Midnight Mass (Netflix 2021) – Wow! Now that was very different to what we expected.

The arrival of a charismatic priest brings miracles, mysteries and renewed religious fervour to a dying town.

Must have missed the horror bit after noticing ‘drama’ in the the genre section. Excellent on so many levels, including the casting and the way the story was told. A modern parable about life and belief. Not only the dangers of cults but also the naivety of much mas religious beliefs – so-called Evangelicals are not alone in this! We so much wanted the ‘hero’ (or anti-hero) in our eyes to be the ‘saviour’ so shocked when he was ‘demonised’ although with enough love still in his heart to save his lover and, ultimately himself, by willingly accepting his own initiated death. I also liked he bit at the end when Fr. unceremoniously took off his collar and threw it on the ground. Remember the moment, well, in my real life when I did something similar.

Hats off to Mike Flanagan, an American filmmaker and partner in Intrepid Pictures. A notable bit of work. Mike is best known for his horror films, all of which he directed, wrote, and edited, including Absentia, Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Gerald’s Game, and Doctor Sleep. Didn’t realize he also directed ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor,’ which we also liked. But MM is on a different level folks.

Mike Flanagan was actually born in Salem, Massachusetts! Really.

As I said, great casting – Samantha Sloyan plays ‘evil believer incarnate’ Beverly Keane to perfection.. Bev is a true believer in the church – and a great example, sadly of a type … ‘that’ type of believer, whatever the religion or sect of cult. The location was also spot-on as well as the way Mike represented the demon – not too over the top.

And the music throughout the series? Excellent – artfully done. Not just the singing and arrangements by the Newton Brothers but also the way that the music was utilized. Full marks.

Taylor Stewart and Andy Grush, best known as The Newton Brothers, are the prominent composing duo, widely admired for their poignant musical atmospheres. Thriving on the power of minimalism, The Newton Brothers have attained a high art for articulating the subliminal and suspending the disbelief of their audience with enigmatic sonic contraptions and ethereality. (Pop Disciple 12.07.19)

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