The most profound, personal, and haunting work is often the one that leaves a lasting impression on its audience. It is often difficult for artists to find their voice in the world of popular entertainment, but this does not mean they should stop trying.
The the haunting of hill house themes is a novel by Shirley Jackson. It is the most profound, personal, and haunting work that will leave you questioning what it means to be human.
Mike Flanagan, the renowned Doctor Sleep and Haunting of Hill House writer/director, takes a break from translating classic horror novels to create his terrible work of art in Netflix’s seven-part limited series Midnight Mass. Without the creative limitations of adapting other people’s tales, Flanagan has produced his most profound, personal, and terrifying work to date. Midnight Mass may be a bit long in the tooth at times, with some episodes clocking in at over 65 minutes, but Flanagan makes up for it with a wonderfully insane last three episodes that had me gasping for air.
Midnight Mass, set in the remote hamlet of Crockett Island, immediately establishes a bleak atmosphere, as the decaying settlement seems to be rotting from the inside out. Here, we come across the colorful locals. Midnight Mass is no exception to Flanagan’s talent at crafting intriguing characters.
Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford from Good Girls) returns to Crockett Island, where he grew up, after a lengthy absence due to a traumatic incident. As his character battles with constant self-doubt and the fear of letting people in, including his own family, Gilford gives a restrained but powerful performance. Riley’s father (Haunting of Hill House alum Henry Thomas) persuades him to go to church, where we meet Father Paul, the town’s new priest (Hamish Linklater).
Riley and Father Paul form a strong bond during their weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as the priest starts to help Crockett Island’s wayward son deal with his previous traumas. Riley’s one-on-one discussions with Father Paul are enlightening, as he pushes him to explain some of the most perplexing theological issues, such as why God permits bad things to happen to good people. These are some of the show’s most heartfelt character moments, but they’re also when the narrative may become a bit slow. While the content and performances in these religion-focused lectures are interesting, it seems like Flanagan is trying to hammer home a message that has already been hammered home.
With that said, Linklater (Legion, Fargo) is fantastic as Father Paul, demonstrating the actor’s incredible flexibility by imbuing his character with a lot of charm, empathy, and even creepiness when the circumstance calls for it. The community is caught up in religious enthusiasm, creating a split between believers and skeptics, when supernatural events that transcend explanation begin to unfold at the church under Father Paul’s leadership.
In Midnight Mass, Flanagan deftly manipulates a wide range of terrors, from the supernatural to those inherent in human nature: zealotry, corruption, and envy. While there aren’t as many haunting terrors and jump scares as in The Haunting of Hill House, there’s enough to keep you awake throughout your binge.
Flanagan continues to show that he is not just a gifted writer, but also a skilled director. His use of long tracking shots during conversations as his characters move about Crockett Island’s deteriorating landscape provides a sense of scale and realism. The music, which ranges from sad folk songs to instrumental hymns playing in the background, adds to the spooky mood. One piece of music, “Were You There,” is reminiscent of Game of Thrones’ “Rains of Castamere” tune, implying something dark, sad, or perhaps joyful.
Kate Siegel (Hush), Annabeth Gish (The X-Files), and Michael Trucco (The X-Files) are among the cast members of Midnight Mass. (Battlestar Galactica). Flanagan’s writing deftly allows everyone an opportunity to shine, so by the time you reach the tumultuous last three episodes, you’ve formed a deep bond with the gang.
Among this talented bunch, Rahul Kohli (Haunting of Bly Manor) stands out as the town’s sheriff. As the child struggles with his Muslim upbringing in a mainly Christian area, his relationship with his son Ali (Rahul Abburi) is endearing. Another example is Samantha Sloyan’s Beverly “Bev” Keane, who is very devout. Sloyan is one of those characters that you immediately love to hate because she chews on every syllable to perfection.
What’s our conclusion?
Mike Flanagan’s most remarkable work to date is Midnight Mass. It’s packed with fascinating characters and lots of otherworldly and human terrors, but it’s also a very personal story. The Netflix limited series effectively grapples with deep philosophical issues in an entertaining way, even if some of the character interactions are too long. Flanagan flexes his directorial muscles with several stunning tracking shots that help bring Crockett Island’s creepy and isolated hamlet to life.
SCORE: 8 OUT OF 10
The the haunting of hill house book series is a personal, most profound work that will leave you with many questions.
- summary of the haunting of hill house
- haunting of hill house symbolism
- the haunting of hill house pdf
- the haunting of hill house book sparknotes
- the haunting of hill house movie