Review: ‘Midnight Mass’ is a “very Stephen King” dramatic horror series

Mike Flanagan’s new fiction (‘The Curse of Hill House’) premieres this Friday, September 24 on Netflix.

The curse of Hill House is one of the most successful horror series of the last decade. Netflix viewers were terrified by their haunting ghost stories, which would later impress us again in The curse of Bly Manor. Now its creator, Mike Flanagan, returns this Friday 24th September to the platform with Midnight mass. Alejandro G. Calvo has already had the opportunity to see it and defines the series as “A drama bathed in terror”.

Midnight mass takes place in a remote island where, with the arrival of a new priest, strange and miraculous events begin to happen. In addition, the return of a man in disgrace, accompanied by something that torments him, makes him experience terrifying apparitions. The inhabitants of the island will have to find out the origin of the events and will act according to the miracles and horrible omens they experience.

It is a deeply dramatic tale with a powerful existentialist philosophical character.

This is how Alejandro G. Calvo defines Midnight Mass, although he also makes it clear that “when terror arrives, it is a tremendously dramatic abrasive terror”. The series contains “a lot of dialogue and a lot of on-camera monologue.” This is how the characters are known and we understand who they are and why they are there. “Like in the horror movies of the 70s because the construction of the terrifying psychological atmosphere is very powerful”, Explains G. Calvo.

“The series is muy Stephen King”, Assures Alejandro. Not only because the action takes place on an island – like many King stories take place in a town – but also because there is a character who “suddenly begins to become tremendously bitter and bad.”

By delving so deeply into the drama of the characters, when the terror arrives it is quite categorical

Father Paul is the young priest who comes to the island to replace the previous one. Portrayed by “an incredible Hamish Linklater”, The new priest is the true protagonist of the series according to Alejandro. “We approached such a strange and terribly seductive character. There is something that does not quite work, there is something wrong. Nevertheless, the complexity of the character is amazinge because we could not say that he is a negative character in himself but rather that he is a character whose faith is such a beast that he is capable of embracing horror as if it were a miracle ”, he explains.

Alejandro highlights the magnificent audiovisual work that perfectly accompanies the plot. “Apply a staging of long shots more than surreal as dreamy. For example, two protagonists wonder what happens when you die. Each one gives his version and in these two monologues the camera gradually approaches from the large shot to practically leaving him in the foreground ”, explains G. Calvo.

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Another gesture that defines the series a lot is “the conversations walking through the town in very long sequence shots. The plane is never cut. The two protagonists are talking about their hopes for the future and what torments them. In this way, we know both the reality of the characters and their dreams in uncut shots and without looking for terror “.

Alejandro thinks that Midnight mass it can get people off balance because “the terrifying action takes time to appear.” “It is a drama bathed in terror, so the more the drama is worked on, the stronger the terror will enter and it succeeds,” explains the critic. “Is a series demanding for the viewer, very dense and deep. It is not going to the easy resource, it is very difficult what Flanagan tries to draw up ”. However, Alejandro thinks “that it ends up being fascinating. The series of what he speaks to us is about the ability to forgive. Not only to the other, but to forgive yourself. It’s a series about redemption and it’s also very scary. ” And adds:

The series is so worked on at all levels that it achieves a kind of strange symbiosis between terror, violence, death and beauty. There are moments of great beauty even in horror because all this dreamy component makes some of his final actions really beautiful and that is quite impressive.

The quintessential critic of SensaCine notes that it is important not to make spoilers. “The viewer has to arrive a virgin at each of the surprising twists that the series offers.” That’s where “much of the terrifying kernel, very important in the story and narrative,” is found. And he concludes that “he has enjoyed watching it” and that it has “fascinated” him.