Nobody can get viewers into the Halloween spirit quicker than Mike Flanagan and, with his third Netflix horror series, Midnight Mass, being released on September 24, fans can’t wait to see what’s next from the creator of The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. While Midnight Mass is not another installment of Flanagan’s previous two projects, viewers are hoping to get the same storytelling prowess and lingering imagery that those shows left with us long after viewing them.
Midnight Mass tells the story of Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights), who returns to tiny Crockett Island, where he reunites with childhood friend Erin Greene (Kate Siegel, who is Mike Flanagan’s wife and one of many actors from his Haunting series) just as things start to get weird as it pertains to the island’s church. Father Paul (Hamish Linklater) is the new priest, leading the congregation and viewers alike into Flanagan’s dissection of Catholicism and faith. Let’s see what the critics had to say about the highly anticipated project, starting with CinemaBlend's own Sean O’Connell. O’Connell tweeted that Midnight Mass was “challenging, rewarding and brilliant,” with hints of the master of horror Stephen King:
The Verge called the series “a nesting doll of stories” and, while the monologues got to be a bit much, the performances were so great that the viewer will stay sucked in as the show descends into pure, unadulterated horror. It sounds like fans may want to brace themselves:
Variety argued that some of the things that worked for Mike Flanagan on his two previous Netflix series were ultimately what hurt Midnight Mass. Where the characters’ backstories contributed to understanding the family’s issues in The Haunting of Hill House, this review said the Midnight Mass ending felt cluttered, with the stories getting in the way of what Flanagan was trying to explore:
Time agreed that Midnight Mass might not be able to answer all of the big-picture questions it posed, but this review thought the formula worked, with Mike Flanagan allowing audiences to answer the questions for themselves while he focused on entertaining. And rare in today’s world, Time argued, Flanagan was able to drudge up those existential questions for its audiences through his characters’ development, and somehow without being preachy:
Collider gave Midnight Mass an “A-“ saying all of the characters felt lived in and every performance rang true. While the series had its “laborious” moments, and audiences will have to get past some “truly ill-advised old age makeup,” this review begged audiences to dive in anyway and try to take your time with it:
The reviews all seemed to agree that while the monologues were plenty, the actors pulled them off in a way that audiences won’t lose interest — and that slow build ultimately contributed to the horrifying ending. I, for one, can’t wait to check it out for myself. Midnight Mass can be streamed on Netflix starting Friday, September 24. Be sure to browse these other Netflix options that are being released this month, as well as our 2021 Fall TV Schedule to keep track of all the upcoming small screen premiere dates.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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