The Manor (2021)

Director: Axelle Carolyn

Running Time: 81 Minutes

Starring: Barbara Hershey, Nicholas Alexander, Bruce Davison, Jill Larson, Fran Bennett, Ciera Payton

My review of The Manor was first published at Bloody Good Screen.

The final entry into 2021’s Welcome To The Blumhouse anthology, writer-director Axelle Carolyn tells the story of former dancer Judith (Barbara Hershey) moving into a historic nursing home after suffering a stroke. She realises no mobile-phones are allowed and hears a patient screaming into the night, items which surprise her yet are easily explained. She then finds items of her own disappearing, sees figures in her room watching her sleep, and becomes convinced something supernatural is preying on the residents.

Ever since his father died, Judith has maintained a close relationship with her grandson Josh (Nicholas Alexander). Having looked after him and his mother since their loss, Judith and Josh have become a tight-knit pair that enjoy playing horror board-games and texting each other. Hershey and Alexander sell this bond rather well, capturing their charming relationship although one feels sorry for the mother, who feels left out from their relationship and large parts of the film itself.

As the supernatural instances keep occurring, Judith worries about what to do as she wishes to believed, yet everybody disregards her as another old person losing their marbles. It’s an interesting focus on ageism and how the elderly are treated, yet it’s something which works better in theory than execution. This film’s an appropriate reflection of this year’s Welcome To The Blumhouse assortment, as the interesting focus can’t mask how these relevant issues aren’t done justice in service of lacking horror elements. If next year sees another four films dropped onto Amazon Prime, one hopes they’re a stronger bunch because these have felt like lesser Blumhouse productions.