As Halloween comes and goes and people embrace the total spooky, the popular Netflix show âMidnight Massâ has gained notoriety for being just as spooky as the usual gruesome gore that surrounds the holidays. Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of the whole series is the chilling portrayal of humanity.
Catholics are no strangers to misrepresentation in the media, and some may still run to categorize the “midnight mass” as a gross mockery of the unique aspects of Catholicism, but I saw the plot as an incredibly beautiful story of life after the fall of Adam and Eve.
Drawing inspiration from his childhood in the Catholic Church, director and creator Mike Flanagan envisioned a world in which Catholics became vampires by consuming the Body and Blood of Christ.
This question is true and should not remain unanswered.
Maybe I, as an aspirant to a theology major, do not have all the answers, but I believe I can offer insight as a human being who enjoys looking at art through a catholic lens.
Although I understand that âMidnight Massâ is meant to be a commentary on religion and cults as true horror stories, I have noticed several details that non-believers and non-Catholics may not have. -be not noticed.
The story takes place on a small isolated island experiencing a religious revival when a young priest arrives in town to replace former Bishop Pruitt. The plot unfolds and reveals a sinister creature taken for an “angel of God” that the young priest brought back with him from a trip to the Holy Land. I would describe this character more as a demon-vampire, whose mission is to transform humans into a creature like him.
The townspeople continue to believe, influenced by the new priest and other Pharisee-like figures, that this lifestyle of feeding and feasting on the blood of their neighbors will somehow earn them a place in Heaven. .
Anyone of faith, or who has even read the Bible once or twice, will notice something strange about the creature.
He is in fact not an âAngel of Godâ because he is afraid of the light. In fact, he will die if he enters the light.
A creature of darkness is not a creature of God, and all of the bloody deeds that revolve around this blood feast occurs during the darkest hours of the night.
As the characters get fooled by this vampire-like creature, I was immediately skeptical.
I also thought of a conversation I had with other students some time ago about âDraculaâ and how vampires are the antithesis of Christ present in the Eucharist: where the Christ said, “This is my body abandoned for you“, The lifestyle of a vampire revolves around the opposite,” it is your body abandoned for me. “
Where the director intended to compare religion and horror, he actually juxtaposes them as perfectly as night and day.
Further in the plot, tragedy strikes the city during the Easter Vigil Mass where everyone transforms into this bloodthirsty creature, even those who faithfully attended Mass and practiced their faith.
One of the most moving comparisons present in the last episode is how transforming into this creature is like humanity and sin.
Once you are ‘bitten’ it seems unstoppable. How many of us think that once we’re caught up in the web, we’re screwed?
The parents of the main character are two of the only victims to discover that the disease is controllable. The father describes his experience as feeling the need but refusing to give him what he wants because he knows it is not right, and his wife agrees with him.
They are part of a small group of characters who unfortunately fall into this trap but still retain a certain purity within themselves – no matter how badly they want to embrace the evil they have become, they listen to their hearts and find the right way. force to prevent themselves from doing more damage to their city and their loved ones.
It is easy to look at the âMidnight Massâ as a whole and pick up pitchforks on a product of another poorly catechized Catholic, and there are legitimate reasons for doing so.
However, it’s much more difficult to sit down and take the time to go through someone else’s art and dissect exactly what’s going on and how it can be interpreted otherwise.
Because on the outside it seems the intentions are to display the so-called ‘horrors of religion’, I think at his heart is a person eager to know Christ by asking the childish question: “Hey, does that make us vampires?” ? “
I don’t think Jesus is outraged by our honesty, I think he smiles and finds it funny.
So questions on the subject should not lead us to despair, but rather marvel at the human experience and ask ourselves what a show about Catholic vampires can teach us about ourselves because God always takes what is. destined for evil and transforms it into good. , just like the series if you give it a chance.