Entering the Discourse is a thrice-weekly column where we dig into who is saying what about new releases and upcoming projects. Today, we look at exciting comments from Mike Flanagan and Rahul Kohli about Midnight Mass.
Mike Flanagan is a master of horror. His movies and TV series, including The Haunting of Hill House, Doctor Sleep, and Oculus, are terrifying pieces of media that also have a deeply emotional core. Flanagan’s ability to balance horror and empathy makes him a unique voice in the genre. Now, he’s back with another series for Netflix called Midnight Mass, and the hype is real.
The series is a long-time coming for Flanagan. He wrote the script for Midnight Mass ten years ago, and since then has been trying to get it greenlit. Now, the project is finally going to see the light of day. The series is set in Crockett Island, a small village where strange things start to happen after the arrival of a mysterious priest. Details are scarce, which only adds to the excitement for Flanagan’s latest.
The Midnight Mass Mission Statement
Since the trailer for Midnight Mass dropped, Flanagan has taken to Twitter to share his excitement and his personal connection to the project. He posted a personal statement about the series, in which he writes:
I’m just going to admit it… Midnight Mass is my favorite project so far.
As a former altar boy, about to celebrate three years of sobriety, it’s not hard to see what makes this so personal. The ideas at the root of this show scare me to my core.
There is darkness at work on Crockett Island. Some of it is supernatural, but the scariest is born of human nature. The darkness that animates this story isn’t hard to see in our own world, unfortunately.
But this show is about something else as well… faith itself. One of the great mysteries of human nature. How even in the darkness, in the worst of it, in the absence of light — and hope — we sing.
I hope you enjoy our song.
Such a declaration means a lot coming from Flanagan as he is often so connected to his projects. He then shared a childhood photo and wrote:
My mother found this photo of me — I’m about ten years old, just starting my career as an altar boy at Our Lady Star of the Sea on Governors Island, NY. I visited the church (now abandoned) earlier this summer. This story runs deep for me.
If these tweets are any indication of what to expect, this is going to be a terrifying yet heart-breaking Flanagan original. He has been open about his struggle with sobriety, and his work often addresses the horrors of such a struggle, as seen in Doctor Sleep and The Haunting of Hill House.
Why Midnight Mass is Going to Be Huge
Flanagan isn’t the only one showing excitement about the project. Actor Rahul Kohli, who previously worked with the director on The Haunting of Bly Manor, recently shared that he accepted a role in Midnight Mass immediately after being pitched the story. As he says in an interview on the Just The Facts podcast:
“Midnight Mass is the best thing I’ve ever read….[the] series is going to be huge.”
On the podcast, Kohli speaks about Flanagan and his creative partner, Trevor Macy, and explains how there’s a sense of trust they bestow on their actors to create amazing characters no matter their previous experience. He says:
“It’s not about what I’ve done before. There’s a trust, like, ‘We’re going to give you this, and you’re going to make it work whether you’ve done it on camera before or not.'”
Kohli also gives a brief insight into his character, Sheriff Hassan, and the material he works with and says:
“My stuff in ‘Midnight Mass‘ doesn’t resemble ‘Bly‘ in the f***ing slightest”
By allowing such diversity in the roles Kohli plays in his work, Flanagan offers the opportunity for him to show off his range as a performer, which leads to even more projects for the actor.
Horror is Comedy
Midnight Mass star Rahul Kohli and director Mike Flanagan recently sat down together to play Resident Evil Village on Netflix’s YouTube channel, and during the playthrough, they chat about the craft of directing horror. Both agree that filming horror isn’t scary; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Flanagan says:
“Making horror never feels like horror. It feels like comedy… it’s really fun.”
When discussing creating tension and horror in television versus film, Flanagan says:
“It’s much harder with television, but much more fun. I prefer television in that way because [with] a movie, you’re just getting going with the tension then it dissipates.”
Midnight Mass also stars Kate Spiegel, Zach Gilford, Hamish Linklater, Crystal Balint, and Henry Thomas, and hopefully you can hold your excitement just a little longer because the series releases on Netflix on September 24th.
Related Topics: Entering The Discourse