The Haunting of Bly Manor
The Haunting of Bly Manor is an American drama-gothic romance streaming television series created by Mike Flanagan, and released on October 9, 2020 by Netflix. It mostly acts as an adaptation of the 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but also includes other elements either based on James' other works or created for the show; it is also the second entry in Flanagan's The Haunting anthology series, acting as a follow-up to 2018's The Haunting of Hill House. It features much of Hill House's crew and some of the same cast, but the two series' narratives are not connected.
|The Haunting of Bly Manor|
|Created by||Mike Flanagan|
|Based on||The work of Henry James|
|Composer(s)||The Newton Brothers|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||9 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||46–66 minutes|
|Original release||October 9, 2020|
|Preceded by||The Haunting of Hill House|
Like its predecessor, the series follows a nonlinear narrative; The Haunting of Bly Manor follows the events occurring in the eponymous countryside manor in the United Kingdom, mostly upon the arrival of a young American hired as an au pair for the two children living at Bly, and who is unaware that the manor is haunted. It stars Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amelia Eve, T'Nia Miller, Rahul Kohli, Tahirah Sharif, Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, and Henry Thomas; Pedretti, Jackson-Cohen, Thomas are returning from Hill House as different characters, as are Kate Siegel, Carla Gugino, and Catherine Parker in recurring roles. It received positive reviews from critics.
"The story tells of a young au pair hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at the family country house after they fall into his care. Arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to see apparitions that proceed to haunt the premises."
- Victoria Pedretti as Danielle "Dani" Clayton, a young American woman hired as an au pair for the children of the wealthy Wingrave family in England. Dani moves to England to escape her traumatic past, and quickly becomes subject to the paranormal happenings of Bly Manor.
- Elizabeth Allhands as Young Dani
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Peter Quint, a former executive assistant to Henry Wingrave who frequently visited Bly Manor before Dani's arrival. His ghost continues to haunt the mansion's grounds.
- Amelia Eve as Jamie, Bly Manor's dry-witted gardener.
- T'Nia Miller as Hannah Grose, the housekeeper of Bly Manor who is fiercely protective of the grounds and the Wingrave children.
- Rahul Kohli as Owen Sharma, Bly Manor's cook who frequently spends time away from the grounds to care for his ailing mother.
- Kamal Khan as Older Owen
- Tahirah Sharif as Rebecca Jessel, Dani's deceased predecessor who began working at Bly Manor a year before Dani's arrival. Rebecca was in a romantic relationship with Peter Quint prior to her death.
- Amelie Bea Smith as Flora Wingrave, the younger child of the late Dominic and Charlotte Wingrave. Flora has a habit of making effigies of the manor's residents, and maintains a large dollhouse modeled after the mansion.
- Christie Burke as Older Flora / The Bride
- Alice Comer as Younger Flora
- Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Miles Wingrave, the eccentric older Wingrave child who has lived with his sister in Bly Manor ever since his expulsion from a boarding school.
- Thomas Nicholson as Older Miles / The Bride's Brother
- Kasen Kelly as Younger Miles
- Henry Thomas as Henry Wingrave, Miles and Flora's estranged uncle who hires Dani as an au pair at Bly Manor.
- Duncan Fraser as Older Henry / The Father of the Bride
- Greg Sestero as the Fiancé / James
- Jim Piddock as Father Stack
- Calix Fraser as Doll Face Ghost
- Roby Attal as Edmund "Eddie" O'Mara, Dani's fiancé who died in a car accident prior to her move to London. Eddie's ghost continues to haunt Dani in the present day as a manifestation of the guilt she feels for his death.
- Daxton Gujral as Young Eddie
- Lynda Boyd as Judy O'Mara, Eddie's mother.
- Teryl Rothery as Karen Clayton, Dani's mother.
- Alex Essoe as Charlotte Wingrave, Miles and Flora's late mother.
- Matthew Holness as Dominic Wingrave, Miles and Flora's late father and Henry's brother.
- Lizzy McInnerny as Elspeth
- Kate Siegel as Viola Willoughby-Lloyd, heiress of the original owner of Bly Manor centuries ago.
- Daniela Dib as The Lady of the Lake
- Catherine Parker as Perdita Willoughby-Lloyd, Viola's younger sister.
- Martin McCreadie as Arthur Lloyd, Viola's husband who initially courts Perdita.
