Every Mike Flanagan Netflix Horror Ranked Worst To Best

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Every Mike Flanagan Netflix Horror Ranked Worst To Best

Mike Flanagan has managed to reinvigorate the horror genre via a nuanced study of the human psyche. Here’s every Netflix horror by Flanagan, ranked.

Here’s every Mike Flanagan Netflix horror ranked from worst to best. Having established himself as a prolific master of horror in the industry over the last decade, Flanagan has reinvented the genre in more ways than one. As seen in his feature-length offerings such as Oculus and Hush, Flanagan’s tales are intimate vignettes of terror, looking into the folds of what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.

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However, it was Flanagan’s widely acclaimed Netflix miniseries, The Haunting of Hill House that positioned his oeuvre in the public eye, as the series dismantled the clichéd tropes of supernatural horror and reinvigorated it. While Hill House brimmed with genuine chills, pathos, and heart, The Haunting of Bly Manor spelled out an unnerving tale of love, loss, and sacrifice. Other than these entries, Flanagan also helmed The Shining’s sequel, Doctor Sleep, along with Absentia, Gerald’s Game, and the immensely underrated Before I Wake.

It is interesting to note that almost all of Flanagan’s works are character-centric, focusing on their dreams, fears, and desires instead of the source of terror in general. Apart from this, his lack of reliance on cheap jump scares and contrived scare tactics help elevate his stories, as they are imbued with a sense of authenticity like no other. Flanagan’s seven-episode limited series offering, Midnight Mass, also follows his best instincts, culminating in a truly heartrending tale of personal terror. Here are all of Flanagan’s Netflix horror originals (so far), ranked.

Based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Bly Manor is Flanagan’s slow-burn love letter to the idea of cerebral horror. Following the basic tenets of the source material, Bly Manor follows an American au pair, Dani (Victoria Pedretti) who moves to a towering mansion in the countryside to take care of kids Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith), who have lost their parents in a crash recently. What follows is the unearthing of memories, dreams, secrets, and ghosts of the past, executed in a way only Flanagan can – with nuance, beauty, pathos. While the criticisms of Bly Manor might potentially lie in its uneven tone and the fact that it pales in comparison to Hill House, Bly Manor remains a haunting saga of doomed love, found family, and loss.

An adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 suspense novel of the same name, Flanagan’s Gerald’s Game movie is hypnotic and terrifying, to say the least, adding a Hitchcockian element of suspense to the mix. Gerald’s Game follows married couple Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), who decide to spice up their dynamic by introducing handcuffs in bed during a weekend getaway. In a cruel twist of fate, Gerald suffers a heart attack while Jessie is still handcuffed, leaving the latter in a precarious position of dread and anxiety. Gerald’s Game revels in its own aspect of unpredictability, as Flanagan flits between timelines with ease, pulling viewers deeper into the abyss of memory and secrets, adding thrills at the right moments. Some might even argue that Flanagan improves upon King’s Gerald’s Game ending, as he manages to tie up loose ends in a neat and satisfying fashion, with Gugino belting out a career-defining performance worth remembering.

The Haunting of Hill House is an extraordinary, revisionist take on Shirley Jackson’s classic horror offering, wherein family emerges as both a source of hope and unbearable trauma. Zeroing in on the Crain family, Flanagan treats every family member with incredible nuance, allowing viewers a glimpse into their individual psyches that often delve into terrors that manifests as spine-chilling ghosts. While the house itself is presented as an entity that feeds on loss and pain, every character in Hill House is a part of a legacy of rage and resentment, culminating in an inability to deal with loss and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Hill House ends brilliantly on a note of the surreal, a subtle reminder of the fact that the bonds of blood that often bring us together can turn into chains of madness and disdain, only mellowed by the painful reality of loss and mourning.

Flanagan’s latest and most personal project, Midnight Mass, is a masterful work of Catholic horror, wherein religion and the unknown mingle in inexplicable ways, accelerating towards a heartbreaking ending tinged with hope. Midnight Mass focuses on Crockett island, a fading maritime community that is hurtled into the midst of intense religious revival after the arrival of young priest, Father Paul (Hamish Linklater). With Catholicism being at the forefront, framing The Bible as a work of horror allows Mike Flanagan to delve into a nuanced discourse on the pitfalls of organized religion, and the ease with which how scriptures are often misinterpreted to further selfish, human ends. Midnight Mass is a shining example of character study and soulful monologues, which add a beautiful, often-terrifying layer of depth to the tale of terror, and the innate folly of being human in a corrupt world.

Debopriyaa Dutta is a content curator, poet, and film critic based in India and a frequent contributor for High On Films. Apart from being a published author, Debopriyaa has been writing professionally since 2014, and holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and Theory from the University of Delhi. An ardent fan of cosmic horror and poetic cinema, she enjoys painting, along with reading literary works steeped in morbid nihilism.

However, it was Flanagan’s widely acclaimed Netflix miniseries, The Haunting of Hill House that positioned his oeuvre in the public eye, as the series dismantled the clichéd tropes of supernatural horror and reinvigorated it. While Hill House brimmed with genuine chills, pathos, and heart, The Haunting of Bly Manor spelled out an unnerving tale of love, loss, and sacrifice. Other than these entries, Flanagan also helmed The Shining’s sequel, Doctor Sleep, along with Absentia, Gerald’s Game, and the immensely underrated Before I Wake.

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