The Midnight Club Review: Netflix’s 2022 Show

Movie Bunker Score:

The Midnight Club: A Disappointing Blend of Anthology and Overarching Plot

The Midnight Club, a new Netflix show created by Mike Flanagan and Leah Fong, fails to live up to its potential due to a lack of effective time management and a childish approach to horror. Set in the Brightcliffe Home hospice, the series follows a group of terminally ill young adults who form “The Midnight Club” and share made-up stories. However, the show divides its time almost evenly between these shorter anthology tales and the main plot surrounding Brightcliffe’s secrets and the characters’ illnesses. This division hampers the overall coherence of the show and makes the stories feel like unnecessary distractions.

An Uneven Balance

The main plot about Brightcliffe and the group coping with their illnesses takes up a significant portion of the show, leaving the anthology stories feeling disjointed and inconsequential. While these stories may have thematic connections to the characters, they often lack depth and fail to add value to the overall narrative. Instead, they come across as time-fillers, with some being uninteresting or tonally inconsistent with the series. The constant shift in styles and genres can be jarring and detracts from the more serious exploration of mortality and uncovering dark secrets.

Missed Potential in Horror

Despite being billed as a horror show, The Midnight Club relies heavily on predictable jump scares and cartoonishly silly zombies and shadow creatures. The repetitive and obnoxious use of jump scares becomes laughable, as they fail to create genuine tension or fear. It’s surprising that Flanagan, known for his previous work in the horror genre, allows such childish tactics in this show.

Strong Performances Amidst Flawed Writing

The standout aspect of The Midnight Club lies in the performances of the cast, particularly Ruth Codd as Anya. The characters are distinct and brought to life through strong acting, although they are let down by uneven writing. The dialogue ranges from touching and poignant to flimsy attempts at humor that feel disconnected from genuine teenage voices. However, the main story of the group coping with their illnesses and the exploration of their outlooks on life offer some compelling moments.

Heartfelt Relationships and Character Growth

The relationships between the characters, such as the one between Sandra and Spencer, evolve in heartfelt ways. As Sandra, a devout Christian, and Spencer, ostracized by his religious family due to his AIDS diagnosis, initially clash, their connection grows and provides emotional depth. Anya’s character also experiences growth, shedding her cold exterior and becoming the emotional core of the show. The Midnight Club succeeds in presenting strong character dynamics but falters in dedicating excessive time to underdeveloped relationships through the short stories.

A Struggle with Time Management

Time management emerges as a recurring issue in discussing The Midnight Club. The blend of anthology and overarching plot leaves the show feeling disjointed and divided between two conflicting approaches. The lack of closure and unresolved plot details further hinder the viewing experience, especially considering the uncertain future of the show’s second season. While some viewers may appreciate the basic scares and willingness to shift genres, this messy execution may deter others from continuing with the series.


The Midnight Club fails to strike a balance between its anthology tales and overarching plot, resulting in a disjointed viewing experience. The show’s reliance on childish horror tactics and its struggle with time management hinder its potential. However, strong performances and heartfelt character dynamics offer some redeeming qualities. Ultimately, whether to invest time in The Midnight Club is a decision that depends on one’s tolerance for inconsistent storytelling and unresolved plot threads.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is The Midnight Club a fully original concept?

No, The Midnight Club is an adaptation of Christopher Pike’s novel of the same name. While the show deviates from the source material in several ways, it maintains the core premise of a group of terminally ill young adults sharing stories.

2. Will there be a second season of The Midnight Club?

As of now, Netflix has not confirmed a second season for The Midnight Club. The uncertain future of the show raises questions about the unresolved plot details and lack of closure in the first season.

3. Are there any standout episodes or moments in The Midnight Club?

While the overall execution of the show has received mixed reviews, some viewers appreciate Anya’s story for its creepiness and relevance, as well as Natsuki’s story for its emotional payoff. These moments showcase the potential of The Midnight Club amidst its flaws.

4. Does Mike Flanagan’s involvement make The Midnight Club worth watching?

Mike Flanagan has garnered praise for his work on other Netflix shows such as The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. However, his involvement alone does not guarantee a satisfying viewing experience in The Midnight Club, as the show’s flaws extend beyond his influence.

5. Is The Midnight Club suitable for all audiences?

While The Midnight Club primarily targets a young adult audience, it contains themes of illness, mortality, and horror that may not be suitable for all viewers. Parents and guardians are encouraged to assess the suitability of the show for younger audiences based on their individual sensitivities.