Thoughts on Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass

I’m a little late to the watch party, but I’ve finally gotten around to watching The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass on Netflix. NOTE: This blog WILL contain spoilers, so if you hate spoilers and haven’t seen either of these yet, then by all means, don’t read ahead.

OK? Are we clear? I’m going to tell you guys what happens in these two shows? Good? Good!

Midnight Mass

I happened to come home from work when my husband was starting to watch Midnight Mass. So I got to see how it all ended before I got to see how it all began!

Which is…OK! Since I’m a person who will read to the end of a book to see what happens, I didn’t mind knowing how it all ended!

But what I didn’t expect was having my own bloodlust for vampire movies ignited by watching this!

Yeah, turns out the charismatic preacher is a vampire. Sad thing is he doesn’t really know it. He thinks an “angel” has given him his powers, which included being transformed from an old preacher man – into a young preacher man. The whole bloodlust and dislike of sunlight would come full force a bit later.

At the end of it all, it’s almost as if he’s giving the choice for these Crockett Island folks to become vampires (and why is there no statue of Sonny Crockett on this island, but I digress). A choice? When do people really get to “choose” to become vamps? We’ve all seen those movies or TV shows where poor saps beg to become turned into vampires, only to be either laughed at – or discouraged from doing so.

But wait…what about that Tom Cruise vampire movie?

This is an actual quote from the movie Bowfinger. The movie’s premise is filming a movie with a star actor who doesn’t know he’s being filmed (Eddie Murphy). If you haven’t seen it, then what are you waiting for?

Maybe this wasn’t the quote you were thinking of when I mentioned “Tom Cruise vampire movie.” Maybe this then?

Christian Slater’s role was intended for River Phoenix, who had to decline the role due to a severe case of death. Slater donated his salary to causes that Phoenix supported. Rumors that Phoenix didn’t actually die and just became a vampire instead are unfounded (JK)!

So Monsignor Pruitt pays a visit to the Holy Land, hides out from a sandstorm in a cave, gets bitten by a (you guessed it) vampire. Only this vampire is super creepy – not at all sexy like so many vamps we’ve seen in movies – he’s naked like Dobby – has a wingspan that would make a Pterodon jealous, and he’s super tall like Lurch when he’s standing up.

So he comes back from his Holy Land vacation and pretends he’s a young preacher named Paul Hill. It’s not long before a couple of townspeople figure out who he really is, and figure out what’s in the communion wine (if you guessed vampire blood you are correct).

Most – but not all – of the Crockett Island folks get on board with the whole vamp lifestyle. They’ve put blackout drapes in their homes, bought coffins from Costco (ya gotta save money however you can), secured the services of ghouls to watch over their homes, and managed to get butcher’s blood deliveries to the island once a week (NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE TRUE BY THE WAY). The first part of what I said was true, the second part involving Kirkland brand coffins, blackout drapes and blood deliveries is what SHOULD be true!

What they didn’t count on was the naysayers deciding they wanted to burn down the whole mother f—ing lsand. Which means no shelter from Yellow Face, or “the sun.” Riley Flynn isn’t on board with the vamp lifestyle, though he’s already been turned – so he takes a rowboat out onto the open water with his girlfriend Erin and she gets to watch him incinerate.

About incineration…after watching all of their buildings burn down – including the big important building with no natural lighting and comfy cots to sleep during the day – most of them decide to be brave about it and sing that song the Titanic passengers sing when they know they’re done for (no, not that Celine Dion song). All of these (mostly) churchy folks sing “Nearer My God To Thee” and bravely accept their fates. Except for that weaselly woman Beverly who tries unsuccessfully to bury herself in the sand.

I guess my whole take is, “If you know you’re going to become a vampire, how would you prepare?” It seems like most vampires get kind of thrust blindly into the lifestyle, even though they have an eternity to either figure it out – or be incinerated in the sunrise. Best hedge your bets and take that night stocking job at Wal-Mart – maybe you can steal some blood from the butcher department while no one’s lookin’?

The Haunting Of Hill House

The other miniseries I watched wasn’t about vampires, but it was equally creepy. And even more horribly (gasp) it gave me THE FEELS! At one point where everyone is mourning their dead little sister, I blurted “Just because I didn’t cry doesn’t mean I wasn’t grieving.” That was a flashback to when I lost both of my grandmothers when I was 17.

I found myself identifying a bit too much with the Theo character. Not her slutty lifestyle, but her attempts to build emotional walls to shield her from the badness of the world (guilty). Also, I really like wearing gloves, too (but not for the reasons that she does).

I honestly don’t have a whole lot more to say about this series, but I really enjoyed it – even though it is a family drama at the very core. Think Ordinary People or American Beauty only with a creepy haunted house. Also Elliott from E.T. is in it (he is also in Midnight Mass and The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is a stand alone sequel to The Haunting of Hill House). I’ve only started watching Bly Manor, so I don’t have much to say about that, either.

The main takeaway is, be careful of what you fear, lest you become the thing you fear. Also time is not linear.

The best part was seeing dead Nellie saving each and every one of her brothers and sisters in the end. If that doesn’t give you the feels, then you might want to see if you’re lying when you check the “I’m not a robot box.”

Good stuff! Try to watch these things if you can, even if I spoiled it all for ya!

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