The treasured unknown, a plague of confusion; riveting intelligence reverberates at the core of this stunning interpretation of Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw”; demanding a malleable, pliable intellect, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” guarantees troubling, taunted dreams, questioning the unseeable, but tangible nonetheless. For those who have experienced Déjà vu, possess a “sixth sense”, second sight, or share the attributes of Macbeth’s witches, an inexplicable clairvoyance, your receptiveness will be grossly satiated. If, for no other reason, the script and profound acting will captivate your attention, compelling viewership for the intense nine episodes.
Director Mike Flanagan’s prodigious casting, assures success: Amelia Bea Smith (“Flora”) and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (“Miles”) are hypnotically prodigious child actors whose performances are staggeringly brilliant as two orphaned wards of Bly Manor; Victoria Pedretti, “Dani Clayton”, free spirited au pair, triggering enigmatic specters lurking in the hallowed halls of Bly Manor; T’Nia Miller (housekeeper “Mrs. Grose”) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (“Peter Quint”) with astounding complexity, gift their characterizations a numbing, heart-wrenching, authoritative humanity; their soliloquies are spellbinding and key to the “dream hopping” ghostly scenario.
Anomalies abound, flirting uncensored, with terrifying interpretations; festering wounds, owning one’s past sins, memories can doom or bloom second chances; “The Haunting of Bly Manor” treads on one’s psyche, bludgeoning barriers shunned, opening sauntered avenues of one’s life, camouflaged, ignored no longer. A sublime poignancy, beauty, love, not horror, pulsate at the foundation of Bly Manor.