Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

No spoilers from me, promise.

I generally liked Hill House and loved Bly Manor. I didn't find "Hill House" particularly scary, but "Bly Manor" was very scary in a traditional gothic horror way.

What I HATED about both of these shows was the completely unnecessary use of a bad pop song in the finale, played to a montage. It completely ruined the atmosphere and will undoubtedly date these shows.

Pretty sad that the director was able to sustain a consistency of mood throughout, and then completely blow it in the final minutes. I felt like I was watching a commercial for a pharmaceutical.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I have the opposite relationship to these shows - I found HILL HOUSE very scary (and it's rare that I get scared by horror outings these days), while BLY MANOR was rather vapid and overly melodramatic.

But yes, I agree in regards to the pop song. Worked as an unnecessary 'verfremdungseffect' when there was nothing in the show(s) that warranted this type of aesthetic.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I have the opposite relationship to these shows - I found HILL HOUSE very scary (and it's rare that I get scared by horror outings these days), while BLY MANOR was rather vapid and overly melodramatic.

But yes, I agree in regards to the pop song. Worked as an unnecessary 'verfremdungseffect' when there was nothing in the show(s) that warranted this type of aesthetic.


I tend to like old-skool gothic/supernatural/macabre. "Hill House" did indeed offer this, but "Bly Manor" really nailed it. I should revisit "Hill House." There were some scary moments as I remember. I think "Bly Manor" offered a sustained sense of dread and foreboding throughout. It made the scary moments scarier to me, because you didn't know when they were coming.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

For me, what is important is TACTILE quality. I'm rather obsessed by places in cinema, and want to be completely envelopped; the sense of being there; being present. Any psychological complexity I want to read from the subtext and imagery myself, not be 'told' it - like all those dream levels in BLY MANOR, for example. As such, HILL HOUSE had a far greater effect on me.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

For me, what is important is TACTILE quality. I'm rather obsessed by places in cinema, and want to be completely envelopped; the sense of being there; being present. Any psychological complexity I want to read from the subtext and imagery myself, not be 'told' it - like all those dream levels in BLY MANOR, for example. As such, HILL HOUSE had a far greater effect on me.

Interestingly, the vast majority of Bly occurred at the manor itself, while Hill House used a variety of locations.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

The bland pop song to score a finale/emotional montage is one of the worst tropes of modern TV dramas.
It's like the director or editor are really into a shit/drippy emo-ballad that they haven't considered many others will dislike or hate.
Carole watches a number of medical dramas on TV (The Resident, The Good Doctor, Grey's Anatomy) and the amount of times it ends with a dreary/drippy modern pop song/ballad over someone's death or misfortune is...nearly every week.
And yes, it's likely to date things badly.
I never completed Hill House and haven't started Bly Manor, but they ain't going anywhere I suppose, so maybe when I'm at a loose end in the future I will pick them back up again.
I haven't seen anything by Mike Flanagan that has impressed me yet.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Interestingly, the vast majority of Bly occurred at the manor itself, while Hill House used a variety of locations.

Yes, but each place was imbued with a sense of presence. When BLY suddenly takes a detour around episode 5 or 6 and becomes part psychological thriller, part overwrought melodrama, I'm thrown off.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I haven't seen anything by Mike Flanagan that has impressed me yet.

Then you should check out OCULUS and his debut feature ABSENTIA, in particular. Stellar! Flanagan is one of the best horror directors at the moment.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 9:34 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I've seen Oculus (average), Gerald's Game (bland TV movie) and Dr Sleep (poor) and that's why I hold that opinion.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Then see ABSENTIA, at least. I agree with your assessment of DR. SLEEP, but disagree with the other two. I think they're much better than what you suggest.

I'm sorry, Onya, we're getting off-topic in relation to the use of a pop song here.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I responded to Onya's derision to the ill-fitting pop song intrusion.
I don't think you have yet, Thor? (edit...sorry, I see that you did, and gave me a new V word in addition) wink

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 1:00 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Good ol' Brecht. Worth a reading.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2020 - 8:54 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I'm sorry, Onya, we're getting off-topic in relation to the use of a pop song here.

