Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass ★★★★

nastier, leaner, and more quietly poignant than flanagan's recent output; no, it doesn't entirely cohere, but it's a wickedly clever plunge into folk horror from one of our best working horror directors.

you're going to see a lot of other vague reviews like this one (sorry) because frankly, the trailer already spoils more than it should. rest assured, the premise - hot priest performs miracles on a small island community - is building to something legit bonkers, enmeshed within some ingenious repurposing of horror mythology.

what i will mention re: the story is how overrun it is by monologues and extensive, bleedingly literal dialogue scenes which rear their head right as you're begging the show to just get to the point already. but if you're coming here from the haunting series, you already know that. luckily, hamish linklater pulls out all the stops as a febrile fanatic who's also a disarmingly nice dude. his rapport with main character riley flynn (i guess the name jack ryan was taken?) is rife with atheism 101 dialogue, but endearing overall.

visually this reins in the post-prod lacquer which spilled over hill house and doctor sleep - thank god. plus, the broader canvas of ideas flanagan is working with gives way to unforgettable imagery that's way more my shit than rehashed kubrick/generic victorian spectres - v nice!!

keen to see how audiences will respond, as this lacks the expected drip-feed of spooky setpieces, instead relying on a gradual, nocturnal dread. that being said, there's still more than enough bloodlust to go round. undeniable that this c/should've been a movie (or at least one episode shorter) but the broad strokes of the series are orchestrated with operatic, undeniable flair; everything else melts away into the ether.

and hey, he even nails the ending on this one! mostly. doesn't overstay its welcome, and the emotional resolutions are suitably crushing; flanagan offers light at the end of the tunnel, but paves the road with broken glass

update: i wrote about the show for netflix lol

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