Comparing both ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’

“The Haunting of Bly Manor” was released by Netflix on Oct. 9. (Courtesy of Netflix)“The Haunting of Bly Manor” was released by Netflix on Oct. 9. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Ally Morrison, Correspondent

The Netflix Original series “The Haunting of Hill House,” which premiered in October of 2018, now has a thrilling sequel. The second part of this chilling show coined the title “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” which Netflix released on Oct. 9 of this year.

The two series have acquired a great deal of attention with the Halloween season being the perfect time for the release of the sequel. Although the two are both directed by Mike Flanagan, there are many noteworthy differences among them. Together we will explore a few contrasting points such as themes, inspirations, and storylines.

“The Haunting of Hill House” is a story of a family confronting their old home that is riddled with haunting memories and the occurrence of terrifying events which ultimately led them to leave it all behind. “The Haunting of Hill House” is based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 horror novel- a finalist for the National Book Award and has been regarded as one of the best literary horror stories published during the 20th century. Throughout this story, the viewer can expect flashbacks between past and present as well as an abundance of family grief and drama.

On the contrary, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” tells a vastly different story. This second installment of the series is based heavily on Henry James’ novel “The Turn of the Screw”, another notable ghost story in history. It’s storyline follows a young woman in the 1980s who had been hired by a man to watch after his niece and nephew at a grand estate called Bly Manor. One difference viewers may notice while watching “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is the directing style. While Flanagan directed every scene of “The Haunting of Hill House,” he was not the only director for Bly Manor. This switch up will offer more variety into the directing style of this sequel.

In an interview with Collider Magazine, Flanagan said: “Similar to ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, I really wanted to play more with ghosts as an expression of emotional wounds that we do carry around… ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ is about a very tight family and Bly Manor is about strangers. A family that is created. All the people who inhabit Bly Manor come from completely different backgrounds and get to know each other through friendship, tension, conflict and love.”

While “The Haunting of Hill House” is rooted in familial grounds, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” explores human emotion — one may even call it a love story. According to Collider Magazine, one thing Flanagan hopes his viewers take away from this season of Bly Manor is a “wonderful connection between a great love story and a great ghost story.” 

As both series form a coherent plot line, the two create two different worlds for viewers to lose themselves in. The Haunting of Bly Manor has already made its debut on Netflix, as of Oct. 9.

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