and both of those are forms of fear; sub-genres, if you will. The Haunting of Bly Manor is not chock-full of gore and in your face horror, but it’s not a slasher film, it’s a gothic-style ghost/love story, meant to give you goose bumps, not make you nauseous.
It’s boring! It is a slow-moving story, which actually adds to the creepy factor of the series. I suspect that people who have this complaint are not fans of films such as The Witch or Hereditary, which is fine, the world would be a boring place if everyone agreed on everything. But, I personally love a story that burrows under my skin bit by bit, and makes me feel uneasy. And I love it even more if it gives me all the feels.
So, here is my advice if you haven’t watched The Haunting of Bly Manor yet: Don’t expect it to be just like The Haunting of Hill House. It’s a completely different story, with completely different characters, even though some of the actors are the same. Relax, enjoy the tale that is being spun for you and don’t anticipate a million jump scares or gory scenes.
Especially enjoy episode eight, which tells the brilliant back story of the lady of the lake in glorious black and white. It’s a frightening tale of a woman with a will so strong, not even death could break it.
And, if it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine too. Just shrug it off and move on, there is no need to blast the series on social media, ridiculing those of us who enjoy a slow burn film. Some horror fans enjoy “torture porn,” some like gory films, some prefer ghost stories. And some of us (myself included) enjoy any type of horror with a good story and interesting characters that makes us care about them.
The Haunting of Bly Manor is currently available to stream in its entirety on Netflix, and The Haunting of Hill House is also available.
Have you watched The Haunting of Bly Manor? Let us know if you liked it in the comments section.