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Mike Flanagan is back with another another horror series, Midnight Mass, that many are already calling a masterpiece, after two spectacular attempts with The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. While he’s delivered fans some of their favorite genre shows, his most recent limited series on Netflix is the finest of his three. In this post, we will break down the narrative and examine the show in its entirety. Flanagan has shown that he can only improve as a horror director, as this series’ conclusion demonstrates. There will be spoilers as we examine the last episode and the fates of most of the major characters. Not only will you get a deeper grasp of the plot and how it all came together, but you’ll also learn more about Mike Flanagan’s brilliance and why his future projects are worth seeing.
We’ll dissect Midnight Mass, looking at Flanagan’s narrative, his religious commentary, and why reviewers are hailing it as “his finest work yet,” as previously said. Furthermore, we will examine how he utilizes faith to convey his themes, as well as why this often controversial topic is ideal for presenting a biblical (pun intended) horror story. Stop what you’re doing and start watching Midnight Mass immediately if you haven’t already. It’s just seven episodes long, and the rest of the fans may be found here, where we’re still searching for answers. Don’t worry if you binge-watched it, enjoyed it, and want more. We’re going to look into Midnight Mass in detail and see what makes it so special.
RELATED: Mike Flanagan’s New Netflix Horror Series, Midnight Mass, Is Coming This Fall
Crockett Island’s Tragic End
Midnight Mass tells the tale of Crockett Island, a tiny faith-based island community where Catholicism is practiced to the nth degree. Riley Flynn’s return to the “crock pot” after spending four years in jail for killing a young girl while driving intoxicated is the focus of the tale. Riley, portrayed by frequent Flanagan collaborator Zach Gilford, loses his faith in jail after attempting to strengthen it. He returns home amid a period of unusual and miraculous occurrences. While one person returns to the island, another arrives in the form of Father Paul Hill, portrayed by a great Hamish Linklater, who is there to stand in for a “sick” Monsignor Pruitt, the priest of St. Patrick Church. On Ash Wednesday, the opening day of a 40-day Lent observance, the community meets to see Father Paul and hear of their monsignor’s absence. Everything seems to be OK as the island adjusts to the newcomers, until strange things begin to happen.
Miracles. We discover a few things about Father Paul shortly after he tells Leeza, a known paraplegic, to quickly get up and walk, which she does. Paul tells us about Monsignor Pruitt’s journey to the Holy Land during confession. Pruitt was driven into a cave near Damascus by a sandstorm and encountered an angel, but not a dazzling cherub. Pruitt was assaulted by a black, demon-like angel that feasted on his body and killed him. Pruitt was given fresh life when the angel poured his blood into his lips. It is at this point that we discover that Father Paul is really a young Pruitt who has aged 40 years backwards. Things start to go wrong when the angel is returned to Crockett Island in a sealed box in the hopes of spreading more fresh life. Despite the fact that the island is packed with devout Catholics, there are doubters, such as Erin, Riley’s love interest who had a strange miscarriage, Sarah, the town’s doctor and medical expert, and Riley, who is not religious. While others who are skeptical seek explanations, Pruitt and his loyal followers are reveling in all of Crockett’s good fortune. But it isn’t exactly as they believe.
Riley’s father decides to examine Pruitt when his back problems go and his mother regains her vision. Pruitt, he believes, is behaving strangely and is not who he claims to be. Riley becomes suspicious of Pruitt after he is not seen for a few days, despite the fact that Pruitt has been seeing him frequently for AA meetings. Riley, like the God-crazed Bev, discovers more than only Father Paul’s real identity as the island progressively learns about Pruitt’s secret. He interrupts a meeting between Pruitt and his rescuing angel in search of explanations. Riley is also kidnapped, devoured alive, murdered, and resurrected. Those who are given new life can only do so by feeding their need to consume blood, and they are also burnt in the sunlight in the process. Riley sees through Pruitt’s strong beliefs and resolves to tell Erin everything on a boat at dawn, while Pruitt thinks God is going through him. Riley confronts the afterlife and is burnt alive, to ash, at this exact dawn, prompting Erin to investigate what’s actually going on. All of this is building up to the Easter Vigil at St. Patrick’s Church on the Island the day before Easter.
