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The Haunting Of Bly Manor: 5 Ups & 4 Downs Review

2. Up - A Worthy Addition To The Legacy

Universal Pictures

To date, there have been countless adaptations of The Turn Of The Screw since its publication in 1898, including operas, ballets, television series and many films, most famously Jack Clayton's (Dani's surname is a direct reference here) The Innocents and most recently, the abysmal The Turning, which considering that it was released comparatively recently was lazy at best.

Mike Flanagan's effort here is to be commended, just because it's been 'reimagined' so many times does not make The Turn Of The Screw an easy gig. Only time will tell whether this adaptation will stand alone as its own creation or whether it will fit into the larger 'The Haunting Of... ' series, perhaps that will depend on the viewer as not all will be familiar with James' work and may simply view it as The Haunting Of Hill House Season 2.

Either way, Flanagan has much to be proud of here, as a version of James' classic ghost story. James presented the notion that perhaps the hauntings were merely the imaginings of the governess, who refers directly to Jane Eyre and the character of Bertha, a madwoman confined in Thornfield, the primary location of the story and not entirely unlike Bly Manor itself. While Flanagan's adaptation is primarily a more literal approach to the hauntings, much is made of the mind's ability to conjure apparitions and therefore very much in keeping with the original text, despite never being totally sure which one it's referring to.

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Contributor
Contributor

A lifelong aficionado of horror films and Gothic novels with literary delusions of grandeur...