In Netflix’s upcoming horror series Midnight Mass — the latest spine-tingler from Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan — the return of a prodigal son to his remote island hometown is more than enough to get the close-knit community riled up. But when a curious priest promising to bring miracles to the town arrives soon after, everyone’s attention becomes fixated on the strange things that begin to occur.
Midnight Mass’ first trailer introduces Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), a native to the island town who returns after going through some sort of unspecified trauma while seemingly living in a different city. Though Riley’s greeted with open arms by Annie (Kristin Lehman), a family member who’s glad to see him home despite his tarnished reputation, the rest of the community is less welcoming.
The town’s eerie quietness is amplified immensely as Father Paul (Hamish Linklater), a wandering priest, comes into town and begins giving sermons to anyone willing to listen to him. Though he’s as sceptical of Father Paul as anyone else, Riley takes the priest up on his offer, figuring that he’s got little to lose. But what Riley and the rest of the town soon realise is that by inviting Father Paul into their lives, they’ve potentially opened themselves up to something downright unholy.
From the sudden deaths of multiple animals to the actual miracles that Father John appears to pull off in the trailer, Midnight Mass is definitely going the supernatural route even as it delves into a cerebral mystery with the story of Riley’s mysterious past. The promise of cult-like religiosity that might develop in the wake of Father Paul’s miracles may point to Midnight Mass borrowing some notes from Ari Aster’s Midsommar, but knowing Flanagan’s penchant for using puzzles to amplify the horror of his stories, there’s likely to be much more to the series.
Midnight Mass hits Netflix on September 24.