Horror fans have spent the weekend rabidly consuming Midnight Mass, the new Netflix series from the wonderfully warped mind of The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan.
But does it stack up to his past works? The results are, surprisingly, mixed. Many, it seems, are decrying the show’s slow-burn start, while others who stuck around long enough are calling it a classic. You can make up your own mind for yourself but, first, a taste of what Midnight Mass viewers have to say about the show – both the good and the bad.
“Wow. This was incredible. I wasn’t expecting anything this compelling but was pleasantly surprised. The writing is seriously stellar,” says one on Twitter (opens in new tab) of the show which revolves around a charismatic priest heading to a small island community – before things, predictably, take a horrific turn for the worse.
One of the highest bits of praise (opens in new tab) so far says “It’ll go down as a prime classic.” IGN’s Brian Altano (opens in new tab) is similarly effusive: “Beautifully shot, fantastic characters, and a genuinely creepy setting with some awesome scares.” Even The Mandalorian actor Pedro Pascal is ditching all of his friends (opens in new tab) to watch it.
But be warned: it’s not a show that hurtles out of the starting gates. That’s reflected in several words of warning on social media.
“I didn’t think the first hour of Midnight Mass was scary at all, but by design. It’s never less than compelling and involving, and I love this kind of slow burn,” was the opinion of one (opens in new tab). Another fan on Twitter adds (opens in new tab): “A slow burn, but builds to something so special. Something you’ll be thinking about long after the credits roll.”
Not everyone is so keen. “Am I missing something?” asks one viewer (opens in new tab). “It’s been boring the whole time,” says another (opens in new tab). Twitter user @Xdefning (opens in new tab) underscores much of fan frustration: “One of the most boring series I’ve ever seen. No horror at all and SO. MUCH. TALKING.” Another scathing response (opens in new tab) said it was “only good for about an episode and a half.” Ouch.
It’s a marked departure from pre-release critical reactions that clearly had it pinned as a horror classic. It’s still early days, but this could divide opinion far more than any of Mike Flanagan’s prior works. But you’ll have to take a trip to Crockett Island to find out either way.
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