- Liam Raymond Dib as the Plague Doctor
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"The Great Good Place"||Mike Flanagan||Mike Flanagan||October 9, 2020|
|In Northern California, 2007, a woman attends a rehearsal dinner for a wedding. There, she tells the story of an au pair, which dates back to 1987 in London. American native Dani Clayton is hired by Henry Wingrave to look after his niece and nephew in their manor in Bly, (relocated to Hampshire, originally set in Essex). When Dani arrives at the manor with the cook, Owen, she meets the children, Miles and Flora, and the housekeeper, Hannah Grose. Flora warns Dani not to leave her room at night, but Dani ignores this. She finds many talismans spread throughout the manor, one of which belongs to the previous au pair, Rebecca Jessel, who allegedly killed herself. Hannah describes the talismans as a protection for Flora. When Dani stumbles on The Lady of the Lake's talisman one night, she is locked in Flora's cupboard by Miles. She panics and sees a spectre with glowing eyes she has seen repeatedly in a mirror in the back of the closet. Dani is let out of the closet a few hours later and the Lady of the Lake's talisman is back under Flora's dresser, as usual. She notices muddy footsteps entering the manor, and when she follows them outside, she sees Miles and Flora staring at her from their bedroom windows.|
|2||"The Pupil"||Ciarán Foy||James Flanagan||October 9, 2020|
|Dani has a conversation with the children about locking her in the closet and tells them that while she forgives them, she does not believe their story. In a flashback to his days in prep school, Miles climbs a high tree and jumps, breaking his arm. Miles' behavior in prep school becomes increasingly erratic—picking fights, killing small animals—and he is eventually expelled. It is suggested that Miles wanted to be expelled, as he holds a letter from Flora that says "Come home." In the present, Dani makes Flora and Miles do the house chores, giving Hannah (the housekeeper) and Jamie (the gardener) a break. Later, Flora tidies up Dani's room and Dani has a panic attack when Flora tries on a pair of broken glasses she finds among Dani's things. Dani rushes outside, struggling to breathe, and where she is comforted by Jamie. Miles acts unnervingly adult-like toward Dani, which creeps her out. While playing a game of hide-and-seek, Dani discovers a photo of Rebecca and her lover. Her lover is the same apparition Dani saw on the parapet earlier, and he appears there again. Miles falls unconscious and distracts Dani from the ghost. When Dani's back is turned, the ghost grins eerily at Miles.|
|3||"The Two Faces, Part One"||Ciarán Foy||Diane Ademu-John||October 9, 2020|
|A flashback to a year before reveals that the ghost whom Dani saw earlier is Peter Quint, who works with Henry and meets Rebecca Jessel when she interviews for the au pair position. Rebecca arrives at Bly Manor with Peter. They flirt and begin a relationship. Flora gifts Rebecca the doll she made of her. Peter becomes possessive of Rebecca and increasingly jealous of Rebecca's interactions with Owen. The photo that Dani found is revealed to have been taken by Peter in the off-limits wing of the house, and that Hannah disapproved of their relationship. In the present, the police fail to find Peter on the grounds. The adults stay awake the night and, assuming Peter is alive, deduce that Peter may not know Rebecca is dead and, therefore, may be stalking the grounds. Flora is found down by the lake in the morning, staring at Rebecca's ghost. Flora and Miles declare storytime and Miles presents a story about puppets who forgot their maker and mocked him, but storytime ends abruptly when the phone rings to let them know that Owen's mother had died. As Jamie leaves for the night, Dani has a panic attack once again and screams as she sees the spectre with the glowing eyes appear before her.|
|4||"The Way It Came"||Liam Gavin||Laurie Penny||October 9, 2020|
|In flashbacks, Dani is engaged to her childhood friend Edmund, despite hiding her reservations and her sexuality. She feels pressured to continue with the engagement as Edmund's family has already accepted her as one of their own. One night during a date, Edmund realizes Dani does not want to marry him and the two fight in the car. As Edmund exits the car angrily, he fails to notice an approaching truck that runs him over and kills him. A traumatized Dani sees Edmund's spectre for the first time at the hospital and plans to leave the country without telling anyone. Edmund's oblivious mother visits Dani and gives her Edmund's glasses just before Dani's taxi to the airport arrives. At Bly Manor, Dani opts out of Owen's mother's funeral, but joins the rest of the house staff at a bonfire afterward. There, Jamie initiates a traditional remembrance of the deceased, "throwing bones into the fire", but Dani does not participate. Dani and Jamie go to the greenhouse together and kiss, during which Dani is frightened by Edmund's spectre. Later that night, Dani awakens in a drunken stupor, but Flora notices the faceless doll in her dollhouse. Flora and Miles distract Dani, preventing her from seeing a white-clad female spirit wandering the manor. After putting the children back to bed, Dani returns to the fire pit and burns Edmund's glasses.|
