It is the most common horror tropics to flirt with the “real story” and that of Netflix The haunted Bly Manor pulls out any storytelling trick (right before found footage was filmed) to make you believe what you saw on Bly might have been a thing – or at least a rumor.
The story itself is based on the literature of Henry James and his story in particular The rotation of the screw about a governess who looks after a couple of children in an enchanted piece of English countryside. Like the novella, the series begins with a frame – a character who is not directly involved in the plot and tells the plot to an audience. It̵
The haunted Bly Manor also includes real historical events like the bubonic plague. The decision to use black and white for these moments reinforces this attempt at historicity. (Although the nineteenth-century event capturing problem had less to do with a lack of color film than with no film or camera. Still, black and white makes us think “past.”)
Aside from the ghost stories, Netflix also appears to have shot in a real mansion, which supports the veracity of the story. Or have you?
Is Bly Manor Real?
While the manor’s recordings are actually real (we’re not sure where exactly the estate they depict exists), set designer Patricio Farrell actually built most of the rooms far from England. While the setting at Bly Manor is the English countryside, it was shot in Vancouver, Canada – which, when properly shown, is a little too pretty for a horror film. The house itself was spread over five different stages – where the interior scenes take place.
Since the series takes place in the 1980s, Farrell not only had to copy English mansions, but also equip them with the right “modern” equipment such as telephones and lamps.
So while Bly Manor uses all kinds of storytelling and film tricks to create historical realism, nothing beats good old practical effects. And lots of nails.
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