‘Midnight Mass’ review: “Haunting of Hill House’s’ Mike Flanagan delivers Netflix a creepy horror series that’s a bit too long winded

Flanagan wrote the screenplay for the 2019 Stephen King film “Doctor Sleep,” which is suitable, since this seven-episode mission seems like a King miniseries, for good and unwell. Good, as a result of the scary buildup attracts the viewers in, and dangerous, as a result of the end is — as is often true of King-derived works — a major letdown. (For his half, the prolific writer has already tweeted favorably concerning the present.)

College students of the style will see different by-product parts — the 1979 remake of “Nosferatu” involves thoughts — on this macabre and cerebral story, which plunges deeply into the connection between faith and vampirism, what with the rising-from-the-dead, blood-drinking features of the latter.

Set on distant Crockett Island, the plot hinges on the return of Riley (“Friday Evening Lights'” Zach Gilford), a younger man attempting to get his life again collectively after serving time for a deadly automobile accident; and Father Paul (Hamish Linklater), a mysterious priest who arrives to exchange the aged clergyman who had lengthy served the group.

Riley reconnects with a high-school crush, Erin (Kate Siegel, reuniting with Flanagan, her husband, after the “Haunting” collection), ruefully discussing how their lives did not go in response to plan. Quickly sufficient, unusual and seemingly supernatural occasions start to happen, spurring discuss of miracles and non secular fervor, although the origins of these acts — and Father Paul’s relationship to them — may very well be much more sinister.

The primary few episodes meander alongside with out a lot sense of urgency (a lot of the episodes run greater than an hour), sprinkling simply sufficient clues to point that one thing depraved this manner comes.

When the reasons lastly do come pouring out, they don’t seem to be wholly satisfying, although they provoke some severe conversations about decoding the Bible and surprising reactions inside Paul’s flock. There’s additionally an fascinating if considerably underdeveloped subplot concerning the Muslim sheriff (Rahul Kohli) and the way he and his son slot in because the church’s position turns into extra infected.

Buoyed by a forged that features Henry Thomas and Annabeth Gish, what distinguishes “Midnight Mass” maybe greater than something is the character of its concepts and the extent to which Flanagan clearly desires to ponder them whereas toying with horror conventions, in search of to have interaction the viewers in unexpectedly layered vogue.

The climax, nonetheless, is extra puzzling than stirring, proving chaotic in ways in which finally do not make a lot sense. That does not essentially undermine the extra fascinating features, however because it closes the books, “Midnight Mass” triggers an excessive amount of soul-searching about whether or not it was definitely worth the time funding.

In that sense, Flanagan’s journey to church definitely works in mysterious methods, however not wholly satisfying ones.

“Midnight Mass” premieres Sept. 24 on Netflix.

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