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In the last few years, writer/director Mike Flanagan has developed a wonderful relationship with Netflix, as the streamer has provided a home for a number of excellent features and serials from the filmmaker. The collaboration hit another new height this past weekend thanks to the release of Midnight Mass – a new seven episode miniseries that horror fans everywhere are buzzing about – but what you may not know is that it's a project that Flanagan teased a full five years ago in his first movie released on the subscription service.
The movie in question is Hush, which premiered on Netflix in April 2016. It stars Kate Siegel as Maddie Young, a deaf and mute author living in an isolated house who must find a way to survive when her home is invaded by a sadistic serial killer. The connection to Mike Flanagan's most recent work, as pointed out by Twitter user @CamArruda, is that Midnight Mass is a book "written" by Maddie Young, and it's the subject of a discussion early in the film between the fictional novelist and her neighbor, played by Samantha Sloyan (who, along with Siegel, stars in the new miniseries):
Now you may be thinking, "Well, that could just be a coincidence. Perhaps Mike Flanagan just likes Midnight Mass as a title!" That's a totally fair thought, but the connection goes far deeper. Not only does the neighbor discuss Riley and Erin as characters in the fake book (a.k.a. two of the protagonists in the miniseries), but there is also a brief moment where you get a look at the back cover, and it explicitly mentions Riley, Crocket Island, and a conflict involving the church:
You don't think that this just ends there, though, do you? After all, Hush isn't the only movie that Mike Flanagan made for Netflix. He also made the phenomenal 2017 adaptation of Stephen King's Gerald's Game as an exclusive for the streaming service, and fans can spot a copy of Midnight Mass on the shelf above the bed where Carla Gugino's Jessie Burlingame is trapped (she ultimately uses it to try and scare off the dog who is slowly eating her dead husband):
It's always utterly delightful to discover these kinds of details within a filmmaker's body of work, and as a fan it's hard not to be really happy for Mike Flanagan – who has clearly been working on Midnight Mass for a very long time, and can be very proud of the excellent finished product.
The new Netflix series is now streaming in its entirety, and if you feel compelled to discover more of Mike Flanagan's work after watching, the streaming service hosts not only Hush and Gerald's Game, but also the film Before I Wake and the two limited series The Haunting Of Hill House and The Haunting Of Bly Manor.
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