‘Midnight Mass’ and the Monologue that Shattered Me

No matter the medium or genre, you will always run into scenes with two people talking. Sometimes the talking serves a purpose, other times it’s a slog you have to get through to get to the more exciting bits. In writer-director Mike Flanagan’s stories, sometimes characters do nothing but talk—to the point that it’s become its own subset of memes.

Across The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, characters often give deeper ruminations to a simple “how are you?”; they give you their whole life story in an anecdote, or drop some philosophical kernels to chew on for the rest of the season. This might make Flanagan’s latest, Midnight Mass, sound pompous and long-winded. But, to jump on Flanagan’s wavelength for a minute, don’t we all have a purpose? Aren’t we all searching for meaning in the vastness of the cosmos?

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Where Could ‘Fear Street’ Go Next?

I promise I am moving on from Fear Street after this.

Clearly, I’ve been obsessed with Netflix’s slasher horror trilogy. I reviewed and I ranked, I rewatched and I gushed; I basically turned this blog into a Fear Street Tumblr page for the past month. I kept going back for more because Fear Street hit that perfect apex of nostalgia, subversion, and (summer) campy fun. For a saga that throws it back to the past in the form outright imitations and recycled genre tropes, Fear Street turned out to be a surprisingly unpredictable odyssey for me. I had no idea where the story was going, how big it was going to get, nor who would survive by the end.

And I have no idea where Fear Street is going next. Director Leigh Janiak says she wants to make the MCU-version of horror and I say LET HER DO IT. Now, I’m not in the writers’ room per se, but I have some thoughts on where this thing could go based on what we’ve seen so far. If any of these winds up coming true, you heard it here first, folks.

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Fear Street – Favorite Throwbacks

I’m a 90s child so I genuinely appreciate throwbacks to that era whether the nods are sincere or ironic. Fear Street makes no illusions about itself as a violent and bloody ode to the past—to high school and peak mall culture, to the heyday of slashers, to damn near every 70s jukebox track that found a second life in comic book movie soundtracks. Sure, movies and TV shows these days are cannibalizing stuff from our childhoods and practically weaponizing our own nostalgia. But what’s so reassuring about Fear Street is that the callbacks and referencing aren’t its only identity; they’re the way in, and only part of what makes the trilogy so addicting.

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Fear Street – Favorite Kills

I live in Shadyside now.

I think enough time has passed for me to feel guilt-free about posting spoilers so HERE WE GO, finally. A ranking of my favorite kills in Fear Street. Okay, maybe “favorite” is the wrong word here. As a throwback to slasher horror, Fear Street nails the gruesomeness and absurdity of its kills. Such used to be the only draw in past horror movies as long-running sequels, series, and copycats spun on beyond the penmanship of its originators. Fear Street, then, gives us pause on the notion, making characters’ demises feel as shocking and gory as they ought to be in the tradition of OG maestros like John Carpenter and Wes Craven.

Director Leigh Janiak knows she’s on hallowed sacred ground and delivers some truly visceral slayings worthy of the genre. Now, I could’ve easily ranked every kill in the trilogy, but I decided to limit myself by hand-picking just 2 kills from each movie. (Also keeping details sparse for those who have yet to check out Fear Street, though I recommend you stop reading if haven’t you seen it.) Without further ado, these are the ones that made the cut.

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‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ Review – The Trilogy Ends on a Screaming High Note

It feels both like yesterday when Fear Street Part One: 1994 dropped and yet, oh so long ago? We’re so used to trilogies spaced out every one or two years. Netflix said “here’s some instant gratification for ya” and circumvented the franchise machine with its weekly rollout of a whole horror trilogy, one that simultaneously pushes the envelope in the streaming game AND revives the slasher for a new generation. Fear Street Part Three: 1666 is the final chapter that brings everything together in a surprisingly emotional and bottom-line crowd-pleasing way. You think you’ll close the book on Shadyside after this? Think again. Part Three just might have you pleading for more Fear Street movies for as long as you have a Netflix subscription.

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