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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Lutheran chapter.

On October 9th, Netflix released the Haunting of Bly Manor, a follow up show to the rather popular Haunting of Hill House. From the same producers, and with a lot of the same actors, there was a lot of hype surrounding this new show, with expectations set high. I find that my own expectations were high as well, much to my disappointment with the show.

After watching Hill House with my best friend a couple of years ago, and being terrified by it, I expected a lot. Hill House was incredible, and that is coming from a girl who doesn’t particularly like horror. The suspense of it was amazing and the plot, though rather confusing, was brilliantly weaved. I’ve watched Hill House multiple times, and every time I notice something that I didn’t before, leaving me to be amazed by the show’s brilliance.

A skull and bones sits in a forest, grey scale

I did not have this feeling with Bly Manor. I was ready to be scared, in fact, I wanted to be scared. The show was released just in time for Halloween and with COVID, there haven’t been enough opportunities to embrace the spooky season. But instead of leaving me scared, Bly Manor left me depressed. The show has a couple of jump scares but nothing that leaves you trembling when you try to sleep. I cried multiple times through most of the episodes. There was just a feeling of despair at the end. The show was unsatisfactory.

Most of the episodes were confusing, leaving many questions unanswered. There were ghosts, but they weren’t the traditional ghosts that people are used to, and it was often hard to tell whether or not you were in a flashback. The ghosts freely communicated with the living, to the point where it was hard to believe that they were not actually living. 

Dawid ?abno

Additionally, there was an entire episode towards the end that was devoted to a boring backstory. Slow backstories as such should go in the beginning, giving background. By putting it at the end, after probably one of the scariest events, it just takes away from the story. It was like hitting a wall and being told to stop, to listen to an hour-long history of how everything came to be, meanwhile in the back of my head, I was like “Is she going to die? What’s going on with Dani? They could have fit this backstory into about 10 minutes of the show.” If an audience is thinking about these things, then the writers and the producers messed up. There should be no roadblocks; none of these stops that lead to disappointment.

Much of the show was a roadblock to disappoint. There were too many dead ends and new storylines starting up. I have so many questions as to what happened and why, and I don’t think that I will ever receive answers to them.

Now, I’m in no way saying don’t watch the show, you definitely should. It is still a really great show. But, if you want scary, then watch the Haunting of Hill House. If you want something that is more on the sad, slow side, Bly Manor is for you. The plot is still smart, and the actors will forever be some of my favorites. It is still a good show. But for someone with such high expectations, it truly fell flat for me.

Alexia Lee

Cal Lutheran '21

Alexia Lee is the Social Media Director for Her Campus at Cal Lutheran. She is a senior majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. She absolutely loves reading and writing, which she finds herself doing a lot in her free time. If she isn’t doing either, she can be found waltzing around Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World in her Ravenclaw robe, at the beach working on her tan, or daydreaming about where her travels will take her next.
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