Series Review: Midnight Mass (2021)

It’s finally here, friends… THE MONTH OF SPOOKS! That’s right, Oc-fucking-tober, a month of spooktacular content! Yeah, I’m excited. So let’s go!

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “Midnight Mass”.

“Midnight Mass” follows the residents of Crockett Island, a remote little mound somewhere in America, as strange things start happening around their home following the arrival of a new, charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). This show is at its core a character-driven drama, delving deep into themes of grief, guilt, faith, and past traumas, and I find all of it compelling. The way that this stuff is handled throughout the seven episode run is some of the most nuanced and beautiful storytelling I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in any show. This even gives extra weight to the sections which lean more on classic horror, both in terms of thematic depth and  in terms of how much suspense and terror it is able to generate. So yeah, the story here is emotionally resonant, nuanced, unpredictable, scary, and overall just fucking spectacular.

The characters in this show are all very flawed, layered, colorful, and insanely interesting to follow. All of them have some past (or present) trauma going on, and it makes for some incredibly engaging character work. What helps this further is the frankly insane cast, featuring people like Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Hamish Linklater (who is the standout for me), Henry Thomas, Kristin Lehman, Rahul Kohli, Annabeth Gish, Samantha Sloyan, Annarah Cymone, and many more, all giving top tier performances.

The score for the show was composed by The Newton Brothers, who absolutely knocked it out of the park with the music here. I’ve enjoyed their work in the past, but I feel like they really outdid themselves here. Of course you do have some traditional horror stings, but there are also a lot of quieter, more emotional pieces throughout the show as well, along with some frankly haunting bits as well. It manages to hit every kind of emotion possible, making for a very engaging soundscape that adds a lot to the show.

“Midnight Mass” was created for Netflix by Mike Flanagan, who also directed and co-wrote all the episodes. And I gotta say, the dude knocked it out of the fucking park with his directing here. Not that Flanagan’s direction has ever been bad, but you can tell that this was a real passion project for him just by how all out he goes with the way his shots flow, how tightly edited it is, and how just how ambitious it can be at times. Further adding to this is the cinematography by Michael Fimognari, which is beautiful and really adds to the storytelling. The special effects in this are all great as well. It’s just an insanely well crafted show that you can tell everyone involved put 250% into. I know that is mathematically illogical (and possibly impossible), but I don’t care, it’s how I feel.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.9/10.

“Midnight Mass” is an absolutely phenomenal horror show that had me glued to the screen from start to end. It has a fantastic story, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/writing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Midnight Mass” is a 9.94/10. Which does mean that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Midnight Mass” is now completed.

Month of Spooks is off to one hell of a start!

Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Frank-Grillo

So now it’s time to review the second part in this franchise. Because I reviewed the first one a few days ago and I thought “Fuck it, let’s not postpone this damn thing too much”. So let’s just get into it and see what kind of quality this one has.

Ladies and gents… “The Purge: Anarchy”.

So this time we don’t follow Ethan Hawke and his family, oh no. This time we follow some other people. To be more specific, a mother (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter (Zoë Soul), a man (Zach Gilford) and his wife (Kiele Sanchez), and then we have a lone wolf badass (Frank Grillo). And these people accidentally come together in the middle of the shitstorm that is “The Purge” and then have to try to survive together through the twelve hour hell that the United States government has issued. Not gonna lie, this is kind of what I wanted to see. This is closer to what I wanted from the whole “ALL crime is legal for one day” premise that the first movie set up but wasted by making a home-invasion thriller. Not to say that the plot here is that great, because it’s not. But I would say that I enjoyed it a little bit more to see where it all went even though there wasn’t too much of a plot to hand on to.

The characters are dull and I didn’t really care for any of them… except for one. And yes, your first guess was correct, it’s Frank Grillo I cared about… mostly because I like Frank Grillo. He’s a  likable badass who is also kind of a jerk… sort of like his character in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. His performance was good and he was really badass. All other actors, they were fine in their roles, nothing to write home about. But the characters, like I said, are pretty dull. If they died, I probably wouldn’t care so much. But I will say this, Michael K. Williams has a smaller role in this movie, and whenever he was on screen it was really enjoyable.

The score for the movie was composed by Nathan Whitehead, the same dude who composed the music for the first one. And while this score isn’t that great, it’s actually kind of an improvement over the first… yeah, go figure. But I just thought it was a bit more well composed and actually had a few tracks that made me go “Huh… that wasn’t too bad”. It also worked well for the movie in itself, even though nothing here is mind blowing or fantastic or even great. It’s fine, what else can I say?

This movie was written and directed by the same guy as the first movie, James DeMonaco. And while the writing is still pretty meh and pretty dumb, his directing was pretty good. The shots look pretty good and I never wanted to slam my head in a wall because of poor direction. The movie also has some action scenes and I’m not gonna lie, I thought they were pretty fun. There was never any real suspense in the movie, I was never worried for anyone, but the action bits were fun and entertaining. There is one scene near the end that I thought was pretty cool that I think would be pretty great in a video game. I’d say that this movie is more of an action-thriller rather than a horror movie. Sure, there are a few jumpscares, but I would never consider this a horror movie. The first “Purge” is a horror movie, “The Purge: Anarchy” is an action-thriller. But yeah… it was pretty fun.

This movie hasn’t been too well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 56% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 50/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“The Purge: Anarchy” is really, really dumb. But it’s also kind of fun. The plot is more enjoyable, Frank Grillo is really good in it, the music is fine, the directing is pretty decent and the action is entertaining/pretty good. Yeah, I’d say that this is a slight improvement over the first movie. Time for my final score. ANARCHY! My final score for “The Purge: Anarchy” is a 6,55/10. So I’d say it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “The Purge: Anarchy” is now completed.

Can we please get #FrankGrilloForDeathstroke trending?