Netflix subscribers may have been left on the edge of their seats by the tragic tale spun in The Haunting of Bly Manor, but at least one aspect of the Hill House sequel wasn't perfectly splendid. In fact, some fans seem to think that the scariest part of the horror series wasn’t the ghost story, but rather the British accents that the actors' used.
Having debuted on the streaming platform on Oct. 9, just in time for Halloween, the second installment of the Haunting horror anthology series offered a twist on Henry James' 1898 novella Turn of the Screw. Telling the tale of a young American governess who travels to the remote Bly Manor, which is teaming with ghosts, to care for the orphaned Wingrave children, the series is set in a small English town, requiring many of the actors to take on varying English accents.
While fans were certainly impressed with the story told, many felt that the accents were less than desirable. As they pressed play on the highly-anticipated new season, which was two years in the making, numerous viewers aired their grievances with the accents on social media. Keep scrolling to see what they have to say.
sorry i love carla gugino but literally seconds into the haunting of bly manor i'm already distracted this weird "all of england at the same time" accent she's doing— Lonelyspeck (@lonelyspeck) October 10, 2020
really enjoying the first episode of bly manor, but carla gugino’s british accent is so distracting. i don’t get it is is supposed to be posh with a mixture of northern? what is that— amrita🌻 (@amr_ita) October 9, 2020
The series opened with Carla Gugino narrating the tragic story of Bly Manor and its au pair. Her accent, however, caused quite the stir, with many people struggling to to tell where the accent was supposed to be from.prevnext
It would be perfectly splendid if folk would start using actual Scottish people for Scottish roles. That accent was the most horrifying thing in The Haunting of Bly Manor. pic.twitter.com/6gjfMPMih3— George Corner (@GCorner101) October 13, 2020
oliver jackson cohens scottish accent in s2 of haunting of bly manor pic.twitter.com/lKeZPS6URR— logan ☭ (@trcinspotting) October 10, 2020
The narrator's accent was the least of fans' concerns, though. Most viewers seemed to take particular issue with Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s attempt at a Scottish accent. In Bly Manor, the English actor portrayed Peter Quint, though many felt his accent was a bit off for the character, with some Scots declaring it "so unbelievably bad."prevnext
Bold move by the Bly Manor narrator to use a different british regional accent for each individual word— George Holland (@george94holland) October 10, 2020
I can forgive a lot of things, but the attempt at British accents in Bly Manor are more disturbing than the actual series— katy (@katyRW) November 12, 2020
The accent discourse was so prevalent that BuzzFeed even ranked them from "perfectly terrible to perfectly splendid." Writer Sam Cleal, who offered the disclaimer that he is "no accent expert," but rather "a critical Brit with opinions," listed Henry Thomas' accent as the worst, stating that "it got lost somewhere across The Atlantic."prevnext
Half of the accents in The Haunting Of Bly Manor, especially the Scottish one, and Carla Guigno and Henry Thomas' English ones. https://t.co/TW8l8irNwB— Darren Jalland (@CountingSheep5) November 11, 2020
The most confusing thing about the Haunting of Bly Manor is the inconsistent accents 😂— Brittney, MA, BCBA 📈 (@poopsie_britt) November 13, 2020
Cleal also seemed to take issue with Gugino's accent. While he said that she "does a pretty good job of the Northern English accent," he said that she "falters a little getting her mouth around those vowels." He pointed to the series finale as an example, writing that "when she begins narrating in what sounds like general RP English, but then slips into an almost cockney dialect on the word 'gentlemen.'"prevnext
there's a lot of death in bly manor but there's no murder more uncalled for than the one of every english accent they attempt— rob cryptmas 🎄 COMMISSIONS OPEN (@robcryptx) October 11, 2020
okay the accents in bly manor are SO BAD— dr glue (@19o91899) November 13, 2020
One person who got plenty of applause from Cleal was the young actress who portrayed Isabel Willoughby, Viola’s daughter. Cleal said he thought Zoë Noelle Baker did "a pretty spot-on job of nailing the upper-class English register!"prevnext
Bly Manor has a lot of Americans doing English accents and I’m like 70% sure they’re butchering it. #AmericanAccentGameIsPoor.— Matt Ragonese (@Ragz4TheKill) November 10, 2020
So the scariest things about THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR are the terrifying British accents, right?— Adam Christopher (@ghostfinder) November 9, 2020
As for Victoria Pedretti’s take on an English accent (she mocks one when speaking with Jamie), Cleal rated it "Dick Van Dyke/10." He said that he couldn't "help but wonder if that decision was crucial to the story, or a necessary manoeuvre!"prevnext
On the first episode but I’m wondering if it’s possible to get past the horrendous English accents? Especially the 2 kids that I kinda hope die #BlyManor— Alan Ryder (@legendofgid) November 11, 2020
Regardless of peoples' thoughts on the accents in the series, Bly Manor proved to be a successful second installment of the streamer's Haunting anthology. According to The Hollywood Reporter, citing Nielsen streaming data, Bly Manor racked up 1.82 billion minutes of viewing time in the week of Oct. 12, a 54% increase from the 1.18 billion minutes Netflix users spent on the show during its opening weekend. This moved Bly Manor to the No. 1 spot, displacing Schitt's Creek.prev