The Haunting of Bly Manor

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Don't know what to say really.

The horror genre has long been stagnating, atleast as far as mainstream media goes, with typical fare focusing on crafting amusement-park-style "haunted house" rides that utilize elements of fear and dread as ends in themselves. Flanagan and Co. have taken a staunch decision to discard such formulaic methods and, instead, use "horror" as part of its arsenal of means ― alongside other emotional means such as humour, anger, despair, affection, romance et cetera ― means to a total, wholesome, complex end that reflects the length and breadth of the human spectrum of experience, instead of narrowing down to the particular band labeled "horror" and sacrificing all else.

So it's futile to go into a "The Haunting Of" series with the usual set of expectations that scream "SCARE ME" because... it won't. But it might terrify you though. And it might make you contemplate how truly-horrifying forms of horror need not always take the form of formless, shapeless, faceless creatures of the night... that real human existence may hold enough blood curdling moments and that simply contemplating the implications of an existence doomed to death could be overwhelming enough. Indeed, along with all its ghosts, "The Haunting Of" series establishes just how fearsome life can be without needing to invoke any of the undead.

But then, appreciating something of the sort requires a lot. Requires too much, probably, from an audience that has been fed a steady diet of cheap supernatural thrills over decades. So it doesn't surprise me to see today's watchers still clamoring over this feeling of being robbed of the horror-show they thought they were entitled to. They look and look for silver, rage and burn over not finding any, while completely missing the heap of gold all around.

Perhaps future audiences would be more receptive, more open to the idea of human existence being a thousand times more terrifying than any bent-neck lady or the lady of the lake.