MIDNIGHT MASS on Netflix is the new horror series from always brilliant horror creator Mike Flanagan. This one is different from his previous Netflix series. However, it is absolutely breathtaking (and terrifying) still. Read our full Midnight Mass series review here!
MIDNIGHT MASS is the new Netflix horror series from Mike Flanagan. Horror fans have come to expect great things from Mike Flanagan and he definitely does deliver yet again. However, please don’t expect something along the lines of his The Haunting of horror anthology series. This is an entirely different beast… but make no mistake, it is indeed a beast!
In a very good and extremely terrifying way – even Stephen King has been out to applaud this series ahead of its release.
Our Midnight Mass Ending Explained feature if you have any questions about the series >
Continue reading our full Midnight Mass series review below. We have watched all 7 episodes for the purpose of writing this review. And also because we could not wait!
Both familiar casting and fresh faces
As always with Mike Flanagan productions (whether TV series or movies), you will see many of the same actors. This is something I’m a huge fan of, so it certainly works for me.
For Midnight Mass, the familiar faces include, Annabeth Gish (The Haunting of Hill House), Rahul Kohli (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Alex Essoe (Doctor Sleep), Henry Thomas, who has been in Flanagan productions since Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016). And, of course, the always amazing Kate Siegel.
For me, Samantha Sloyan was often the absolute scene-stealer. She plays a character that is very easy to dislike, but she is also dangerously familiar. Suffice it to say that I think Samantha Sloyan did an excellent job! Sloyan was also in both Hush and The Haunting of Hill House.
In terms of new faces, I don’t think there will be much doubt about the fact that Hamish Linklater (Legion, The Stand) is one of the actors people will talk the most about. The character played by Hamish Linklater, a priest, goes through a lot, in various ways, and he is brilliant in this.
Also, Kristin Lehman (Altered Carbon) and Zach Gilford (The Purge: Anarchy) were often the heart of this story. In very different ways, but still. The two are mother and son in this series.
Death, religion, and fanatics
It seems that death is always a core topic for the Netflix series by Mike Flanagan. Obviously, for The Haunting of-stories, we’re dealing with ghosts, which requires that somebody must first have died in order to then haunt the living. But really, that isn’t the death I’m talking out.
*Please note that spoilers for the two previous Mikel Flanagan Netflix series will follow here*
In The Haunting of Hill House, we’re dealing with a ghost story but it’s the death of Nell that has the biggest impact. Both on the story, the characters, and the viewers. With The Haunting of Bly Manor, it’s ultimately a love story told by the woman who loved Dani and had to watch her die.
Again, it isn’t the original ghosts that are in focus, but rather those who die in the storyline.
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Read our review of Mike Flanagan’s previous Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor here >
For Midnight Mass, we’re dealing with death in a whole new setting. There are still supernatural elements to the story which shall not be revealed here. However, I will say that ghosts are not part of this Netflix series. Instead, religion and fanaticism play a huge role. As does death – and this time Kate Siegel will feature in the key scenes in that regard.
As always, the story is very character-driven which results in some long scenes with few cuts and a lot of dialogue. This is not for everyone, but as with all Mike Flanagan creations, it will all make sense in the end. Prepare for a brutal ending to episode 5, an extremely violent episode 6, and a final episode (episode 7) that is both terrifying and heartbreaking!
The core of Mike Flanagan
At times, Midnight Mass can be tough to watch because of the core subject of religion – especially if you are a very religious person or decidedly anti-religion. However, trust that Mike Flanagan has a purpose and will allow more views on the subject.
As a former Altar Boy and recovering alcoholic, Midnight Mass is extremely personal for him. This series has been a passion project a decade in the making. In Hush, the main protagonist (played by Kate Siegel) was writing a book titled “Midnight Mass” and a book with this title was seen in Gerald’s Game (the Stephen King adaption Mikel Flanagan did for Netflix).
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Our review of Hush which featured “Midnight Mass” for the first time >
It does show that this is a passion project for Flanagan, but not in any bad way. Also, Mike Flanagan isn’t one for holding back when it comes to showing his disdain for fanaticism (nor should anyone be) and I love that about Midnight Mass.
I may have sung in a church choir as a kid, but I would not call myself religious now. The fanatics of the world is a big reason why and Flanagan also shines a light on this issue and makes room for people who worship with love (whether they pray to God, Allah, or use another name entirely).
Watch Midnight Mass on Netflix
Midnight Mass has 7 episodes that are each around the 1-hour mark in terms of runtime. All seven episodes are directed by Mike Flanagan himself (I did say this was a passion project for him). And he also writes on every single episode. In some cases, he had the assistance of other writers.
The additional writers attached to some episodes are Elan Gale, Dani Parker, James Flanagan (sibling of Mike Flanagan), and Jeff Howard, who has written with Mike Flanagan since Oculus in 2013.
On a scale, I am completely in love with The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor which does mean that Midnight Mass takes the number three spot for me. However, that should not be taken as anything negative. I found this series to be absolutely breathtaking, wonderfully thought-provoking, and extremely terrifying in its own right.
Midnight Mass is out on Netflix from September 24, 2021.
Creator & Director: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Kate Siegel, Rahul Abburi, Crystal Balint, Matt Biedel, Alex Essoe, Annarah Cymone, Annabeth Gish, Rahul Kohli, Kristin Lehman, Robert Longstreet, Igby Rigney, Samantha Sloyan, Henry Thomas, Michael Trucco
From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan, MIDNIGHT MASS tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?
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