Mike Flanagan’s sole job at Netflix is to scare the crap out of you, it seems. Especially after the success of The Haunting of Hill House. Really, he’s been scaring viewers for the last four years. Recent Netflix releases like Marriage Story and The Irishman are getting all of the attention and Oscar nominations as perhaps the highest quality the streaming service has to offer. But I still contest that Flanagan’s film, Hush, from 2016, might still be the best movie I’ve seen on the platform.
Of course, Flanagan also directed Gerald’s Game for Netflix, but it’s his series, Hill House, that officially put him on the map as a horror filmmaker to remember. Like his other work, Hill House focuses on traumatic events in people’s lives and uses a haunted house as a framework around the characters. If you’re currently loving Ares on Netflix, go back and watch this. Trust me.
He’s currently at work on season 2 of that show, but he’s also lined up another series at Netflix now. Midnight Mass centers around a small community on an isolated island that begins to experience strange occurrences after the arrival of a mysterious young priest.
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The cast includes a few Hill House alumni like Kate Siegel, Annabeth Gish and Henry Thomas. Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) and Hamish Linklater (Legion) are also set to star, while the seven-episode series begins shooting in the Spring and Flanagan will direct all seven episodes.
Honestly, this guy might be giving James Wan a run for his money as the best horror director working at the moment. His last film, Doctor Sleep, was perhaps the most underrated and under-seen movie of 2019. If you haven’t caught it yet, it’s an unnerving story about childhood trauma, addiction and grief that just so happens to be a sequel to The Shining and features a cult that takes people’s souls to remain young. I’m really interested to revisit the film, too, especially the recently released director’s cut.
Of course, that effort may not have connected with audiences, but Flanagan’s got a pretty good thing going at Netflix. And if you haven’t seen it yet, know that The Haunting of Hill House is now available for streaming. You’ve been warned, though.