The article contains major spoilers for Netflix’s The Midnight Club.Even though The Midnight Club hasn’t been streaming on Netflix for long, it already has plenty of Mike Flanagan’s fans sharing their reactions and opinions on social networks. Since the show is not as horrifying as other Flanagan series, especially Midnight Mass, fans of the director found the series underwhelming.
However, other viewers believe the series is amazing, even though it’s targeted at a young adult audience. While The Midnight Club lacks horror elements, it makes it up by having a heartbreaking premise and compelling characters. The series deals with the inevitability of death and the uncertainty of the afterlife, and most viewers aren’t even surprised to watch another Flanagan show that completely broke their hearts instead of just scaring them.
Mike Flanagan’s Loyal Actors
It’s very common for Mike Flanagan to work with the same actors time and time again. Victoria Pedretti, for example, played Nell Crain in The Haunting of Hill House and then Dani Clayton in The Haunting of Bly Manor. The Midnight Club is not an exception, with several actors from other Flanagan productions making cameos in the show, such as Rahul Kohli.
Fans of Flanagan’s horror shows are not only surprised when they see the beloved actors from these series appearing in The Midnight Club, but they also expect it to happen. For example, many people were disappointed to not see Kate Siegel in this show, as she appeared in the other three series from the Flanaverse.
Another staple from Flanagan’s series is LGBTQ+ representation. In The Haunting of Hill House, there’s a sapphic character, Theo Crain. Then, in Bly Manor, the whole story revolves around Dani and Jamie’s romance, a lesbian couple. The Midnight Club, as well, features a gay character, Spence, struggling with society’s bigotry.
Fans have come to expect and appreciate LGBTQ+ characters and stories in Flanagan’s series. This director tries to explore and challenge society’s conventions in his works, questioning and calling out negative religious ideas, as well as prejudice and intolerance.
Heartbreak In Every Flanagan Story
Though Flanagan’s TV shows are supposed to be horrific, they end up being more heartbreaking than scary. His shows deal with complicated relationships, finding a community, and facing the demons inside oneself. Ghosts in Flanagan’s stories are mostly memories or expectations haunting the characters.
Since The Midnight Club has some likable characters in television, it became Flanagan’s most harrowing series. While watching this show, the audience has to deal with the inevitability of death and embrace their own mortality. It’s especially difficult for viewers to get attached to a group of teenagers that know for certain they won’t live for much longer.
Awesome 90s References
One of the best aspects of The Midnight Club is that it makes a lot of references to the 90s, and the audience is really excited about it. Since Amesh is a video game enthusiast, viewers get to see references to Final Fight in the background, as well as other games that appear in Amesh’s story, like Mortal Kombat.
On top of that, there are several mentions of the 90s and 80s TV shows and movies, with the most interesting one being Ilonka’s speech from The Breakfast Club. Plus, there’s a lot of music from this period, such as Nirvana, Radiohead, and R.E.M. All in all, The Midnight Club is perfect for fans of nostalgia.
Although The Midnight Club characters are far from perfect, they illustrate several perspectives from a very complex situation. Cheri deals with her reality by lying, Anya uses her sarcastic comments to cope, and Ilonka tries to create an alternative cure for her illness.
However, in their own ways, these characters manage to crawl up the audience’s heart, and one of the most popular opinions is how memorable The Midnight Club characters are. Even those who make a lot of mistakes, like Ilonka, are special, and it’s hard for the viewers to not empathize with the terrible situation they’re living in.
Another Incredible Flanagan Show
While The Midnight Club has received very mixed reviews, there’s no doubt it has a lot of fans. The series deals with eight different teenagers trying to deal with their terminal illnesses however they can. While a lot of people can’t relate to this specific situation, they were able to empathize with these characters’ struggles.
Flanagan’s shows are famous for dealing with mental illness, dementia, grieving, and in this case, mortality. For this reason, it is not strange that a lot of people connect with their stories, finding solace and understanding with characters facing some of the most difficult things in life. Plus, The Midnight Club has some of the best quotes in Flanagan’s series.
Starting The Midnight Club and stopping before finishing it, it’s a very hard thing to do. From the show’s beginning, the series establishes a lot of questions, and the audience wants to keep watching until they get a resolution, especially about the history of Brightcliff and the role of Stanton in the place.
However, as happens with a lot of shows of this genre, The Midnight Club leaves more questions than answers, and it’s up to the viewers to come up with interpretations. Fortunately, it’s possible there will be a second season, and fans will have more to work with.
Shocking Plot Twist
Even though The Midnight Club isn’t one of Mike Flanagan’s scariest stories, at the end of the show, viewers receive a horrific plot twist that makes the series a bit more disturbing. In the last scene, the show portrays Dr. Stanton taking off her wig, and an hourglass tattoo can be seen on her neck.
Most people speculate that Dr. Stanton is Athena, Regina Ballard’s daughter. However, no one knows yet the implications it has for the plot that Dr. Stanton changed her identity and is running the hospice. In this sense, the series leaves a lot of questions and viewers don’t know what to make of it.
Not As Good As Other Flanagan’s Shows
Although there’s no doubt that The Midnight Club is an excellent show, it diverts from Flanagan’s usual style, which disappointed a great part of the viewers. Since this series is aimed at a young adult audience, the show is less scary or shocking than other Flanagan shows, and most people agree it’s not the best Mike Flanagan show.
However, there are other aspects of the show that redeem it. While it’s not the kind of series that is going to leave the viewers with a lot of intense emotions, it still allows space for plenty of reflection and philosophical questions. Fortunately, Flanagan is already working in the Fall of the House of Usher, based on Edgar Allan Poe’s story, and it looks incredibly terrifying.
The Horror Lies Where People Least Expect It
While there are several scary and supernatural elements in The Midnight Club, such as ghosts, cults, and disturbing rituals, the really frightening aspects of the show are the realistic ones. The show’s teenagers have to deal with knowing they won’t ever grow up or explore life, and there’s nothing scarier than being aware of their own mortality.
This is not the first time Flanagan deals with this sort of theme, always providing the audience with harsh truths. The Gothic genre is the perfect environment to explore the human psyche and the real-life horrors that come with it. In the end, the monster is always inside the viewer.