Midnight Mass

I’m a late convert to Netflix. And, I have to admit, I’m a cheap ass. If I hadn’t gotten a good deal on a Netflix subscription through Comcast, I still wouldn’t have it.

Stranger Things was the primary draw for me, and the series has not disappointed. I eagerly await the new season. But right now, Midnight Mass is a huge thrill . . . and, I think, surpasses Stranger Things on every level.

The direction is deliberate. The writing is intelligent. The story is a slow burn—a very slow burn. I have read that some viewers stop watching after the second episode . . . but if they do, they don’t know what they’re missing. Yes, the relationship of the show’s narrative to religion, and the sheer amount of time the characters take in talking about religion, can be off-putting. But there are payoffs.

I knew by the end of the first episode the nature of the show’s antagonist. That kept me interested. But what I didn’t expect was something that hasn’t happened to me since October 6, 1990.

Exactly 31 years ago today.

Episode 4 of Midnight Mass . . . scared me.

The last time I was scared by something on television was during episode 9 of the original Twin Peaks. Here it is:

The final moments of Midnight Mass, episode 4, are eerily similar, yet completely different. I won’t spoil anything, but if you like the novels of Stephen King—especially the ones painting broad tapestries of small towns, such as ‘Salem’s Lot, The Outsider, Pet Sematary, and Needful Things—you owe it to yourself to start Midnight Mass.

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