The wait is finally over – The Haunting of Bly Manor has arrived on Netflix. The follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House may not be quite as scary, but there are more than enough thrills on offer to keep you hooked for its nine-hour runtime.
Once you’ve binged watched that, though, we’ve got some lighter recommendations to help you recover… From cult 90s TV to a suitably goofy Halloween offering from Adam Sandler, there’s more than enough stuff hitting Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus over the weekend to keep you entertained. And if you need more recommendations, check out our guides to new Netflix movies and new Disney Plus shows. That should tide you over for another week…
The Haunting of Bly Manor – Netflix
The follow-up to 2018’s The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor sees director Mike Flanagan returns with another suitably spooky supernatural horror series. Although the creative team and several cast members are the same, the narratives of Hill House and Bly Manor are not connected. Loosely based on Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, it tells the story of a young governess (played by Victoria Pedretti) who’s hired to look after a man’s niece and nephew. When she arrives at their home on the Bly Estate, however, things are not as they appear…
The Forty-Year-Old Version – Netflix
The directorial debut from Radha Blank, who also writes, produces and stars in this new comedy movie. Playing a down-on-her-luck playwright in New York City – also called Radha – she’s desperate for a breakthrough in her career before she turns 40. When she messes up what she believes is her last chance, she decides to reinvent herself as a rapper. The film won Blank the U.S Dramatic Competition Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival in January 2020. It was filmed on location in NYC using black and white 35mm film.
X2: X-Men United – Disney Plus
Available: US, also already on UK Disney Plus
Originally released in 2003, this comic book classic features a host of big names, including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Brian Cox and Ian McKellan. Phew. Professor X (Stewart) and Magneto (McKellan) must join forces to defeat a common enemy, as the villainous Stryker (Cox) threatens the livelihood of the mutants. With so many sequels, prequels, and spin-offs appearing in the subsequent two decades since this movie came out, it’s nice to return to the franchise’s roots. And who doesn’t love some questionable vintage SFX, too?
Hubie Halloween – Netflix
Adam Sandler’s latest offering introduces us to Hubie, a ridiculed delicatessen owner who takes Halloween extremely seriously – he patrols the streets every year to ensure that everyone follows the correct etiquette and nothing is amiss. After an encounter with a suspicious neighbour, news of an escaped convict and several disappearing residents, Hubie realises that things are not as they seem. He may actually have to save the town for real this year – but will anyone believe him? The all-star supporting cast includes Steve Buscemi, Maya Rudolph, Ben Stiller and Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp.
Fleabag season 2 – Amazon Prime
The second instalment of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s critically acclaimed comedy-drama is finally streaming after airing to rave reviews last year. Waller-Bridge returns both to the writer’s chair and the lead role, as Fleabag attempts to reconcile with her family after the events of season 1. Sherlock star Andrew Scott joins the cast as the Priest, who Fleabag quickly finds herself falling for over premixed cans of gin and tonic. Just as funny and poignant as season 1, returning cast members including Sian Clifford and Olivia Colman do a stellar job. If you need a few laughs after The Haunting of Bly Manor, you know what to do…
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Amazon Prime
Available: US, also already in the UK
The cult supernatural drama created by Joss Whedon first aired all the way back in 1997, so it’s definitely time for a rewatch. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as the titular teen vampire slayer, navigating high school and saving the world with help from her pals Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicholas Brendon), as well as school librarian by day, slayer trainer by night, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head). Spooky and fun in equal measure, it’s perfect Halloween viewing for those of us with a more, uh, delicate disposition. Plus, there’s some really great Y2K fashion on display.