Toward the conclusion, the people of Crockett Island begin to choose sides. There are some who are readily convinced, such as Sheriff Hassan, Erin, and Sarah, and others who aren’t so easily persuaded, such as the whole St. Patrick’s church and its leaders, Pruitt and Bev. While the island gathers for the night Vigil, Sarah and Erin discover that the blood used in Communion causes light sensitivity, which is traced back to Pruitt’s angel. Pruitt exposes himself to his followers in the sixth episode, Acts of the Apostles, and demands that they all drink poison, kill themselves, and be reincarnated. Millie grabs Hassan’s pistol and kills Pruitt in the head, even though he has everlasting life, when many paritioners begin to consume it. Hassan, Sarah, Erin, Leeza, Riley’s mother, and his brother escape as the angel swoops in and snatches Millie. Those who took the poison died and returned; today the island is overrun with bloodthirsty people, sound familiar?
The mayhem reaches a climax in the last episode, Revelations, when Erin and crew decide to burn Crocket to the ground so the infected can’t escape the sun. Erin is assaulted by the angel while attempting to survive the night, and she sacrifices herself by cutting the angel’s wings open before it attempts to fly away miserably. More people get sick as the sun rises, leaving just Harrison and Leeza unaffected. The island and its residents accept their destiny as a pile of ashes as they flee on a boat as the surviving people sing a hymn.
Crockett Island’s True Monster
The series’ emphasis on Catholicism and religious themes was not intended to be covert. With a title like Midnight Mass and episodes titled after Bible books, it’s no surprise that the show’s duration is filled with Catholic allusions and excessively pious characters. However, Flanagan uses it as a front to conceal the true danger to the island, which is a vampire apocalypse. Flanagan enables his villain to hide behind complex concepts of religion, Catholicism, life after death, and much more by using Catholicism to drive the characters’ actions, which we’ll go into more detail about shortly. He even keeps it hidden from the rest of the crowd. Flanagan presents a theological problem for his characters, dividing them between those who are ready to believe and those who are not. It’s this conundrum, as well as the continuous Christian overtones, that keep us from seeing what’s actually going on.
Even though everything is there in front of us, the concept of a vampire is tough to grasp. While a vampire taking over an island is amazing in and of itself, he also exploits religious miracles to make the audience doubt their own faith. Was that, in fact, an angel? Is it the devil at work? Is Monsignor Pruitt a follower of Jesus? Despite the actual evil being more akin to Dracula, viewers are prone to asking these questions when viewing. Even in the last episode, when we believe we’re witnessing the genuine Revelation, what we’re actually experiencing is Crockett’s metamorphosis into Dracula’s Transylvania. When the angel encounters Pruitt in Damascus, he bites him, becoming him bloodthirsty and light-sensitive. He seems to be alive, yet he is undead and needs flesh and blood to exist. While some viewers may catch up on the vampire storyline more readily than others, the series makes no mention of it, demonstrating Flanagan’s mastery of theological commentary, which deserves greater attention.
As A Vehicle, Catholicism
Religion, particularly Catholicism, is closely associated with the horror genre in both film and television. Demons and devils are often portrayed as possessive villains in films like The Exorcist and The Omen. Mike Flanagan utilizes religion to think outside the box in Midnight Mass, introducing many additional themes to the narrative and concepts for the audience to ponder. Many religious horror films focus on possessions and the protagonist’s battle with evil. Finally, filmmakers tend to have a conservative stance on topics such as Catholicism and how religion may rescue people. Flanagan’s message isn’t exactly like that. Rather of convincing us that our religion can rescue us, he causes us to doubt it. Viewers were clearly not rooting for Bev and Pruitt, who just wanted to consume blood and worship God. Others who “believed” became the villains in the final episode, while those who were not overwhelmed by their faith became the protagonists. Unlike so many great films in the past, Flanagan takes religion as a subject and turns it into a narrative, depicting it in seven chapters of the Bible in this instance.
Although Mike Flanagan created Midnight Mass, the Bible is the primary source of inspiration for the tale, which begins with Genesis. The book of Genesis tells the story of God’s creation and how he created the world in seven days. The book of Genesis is where Mike Flanagan builds his universe in Midnight Mass, bringing us to Crockett Island. Flanagan recites real Bible events, such as Saul’s metamorphosis into Paul, throughout the seven-chapter narrative. Saul is blinded by a light reflecting the voice of Jesus in Damascus, where he is attempting to capture disciples of Jesus. After three days of being blind, Saul sheds the scales on his eyes and is able to see again. Saul changes his name to Paul after becoming a Christian. Monsignor Pruitt’s trip in Damascus depicts the tale of Saul, who, ironically, changes his name to Paul when he returns to youth.
