Written and Directed by: Axelle Carolyn
Hey, FlixChatter readers! We’re well into October, so it’s the perfect time to find new spooky content to watch. While plenty of streaming platforms have lots of classic Halloween and horror movies available this month, I’m always excited to check out new movies, so I was cautiously optimistic about this years batch of Welcome to the Blumhouse films on Amazon Prime. The 4-part horror movie anthology premiered in 2020, with 4 new movies dropping earlier this month. I watched one of the most recent, The Manor, and while I don’t think it’s a new genre classic, there’s enough promise for me to want to give the other movies in the series a shot.
In The Manor, 70-year-old Judith (Barbara Hershey) moves into a nursing home following a minor stroke. She quickly begins to suspect that a supernatural entity might be preying on the home’s residents; however, she struggles to convince those around her that her suspicions aren’t just a symptom of her medical condition.
My main take-away from The Manor is that Blumhouse would be really good at creating a TV show anthology series; if this story had been a third of the length, it would have felt a lot tighter and the suspense would have held up more. As it is, the ending becomes fairly predictable about halfway in. The concept isn’t bad, and setting a horror story in a nursing home is a solid idea, but the writing doesn’t really hold up for a 90-minute movie.
Despite the slightly underwhelming writing, this movie at least looks good. The set design is lovely, especially the nursing home grounds, and the costuming, hair, and makeup all look fantastic; I can only hope to look as stylish as Judith when I’m her age. The design for the supernatural entity is a little silly and not particularly scary, but I appreciate that it mostly seemed to be a practically-made costume with minimal CGI.
The cast is the best thing about this movie. Barbara Hershey gives a believable, likable, and engaging performance in the lead role, and I love the chemistry between her and Nicholas Alexander as her grandson Josh. The trio of residents that befriend Judith at the beginning of the film—Bruce Davidson as Roland, Fran Bennett as Ruth, and Jill Larson as Trish- are a lot of fun to watch as well, and I would have loved to see them in a couple more scenes, especially given the bigger role they end up playing at the end of the movie.
Overall, The Manor is a perfectly fine made for streaming horror movie. I still think it would have made a better TV episode, but it was still a decently-made, unique horror story. I’m not sure if I’ll check out the other movies in the Welcome to the Blumhouse anthology, but it’s nice to know that there is new horror content available if I decide I want to watch something different to celebrate my favorite spooky month.
Have you seen THE MANOR? Well, what did you think?