Following a prolific spree writing and directing on hugely popular television shows such as “American Horror Story”, “Creepshow”, “Chilling Adventures or Sabrina” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor”, Belgian filmmaker Axelle Carolyn returns to long-form format with her sophomore feature, The Manor; one of four brand-new movies releasing as part of the “Welcome to the Blumhouse” horror anthology series.
Penned by Carolyn and starring Barbara Hershey (The Insidious franchise, Black Swan, Falling Down), Jill Larson (The Taking of Deborah Logan), Bruce Davison (Willard, “V”, X-Men), Fran Bennett (8MM, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare), Nicholas Alexander (“Good Girls”) and Shelley Robertson (Good Girls”), The Manor sees 70-year-old Judith Albright (Hershey) check herself into Golden Sun Manor, an assisted-living, when a sudden stroke diminishes her ability to care for herself. Despite the best efforts of the staff, and a budding friendship with a few fellow residents, Judith starts to convincer herself that a sinister presence is to blame for her sudden nightmarish visions and a series of mysterious deaths. Having recently suffered a stroke, Judith’s warnings are dismissed as pure fantasy and even her devoted grandson Josh (Alexander) 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 appears to be preying on the helpless residents of this seemingly cosy nursing home.
To celebreate the film’s October 8 release on Amazon Prime, SCREAM sat down with Carolyn who revealed the seed that served as the strong foundation for the film’s narrative and the significant effects ageism has on both the elderly and young people alike.
Words: Howard Gorman