|5||"The Altar of the Dead"||Liam Gavin||Angela LaManna||October 9, 2020|
|Hannah Grose, the housekeeper, flashes back and forth between events at different points in time, some real and some imaginary. She repeatedly returns to the day she first interviews Owen for the cook position, as well as the night of the bonfire when he offers to take her to Paris. She also returns to the time of Rebecca's employment at the manor; Hannah disapproves of Rebecca's affair with Peter Quint, whom she catches stealing from the Wingraves' belongings. Hannah flashes back to one night, where Peter tells Rebecca that he plans to move to America and convinces her to join him later on. As Peter leaves Rebecca's room, he is spotted by Miles and Flora, then suddenly killed by the "Lady in the Lake", the faceless white-clad ghost who tracks mud into the house. Immediately reincarnating as a ghost, Peter discovers he has the ability to possess Miles. Returning to Hannah's interview with Owen, he warns her something is wrong with Miles. This culminates in Hannah tracking Miles down to the woods, where she sees him speaking to Peter. Peter possesses Miles and shoves Hannah down the well, killing her. Hannah stares down the well when Dani first arrives at the manor, revealing that she was killed just before that moment and has unwittingly been a ghost since Dani's arrival. The episode ends back at the bonfire, where Hannah agrees to go to Paris with Owen, only to look up and see him toasting her goodbye as he leaves with Jamie. Hannah chases after them, calling for Owen to wait, but they fade into the darkness.|
|6||"The Jolly Corner"||Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling||Rebecca Leigh Klingel||October 9, 2020|
|Flashbacks reveal that Henry was sleeping with his brother Dominic's wife Charlotte before their deaths and is Flora's biological father. After deducing this, Dominic cuts ties with Henry, reasserting himself as Flora's father and forbidding Henry to contact the family or set foot in Bly Manor. Dominic and Charlotte then travel to India in an attempt to salvage their marriage, but are killed there in an accident. In the present, Henry drinks heavily and refuses to answer Dani's calls when Flora behaves strangely and sleepwalks. At night he calls the manor hoping Flora will answer, hanging up without a word when anybody else does. Dani bonds with Jamie and the two sleep together. Meanwhile, Flora repeatedly "dream hops", flashing back to the past in dreams about Charlotte and a faceless boy ghost she found in her room. She also speaks to Rebecca's ghost, who visits her at night and is the cause of these occurrences. Flora, tired of the dream hopping, confronts Rebecca's ghost one night when Dani suddenly enters her room. Dani sees Rebecca's ghost, as well as Peter's ghost in the hallway. As she tries to flee with Flora, Miles approaches Dani from behind and knocks her unconscious.|
|7||"The Two Faces, Part Two"||Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling||The Clarkson Twins||October 9, 2020|
|In flashbacks, the newly dead Peter learns the mechanics of being a ghost at Bly Manor; he is able to possess the living temporarily, but can do so permanently if he is invited. If a ghost remains in Bly Manor for too long, they will lose their face along with their sense of self. Peter reveals himself as a ghost to Rebecca and convinces her they can be together forever if she invites him to possess her. Rebecca agrees to this, but Peter walks into the lake in her body, drowning her and rendering her a ghost as well. Rebecca is horrified and feels betrayed by this, but Peter convinces her of a new plan: using the same method, they will permanently possess Miles and Flora, letting them start new lives together. In the present, Peter, Rebecca, Miles, and Flora bind and gag Dani in the attic while the ghosts enact their plan. Miles and Flora seemingly both invite them in, letting Peter and Rebecca possess them permanently. When Hannah calls out to them from nearby, Peter, as Miles, distracts her and leads her to the well where he killed her, forcing her to accept that she is a ghost. In the attic, Flora reveals that she and Rebecca only pretended to carry out the full possession and that Rebecca's ghost is still separate. Flora frees Dani, who attempts to escape from the manor with her. On their way out, Dani is attacked by the Lady in the Lake.|
