Midnight Mass is another Netflix show made by Mike Flanagan, he’s the same guy who made The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. I’ve been a fan of Mike Flanagan after watching The Haunting of Hill House because it’s not your typical horror/scary tv series. I really enjoyed the pacing and the storytelling.
I honestly had no idea what Midnight Mass was all about – but since I’m a Mike Flanagan fan, I trusted that I will be in for a treat and I was! I won’t delve into the details and the story of the show – but I will just discuss what I found entertaining and fascinating after watching the show.
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!!
The story is quite simple – it’s a vampire horror story BUT it’s told/shown from a different angle. The angle is that the vampire was disguised as an angel, well – that’s how the story is! When I realized what it was my head was screaming ‘Vampire! Vampire! Blood suckers! Fangs! Fresh blood’! But with this particular vampire/angel he was not as blood thirsty as your usual vampire is – he’s actually a well behaved vampire! He looks a bit scary – but not that scary because he’s not that violent – yes, not that violent. He’s quite a calm kind of vampire – and it’s so refreshing to see that type on screen! There’s the gulat (shock) factor – but you’ll understand why it’s not a screaming kind of shock – it’s actually an ooohs and aaahs kind of reaction and it totally works!
The show talks about faith and how everyone’s faith is tested with the strange things that are happening in the small town. The story very simple, but the storytelling is brilliant and captivating. This is one show that you’ll want to binge on. It’s well written, the dialogue and sequence of events are wonderfully laid. I liked the pacing because every episode builds up to the next episode.
There were moments when I wanted to shout out to the characters – he’s a vampire! He’s NOT an angel! Hahaha.. But because the vampire wasn’t as blood thirsty and violent – and instead was calm and collected – you’d think, maybe just maybe – he’s good. BUT it all screams vampire – how everyone he bites would die and then come alive again. It’s quite refreshing to see on TV a calm and collected vampire, I mean in all seriousness – I would never expect a vampire to be as calm and as collected as that thing was, haha!! The scene that made my heart beat faster was when that angel was introduced to the townsfolk walking into the Church, that angel was wearing a priest’s robe! It was so terrifying and made more terrifying because of the slow walk. My gosh, it still sends chills. Hahaha!!
When I first saw the title – Midnight Mass, I honestly wondered what it was about. Being a Catholic, I am very familiar with Midnight Masses because they are held annually to commemorate the 9 days before Christmas – in Tagalog, it’s called Simbang Gabi. I was intrigued because it was only familiar to Filipino Catholics. As I watched the first episode, I was thrilled to see the cast members recite prayers like the Our Father! I was so excited to hear it on screen and also to see them have Mass. It was quite joyous, and at the same time – I dreaded it because I knew the show as a horror movie – so I was wondering where the horror storyline would come out.
The horror plot came out in the perfect time. At first, you’ll feel quite bored of the anticipation – you’ll question the story telling, but the a Mike Flanagan film takes it sweet time to lay out the cards, and when you least expect it – TADA! It reveals the twist of the story. I had a few hunches here and there, but I didn’t quite expect it to be this good. The actors all played their roles BRILLIANTLY – they were perfect! The emotions they brought our with their respective characters were raw and so real! To be honest, on the first episode – I wondered the charactered were made up to look like they’re very very old, well apparently – there’s a reason for that!
The most memorable performances are done when a certain character gets to your nerves. That means that the actor has portrayed that role very very well – and in this show, that character is Bev. Oh, how I hated Bev, hahaha!! On the first episode, you will immediately single her out because of how her character it. This character was portrayed by Samantha Sloyan. Oh, how brilliant she was! I think she should at least be nominated for her portrayal – she was so effective because you’ll come to HATE her as the show progresses. I say HATE because she’s so irritating and hateful. She’s full of anger and bitterness that you can just smell it from a mile away. She was so very good! I was shocked to see who pretty she was in real life. Hahaha!! 🙂
There were a few familiar faces in the cast – most notably are Henry Thomas (Panget calls him the ET kid, haha!) and Kate Siegel (who was present in The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor – oh, and she’s the wife of Mike Flanagan!). The other cast members I shall refer to them from the characters they’ve played that stuck to my head – the Friday Night Lights guy – Zach Gilford, the guy from The Big Short – Hamish Linklater (He’s a familiar face but I never knew his name!), the girl from Mystic Pizza – Annabeth Gish, and the iZombie doctor – Rahul Kohli.
So, what was my take? My take is that this was a horror movie – it has the formula of horror movie, it’s just that the delivery was different. The horror plays with the horrors of our faith in our daily lives. How we justify certain actions to deem them correct. How we bend the truth for our perceived realities so that we will not find faults nor guilt in our actions. I was so drawn to the story and storytelling of Midnight Mass because I find it very very real and so very raw. I mean looking at that we are experiencing in the world – you will for sure see parallelism from the show to real life. I have often believed that how we perceive things in our lives is often relative to whatever it is we are feeling and surrounded with in that particular moment. What may be good to me may not be good to you, but we all want what is good for all – but, what is good for all? It means that others will sacrifice in order to achieve that common good. But that begs the question – if it’s not the good for all – was it really good?
I just need to say it again – this show is brilliant, the writing, the cast and the pace. Amazing.
By the way, the concept of a vampire using the Christian faith isn’t exactly new to me. I remember watching a horror movie where the Christian faith was incorporated into the the story line – this was the movie – Dracula 2000. In that movie, it reveals that Dracula was Judas Iscariot – this plot justifies why vampires are afraid of silver and crucifixes – brilliant, right?
If you’re done watching the series and would like to discuss further, I would be more than happy to trade thoughts with you. If you haven’t seen it yet – please watch it, it’s gripping and very entertaining.