Created by horror maestro Mike Flanagan, The Haunting of Bly Manor is this year’s must-watch horror series, released on Netflix just in time for Halloween. Following the series’ puzzling final shot, principal star Victoria Pedretti has offered some valuable insight on the fate of her character Dani.
Based on Henry James’ classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Bly Manor has kept its sizable fanbase up at night thanks to its intricate puzzles and eerie hidden spectres.
Mike Flanagan and much of the cast returned for the follow-up series to last year’s The Haunting of Hill House, and both instalments in the horror anthology have received widespread acclaim.
Victoria Pedretti returns in the primary role of Dani Clayton, a young woman hired to look after two peculiar children, Flora (played by Amelie Bea Smith) and Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth).
Soon after, Dani becomes haunted by the manor’s dark history and starts an unforgettable relationship with its gardener, Jamie (Amelia Eve).
READ MORE: Haunting of Bly Manor blunder: Fans spot error in Dani and Miles scene
Hill House star Carla Gugino also appears as the older Jamie, and caps off the series with a mysterious final shot which left some viewers puzzled.
Spoilers ahead – despite drowning herself at the end of the series, the unmistakable hand of Dani appears in the last frame to comfort a sleeping Jamie.
The final shot is both melancholic and ambiguous, and prompted a heated online discussion from Bly Manor’s devoted fans.
Director Mike Flanagan purposefully left the series’ conclusion open for interpretation, and fans have been debating whether Dani returned as a ghost or if Jamie is simply dreaming.
Ultimately their fledgling romance was pushed aside to make way for the series’ equally compelling ghost story.
As opposed to more straight-laced horror films and series, Flanagan’s work has been noted for its mature and sensitive approach to the subject of death.
Especially in the case of Bly Manor, ghosts aren’t necessarily blighted spirits with unfinished business, but come to represent the memories of loved ones who live on in the characters’ thoughts.
By including the ghostly presence of Dani in the last shot, the series ends on a comforting note rather than opting to jolt the audience with one last scare.
The horror director also released the surprisingly effective sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, last year, and is currently working on upcoming Netflix series Midnight Mass.
Flanagan and the cast are expected to return for a third instalment of The Haunting, but nothing has been confirmed so far.
In the meantime, the nine-episode horror series is the ideal binge-watch for the coming Halloween weekend.
The Haunting of Bly Manor is available to stream on Netflix.