Midnight Mass: Strange goings-on in a tightly knit community

Today I would like to introduce my readers to a Netflix series which I watched recently and which really impressed me. Entitled Midnight Mass this series takes place on an island off the American mainland. This island has a population of only 127 people. It has the feel of a land which time forgot as its community is full of people who have decided to stay when it probably would have been better for them if they had left and set up a life elsewhere. The inhabitants of this island carry on with their mundane lives as best they can but in reality they pine for something else and wish they could have some much-needed excitement in their lives.

One young man from this island did venture elsewhere to search for a better life but it did not work out well for him. At the beginning of the first episode we find him by the side of the road having been involved in a car accident. He had been driving under the influence of alcohol and had killed a woman. He ended up spending 4 years in prison and when he was released he returned to his family on the aforementioned island.

This young man is called Riley and there is a woman on the island named Erin who he had known for most of his life. Their relationship is an integral part of everything that goes on within the storyline. Both of them have to wrestle with painful experiences. Riley is trying to come to terms with what he has done and is having a tough time of it, while Erin had been involved in a bad relationship. However, she is carrying a child so it seems like something good might yet come out of a bad situation.

Fairly early on in the storyline a young priest arrives on the island to take over from the former priest who was getting old and who was experiencing some mental issues which meant he was unfit to carry on his duties. It is not long before this replacement priest gains ready support from his new congregation. They enjoy his enthusiastic delivery and the passion he brings to each sermon. The numbers attending church services which at first were on the low side soon swell and it is not long before the priest is preaching to a full congregation.

There is a sense here that the islanders now have something to cling onto, that the religious fervour which has gripped them is giving them a new lease of life. This feeling is taken to a whole new level when the priest performs a miracle in church which astounds all those who witness it.

I found the acting in this series of a high order. In particular the characters of Riley and the priest were quite mesmerising at times. I really felt Riley’s pain as he tried to pick up the pieces of his fractured existence. It is hard to imagine what it would be like knowing you are responsible for the loss of a life and in such a senseless way, too. But in witnessing Riley’s torment I could understand how to this individual there was no joy to be found. It was simply a case of moving from one day to the next trying to make the best of an impossible situation. It was basically purgatory on earth. And in the case of the priest you could almost sense God being by his side as he preached to his congregation. He seemed to be carried away with the spirit which was moving through him. I found myself, as a viewer, being carried away by the message the priest was relaying. It was extremely powerful stuff.

There are some dark moments in this series but also some uplifting ones, too. It touched my emotions like few other series I have seen in recent times. As such, I strongly recommend it to anyone who would be interested in watching something which is a little out of the ordinary.

This series is in 7 episodes, each one progresses the storyline in fine fashion creating an enjoyable viewing experience as a whole. I felt I could identify with the characters and sympathised with everything they went through from first to last. I could sense their feelings of loss in not achieving what they thought they might have achieved from their lives. There is a definite regretful mood which hangs over the island like a dark cloud, especially during the first few episodes. But the excitement which follows changes the landscape markedly from that point on, heralding in what everyone hopes will be a new dawn of discovery. There are a lot of ups and downs which take place after that which keeps the viewer on the edge of his seat throughout.

Categories:Horror Films and TV Shows

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