Mike Flanagan’s Latest Midnight Club Update Is Good News

The news that The Midnight Club will feature more scares and fewer monologues than Midnight Mass is great for Mike Flanagan fans. Mike Flanagan’s brand of thoughtful horror drama might be critically acclaimed, but the writer/director’s soft spot for monologues has been mocked by critics and general audiences alike in recent years. In his more successful works like The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, these monologues can be an effective way of humanizing big, existential concepts and communicating intense emotions.


However, in Flanagan’s lesser outings, the helmer’s reliance on monologues can fall flat at times. Moreover, dramatic monologues that grind the momentum of the series to a halt can be effectively utilized in projects like Midnight Mass and The Haunting of Hill House when these shows are attempting to make supernatural phenomena like ghosts and vampires feel grounded and believable, but don’t always fit the tone when intense horror is playing out alongside lengthy diatribes. As such, the news that Netflix’s upcoming YA adaptation The Midnight Club will feature fewer monologues and more scares is promising.

The Stephen King-inspired Midnight Massmore than justified its many monologues, as the show was a slow-burn miniseries that tackled issues ranging from faith and love to family and community, to the very nature of life itself. However, The Midnight Club is a YA adaptation of author Christopher Pike’s teen horror novels of the 90s and, as such, needs a pulpier, more impactful tone than the more thoughtful and erudite Midnight Mass. Not only that, but the poignant premise of The Midnight Club is enough to guarantee that the Netflix horror series will feature some moving moments, meaning monologues that lean into the heavier themes of the series could be a touch too much.

Why The Midnight Club Needed To Be Scarier Than Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass was a small-town vampire horror series, so its monologues and religious pondering set it apart from the superficially similar likes of Salem’s Lot and 30 Days of Night. In contrast, The Midnight Club is set in a children’s hospice, so the teen horror show needs more scares as there will be no shortage of heavy, emotionally taxing material and the horror anthology could easily become too bleak without shocks. The Midnight Club tells the story of characters who are likely to face untimely deaths even if there were no supernatural elements in the adaptation, meaning that the show could become heavy and intense without striking the right tonal balance.

Fortunately, Mike Flanagan’s work has effectively melded melodrama and serious scares before. The Haunting of Hill House, in particular, managed to address topics like addiction, generational trauma, and marital breakdown while still providing regular jolts of terrifying imagery. Even Flanagan’s darker Shining sequel Dr. Sleep balanced chilling scenes with a surprisingly sad story of Danny Torrance reckoning with his father’s legacy, proving in the process that The Midnight Club should be able to touch on heavy thematic content while still providing first-rate chills and thrills.

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