October has arrived, heralding the official debut of Spooky Season ™ – although it’s hard to imagine what could be more gruesome than the year 2020 so far. The world is full of reasons to be terrified, which is all the more reason to get lost in an all-fictional and elegantly crafted horror storytelling. Netflix The Haunting of Bly Manor, a spiritual sequel to the years 2018 Haunt of Hill House, is there to meet this need.
Back in The Before Times, aka January of this year, I toured all of Vancouver Manor of Bly during a snowstorm that covered the whole city. It was an evocative and dramatic atmosphere in which to explore the eerie world of the series, which explores many of the same themes as Hill house (trauma, loss, isolation) but approaches them from a very different angle. Or Hill house was a dysfunctional family drama cast through a horror lens, Manor of Bly is a gothic romance about the loss of innocence. Here are nine (mostly) spoiler-free clues about what to expect from the new series.
Bly Manor takes place several thousand miles from Hill House.
Bly Manor took over England in the 1980s, where Victoria Pedretti’s American Dani was a foreigner. In the very first episode, we find her difficult to find a job during her debut in London, where she left the United States in an attempt to reinvent herself. Eventually, she finds work as a housekeeper at a country estate named Bly Manor – a position that has been mysteriously vacant for months.
“Dani left the United States to start a new life,” Pedretti told reporters during the visit. “She feels like her life in America hasn’t been for herself. She lived for others, she made herself small. The scope with which she can imagine her future is very limited and she wants something different for herself. After tragedy strikes at her home, Dani is pushed to finally take the plunge and cross the pond – and reinvent herself in the process. “She goes from everyone in her life calling her Danielle to insisting on being called Dani, because she finds herself. And she ends up in this house, looking after these two children. Given what we know about the series and its brand of psychological horror, it’s probably safe to bet that this journey of self-discovery won’t be easy.
The Haunting of Bly Manor it’s love.
[Fleabag voice] It’s a love story. Really! While Season 1 was about bonding family, Season 2 explores love in various forms: from romantic to platonic, from toxic to empowerment. “It’s definitely a love story,” creator Mike Flanagan told reporters on set. Executive producer Trevor Macy added that the new season featured “a lot of exploration of different types of love, while the first season was a bit more about loss.”
Pedretti, who returns as this season’s star after his performance as Nell Crain in Hill house, said the nuanced exploration of love on the show was part of what drew her to the story. “We display a lot of different types of love – toxic love, practical love, practical love,” she teased. “When Dani comes to the UK, she certainly isn’t looking for love, but she finds these great relationships. She eventually finds someone who she begins to feel really safe, loved, and drawn to.
The show is not based on a single novel.
contrary to The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor draws on a number of different texts, all written by author Henry James. The main source material is the 1898 James novel The turn of the screw, which tells the story of a young housekeeper who takes a job looking after two orphans in a remote mansion in the English countryside and is convinced the house is haunted. While this vaguely describes Dani’s arc, the series is far from a straightforward adaptation.
“One of the peculiarities of this season is that while we are using The turn of the screw as a kind of backbone of it, we dig into all of the other Henry James ghost stories as well, ”Flanagan explained. “Turn the screwhas been adapted so many times that it’s really hard to make it fresh, but once we open it up to the rest of its work, and a lot of it that’s never been adapted, there’s just a lot more to shoot.
Hill house fans will notice several familiar faces playing very different roles.
When asked about the similarities between Dani and Nell, Pedretti said that they “are both kind of silenced growing up. Nell is actively silenced by her family, and Dani is further silenced by society, the expectations of women, and the expectations of what is acceptable in the way you live your life. It’s really hard to exist in a way that defies societal norms. It kind of turns your existence into a constant protest.
Aside from Pedretti, the show also brings back Oliver Jackson-Cohen (who played Luke Crain) and Henry Thomas (who played the young incarnation of Hugh Crain) – plus a few returning cast that we’ll keep as a surprise. But actors and creators were keen not to repeat themselves, so the Hill house the veterans are all playing very different characters this time around. Jackson-Cohen’s Peter Quint, for example, is a suave, manipulative charmer who couldn’t be further from Luke, a tortured drug addict.
“For a lot of us, with Season 1, we didn’t want to revisit a lot of places we’ve been,” Flanagan explained. “I know for Ollie, who really got through the ringtone with the way he was slipping into addiction and depression, he felt like he had really crawled out of something by the end of it. [Hill House]. He really put himself to the test. So it would have been cruel, not to say repetitive, to cast him in a similar role here. That’s not to say Quint doesn’t have a dark side – far from it.
american horror story was an influence.
No tone, but in terms of Flanagan’s approach to the Haunting anthology series. “Something that I love about every anthology series, and one of the things that I find the most fun american horror story, look at how they decontextualize everyone, ”he noted. “And sort of understanding by looking that it’s not about who’s coming back, but ‘what are they going to do this time?’ ‘
Bly Manor will expand its ghost horizons.
Who could forget the subliminally terrifying “hidden ghosts” The Haunting of Hill House? Confirming that there are more terrifying Easter eggs to come this season, Flanagan also hinted that Manor of Bly gives a new twist to his ghosts. “Hill house was a very contained story, ”he noted. “It was a story that, from the start, looked like a feature film, it was really difficult to develop it. In this case, we have so much more material and a lot of different types of ghosts. There will be thematic echoes of Season 1 in this, and one of the [the biggest ones] is this idea that a ghost can be a lot of different things, most of which are very human. “
The corruption of innocence is the central theme of the show.
Where Hill House focused on generational trauma in families, Manor of Bly is “more of a season about lost innocence and the trauma of growing up,” says Flanagan. “There are echoes of Season 1, in that it’s about these kids whose parents have died, but the sibling dynamic has been replaced with something new.” That something new. new is the ‘family found’ dynamic that emerges between Dani, her young bosses Flora and Miles and the rest of the staff at Bly Manor. “It’s kind of an improvised family and people who never ‘have no family. “
Keep your eyes and ears open Hill house reminders.
While there isn’t a direct narrative connection between the two shows, there are references scattered around for super-fans to enjoy. “There are absolutely little nods, but they’re very subtle,” says Flanagan. “Lots of dialogue – you’ll hear familiar phrases, but it was really important to the actors, and to Victoria in particular, that she wanted to be as unfamiliar as possible. So there are some cool little moments where this season and the final season come together, but it’s more in the ideas than in the narrative relationships or between specific characters.
Mental illness is explored in new ways.
One of the most resonant aspects of Hill house was his portrayal of mental illness through generations of the Crain family – especially for Nell and Luke. While that’s less of a central theme for the new season, Pedretti says psychology remains a focal point. “The show is about trauma, of course, and how our perspective of the world can be shaped by our circumstances rather than our imaginations.
Dani faces debilitating panic attacks when under extreme stress, Pedretti revealed, “and you see how she’s not destroyed by that. It is extremely painful and she is clearly ashamed of it. But [someone] comes into her life which helps her free herself from shame by choosing to be vulnerable herself. As the season progresses, you see her getting stronger and stronger and fiercer and fiercer, and more and more of an advocate and protector for the people around her because she doesn’t fight so much. of shame.
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