‘Midnight Mass’: Should You Watch ‘The Haunting’ Anthology First?

This fall, Netflix will release Midnight Mass, the latest show from film and television writer Mike Flanagan. This is Flanagan’s latest TV collaboration with Netflix, following The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. In anticipation of the ghostly new series, should fans watch the first two installments in The Haunting anthology? 

What to know about ‘Midnight Mass’

Unlike The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly ManorMidnight Mass does not feature a looming haunted house. Instead, it takes place on the bleak Crockett Island, a place where the haunting infects an entire community. According to Netflix:

MIDNIGHT MASS tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?

In the show’s trailer, Linklater tells Gilford, “It’s OK to just look at the world and say why, why, why, I don’t understand.” 

His refrain of “why” is repeated underneath a shrieking orchestral staccato as scenes of violence and confusion flash past. It offers viewers a glimpse into the creeping panic that grips the island.

The seven-episode series will be available to stream on Sept. 24 at 3 a.m. ET. 

Is ‘Midnight Mass’ part of ‘The Haunting’ anthology?

The release date for Midnight Mass comes just under a year after Bly Manor, prompting fans to wonder if this is the latest installment in the series. According to Flanagan, this series is something entirely new.

Per EW, Flanagan announced that he did not have any current plans to create another installment in The Haunting anthology. Instead, he would focus on a slew of new projects for Intrepid Pictures. 

It isn’t completely necessary to watch Hill House before Bly Manor. Though they are part of the same series, they feature separate plots and characters. Many of the actors appeared in both series, though. The same is true of Midnight Mass. While it can be viewed as a standalone series, viewers who want to familiarize themselves with the cast of the new series will find many of them in The Haunting anthology. 

What’s next for creator Mike Flanagan?

After two successful series on Netflix and another one forthcoming, Flanagan has plans to inject more fear into the streaming service. In 2022, Flanagan’s new horror series, The Midnight Club, will come to Netflix. Based on Christopher Pike’s 1994 novel of the same name, the new series will focus on a hospice home for teenagers. Per Deadline, they meet at midnight to tell horror stories and make a pact that the first to die will contact the rest.

Following this, Flanagan will co-write and produce an adaptation of the graphic novel, Something is Killing the Children. The comic, which The Hollywood Reporter describes as “both scary and sad,” does not yet have a release date. 

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