Netflix Review: Midnight Mass

November 21, 2021

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]

Mike Flanagan, the brilliant mind behind Netflix’s “Haunting of Hill House”, Doctor Sleep, and Geralds’ Game, is back with his latest genre offering, the Netflix series “Midnight Mass”.




Now, if you’re expecting something haunting like “Haunting of Hill Houe,” you’ll be sorely disappointed. “Midnight Mass” is a whole different monster entirely. Instead of dark paranormal horror, we get religious horror.


The series centers on an isolated island community that experiences miraculous events – and frightening omens – after the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest.


Religion is the main topic throughout the series and there’s a fine line between too much and just enough. The constant preaching and non-stop bible quotes overshadowed the story and the horror that we were promised. The tale of the characters and their struggles take a back seat to the hours of religious idealogy and sermons which left me a bit annoyed. Don’t get wrong, I’m fine with religion, but it felt like “Midnight Mass” was trying to shove it down my throat.


I’ll give “Midnight Mass” credit on one thing, the twist on the vampire legend was unique and interesting, instead of your classic vampire, we get a monster mistaken for an angel by who a priest who is desperate for some sort of salvation or another. The creature resembles the vampires of legend with giant bat-like wings and its blood-thirsty ways. How it could be mistaken for an angel by a priest I don’t know. But I guess delusional people see what they need to.


First off, the main characters of Riley (Zach Gilford and Erin (Kate Siegal) were excellent in their roles and delivered so much emotion. However, Riley makes a decision at the end that left me scratching my head. As for Father Paul (Hamish Linklater), he did a fantastic job of portraying a desperate man who believes he has found a true miracle, but his willingness to make life and death decisions for the island is downright disturbing.


The series has no problem spilling blood in truly brutal ways. It’s packed with action and twists that will keep you on your toes, but at the same time is a bit predictable. At the beginning of the series when Riley tells Erin about his dreams, it goes beyond foreshadowing and is just plain obvious.


I’ll be honest with you, the series left me a bit disappointed, not because of the characters but because of the minister’s drive over seven episodes to turn his congregation, only to decide he made a mistake moments after the job is done and goes off to die in the sun. After all the death and suffering, this is how it ends? Really? All of the pain and death of the residents of the island was for NOTHING! Well, at least I got to see the completely obnoxious assistant Bev die, there’s that. If I could have reached through my tv and slapped this chick, I would have. Talk about an unlikeable character! Her holier-than-thou attitude and snarkiness was just too much. I actually cheered as she got her just desserts.

One of the most terrifying aspects of the series is how it shines a light on how people in power are able to do terrifying things, take Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, or David Koresh for example. Jim Jones convinced over 900 people to “drink the Kool-Aid” and commit suicide and murder by manipulating them and twisting religion. They believed they were chosen by God and knew what was right for their people, just like Father Paul, and look what happened.

The bottom line is if you don’t mind feeling like you’re sitting through sermon after sermon, “Midnight Mass” is pretty good. I wish the religious aspects weren’t quite so heavy and that the main characters didn’t make such bone-headed decisions, but overall, it’s not a bad series. You can watch it now on Netflix.



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