3.5/4

The Haunting Of Bly Manor [2020] ★★★½

Many will say that “The Haunting of Bly Manor” isn’t like “The Haunting of Hill House”, but it doesn’t have to be. This is a new story in a new house, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it just as captivating as its predecessor. And yes, I binged the hell out of it on day one, so might as well write a review while I’m at it. It is important to know that several cast members from the first series are back, but mostly everyone and everything else is new. Victoria Pedretti (a Netflix regular at this point) plays  a young American woman who is hired to take care of two orphaned kids at Bly manor, their family’s English country house. Then we meet the other residents of that beautiful estate: chef Owen, groundskeeper Jamie and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose. Of course, not everything is what it seems, and this is my cue to shut up. Plot-wise, the series will be compared to Guillermo Del Toro’s underappreciated “Crimson Peak” and mostly any other Gothic horror drama. It’s also worth mentioning that almost everything, from the beautiful costumes to the lavish sets, is perfectly designed, and the story truly pulls you in from the word go. That’s not to say that the series is flawless. It can get a bit confusing somewhere in the middle, and I wish they trimmed it a little bit (this was my problem with “Hill House” as well). Still, the last few episodes wrap things up in ways you don’t always see coming, and the ending will satisfy even the naysayers. I didn’t think I’d care for another ghost story, so soon after “The Haunting of Hill House”, but “Bly Manor” kept me hooked from start to finish. It should absolutely be your go-to series this Halloween season.

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