Midnight Mass, a limited series on Netflix, is Mike Flanagan’s latest work. After masterpieces like Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor, we did not expect anything less than perfection. And Midnight Mass definitely did not disappoint. The character development is impeccable, the cinematography is flawless, and the story-telling is seamless.
What I love most about Mike Flanagan’s genre of horror is that it is frightening in the most disturbing and chilling ways. The series blends the supernatural or fictitious horror with the actual horrors of humankind, and it is very effective. I have always thought that supernatural horror isn’t really scary. Sure, it does push the audience to the edges of their seats and does manage to terrify them. However, at the end of the day, everyone knows that none of it is real, and they move on. The thing about using the horror that actually exists is that it leaves a lasting effect and makes the audience’s mind linger on the topic. To make people actually reflect on themselves and society is really something.
To put it simply, Midnight Mass is the story of a small, isolated island community that is barely getting by and how their lives take a turn with the arrival of a charismatic priest. Father Paul’s arrival coincides with the occurrence of unexplained miracles that causes religious fervour in the community.
The events of the series beautifully depict the difference between having a strong faith and having a strong yet misguided faith. A strong faith can be empowering, but blind and misguided faith can lead to destruction. The themes of Midnight Mass makes one think how important it is to think and not just jump into something with closed eyes. And this applies not just to religion but other spheres of life as well. It is very foolish to trust anyone blindly, no matter who it is. Anyone who has the ability to think should use it. Although the story is about a Christian community, I was forced to think about how as Muslims, we have been warned against blindly following anyone no matter what miracles they perform. The supernatural element was a significant part of the series, but it did not overshadow the other, very real elements.
The actors and the characters were simply incredible. In the first few episodes, and later ones as well, some scenes were so specific to various characters that, as the audience, I really understood them. I cared about what they were doing and what was going to happen to them. I was rooting for some, and I despised some so much. The amount of pure hate I felt for some was almost surprising. The thought-provoking conversations the characters had, their dreams and their fears moved me.
Zach Gilford’s Riley, a man, utterly crushed by guilt, was absolutely heartbreaking. Kate Seigel’s Erin, a woman who showed strength in the most desperate times, was also inspiring. Samantha Sloyan played Bev so perfectly that it was so easy to de