Why is the Netflix series a challenge for Mike Flanagan?

The Haunting of Bly Manor was released today on Netflix and was without a doubt one of the most anticipated series of this end of 2020, both by the press and the public. But what is this series?

What is this series?

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In 2018, director Mike Flanagan, the new thinking head of horror cinema, had the world with the series The Haunting of Hill alongside Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse), Ari Aster (Hérédité, Midsommar) and Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) House. A masterfully orchestrated horror series, brilliantly written, as moving as it is elegant, which skilfully mixes the codes of horror cinema, which Flanagan has mastered perfectly, with those of family drama. By the time it was released, The Haunting of Hill House had won unanimous support.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is the second season of the anthology series The Haunting, the first chapter of which was The Haunting of Hill House. New season, new home, new family. Mike Flanagan gives us this time to meet in England in the 1980s and invites us to follow the turpitudes of a young governess, Dani Clayton (played by Victoria Pedretti), who is responsible for caring for two young orphans is, Miles and Flora in a huge and magnificent mansion. But very quickly the strange attitudes of the two children and other paranormal events will make Dani Clayton’s stay at Bly Manor a moment she won’t soon forget …

After Mike Flanagan adapted the novel The Haunted House by Shirley Jackson, which was published in The Haunting of Hill House in 1959, he again adapted the role of the screenwriter and director of the nine episodes of this second season of the classic British Gothic: The Turn of the Nut by Henry James.

A gigantic challenge for Flanagan

But Flanagan likes to challenge himself, which he is often brilliant at. Adapting The Turn of the Nut is a huge challenge for the director for four reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that Le Tour d’écrou has already been adapted for cinema several times, resulting in two classic horror films: The Innocents by Jack Clayton (1961) and The Others by Alejandro Amenabar. (2001) with Nicole Kidman.

The adaptation of Le Tour d’écrou into a series of nine episodes is a challenge in itself: Le Tour d’écrou is in fact a short story, or rather a short story. The serial format therefore requires the story to be stretched, which can result in some rhythm problems. However, we trust Flanagan to overcome this minor difficulty.

Second, because Mike Flanagan is leaving his usual comfort zone. Indeed, the director, dubbed by Stephen King, quickly became a specialist in adaptations to the cinema of the master of the genre, having adapted Jessie (2017) and Doctor Sleep (2019), while receiving congratulations from King. Even The Haunting of Hill House, by its structure split into two temporalities, like the famous Stephen King novel It, and by the writer’s attachment to giving the psyche of the members of the Crane clan as much space as possible, could be considered as new homage to Flanagan’s mentor seen. The Haunting of Bly Manor is his first real foray into the Gothic genre.

After all, Mike Flanagan has the ambition to create a terrifying anthology series, so it competes with another giant of the genre, the American horror story series by Ryan Murphy, the tenth season of which is eagerly awaited by fans of the show. . In addition, like Ryan Murphy, Mike Flanagan is taking on the party for AHS to take on many actors and actresses already featured at The Haunting of Hill House: Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel and Carla Gugino and Katie Parker.

So far we’ve only seen the first two episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor and we’re already convinced. In the coming days, we’ll be giving our detailed recap of what promises to be another tour de force for Mike Flanagan after the series ends.

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