“Dying is a very shitty reason not to live.”
After watching and loving The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, I was excited to start The Midnight Club. I haven’t read the books that the show is based on, so there won’t be any comparisons there.
Header credit: IMDB
We’re All Stories In The End
The Midnight Club is about a group of young adults, in this case terminally ill, who meet in the library of their hospice house to tell stories.
We follow Ilanka the most, who finds out she has thyroid cancer just as she’s going to graduate high school and go to Stanford.
She becomes desperate as things get worse and discovers Brightcliffe Hospice (another creepy house) and how a young girl with the same cancer miraculously was cured and convinces her foster dad to let her go there.
To Those Before
There are an array of characters that we meet, all with backstories that are told throughout the season through the stories that they tell in the club. They’re all interesting and distinct and there wasn’t one that I didn’t like. (But that doesn’t mean I didn’t also find them annoying. More to that later.)
Meanwhile, there is a mystery going on that involves a cult that used to live in the house and some ghosts. Maybe. I will say the “ghosts” aren’t as obvious this time around. Like you knew they were there in the other shows but this one makes you wonder if stuff is actually there and why some of the kids can see stuff but the others can’t. But it does make it easy to blame everything on their meds.
However, if you’ve seen Mike Flanagan’s work before, you know that ghosts aren’t usually the scariest part but the discussions about life and death, which are obviously heavy here.
That being said, compared to the other shows, this one is pretty light in the scare/horror department. The first episode actually broke a record for most jump scares but it’s not in the way you might think. There’s some creepy imagery, but don’t spend your time looking in the background for the ghosts. Because I definitely did that from time to time.
So, I liked all of the characters, for the most part, but our main, Ilanka, was a bit grating. Granted, I understand where she’s coming from and the decisions she makes (she just wants to live) but she’s the character you want to strangle through the screen. There are times she interrupts characters to show off how she knows every everything and somehow convinces the group to go along with what she wants to do. Like every time.
I was also expecting a big twist. This is probably my own fault but from his previous works, there was never anything that happened that isn’t predictable. Sure, there is the unexpected but not that big twist like the Bent Neck Lady. Everything is pretty easy to catch onto.
Unlike the previous Hauntings, this isn’t a one and done series but is or is trying to set up a second season so don’t expect everything to be answered.
Overall, I had a fun time with this show. The characters have good chemistry, I liked the stories that they told, and the mystery is compelling.
I was also expecting gay people and got them, so thank you, Mike, for always delivering in that department. But just in general, it’s a very diverse cast.
Despite a few gripes here and there, like a certain character and a few slower scenes, I enjoyed the show and will be looking forward to the next season, if it happens.