Are you blissfully living under a rock, unbothered by phantoms and ghosts? Or are you me, and have consumed every terrifying moment of two seasons of The Haunting on Netflix? If you’re the former, and you feel like you can’t let October pass by without thoroughly scaring the crap out of yourself, I can help :).
Two Octobers ago, I sat down on the couch on a sunny Saturday morning, clicked the Netflix button on the remote, and found myself transfixed by the teaser for The Haunting of Hill House. I knew better, but I pushed play, and here we are two years later and I’m still afraid of the bent neck lady. Yup, you read that right. *shudders*
Last weekend, better prepared (or so I thought), I pushed play on the second installment of the series, The Haunting of Bly Manor.
I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but I want to give you the lay of the land for each haunted house and hopefully entice you to watch one or both seasons so we can chat, haha.
First things first, though Hill House and Bly Manor are giving us some familiar faces, the homes, characters, and stories are entirely different. There is no crossover, no reincarnation, nothing like that. I think the cast was just so stellar that it made sense to repurpose all of them into Bly Manor. I mean, why not?
The Haunting of Hill House follows the Crain family to their new home, Hill House. Mom, dad, and five children settle in with intentions to flip the house and get moving. Everything starts out innocent enough. We’re not ignoring that the giant, dilapidated home is spooky with stories to back it up, but we’re realists, right? Everything is chill, right? Wrong. Hill House did not waste any time in scaring the bejeezus out of me. We follow each member of the Crain family through the years, seeing both childhood and adult trauma. The terrors of their youth at Hill House chase them well beyond the grounds, and as a direct result have created very palpable tensions in the family. As the story unfolds and more fuzzy details of the night become clear, you’ll find yourself as heartbroken as you are scared. And watch out, there’s no shortage of jump out of your seat moments!
The Haunting of Bly Manor elaborated upon all of the successes of its predecessor. Almost immediately, we are introduced to a rag tag group of residents, all damaged in their own ways, who have become like a family. Contrary to Hill House, dwelling in Bly Manor isn’t all bad. There are days full of sunshine, a kitchen full of laughter, and love blossoming throughout. The nights? Well, they’re a bit of a different story. We jump back a few centuries to learn a little about the history of Bly Manor, once bright, then dark, and now what seems an impermeable gray. With so many souls trapped on the grounds of Bly, you’re bound to run into an unfamiliar face at some point. You’ll find yourself questioning too, who is real here?
Scarier: Hill House
Most Heartwarming: Bly Manor
Favorite Character: Theodora Crain/Owen Sharma (tie, sorry!)
Most Likely to Make You Pee Yourself: Hill House, by a long shot
Favorite: Bly Manor
At the end of the day, The Haunting of Bly Manor is the winner in my eyes. It’s essentially a spooky love story, and once all the pieces of the puzzle come together, not so, so scary. But hey, if you would rather tango with the bent neck lady, make a visit to Hill House.
xoxo perfectly splendid