Mike Flanagan Daniel Daddario Christopher Pike Ireland Netflix show stars Mike Flanagan Daniel Daddario Christopher Pike Ireland Netflix

‘The Midnight Club’ Is a Teen Horror Show That’s Actually Scary: TV Review

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Daniel D'Addario Chief TV Critic Mike Flanagan has, of late, distinguished himself as one of Netflix’s signature creators and as a generational figure in the horror genre; though his past series for the streamer, including “Midnight Mass” and “The Haunting of Hill House,” have been of various quality overall and from episode to episode, they’re consistently interesting.

His willingness to engage ideas with his scares sets him apart, perhaps more than it should. So it is with “The Midnight Club,” which Flanagan and Leah Fong co-created based on the work of YA novelist Christopher Pike.

Here, Iman Benson plays Ilonka, a college-bound high school salutatorian who receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Ilonka is both a star student and an idealist; she researches Brightcliffe, a facility to which her foster father can take her to be placed into hospice, and holds in reserve a secret hope that there will, there, be a miracle cure for her.

What she finds, first, is a circle of ill teens who gather when the clock strikes twelve to share scary stories; it’s a mordant nihilism they share, and a sense of indulgent pleasure in the knowledge that things could be worse: They could be fighting against cosmic forces of evil.

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