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Netflix and Chills: A Plunge into Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSD chapter.

A deeper look into the world of thrills and chills as Netflix produces new thrillers for those looking for a new scare.

Today, I’ll be discussing a series that has taken hold of viewers by reaching into the least expected aspects of horror; the horrors hidden within the human mind and soul.  

Warning! This article contains spoilers!

The Netflix series Midnight Mass delves deep into the concept of guilt, forgiveness, secrets, and religion located on the secluded community, Crockett Island. The arrival of a mysterious priest usher in inexplicable miracles and events that slowly begin to turn into something more sinister. Each of the main characters within the series either explores or expresses their heartbreaking backstories, accompanied by testimonies on their perspectives towards religion, death, guilt, anger, etc.

This horror series, consisting of only seven episodes, carefully explores the sinister intentions of the mysterious monsignor that results in heartbreak and exposes the swept-under-the-rug secrets that remain in the beating heart of Crockett Island.

The repetition of religious symbols and icons shown in Midnight Mass highlights the concept of forgiveness, whether it’s giving or receiving. As the show is centered around the church and its shining fallen star, Father Paul, the idea of forgiveness is why a majority of the inhabitants on the island seek religion in the first place. Each character is either confronted or confronts their source of guilt that requires some sense of forgiveness. 

In one situation, a young Leeza goes out to confront the man who left her paralyzed during a hunting accident. While she presents a deep hatred and anger towards the man who shot her, her act of forgiveness also allows the man responsible to finally forgive himself for the incident.

Riley, the main character, is trapped in an endless loop of seeing the young woman he killed in a car accident, which leads him down a path of conflicting emotions that ultimately send him to his unexpected and sudden death. His journey towards finding forgiveness for his crime is met by unexpected events that no one could foresee: the arrival of a vampire, whose blood is unknowingly consumed by the unsuspecting community, distributed by the one and only, Father Paul. Who could see that one coming?

So, what’s the real horror here? The idea that death is inevitable for all mortals? An immortal vampire that stalks the unsuspecting inhabitants on a secluded island? Or is it the daunting feel of guilt and anger that wracks the human soul, stripping them of their own humanity and conscience? While any of these may be the leading benefactor in distributing the shock of what lurks within the shadows of the human conscience, the idea of dying without resolution is enough to send shivers down one’s spine. At least to those within the small community of Crockett island.

Hello! Feel free to call me Ann! I'm formerly a UCSD student with a major in Communications! I pride myself on writing fictional novels in my spare moments and I aspire to become a self-published author one day! When I'm not busy typing away, I enjoy traveling, reading (and watching) horror and thrillers, and occasionally, watching MMA.