The Manor review by Bobby Blakey
Ever since they burst onto the screen with the sleeper hit Paranormal Activity in 2009 they have become a juggernaut in horror delivering films including Insidious, Sinister, The Purge and Halloween. In 2020 they teamed up with Amazon Studios for Welcome to the Blumhouse a collection of all-new, diversely-themed, brand-unified films that is taking the anthology concept and stepping it up to full length horror anthology films.
Now they are back for an all-new set of four films that once again look to deliver a series of unique, unsettling thrillers developed and produced with an eye towards original, diverse storytelling. The second two films are now available with the next film being The Manor starring Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davidson, Nicholas Alexander, and Jill Larson with Axelle Carolyn at the helm.
The Manor follows a malevolent force that preys upon the residents of a sleepy nursing home. When a mild stroke diminishes her ability to care for herself, Judith Albright moves to Golden Sun Manor, an assisted living facility with a sterling reputation. But despite the best efforts of the staff, and a budding friendship with fellow senior Roland, strange occurrences and nightmarish visions convince Judith that a sinister presence is haunting the massive estate. As residents begin to die mysteriously, Judith’s frantic warnings are dismissed as fantasy. Even her devoted grandson Josh thinks her fears are the result of dementia, not demons. With no one willing to believe her, Judith must either escape the confines of the manor, or fall victim to the evil that dwells within it.
Barbara Hershey has had a long amazing career, but the current generation may recognize her more from her role in the Insidious franchise. Now she is stepping back into the world of horror with this film and is the perfect lead to this film. Outside of the cast I can honestly say I wasn’t overly interested in this one, but was surprisingly pleased with the outcome. There is just something about using older people and these kinds of facilities that offer up so much to play with in the horror genre.
Not everything worked for me most notably the explanation to it all, but I also saw it coming so it kind of lost its impact. Despite this it is an interesting story that is focused on something more concerning that comes with age while bringing along some supernatural elements. There is so many things that the elderly deal with as they get older and the biggest of them all being the unknown expectations of where it is heading. Even more so those around them not knowing or sadly often times not believing them due to just assuming their age is affecting their memory.
I really enjoyed this one and even more so the cast being mature older people as opposed to the usual pretty young people that gave it more depth and life. It’s not scary, but does offer up some creepy elements, some cool make-up effects and interesting twists to make it worth checking out.
Check out The Manor streaming now exclusively on Amazon Prime.