Midnight Mass: Review (Spoiler Free)

Updated: Jun 17

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 despise her entire personality, which was made of religious hypocrisy and self-righteousness. And Hamish Linklater embodied Father Paul in a way that was equally charismatic and terrifying. Not a single performance was anything less than amazing.

Another thing I really appreciated about the show was that they depicted Muslim characters quite respectfully. I really liked a conversation the Muslim father has with his son’s teacher about respecting his religion and how he educates her. It was refreshing to see a Muslim guy be one of the voices of sanity in the madness.

There is so much about this show that can be spoiled, but I want to avoid that. So, I’ll just say that by the time you reach the seventh, or the last, episode, you will be rendered speechless. As all the layers of this remarkable series unravel, you will be completely hooked to the show. You will be making guesses about how the end is gonna be, but you’ll probably be wrong. And when it’s over, you’ll need time to digest it.

If you enjoy horror, you should definitely watch Midnight Mass. If you don’t usually watch this genre but want to try it out, this show is a good start. However, if you can’t handle blood, violence, or animal death, this show probably isn’t for you because it has all of the above. This show is not for the faint-hearted.

I’d give Midnight Mass 9.5/10, only because there were slight inconsistencies. It has all the elements that are necessary to make a good show. The story is heart-wrenching yet so good, and the actors perfectly embody their characters. I can’t imagine anyone else playing these characters as well as the current cast.

All seven episodes of Midnight Mass are available on Netflix right now; if you wanna go, check it out.

cover and image credits: Netflix

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