Warning: This list contains spoilers for The Midnight Club.Mike Flanagan once again proves his passion and love for the horror genre through his adaptation of Christopher Pike’s 1994 novel The Midnight Club. Living in a hospice, the kids gather at midnight to tell scary stories as they try to survive death.
Each episode included a short story with the task of trying to scare each other. Not every story told in the series was in the horror genre, but each had an element of horror or suspense that brought a sense of fear. Looking at each story in all 10 episodes, the story that included more horror elements and a darker deeper meaning makes it more likely to be the scariest of them all.
As Anya starts to die, the Midnight Club performs a ritual to keep their friend alive. Episode 7 continues from that as it leads viewers to believe that Anya survived and is now struggling to adapt to the change of going back into society. The episode itself is full of scares as the stories from past episodes collide and Anya sees the murders and hauntings play out firsthand.
Despite the dream-like state she is in, the Midnight club doesn’t start the story until halfway through the episode. It is not a scary tale but a hopeful one as Natsuki and the rest of the Midnight Club give Anya the future she deserves. When the club arrives as themselves, they tell a story to honor a dying friend, giving her happiness as she passes knowing she is not alone.
9/10 Gimmie A Kiss
The episode “Gimmie A Kiss,” deals with the debate of Christianity and its views on same-sex relationships as Spencer and Sandra are on opposite sides of the debate. Sandra attempts to spread her belief in God to others, offending Spencer as he was abandoned by his mother and church for being gay. “Gimmie a Kiss” is a black-and-white suspense story that serves as an apology to Spencer. A detective story and a revenge story, it is full of murders and twists as Sandra kills her best friends and her ex.
The lack of color and glimpses of what was thought to be a ghost helps keeps the audience in suspense. The story serves as an homage to detective shows through style and dialogue. This story doesn’t rely on scares but on the suspense that captures the audience from each murder and the reveal of the killer.
8/10 See You Later
In celebration of outliving the day he was said to die, Amesh was chosen to be the storyteller of the night. A likable main character of the Midnight Club, Amesh changed things up by telling a science fiction story instead of the normal scary story that the audience has come to expect from the show.
Amesh’s story wasn’t designed to be scary but was a love story involving time travel and the fate of the world. Moments of unpredictability kept the audience on the edge of their seats, but the elements of time travel would make the story tense, if not difficult to follow at times.
7/10 Natsuki’s Story
In the first story of the series, Natsuki sets expectations on what viewers can expect from the stories that they tell and from the show itself. An empty neighborhood sets an eerie tone that increases when the boy in the story is surprised by a creepy girl.
Natsuki’s story is effective for those that are easily triggered by jump scares. This scene included a variety of jump scares as Mike Flanagan broke the Guinness World Record for most jump scares was set in this single episode. This becomes less scary as each scare becomes predictable and with the club making meta-commentary on how jump scares are startling but not scary.
Mike Flanagan has other TV shows to watch where he fused multiple books from the same author into one story including the Haunting of Bly Manor. Just like how Ilonka said, it is about a witch with healing powers that disobeyed her mother and saw into the future when staring at the water at night.
This story is terrifying to those with wiccaphobia and those that can relate to losing loved ones. Much like how Julia is warned by her mother not to scribe, the story can be seen as a warning as the Midnight Club mess with fate by doing the ritual to save Anya. It is a scary reminder to fans that the only thing certain in life is death and that unpredictability of when it comes can be frightening.
5/10 Julia Jane
When discovering the Midnight Club, Ilonka had to tell her own scary story to earn a spot at the request of her roommate Anya. Julia Jane was Ilonka’s inspiration for going to Brightcliffe hospice as she was the only patient to make it out alive.
Ilonka’s retelling of the tell felt important as it gave history on the place they are staying at and foreshadowed a mysterious character who saw the death of others. Julia seeing what day others will die gives the story a haunting feel that paved the way for something more terrifying in a show where the characters are to die at any moment.
4/10 The Eternal Enemy
The 9th episode “The Eternal Enemy,” contained many of the best quotes of The Midnight Club as it had Mark connect Spencer to others within the LGBTQ+ community. Coming to terms with his condition allowed him to be vulnerable with the Midnight Club by telling a story that takes inspiration from The Terminator franchise. Seeing a tape that sees the future Spencer (Rel in the story) tries to save his boyfriend Christopher from an attack by a cyborg from the future.
Spencer’s story is terrifying as it tells the very real story of AIDs and being threatened for being different. The story of two men in love grew into one of two men trying to kill each other as Rel was sent to the past to kill Christopher and Christopher try to exterminate fear and sadness in the future. It speaks of the future that can and will bring fear, sadness, and uncertainty.
3/10 The Wicked Heart
As Kevin is tired of being viewed as perfect by family and friends, he tells the story of the normal student Dustin who is haunted by the ghost of his mother to commit murders. After killing his victims picked out by his mother with a hammer, he sees their ghosts as they silently scream at him.
A story of a serial killer has become popular through horror movies in the slasher subgenre as they can be viewed as realistic in their show of grotesque murder. The visuals of his mother and the crowd of his victims as they scream at him leave a haunting visual that leaves the viewers sympathetic for Dusty and horrified. People are often afraid when they have no power or control and watching Dusty smash heads in with a hammer reminds viewers of feeling powerless.
2/10 Road To Nowhere
Natsuki’s story of Teresa is one of wanting to escape from life and struggles. It is a personal story that gives a background on Natsuki and her battle with depression. The audience gets to see Freedom Jack and Poppy Corn as they were briefly introduced in episode three in a story Natsuki told Tristan.
Poppy’s demanding personality and Freedom Jack’s laid-back personality put Teresa in an uncomfortable spot as the two opposites would fuel Tracy’s head with uncertainty. The story uses the senses of smell, sight, and sound to its advantage as the story repeats but would get darker and add more uncertainty to what is happening. The tale contains a deep message that the audience can relate to life being hard but that it’s worth staying as things do get better.
1/10 The Two Danas
This was the first time viewers got to see the backstory of a character in the form of a scary story in the Midnight Club. They learn through the story of two Danas that Anya once was a ballot dancer who let a life of partying get to her head, causing her to lose her dream, best friend, and family. Going by Dana in the story, she makes a deal with the devil allowing Dana to still be a ballot dancer while being able to experience the life of drugs and partying through the other Dana.
The devil is frightening due to her honesty as it was Dana that willingly put herself through the pain. It can be difficult to watch as Dana would inflict self-harm including stabbing herself in the hand. It is a story of self-hatred and addiction, and how it can push someone to go through excruciating pain. What sets this one apart from the others is that it is violent and tragic and does not have a happy conclusion.
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