Start spooky season with limited series ‘Midnight Mass’

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Grab your popcorn, your favorite fall drink and a blanket to hide under, because Netflix has released a new spooky limited series just in time for October. You might also want to find a friend for comfort, since “Midnight Mass” promises to be a truly creepy tale.

“Midnight Mass,” written by Mike Flanagan, follows characters living on Crockett Island who experience miracles by the hands of a new priest, before things take a dark turn. The sleepy island and its inhabitants find community in the church and seem to be brought together by the arrival of Father Paul. However, his presence also begs many questions and seems to coincide with several strange occurrences.  

Rather than getting right into the horror, “Midnight Mass” builds suspense and intrigue, leaving more questions asked than answered. By following the plotlines of several characters, viewers can see the events unravel through many different lenses. The build to the horror is a slow one, but the mix of storylines allows for an engaging experience, rather than a flat narrative.  

Most of the characters in the show are unsettling in some way, ranging from vaguely creepy to outright evil. Few characters on the island seem to be free from entanglement with dark secrets or hidden motivations, leaving the audience wondering who they can trust.  

Aside from the plot, the show is also visually compelling. Subtle camera movements cause feelings of unease, adding to the atmosphere built around the story. More dynamic angles and movements employed during tense scenes draw the audience in as well, particularly with immersive first person shots and quick cuts to creepy scenes. In terms of design, the color palette is dull and drab, enhancing the run-down nature of the town and people.  

Flanagan, also wrote “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Doctor Sleep” and other well-known horror movies and series. Compared to his other works, “Midnight Mass” focuses more on the characters as the center of horror, accompanied by supernatural events. He explores the themes of religion and faith, and how people fit spirituality into their lives. Exclusion based on faith also comes into play, pitting some characters against others. Viewers will be made to contemplate their perspectives on such issues, making the show multifaceted. 

“Midnight Mass” is perfect for viewers who want to delve deeper into such topics, but may not hold the attention of those looking for a faster paced show. It relies heavily on monologues and in-depth conversations about the lives of its characters, which serve as the building blocks for the horror, but on their own are not spooky. Early in the story, viewers should expect to be more intrigued than scared.  

As one might expect from a horror show, the show deals with darker themes, but viewers bothered by gore, involving both people and animals, might want to steer clear. In addition to relying on atmosphere and suspense to build the tension, “Midnight Mass” also features some more graphic images to startle the audience.  

“Midnight Mass” is available for streaming on Netflix. 

Rating: 4/5

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