TV/Movie News

Midnight Mass Director Explains The Show’s Real Meaning

Midnight Mass director Mike Flanagan explains the show’s real meaning. Known for creating The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly ManorMidnight Mass is the latest horror offering from Mike Flanagan on Netflix. The series is set in a small and isolated community called Crockett Island which begins experiencing various supernatural events after the arrival of a mysterious priest, Father Paul Hill, played by Hamish Linklater.

The series mainly focuses on one resident of Crockett Island, a disgraced venture capitalist named Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford) who returns to his hometown after spending four years in prison for killing a young woman while driving drunk. Kristin Lehman stars as Annie, Riley’s caring mother, Igby Rigney as Warren, Riley’s teenage brother and altar boy at St. Patrick’s Church, and Kate Siegel as Erin, Riley’s childhood sweetheart who is now a schoolteacher.

In a new featurette from Netflix, Flanagan, who is also Midnight Mass‘s writer and showrunner, explains the various meanings behind the enigmatic show. For starters, Midnight Mass is a deeply personal project for Flanagan that was in the making for over a decade and is largely inspired by his own Catholic upbringing. The genesis for the show was a Catholic parish in an isolated community undergoing a religious revival, but Flanagan’s goal with Midnight Mass was to tell a story that explores his own conflicting perspectives on faith and religion. Watch the video below:

Midnight Mass executive producer Trevor Macy also chimes in throughout the video, explaining that the show is an examination of how “faith is a signpost to who you are [and] so is what you fear.” However, the series is not intended to provide concrete answers to any of the questions it poses. If the show does its job right, these questions should stick with audiences after viewing, as Macy explains. “I hope that people come out of it and are able to really look at each other with perhaps a tiny bit more empathy. It’s a parable, more than anything else,” Flanagan added.

Since releasing on Netflix on September 24, Midnight Mass has been receiving rave reviews from critics for its deep meditation on grief and faith, as well as its performances from Linklater and Samantha Sloyan, who plays a domineering member of the parish. The show’s complex Alcoholics Anonymous scene has also been receiving a lot of attention. Unlike some of Flanagan’s past work, Midnight Mass is not a straight horror series, but rather an amalgamation of a few different genres, including supernatural mystery and character drama, and the show deftly weaves all that together into a cohesive tapestry. It’s well worth a watch now that it is streaming on Netflix.