Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass ★★★★

"whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life."
"for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

srry flanagan probably leans a bit too heavy into his writerly ticks, especially his one for characters delivering never-ending, unsubtle monologues at each other (so if that already sounds annoying to you probably not worth your time), but he's too skilled in terms of translating conceptual and philosophical ideas into emotional ones for me to ignore. and this has plenty of them with its use of a sleepy, king-esque abandoned fishing town at the edge of the world experiencing the healing comforts of faith in the face of suffering but also its potential (whether through misinterpretation or deliberate cynicism) as a tool for preying on and creating that same suffering. feelings of isolation and guilt quickly become those of warmth and community via a "miraculous" lie, a lie that is far more ugly and monstrous and literal than i expected of one of these Actually About Grief horror stories (the creature fx are quite good too) and serves as an effective base to sustain mystery and mood while developing its simultaneously sensitive and gruesome depiction of coming to terms with mortality. overtly pulls from things like Salem's Lot, The Exorcist, coppola's Dracula, etc while also staying firmly planted in the flanagan wheelhouse of somber, romantic psychodrama. at the very least i imagine this should prove cathartic for any lapsed catholics out there; it's clear flanagan is deeply familiar with these particular rituals/myths/images and how violently apocalyptic they like to pretend they aren't. also (spoilers?) i have to respect the grimly absurd body count on this thing.