Furthermore, as Crockett’s apparent rescuer, Monsignor Pruitt exhibits Jesus-like characteristics in order to demonstrate his capacity to lead and propagate the gospel. When Pruitt returns as Father Paul, the island is graced by biblical dimensions, as told in many Bible tales. Crockett’s primary business is fishing, and he sees a significant rise in production and an excess of fish, just as Jesus did when he taught his disciples how to fish. Pruitt has the ability to resurrect individuals, similar to Jesus’ rescue of Lazarus, who is referenced in the program. However, the major religious stories that become firmly entrenched in the show’s concept, such as the Passion of Jesus Christ (his death and resurrection on Easter) and Revelations, emerge in the last few episodes (the final book of the Bible).
The program begins with the first book of the Bible and finishes with the last, adding the Bible’s most significant narrative in between. It is centered around the Christian season of Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. The Passion of Christ happens when God asks Jesus to sacrifice himself, rise from the dead, and disseminate his message across the globe for the sake of his people. In Damascus, Monsignor Pruitt accepts his destiny and is assaulted by the angel. After that, he is granted fresh life in what he believes to be God’s calling. He returns to Crockett to preach his word and prepare his people for not only Easter, but also the end of the world.
The series finale is a true awakening for the island. As in the final book of the Bible, an angel descends to Earth to rescue mankind from God’s rapture, or the end of the world. People continue to prepare for the rapture as Crockett Island burns to the ground and the angel finally appears. They get hysterical and obey Pruitt’s command to drink the poison and filter out those who reject, allowing God’s people to enter Heaven. Finally, the inhabitants on the island suffer apocalyptic destinies as they burn to ashes. Despite the fact that Harrison and Leeza survive, almost every character dies in a heap of ashes. And, with the program kicking off on Ash Wednesday, those same characters must “remember that they are dust and that to dust they will return,” as every priest says while distributing ashes on that day.
While many reviewers are divided on the efficacy of Flanagan’s Christian perspective in telling his tale, he definitely succeeds in conveying the issues he set out to depict. Even though his religious allegories are overt, he blends horror with religion in a way that no other director has done before. He incorporates significant Christian undertones throughout the narrative, making it more complete for the audience. As the story develops, he utilizes religion to captivate viewers, making them doubt themselves more and more. Regardless of the show’s flaws, Flanagan did an excellent job; nevertheless, it wasn’t only Flanagan who came to perform.
The Shows Were Evangelistic in Nature
Newcomer Hamish Linklater as Monsignor Pruitt steals the show as Riley Gilford returns to a Mike Flanagan screenplay. Linklater’s portrayal is horrific in the greatest manner imaginable, adding to the story’s religious overtones. His speeches are what make him the show’s standout. Linklater embraces the character of Pruitt and takes it a step beyond any regular preacher, whether it’s his personal, lonely confessionals about his religious difficulties or his passionate sermons at St. Patrick’s masses. His sermon on Good Friday, the day Jesus is killed, is perhaps his most powerful. He’s trying to persuade St. Patrick’s parishioners to join God’s army. Linklater’s preaching is assured and compelling, with each new syllable adding to the crescendo. It also serves as a turning moment in the narrative for many individuals, encouraging them to embrace their religion and join the army. He encourages his followers to sacrifice like Jesus did and embrace God’s will, which alters and determines morality, since “God will ask terrible things of you.” Linklater sows the seed for what the narrative will become, persuading characters and viewers alike to join God’s battle.
Samantha Sloyan, who plays Bev Keane, is one of those warriors in God’s army and in the series. Apart from the angel, Bev eventually becomes one of the major adversaries, pushing Pruitt’s schemes to a new level and providing viewers with a satisfying ending. Sloyan’s performance, on the other hand, is unmistakable, to the point that it may be difficult to distinguish the actress from the character in the future. Sloyan, who is just as assured and convincing as Linklater’s Pruitt, is a highlight in Midnight Mass due to her composed acting manner despite being compelled to make illogical choices by the grace of God. Sloyan’s commitment to the part reflects Bev’s dedication to religion and Monsignor Pruitt, despite the fact that her character is easily challenged. There are so many characters who deserve credit in a tale that is destined to produce strong performances, but Linklater and Sloyan go above and above, and we can’t wait to see more of them in the future.
