Monday 8 January 2024

Midnight Mass mini-review

Midnight Mass is dark, brooding, contemplative and fabulous. It's a slow burn show that dives deep into how people see what they want to see; how we are all in peril of grafting our desperate wants and desires onto pre-existing moral structures to justify them. 

More specifically, it's about how faith and God can be twisted into thought-pretzels and then used to justify heinous crimes. As the perpetrators descend into darkness, they don't even realize their moral compass has been inverted. They cling to a warped version of faith like a drowning person to a straw until the illusion can no longer be maintained.

Want and need are incredibly powerful perception filters, ones that can lead even the well meaning astray.

Midnight Mass builds well, laying out clues as it goes; you can see the twists coming, but they are so expertly built up, the reveals still have impact, like when we see the roller coaster drop coming: it builds anticipation, rather than being anti-climactic. 

It's not easily bucketed as a horror genre flick: those elements exist primarily to explore larger, weightier themes. More of a horror-drama-mood piece.

Unlike The Boy and the Heron, this limited series spoke to me, and the performances are absolutely top notch across the board. The journey of the priest was particularly fascinating, and Hamish Linklater puts in a superlative performance as Father Paul Hill. It's wonderful, full of nuance and pathos. 

When the show concluded, I still had questions about what the priest believed at various points during the series, or if he knew from the very beginning. 

I suspect the good reverend knew from the start.

He just wanted what he wanted so, so much, he couldn't be honest, not even to himself. 

Highly recommended. 

Watch knowing as little as possible. 

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