Mike Flanagan’s projects are a sea of heart wrenching themes with a supernatural twist. Here’s a breakdown of his four Netflix shows and what they say about you!
Horror writer/director Mike Flanagan got his start in 2011 with his first feature-length film Absentia made with a measly $70,000 budget. Since then, he’s worked on a diversity of projects in the genre, including Oculus (2014), Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), and Gerald’s Game (2017).
The Flanaverse is famous for its recurring cast and stories that mix the psychological and the supernatural. His most beloved hits are four TV shows on Netflix released from 2018 to 2022: The Haunting Of Hill House, The Haunting Of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, and The Midnight Club. Here’s a breakdown of these titles, a pseudo-psychic take on what your favorite says about you, and recommendations for media you should consume next.
The Haunting Of Hill House
The Haunting Of Hill House is Flanagan’s first TV show and took the horror world by storm, even earning its own terrifying maze at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights in 2021. It’s the latest adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s book of the same name. In this take, Hill House follows the Crain family who moves to an old, possibly haunted mansion, hoping to flip it and make enough money to buy their dream home.
The show moves back and forth in time, dedicating its first five episodes to each of the Crain children and connecting their adult lives to their upbringing in the Hill House before bringing them all together in hopes of repairing their family. Steven is a skeptic who turned their collective childhood trauma into a best-selling novel. Shirley owns a funeral home and works with grieving families. Theo is the resident middle child and a child psychologist. Luke is a recovering heroin addict with a heart of gold. The youngest, Nell, is a troubled woman struggling with her past and unimaginable loss.
If The Haunting Of Hill House is your favorite, you may have a dysfunctional family or struggle with being listened to. You appreciate a good emotional catharsis after a gut punch of distress. You might also be the youngest child, or who knows, you may just enjoy a good tea party from time to time.
What You’ll Like: Midsommar (2019), Smile (2022), IT (2017)
the haunting of hill house pic.twitter.com/tv37CE2ApP
— best of the haunting (@bestoffhaunting) January 25, 2023
The Haunting Of Bly Manor
The Haunting Of Bly Manor follows Dani, an American nanny working with two orphaned children in the titular manor across the pond. Her past begins to catch up with her as spooky happenings take place at the home, from glimpses of the previous (now deceased) nanny to a mysterious figure in the estate’s lake.
The highlight of this series is its incredible performances (special shoutout to Victoria Pedretti in the leading role) and its hard hitting relationships. Bittersweet (ramped up to 100) is a perfect way to encapsulate the feel of this show.
If The Haunting Of Bly Manor is your favorite, you can’t get enough of devastating love stories. Like me, you might also be a sobbing mess whenever a well-written queer couple graces the screen. You may be on the other side of a toxic, overbearing relationship and cheer when dirtbags get what’s coming to them. For you, a twist is what makes a story; the bigger, the better.
What You’ll Like: The Last Of Us (2022), The Sixth Sense (1999), The Invisible Man (2020)
@dominiquebarrell 🥺🥺 #thehauntingofblymanor #daniclayton #jamietaylor #victoriapedretti #ameliaeve #netflix #damie #wlw #sapphic #🏳️🌈 #lesbiansoftiktok #lgbt🌈 #wlwcouple #parati #foryourpage #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp ♬ original sound – yosaa
Midnight Mass features the Catholic New England-esque Crockett Island. It follows the town’s new priest Father Paul as he reinvigorates the populace in the absence of their previous religious leader. Soon, miracles start to happen, and a sinister undertone starts to unfold.
If Midnight Mass is your favorite, you probably grew up in a religious household (and may be an atheist now). You also love a good, long monologue and expansive character backstory. This show explores indoctrination, gaslighting, and deconstructing ideologies you grew up with, so you’ve likely been through your share of identity crises and have a complicated relationship with your parents and hometown. Vampires and demons scare you, but not as much as going to your Catholic mother’s house for Christmas.
What You’ll Like: The Conjuring (2013), It Comes At Night (2017), Outlast 2 (2017)
@chasewilliamson01 #midnightmassnetflix #midnightmass #netflix #mikeflanagan #horrortok #horror #hauntingofblymanor #monologue #acting #doctorsleep #hauntingofhillhouse #hamishlinklater #horrortiktok ♬ Road To Perdition – Thomas Newman
The Midnight Club
The Midnight Club is an adaptation of Christopher Pike’s novel of the same name, following a group of terminally ill teenagers living in a hospice called Brightcliffe. The teens create a secret club where they tell each other scary stories and take an oath to reach out from beyond the grave when they each inevitably get there. The characters also explore the history of the manor itself, intrigued by tales of its past residents.
If The Midnight Club is your favorite, you may be on the younger side or just love a bit of YA cheese. You may have had an experience with a life-altering illness or disability and resonate with the residents of Brightcliffe on a deeper level than most. You probably read Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark as a kid and dabble in creative writing yourself.
What You’ll Like: Five Feet Apart (2018), Life Is Strange (2015), Freaky (2020)
mike flanagan is so iconic. pic.twitter.com/MXYJIGiGC3
— best of the haunting (@bestoffhaunting) January 9, 2023
Flanagan’s next project, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, is slated to release on Netflix this year and adapts the 1839 short story by Edgar Allen Poe. However it goes, I’m sure we’ll be emotionally crushed in a whole new way.