Best Mike Flanagan Movies and TV Shows, Ranked
By this point most of us have seen at least one thing Mike Flanagan has behind him, whether it’s one of his many Netflix series or even Doctor Sleep (2019). He’s very on point with adaptations, in a way that some creatives just aren’t. And that may speak of his talent more than anything else. He certainly did a lot of things that are still talked about in the horror world.
Not everything he’s done has been a hit or even a horror, for that matter, but that’s what he’s best known for, and we’re not talking about the worst on this list. From what I remember (believe me I watched a lot of horror so sometimes I forget when I saw something) I didn’t watch Away (2011) Where Before I Wake Up (2016). Therefore, they are not on this list. Sorry people. The sequel to his best horror films and TV? They earned their place. How do I classify them? By their ability to be reviewed.
9. Gerald’s game (2017)
Plot: “The film stars Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood as a married couple who arrive at an isolated house for a vacation. When the husband dies of a sudden heart attack, his wife, left handcuffed to the bed without the key and with little hope of rescue, must find a way to survive, while battling her inner demons.
Gerald’s game is not an original idea, because it is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, the one that Mike Flanagan was able to bring to life. It’s an incredibly unsettling horror film and explains why psychological horror is sometimes hard to watch. Unfortunately, when it comes to reviewability, it’s not that easy to review. The subject matter is tough, and watching Jessie (Carla Gugino) stuck in this room is…uncomfortable, not to mention the handcuff scene, and if you’re anything like me, hand or eye trauma is rough.
8. Midnight Mass (2021)
Plot: “The plot centers on an impoverished island community that experiences supernatural events after the arrival of a mysterious priest.”
Before someone tells me I’m wrong, listen to me. Midnight Mass is absolutely not a show that has any major rewatch quality. There are a lot of religious monologues that, frankly, get a little too much. Sure, the performances are top-notch, and if you’re not bothered by religious talk and preachy messages, it can be easy to review, though compared to other Flanagan projects it’s bogged down by many unlikable characters. . But the vampire is quite scary and not what we usually know, thus creating an atmosphere that becomes strange and uncomfortable due to the lack of knowledge. And the finale is probably one of the best episodes of the series.
7. Hush (2016)
Synopsis: “A deaf and mute writer who has retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.”
To be able to see this again for the first time would be fantastic. There’s so much about Hush (2016) it looks very realistic. And if you’re deaf or hard of hearing, it’s probably even more unsettling to imagine yourself in this scenario. This serial killer comes out of nowhere and has literally no motivation. He just likes killing people, as far as we know. Since there are very few people in this movie, you only have Maddie (Kate Siegel) and her cute cat to cheer on, making for a watch that’s mostly suspenseful the first time around. It’s certainly up there in terms of home invasion slashers, but doesn’t hit the same after so many watches.
6. The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)
Plot: “The story tells of an au pair hired by a man to care for his niece and nephew in the family’s country house after they fall into his care. Upon arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to see apparitions that continue to haunt the place.
I admit it: I certainly prefer The Haunting of Hill House more The Haunting of Bly Manor any day, even though Bly Manor has a beautifully tragic lesbian love story. Bly Manor moves pretty slow and the kids aren’t as endearing (hearing “perfectly splendid” so many times is annoying), which essentially doesn’t change throughout the series. However, the mysterious nature of Bly Manor – and ghosts etc. – help in terms of history. Plus, of course, the relationship between Dani (Victoria Pedretti and Jamie (Amelia Eve), as well as the sad ending for Hannah (T’Nia Miller) and Owen (Rahul Kohli). slow you need to be in the mood, rather than just turning it on and sinking into it.
5. Oculus (2013)
Synopsis: “A woman attempts to exonerate her brother, who has been convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.”
– Media of relativity
Dark and really creepy are 2 things that can and should describe Oculus (2013). Nothing works for any of the main characters in this movie. We’re forced to watch a sister and brother struggle because of the horrific events that unfolded in their childhood home – and also, what that damn mirror took from them physically (as well as mentally). Going back to that movie is a treat because you’re left to hope it turns out differently, even though you know it won’t.
4. Ouija board: the origin of evil (2016)
Plot: “A widow and her family introduce a Ouija board into their fake seance business, inviting in a spirit that possesses the youngest daughter.”
– Universal images
Forget that Ouija Board (2014) because this one is apparently bad. (I haven’t watched it and probably never will.) We should only ever talk about this one. Normally, PG-13 horror doesn’t do much for me, but this movie is so good that I basically forget its rating. I’ll be blunt and say this is a very rewatchable movie. This isn’t your typical possession movie. The characters are fully formed and the family isn’t irritating as hell. And the scares are really effective (Lulu Wilson does a fantastic job as Doris). The ending is also not cookie-cutter and happy for the affected family.
3. Doctor Sleep (2019)
Plot: “Set several decades after the events of the brilliant, Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, a man with psychic abilities who struggles with the trauma of his childhood. Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Cliff Curtis and Carl Lumbly have supporting roles.
– Warner Bros. Pictures
This has been labeled as one of Stephen King’s best adaptations. As someone who has never read the book, I can’t say this fully, but at the same time I can acknowledge how beautiful, breathtaking and terrifying this film is. So much love has been poured into this adaptation, and King himself has praised the film. Of course, the length may deter you from revisiting this anytime soon. Not everyone can squeeze 2 hours and 32 minutes into their day, although aside from the runtime, it’s worth it and an experience every time. Personally, I recommend getting your hands on the director’s cut and giving him a watch.
2. The Midnight Club (2022)
Synopsis: A group of eight terminally ill young adult relatives reside in the Brightcliffe Home hospice outside Seattle run by an enigmatic doctor. They meet every night at midnight to tell each other scary stories. They have a pact that the first to succumb to their disease is responsible for communicating with others from beyond the grave.
This latest series from Mike Flanagan came out very recently, and it’s awesome, as awesome as watching terminally ill people struggle and hope for the best for themselves and everyone else. It’s certainly hard to watch if you’ve been through loss/grief still fresh (trust me), but the performances and horror are worth it, with a breakout star being Ruth Codd, who has us all blown away. He has this quality that will make you want to see him again, maybe even notice things you haven’t done before. Plus, horror icon Heather Langenkamp is in there!
1. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Plot: “The plot alternates between two timelines, following five adult siblings whose paranormal experiences at Hill House continue to haunt them to the present day, and flashbacks illustrating events leading up to the eventful night of 1992 when the family ran away from the mansion.”
We should never not talk about The Haunting of Hill House. The tragedy of grief, loss and estrangement from loved ones is very real. It is the horror of everyday life. This is a show that handles its drama in a way that doesn’t enter soap opera territory. As a result, it never loses its tension or suspense in the scariest scenes, and the cast does a wonderful job of making you realize that home is a bad place. Aside from Steven (Michiel Huisman), who is a character I tolerate best, the performances help make it so reviewable, as does the reveal of what happened that fateful night.
(featured image: Netflix)
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