|8||"The Romance of Certain Old Clothes"||Axelle Carolyn||Leah Fong||October 9, 2020|
|Centuries ago, the owner of Bly Manor, Willoughby, dies, orphaning his two daughters, Viola and Perdita. Viola arranges a marriage to their distant cousin, Arthur Lloyd, to Perdita's chagrin, who has developed feelings for Lloyd as well. After birthing a daughter Isabel, Viola falls ill with a lung disease. During a priest's visit, Viola refuses her last rites, insisting that she "will not leave". She becomes increasingly bitter and angry as her disease worsens, and she is isolated from the family, frequently emerging from her bedroom to search for her daughter. Perdita, no longer able to tolerate her sister's worsening condition, smothers Viola to death and marries Arthur herself shortly afterward. Having refused to leave Earth after death, Viola's spirit is trapped in a large chest in the manor, filled with dresses and jewelry she bequeathed to Isabel. Arthur's finances dwindle and, at risk of losing the house, Perdita opens the chest, hoping to sell Isabel's inheritance to keep them afloat. Viola's spirit emerges from the chest and kills Perdita. Finding Perdita's corpse, Arthur fears the chest is cursed and sinks it into the lake on the property before leaving with Isabel. Viola becomes the Lady in the Lake, emerging from the water at night to search the manor for her daughter and killing anyone else in her path, her memory fading altogether along with her face over the centuries.|
|9||"The Beast in the Jungle"||E. L. Katz||Julia Bicknell||October 9, 2020|
|As Viola drags Dani by the throat, she is intercepted by Flora. Viola's ghost, whose sole purpose is to look for her daughter, carries Flora to the lake to drown her. Dani then saves Flora by letting Viola's ghost inhabit her body, in effect releasing all the previously trapped souls that died in the house over the centuries. Henry returns to Bly Manor to raise the children as his own in America, whilst Owen and Jamie find Hannah's body in the well. Dani and Jamie leave for America to start a life together and eventually get engaged. After five years, Dani starts to see Viola's reflection and worries her appearance may harm Jamie. During their visit to Owen's restaurant in France, he reveals that Flora and Miles do not recall the events at Bly Manor and only have happy memories. Dani wakes one night with her hand around Jamie's neck. Not risking Jamie's life, Dani returns to Bly Manor and drowns herself in the lake, taking Viola's place. The storyteller, now revealed to be a middle-aged Jamie, ends the story and enjoys the wedding reception of a now grown-up Flora, with Miles, Owen, and Henry. In her hotel room, Jamie waits by the door, hoping to reunite with Dani's ghost, who watches over her as she falls asleep.|
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in October 2018, on the topic of The Haunting of Hill House, Flanagan said, "I don't want to speculate too much about season two until Netflix, Paramount and Amblin let us know if they want one. What I will say, though, is that as far as I've ever been concerned with this, the story of the Crain family is told. It's done."
On February 21, 2019, Netflix announced a follow-up series to Hill House. Titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, it is based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Though it would serve as a follow-up series to The Haunting of Hill House, it is a standalone story, indicating that there would be "no dramatic link between The Haunting of Bly Manor and its predecessor." Although the prominent source for the adaptation is The Turn of the Screw, the season also adapts (some more loosely) multiple James works, some of which had never been adapted previously, including The Romance of Certain Old Clothes and The Jolly Corner.
Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen return as new characters: Pedretti in the role of Dani, "a governess who takes care of two very unusual children", and Jackson-Cohen portrays Peter, "a charming fellow". Henry Thomas, Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel, and Catherine Parker also returned for Bly Manor.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 87% of 93 critics positively reviewed The Haunting of Bly Manor, and the average rating is 7.29/10. The critical consensus reads, "It may not be as scary as its predecessor, but with plenty of spooky tricks inside its haunted halls and a strong sense of heart, The Haunting of Bly Manor is another solid entry into Mike Flanagan's growing horrorography." At Metacritic, the series received a weighted average score of 62 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Critics' Choice Super Awards||Best Horror Series||The Haunting of Bly Manor||Nominated|||
|Best Actress in a Horror Series||T'Nia Miller||Nominated|
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