Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…ยฝ

๐๐š๐ฆ๐ž - ๐Œ๐ข๐๐ง๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐Œ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ
๐‚๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐จ๐ซ - ๐Œ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐…๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐š๐ ๐š๐ง
๐ƒ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ - ๐Œ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐…๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐š๐ ๐š๐ง
๐๐จ. ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐„๐ฉ๐ข๐ฌ๐จ๐๐ž๐ฌ - ๐Ÿ•
๐‘๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž - ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ“ - ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŽ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก
๐๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ - ๐๐ž๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฑ

Horror is a very mutable genre, able to bend to the whims of the creator who wants to create a story based on the genre.

Mike Flanagan, with his 7 episode limited series "Midnight Mass", crafts a horror masterpiece both on the macro as well as the micro scale. But its the micro scale that is infinitely more interesting.

On the micro scale Midnight Mass is about a gated island community's dependence on organized religion. In a way Flanagan's treatment, his showcasing of the Catholic Church, the way each and every sermon used here, plucked from both testaments of the bible, is manipulated and bent beyond recognition at some instances, feels like the experience of a man raised catholic, going to Sunday school. In a way Flanagan shows us the myriad of ways by which theism and religion affect the lives of these people in the community of Crockett Island, whether they want to be affected by it or not.

On the macro scale Midnight Mass is about the lives of a gated community of Crockett Island which gets interminably changed by the arrival of a mysterious priest, and the supernatural events occurring in tandem with said priest's arrival. Revelation of too much would not only be a spoiler, it would actively hamper your enjoyment of seeing how Flanagan and his team of writers utilize a pulpy horror premise to craft a slow burn story into the unraveling of humanity itself.

That's where Midnight Mass shines. Flanagan's exploration into these characters and their nuances ensures that at no point you start missing the external horror you are expecting to experience. He sprinkles those moments each episode, letting it simmer, until the external and internal horror boil over into a controlled cacophony. The storytelling is controlled to an enviable level, and by the time the events in St. Patrick's Church occur in the 6th episode, you are horrified because you are witnessing something similar to the Jamestown Massacre, an event which is very real, and it is no coincidence that the religious ideology showed here, its transformation resembles a hardened cult.

Universally solid acting across the board, there are couple of standouts here. Rahul Kohli as Sheriff Hassan, a Muslim Sheriff fighting off racism with poise and dignity, shines in the recurring role he has. His monologue in the 6th episode is one of the most sensible and comprehensive viewpoint about a changed perspective on religion I had seen in recent years. On the flip side is Samantha Sloyan as Bev Keane, who signifies the zealous and overbearing side of religious extremism, with another version of poise and dignity that would make your skin crawl. The show applies subtle visual flairs - the camera angles as well as the lighting during the conversation scenes reminds you of a play, one of the primary reasons why the human drama is so compelling.

The road to apotheosis leads to deals with devil, angels and demons are interchangeable, and the screenplay subversion with visual imagery, all of these creates a story which is both profound as well as primal, its horror both creeping with dread and visceral, all the while church choirs sing about joy to the world. If that's not subversion, what is?

Amartya liked this review