Home Video: Great Films (and series!) from Director Mike Flanagan, and where to Buy, Rent, or Stream them

Midnight Mass

Over the last several years, Mike Flanagan has made a name for himself as a director of horror, and at the same time, become one of my personal favourite filmmakers. This past week saw the release of his latest project, the Netflix series Midnight Mass. To celebrate this, here are three great films and two series he directed.

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Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘Star Wars: Visions’ & ‘Midnight Mass’

Awesome Friday Podcast: Star Wars: Visions & Midnight Mass

Greetings programs! It’s that time again, Awesome Friday on a Sunday! Remember, it’s a state of mind and not a day of the week. In this episode, we have two new series to talk about, the latest Star Wars project Star Wars: Visions and director Mike Flanagan’s latest series for Netflix, Midnight Mass. This episode is nearly 90s minutes long, but that’s because we absolutely loved one of these series and have a lot to say about it. Join us!

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Review: ‘Midnight Mass’ is another excellent horror story from Mike Flanagan and one of the best series of the year

Midnight Mass

There’s something familiar about Crocket Island, both for myself and the average viewer. For the latter, it is that indelible image of the small American town, the tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, and everyone puts up with everyone else’s idiosyncrasies because of that feeling of community. For the former, for me, it reminds me of home. I grew up in a small town on an island in the pacific northwest. Not as small as the Crock Pot, as it’s affectionately referred to, but much of the feeling of that small town reminds me very much of what it’s like to live in a small place –and to feel trapped there.

This is the tone struck by the setting of Midnight Mass, the new horror limited series from director Mike Flanagan. The tiny, dying island community withering away year after year. Once a community of hundreds, now reduced to dozens, the people who remain are there either by loyalty, fear, circumstance or some combination of the three. It’s a place where time seems to have stopped, where every kid has a smartphone, but every living room has a tube TV with rabbit ears, a place where change comes either very slowly or –with the right catalyst– very quickly.

At the outset of the story, two new residents arrive on the island: the prodigal son of a longtime island family returning home in disgrace after a stint in prison and a charismatic young priest. Following their arrival, things start to change very quickly for the residents. Miraculous things begin to happen, and a revival of religious faith takes place. But, of course, these miracles come with a price, and by the time Midnight Mass reveals what that price is, it will have taken you on a journey exploring family, faith, doubt, loss, and the great lengths those things will make us go to.

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Review: ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ is another solid entry in Mike Flanagan’s filmography

The Haunting of Bly Manor

We are, each of us, haunted. Not by ghosts necessarily, but by our pasts and the choices that we’ve made and circumstances, we have endured. We are not all haunted all the time, and sometimes we are the ones doing the haunting. Memories of us cling to the people we love and who loved us and can drag us down as much as raise us up. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor is a story about being haunted, but as with the best of gothic romance, it is not a ghost story as much as it is a story with ghosts in it. Each of the characters is dealing with their own ghost. Whether it is an ex-fiance or bad choices, none is immune. Even the house itself, which is haunted more literally, is haunted because its past cannot let go of it. Each of them gains a way out because The Haunting of Bly Manor is a story about love.

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Poster Gallery: ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ posters reveal the episode titles

The Haunting of Bly Manor

In case it isn’t already apparent, I am pretty hyped for The Haunting of Bly Manor. The trailer released last week was good, and the deep dive we took into that trailer revealed what looks to be another effectively scary story from director Mike Flanagan.

Now posters have been released for each of the nine episodes, and each one comes with the episode’s title. Each title is that of a story by Henry James, whose classic horror story The Turning of the Screw inspires the main plot of the season.  The season also reportedly borrows pieces from other stories by James, so consider each of these posters clues.

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Let’s Take a Closer Look a the ‘Haunting of Bly Manor’ trailer (with 80ish HD Captures!)

The Haunting of Bly Manor

The first full trailer for the upcoming Netflix original series The Haunting of Bly Manor dropped a few days ago. I’m a big fan of Mike Flanagan, with both the 2019 film Doctor Sleep being one of my favourites of last year, and the 2018 series The Haunting of Hill House being one of my favourite series of that year.

Bly Manor is the second in what officially appears to be an anthology series, with the same production crew and many of the same actors, but a self-contained story with new characters. Based on the 1898 Henry James story The Turning of the Screw, this series will hopefully be creepy another great entry in Mike Flanagans incredibly effective horror filmography.

So let’s take a closer look!

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‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ Trailer is here to creep you out

The Haunting of Bly Manor

The Haunting of Hill House was one my favourite things that I watched last year (yes, I was late to the party) and Mike Flanagan is back with a follow up series, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Based on the Henry James story Ihe Turn of the Screw, it takes place in 1980s and has a young nanny being hired at the titular Bly Manor to look after two young children, and of course everything is not as it seems.

Let’s take a look!

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Review: ‘Doctor Sleep’ shines in more ways than one

How do you make a sequel to a classic? It’s a difficult thing, the balance between paying homage to what came before and forging something new is a difficult one. An inch too far in either direction and you risk the ire of someone, either the fan who wants something new or the fan who really just wants the same thing all over again.

Doctor Sleep makes the question even more difficult. The film The Shining is, to reuse the word, a stone-cold classic. Adapted from Stephen Kings novel of the same name it takes many liberties with the story, so much so that King himself famously did not like it. King wrote the novel Doctor Sleep 36 years later as a sequel to his own work. So the question is how do you adapt a novel that serves as a sequel to a classic book and film which each has distinctly different arcs and in particular endings?

The answer is, of course, with great care, which is exactly what director Mike Flanagan has done.

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