Midnight Mass Is The Best Of Mike Flanagan’s Bloody Netflix Universe, Here’s Why

By Britta DeVore | Published

During what would eventually become a bitter collaboration, horror aficionado Mike Flanagan stood at the helm of a handful of Netflix series for five years. Included in the lineup were his breakout hit The Haunting of Hill House and others such as The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club, and, most recently, The Fall of the House of Usher. While many of these titles would earn their way into the hearts of audiences thanks to their jump scares and supernatural occurrences, Midnight Mass stands out as the best, thanks to its brilliant build.

Don’t Sleep On Midnight Mass

Yes, Midnight Mass, was filled with quick-moving moments that raised my blood pressure, but it was the overall eerie tone and build that Flanagan masterfully crafted that led me to put the title as the number one in Netflix’s Flanaverse. With its commentary on religion and small-town living, Midnight Mass is easily the director’s most slept-on title with others like Hill House and Usher forming a grabbier appeal through their adaptations.

Supernatural Happenings In A Small Town

midnight mass netflix horror

In Midnight Mass, audiences are introduced to Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), a young man who has just spent the last few years of his life behind bars after a drunk driving incident claimed the life of a young woman.

When Riley arrives back home, he discovers that nothing has really changed on the isolated island, with the townspeople still struggling to make ends meet but grateful to praise God for what they do have. When a mysterious new priest takes over following the previous Father’s hospitalization, a bizarre string of miracles begins to push the village to the brink of their beliefs.

Midnight Mass Features Familiar Flanagan Faces

Along with Gilford, Midnight Mass saw the return of a handful of other frequent Flanagan collaborators including Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Carla Gugino, Rahul Kohli, Igby Rigney, and Samantha Sloyan, with the talented Hamish Linklater playing Father Paul Hill. One of the director’s greatest gifts to his fans is in bringing back these favorite faces season after season in new roles, a daunting task that goes on to demonstrate each performer’s talent.

What Sets Midnight Mass Apart

Don’t get me wrong, in my eyes, Mike Flanagan’s Netflix shows can do no wrong (aside from there not being a second season for The Midnight Club) but there’s just something different about Midnight Mass that puts it on a pedestal in comparison to the other productions. Sure, the stories build in each of the other titles but in Midnight Mass, each episode teases at what’s really going on with the missing Monsignor and the secret held by Father Hill. Meanwhile, each of the people living on the struggling island is going through their own set of challenges.

Along with Riley’s search for purpose, others are wondering where they stand in the grand scheme of things and how they will have the fortitude to make it through day in and day out. This is why, when Father Hill introduces what seems to be miracles from a creature that he thinks is an angel, the village in Midnight Mass quickly follows suit. Essentially, Flanagan is showing the dangers of a belief system in which no one questions the person at the top, effectively causing a wave of brainwashing-like activities to fall into place. 

Mike Flanagan Is Adapting A Stephen King Story Next

Stephen King Netflix

Now that Mike Flanagan’s overall deal with Netflix has come to an end and he announced that his next project will be an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Life of Chuck, I look forward to another Midnight Mass-like production that isn’t necessarily horror in the sense of titles like Bly Manor and The Midnight Club.