According To Director Mike Flanagan Jump Scares Are Overused

This October, The Midnight Club is the only thriller you need to watch on repeat. You may recall picking up Christopher Pike’s classic young adult horror novel from the school library. Now, director Mike Flanagan, whose previous Netflix productions include The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, has a new show based on the book.

In The Midnight Club, which is set in 1994, the protagonist, Ilonka, is an 18-year-old who was about to begin her first semester at Stanford University when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

She stays at Brightcliffe, a hospice designed for young people in the final stages of life-threatening conditions. There, she joins a group of teens who call themselves The Midnight Club and who prefer to meet in secret after dark to share ghost stories. They don’t inform Ilonka, though, that fairy tales aren’t always just that.

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What Drew Director to The Midnight Club

I read the Christopher Pike novel on which The Midnight Club is based when I was in high school. If you read R.L. Stine as a young reader and liked horror, you probably moved on to Christopher Pike later. After that, if you stayed with the genre at all, Stephen King was the next stop.

That experience had such a profound impact on who I am now. Also, The Midnight Club was a very moving read for me since it dealt with death and mortality in a way I had not anticipated at that tender age. This is my attempt to reminisce about the beginnings of my interest in horror.

How to Create a Horror Show When People No Longer Worry About Dying?

In most horror stories, “are these people going to live?” serves as the story’s central question. What do you think their chances are of making it? The ending is inevitable for a tale such as this. From the very first episode, it’s made clear that our protagonists are only here because they’re soon to die, shifting the focus from the dread of death itself to the anguish of not living up to one’s potential before passing on. It evolves into a show that celebrates life rather than mourns its loss.

The Midnight Club Cast
The Midnight Club Cast

The Midnight Club Episode 1 Did A Record-Breaking Jump

One can be surprised without being scared. Plus, I’m not the kind of director who enjoys using scare tactics, so the Guinness incident is particularly amusing to me. For the most part, I enjoy some more than others. When it comes to jumping scares, Jaws is one of the best. Exorcist 3 features a fantastic, edge-of-your-seat horror that I really enjoy.

The Main Point I’m Trying To Make is That I Think They’re Overused

That doesn’t mean I view them with contempt, though. When execs tell me things like “you need to have a specified amount of [jump scares] in the program” or “you need to have five jump scares in the first 15 minutes or else it’s not scary,” I become extremely defensive.

In a way, I just wanted to put the matter to rest. And by that point, I figured, what the heck, I’m good. All of them are presented here. Additionally, we established a new benchmark. So now I can say, “Oh, I’ve got the world record,” or “well, I’ve got this Guinness certificate,” the next time I get the note where they say we want extra jump scares.

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