FlixChatter Review: The Manor (2021)

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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Have you seen THE MANOR? Well, what did you think?

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A Rant and a Question: Where do you get your movies?

This is what the Random Thoughts category is for. I haven’t actually posted anything under that in a while but what happened today prompted me to this rant I rarely do on my blog.

Before I get to my rant and question, let me give you a quick background. Well, yesterday I found out that the next subject of the LAMB’s Acting School 101 is Nicole Kidman. I really want to participate in this, maybe do a Top 5 Fave Roles of hers, but after looking at her filmography, I realize there are some of her films from the past few decades that I’ve missed. I figure since the blogathon isn’t starting until the end of the month, it might be good to catch up on a few of her past movie One of them that caught my attention is The Portrait of A Lady by Jane Campion. I quite like period dramas and this is based on a novel by Henry James. Alas, as you can see on my tweet below, it’s NOT available to rent anywhere!!

In fact, neither Netflix DVD NOR Streaming has the movie available to rent! I even went so far as searching my local library for it! Zero. None. Zip. Nada. Basically my only option to watch this movie is to BUY the darn thing! Gah! Now after seeing the trailer I’m even more curious to see this movie, I mean it’s also got John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey (who was nominated for Oscar’s Best Actress in a Supporting Role), plus Christian Bale and Viggo Mortensen in smaller roles!

Now, a few other of Kidman’s movies I’m hoping to check out this month are Fur, The Hours, and Rabbit Hole. Ted is going to lend me The Peacemaker this weekend. I have no interest in seeing Dogma, The Others, nor Eyes Wide Shut. Those who know me probably know those films aren’t my cup of tea. I haven’t checked yet if those movies are readily available to rent.

Truthfully, I’m dismayed that there are some movies are practically impossible to see unless you have Netflix DVD subscription (except for The Portrait of a Lady as I’ve mentioned above, the date of availability is listed as UNKNOWN!). Two other films my hubby and I had been wanting to watch are The Guard and The Whistleblower.

Yes I know they both have super generic, uninteresting titles but the premise and cast of both of them are quite appealing. But unless I’m willing to buy them, it doesn’t look like I have any option to see those two! Right now I just can’t justify paying $15 bucks a month for both Netflix DVD and Streaming option, so I guess that’s my problem, eh?

All right, enough about my rant. I’ll find a way somehow to rent those titles, but I’m curious now if any of you encounter the same issues about not being able to rent the movie you want. So my question to you is…

Where do you get your movies from?

Is it through iTunes, Netflix or (LOVEFilm if you’re in the UK), Amazon on Demand? If you get your movies through illegal means, you don’t have to answer, ahah.