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Midnight Mass is a chilling and timely delight

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The much-anticipated Netflix limited series Midnight Mass was released on Sept. 24th to immediate acclaim. Without giving too much away, it follows in the footsteps of other Mike Flanagan series’ The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. 

The series is set on Crockett Island, a fictional village 30 miles from the mainland and lovingly known as the Crock Pot. When a charismatic and young priest arrives on the island, he brings with him miracles and unsettling insight into the lives of the village residents. Soon, the sleepy village becomes torn between suspicion and passionate faith. 

The series’ slow-burn plot drags you deeper and deeper into its horror, first focusing on the inner and interpersonal struggles of its characters before hurtling into a dark and gory finale. The viewers may be able to anticipate the twists and turns the show takes but even so will be thrilled by every cliffhanger and reveal. 

The series combines viscerally horrifying moments with those of genuine grief. The heartbreaking moments will leave you with a slight ache, reminiscent of both Haunting of shows. Episode five especially delivers, you’ll want to sit through the credits of that one (if you can stomach it!). 

It is hard to not compare this to the Haunting of series, you certainly don’t get as much insight into each character’s psyche. Instead, nearly every character delivers one or more monologues to convey their state of mind and build the viewer’s understanding of them. Although these monologues may seem excessive, they fit in well with the show’s exploration of Catholicism. Each monologue delivered feels like a sermon on death, faith or purpose. 

Midnight Mass has a powerhouse cast, with many notable performances. Haunting of alumni Kate Siegel and Rahul Kohli quickly become the heart of the show as Erin Greene and Sherriff Hassan respectively. Samantha Sloyan plays holier-than-thou Bev Keane so perfectly that every time she speaks, you will likely be filled with overwhelming rage. 

Hamish Linklater’s Father Paul is a fascinating character. Linklater easily balances charm with dark and hidden complexity. Show-stopping young talent Annarah Cymone was a scene-stealer as Leeza Scarborough.  

Those looking for a fast-paced slasher series may not enjoy Midnight Mass. While there are certainly some frightening scenes, the horror in this series is quietly unsettling and deeply disturbing rather than reliant on jumpscares. It is the show’s meditations on mortality and mob mentality which feel most timely, and are likely to resonate deepest with viewers.

Emma is in her fourth year of a BFA in Screenwriting and a Film Studies minor at the University of Victoria. She's an aspiring filmmaker and pop-culture obsessed. When she isn't writing for Her Campus or burning her eyes from staring at a screenplay that just isn't working, she's probably at home playing video games, watching movies (it's technically homework, she's studying them) or mindlessly scrolling through her TikTok feed.
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