Mike Flanagan’s Approach To Horror Writing
Mike Flanagan shown his ability to traverse the religious horror genre with Midnight Mass, but the series is another another example of his unique ability to depict genuine terror, making the genre scarier than ever. Prior to the release of Midnight Mass, Flanagan used his unique horror methods into his first critically praised series, The Haunting of Hill House. He brought real-life terror to the screen with the “Red Room,” the series’ central horror aspect. Hill House, which dealt with sorrow, loss, and spirits in the hereafter, compelled audiences to rethink these notions, capturing our worst anxieties in that same space. The program focuses on the house’s power to project hallucinations and drive people to the brink of madness. With sorrow and loss lurking around every corner, he forces viewers to confront these concepts in the most gruesome manner imaginable. Rather of real paranormal activity or angry creatures, Flanagan scares us with ideas and existential concerns, as opposed to conventional horror.
It’s no different during Midnight Mass. Flanagan lets us confront these problems in a dramatic cinematic setting by combining epic terror with existential dilemmas. Erin and Riley contemplate what life after death could be like in one of the show’s most personal scenes. Flanagan pushes us to examine the afterlife, embracing the uncertainty like the characters, by putting a microscope to the ever-debated subject. He asks a follow-up question in response to this one: Is religion the key to comprehending life beyond death? The program explores questions about forgiveness throughout its duration. Characters are compelled to live in the face of catastrophe, and viewers are forced to consider what they would do in the same circumstance. The horror of it all is amplified by its themes, which combine many existential problems in both the storyline and the series conclusion. The program, like Hill House, uses the horror genre to frame real-world issues that people struggle to answer, and the two methods complement each other, bringing our worst nightmares to life on screen.
Who Survived And How The End Was Explained Revelations: Who Survived And How The End Was Explained
The series finale introduces another another concept, fresh life, and carefully illustrates that. Let’s start with who made it out alive. Harrison and Leeza, the island’s youngest residents, are the sole human survivors. When Crockett’s elder population dies out, the younger generation is the first to witness a new day, a new planet, and, eventually, a new life. The angel is the third and last survivor of the program. However, we will not presume that it will survive the disclosure. The angel tries to escape when Erin removes its wings, and Harrison even predicts that the angel would burn up in flight while trying to reach the closest ground refuge. As a result, the angel most likely died, much to the pleasure of devotees, but we cannot presume this. If the angel been a vampire, it would have burnt up. The angel, though, may have survived to see another day if Pruitt’s prediction is accurate.
Harrison and Leeza are aboard a boat as the island is set ablaze at the conclusion of the series. Following the tragedy, it’s expected that they’ll return to the mainland to start anew and tell the tale of Crockett Island. The last episode depicts the island’s revelation. It brings to life a biblical tale that hasn’t occurred (yet). Throughout its 40-day Lent observance, the island has experienced both calm and pain. The religious story reaches a conclusion, and the last two people are granted new lives. Despite the fact that just two of the protagonists make it off the island, the narrative has a lot of room for expansion, but Flanagan has other ideas.
Season 2 of The Fate Of Midnight Mass
While a relaunch is conceivable in the future, Flanagan has already begun his next project; or projects. Flanagan is cementing his position in horror history with two Netflix shows in the pipeline. He continues to offer us fresh tales with new source material with his fourth and fifth horror episodes scheduled to appear in the future years. The Midnight Club, based on novelist Christopher Pike’s book of the same name, is one of his projects. The plot is as follows: “The Midnight Club is formed by a group of terminally sick adolescent patients who live in Rotterdam Home. They gather at midnight in secret to share horror tales. The gang makes a vow that whomever dies first would make an attempt to contact the other members of the Midnight Club from beyond the dead.”
Flanagan has also taken on the task of adapting the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, one of history’s most prolific and terrifying writers. Several of Poe’s tales will be adapted in his new series, The Fall of the House of Usher (also a short story by Poe). While we only know which tale he’ll adapt, we can anticipate Poe’s legendary storytelling to be prominent in the new series.
Midnight Mass has become a worldwide sensation as well as a professional launching stone for Flanagan. He defies conventional horror conventions and ushers in a new age of the genre. He brings visual narrative to life, allowing religious ideas to steer the trip. Midnight Mass solidifies Flanagan’s status as one of this generation’s horror heavyweights, thanks to a strong supporting cast. We’re sorry it’s gone, but we’re excited for what’s to come.
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