Let the conversations go where they may!

 
 Posted:   Oct 24, 2020 - 10:47 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I hate being told by sappy songs in movies and tv shows exactly what I'm supposed to be feeling at a particular place in a story. Among other things, this tells me that the show's producers and/or director are not confident that the story and performances are of sufficient quality to generate the intended response from its viewers. They're usually right, but the imposition of a too-loudly-played saccharine song over the visuals only serves to highlight its shortcomings.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2020 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Excuse me for dropping in briefly from another planet. I've been so out of touch that I didn't even know these shows existed until a few days ago.

First of all, in a rare moment of ennui, I found myself flicking through Netflix and came across BLY MANOR. So far I've seen the first two episodes. Good enough to keep watching, although some of the characters seem a little jarring. It's doubly interesting though (and thus potentially irritating) in that it's, as you know, a modernized - or "partially" modernized - version of the Henry James story. And with THE INNOCENTS being one of my favourite films, I'm really intrigued by all the references to it. They even use the "Willow Waly" nursery rhyme, which I think was originally written for the Clayton film by Georges Auric and Paul Dehn (?). Thankfully no pop songs yet.

And then just last night I became aware of the earlier series, HILL HOUSE. As with BLY, I had no idea that this was an adaptation of an earlier novel which became a classic '60s film. I watched about ten minutes of it but really ought to try to keep up with the two shows at the same time.

As I mentioned, no pop songs yet, but don't the two shows have almost identical music for the titles?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2020 - 5:15 AM   
 By:   brofax   (Member)

There have been several movies and TV adaptations of The "Turn of the Screw", even an opera by Benjamin Britten but nothing beats the original.

"The Innocents" hit our screens in 1961. It was a stunning film superbly photographed in black-and-white CinemaScope. So as not to ruin the atmosphere Fox even dispensed with the Fox Fanfare.

The opening is on a black screen with the haunting "O Willow Waly" on the soundtrack. The ending is quite a shock but the audience was left "wondering". There was much discussion in those days as to what exactly was going on. Even Deborah Kerr who gave her finest acting performance asked director Jack Clayton what was it really all about and she was told to work it out for herself.

I watched "Bly Manor" with interest and found it it quite good early on. It seemed to me that Mike Flanagan, the creator, may well have been an ardent fan of "The Innocents" including the song and may have set out to weave a story that might attempt to explain what MIGHT have been going on. If that WAS the case then he didn't succeed.

That said, I thought the first, maybe, 6 episodes were very good but it lost its way after that. Was it scary? Nah. The back of the sofa remained unoccupied throughout the series.

If I hadn't seen "The Innocents" all those years ago I possibly would have enjoyed it all but, here we are, nearly 60 years later and we still don't know what was really going on.

Possibly, the slow pace of the original might not appeal to modern audiences but anyone who considers themselves a movie buff should not miss it. Fortunately, it's all there for free on youtube in all its black and white CinemaScopic glory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0P4yNjMUvA

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2020 - 5:50 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

That's an excellent YT upload, brofax. Such a great, great film. As I mentioned before, I'm only two episodes into BLY, but I'm already wondering how - or if - it will manage to keep my attention over... how many episodes? Still, I suppose it's a handicap to go into it already prepared to compare it to THE INNOCENTS.

Same would go for HILL HOUSE. In this case I feel that the Robert Wise film version is overrated - it strikes me as being overly pompous - but it does make for a pretty compelling 90-odd ("very odd") minutes. So I'm already pre-judging the Netflix series, and have decided that it's "overstretched". I suppose if we should be comparing anything at all, it should be as an adaptation of the original literary material. Or just take them on their own merits? Still, that's hard when (in the case of BLY) the references back to the film are so evident.

The title music for both Netfix series is the same, isn't it????

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 25, 2020 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   brofax   (Member)

The title music for both Netfix series is the same, isn't it????

I haven't watched Hill House yet. I enjoyed the original The Haunting in 1963 and that WAS scary but I was much younger then smile .

Will have a look in the next while but I've better fish to fry at the moment.



 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2020 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...