Mike Flanagan’s new directorial piece on Netflix, Midnight Mass is another founding stone in the world of horror drama with psychologically triggering conversations and religious cult revelations. From the maker of The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass does not stand up as grandly as the director’s previous works but, is surely is reminiscent of it and leaves you cruising for the metaphors within life.
Netflix’s new supernatural horror drama features Zach Gilford, Hamish Linklater, Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli, Samantha Sloyan and several others. The series is seven episodes long, with each episode having a runtime of above 60 minutes. Each episode is fittingly named after a book in the Bible, holding relevance to the story that unravels in that particular episode.
– Netflix’s Midnight Mass Review contains mild spoilers –
Midnight Mass: The Price of Miracles
Mike Flanagan has a beautiful way of taking archaic, almost unbelievable tales and converting them into thoughtful ruminations laced in the essence of supernatural horror. With Midnight Mass, he does the same.
The story starts off with the character of Riley who has been in a tragic road accident due to drunk driving that resulted in the death of the friend he was travelling with. As the lights of the ambulance and police cars fall on the dead body in flashes, we see Riley recite a prayer to god, only be stopped by his tending police officer who rhetorically questions why certain people die and certain people live. This opening scene serves as the beacon of light Mike Flanagan’s entire show follows- questioning, debating, understanding the purpose of life and death and God.
The central premise is the return of Riley to his hometown, Crockett island which is the house of a tight-knit small community. Riley has served 4 years in jail, or as we can say, 4 years in repentance. His return almost acts like the return of the prodigal son in the holy scriptures. On the same day, there is another arrival at this isolated island. Apparently, a new priest (Father Paul) has come to take in charge of the island’s church St.Patrick’s.
Both these arrivals coincide with strange events like dead cats getting washed up onshore and some stranger miracles. These incidents awaken the inherent religious voices in the minds of the island residents. However, what they fail to see is the cost at which these miracles are presented.
Midnight Mass tries to retell the story of Apostle Paul with the twist of wicked faith and rational conversations. Filled with endless biblical references and explanations, the series not only tries to instil a sense of belief in the audience but also, simultaneously questions these beliefs. Apart from the first few episodes that have their own set of jump scares, the series relies mostly on dialogues between the residents of the island to bring forward topics of atheism, science, religion and most importantly, morality.
Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass, just like The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, does not settle with cheap horror tricks but asks us to look into the darkness and experience the horrors that reside inside people. It questions our conscience and tries to argue with rationality even though the series is set against the backdrop of irrational happenings.
It is truly sensational watching the sophisticated take Mike Flanagan has given to the horror genre. Midnight Mass is yet another example.
Midnight Mass: The Perfect Cast
A show gets only as good as its cast and Midnight Mass seems to have bagged the perfect cast who make every moment on screen remarkable.
Zach Gilford stars as Riley Flynn who offers us a textbook full of dialogues that we’d want to repeat and apply in real life over and over again. Hamish Linklater plays the most suitable pastor to the church, Father Paul with his unfaltering beliefs on religion and righteousness. Kate Siegel as Erin Green and Rahul Kohli as Sheriff Hassan, who we might remember from The Haunting of Bly Manor, again deliver their best. Samantha Sloyan as Bev Keane is wicked and loathsome, proving her point as an actor.
We also see Kristin Lehman as Annie Flynn, Igby Rigney as Warren Flynn, Annarah Cymone as Leeza, Annabeth Gish as Dr. Sarah Gunning, Alex Essoe as Mildred Gunning, Matt Biedel as Sturge and Robert Longstreet as Joe Collie, who are all such memorable characters.
Midnight Mass: Final Verdict
Midnight Mass is like a crossover between Ari Aster’s Midsommar and Antonio Campos’ The Devil All The Time, only so much better and feels personal and important. It is the quintessential tv show that we did not know we needed until now. Like, its ending episode, Midnight Mass is our “Revelation”.
Midnight Mass is now streaming on Netflix.