Midnight Mass Review – Deliciously Dark!

The writer-director of the Netflix hit series Hill House and Bly Manor, Mike Flanagan, has come up with a follow-up horror show Midnight Mass. It has garnered amazing early reviews from industry experts and critics such as the uncrowned king of horror, Stephen King as well as Elijah Wood & Mason Downey.

Flanagan made his mark in the horror genre with his 2013 film, “Oculus,” which put his name under one of Hollywood’s most prolific horror directors. With movies like Ouija: Origin of Evil to Stephen King adaptations Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s Game, Flanagan has shown his talent to create tension on the screen.

The story of Midnight Mass revolves around an isolated island community of Crockett Island, which finds itself protesting violently against the return of a young taint man, played by Zach Gilford. And the arrival of a charismatic priest, Hamish Linklater. The arrival of Linklater’s father, Paul initiates a renewed intense religious cult that is further spiked by events that are miraculous seemingly.

Critics and some viewers who got to review Midnight Mass early have nothing but great praises for Flanagan’s latest project.

The great praise received for Midnight Mass doesn’t really come as a surprise as Flanagan has proven his skills of creating an eerie atmosphere in his previous projects that grasp the attention of the audience in no time.

The Netflix series Midnight Mass is undoubtedly the most complicated and gruesome series from Flanagan; the series begins with blood baths right from the start. A drunk driver, Riley, crashes into another car resulting in the young woman he hit getting thrown through the car’s window. She lands on the rain-slicked sideway, dying.

Riley surprisingly survives the crash without even a scratch. As he finds out the young woman he hit won’t survive, he begins to pray to God, but to no avail. This sets an amazing gloomy tone right away before the audience even realizes. As the genre of the series is horror, so, of course, it’s filled to the top with supernatural scares, but more than that, it uniquely shows how terrible things people can do to each other and how accountability and acceptance can bring about change.

A Beautiful Twist

The greatest twist in the series is that Midnight Mass takes place in a place where the average person has no idea of what a vampire is; Sarah Gunning is shown as the most well-read person on the dead and isolated island, and even she has to do some research about “porphyria cutanea tarda.” Which is the real-life “vampire disease.”

Even though viewers can easily tell that the creature Hamish Linklater encounters is a vampire, he believes it to be an angel. This is due to what he studied in the Bible and Catholic theology, and the creature seems to be a perfect fit for an angel. Of what Linklater had studied in the Bible, it isn’t really his fault to think a tall, strong, bald beast with fangs and wings would be an angel. This allows the series to create a case of mistaken identity, believing a vampire to be an angel.

The creature that Linklater encounters does have a vague appearance of an angel, and it also claims to hold the secret of eternal life as promised in the Bible. The secret is pretty simple, and it is to drink some of the “angel’s” blood, and a true Christian can live forever, just like God states in the Bible. However, in Midnight Mass, drinking the blood of the vampire mistaken as an angel result in side effects that no one would ever want, including a never-ending thirst for blood and sensitivity to sunlight.

Every vampire story has a different take on the creature, and in fiction, the storyteller has the liberty to set the tone and environment as per their own perspective.

Flanagan stated,

“We poor humans only have so much that we can give. We’re ill-equipped as individuals to make any kind of meaningful stand. The only way evil in the world can be brought down is through collective effort. That’s something Stoker understands inherently. It’s clearly something King understands.”

When it comes to taking down the vampire, the interesting part in Flanagan’s series is that the “final crew,” consisting of six individuals, does the task. It’s kind of a magic number as Stoker’s Dracula has six heroes. Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” also as six characters saving the day.

When Flanagan was asked about the often-repeating number of six characters in such storylines, he answered,

“The number was certainly not intentional. Once it was clear that Riley was not going to be carrying the torch to the end it really was about asking ‘who are the characters who seem in the very beginning to be at a disadvantage and how do we empower them in the end?’ This was gonna be played out by Sarah Gunning, Sheriff Hassan, and everyone else who would get to just give a little piece.”

Taking into account that Erin and company were massively outnumbered by about 117 to six, it’s quite a good showing for the last standing humans on Crockett Island. The series has it all, close relationships between the few characters, a very peculiar kind of religious dread, and presenting the Church as a safe place and a menacing threat, both at the same time.



Mohid Moosani

Moosani is a night owl who is either binge watching his favorite shows or scribbling on his notebook writing short stories. Often showing up late at work and gulping down 6-7 cups of coffee is his usual practice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *