The Midnight Club: the Netflix series broke a horror record

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Mike Flanagan's new Netflix series The Midnight Club has already broken a record for a horror TV series.

The famous shower scene in Psychosis made several generations of viewers jump in fear thanks to the evocative power deployed by Alfred Hitchcock. Since then, many horrific works, cinematographic or television have taken up this ostentatious, but most of the time effective process, from Halloween by John Carpenter to the series The Haunting of Hill House. While plenty of goods shouldn't hurt, too many jumpscares often cause the opposite of the intended effect.

Unfortunately, many directors of the genre use until the overdose of this method. At first glance, the disturbing The Midnight Club, which centers its narrative around a hospital of terror and disturbing stories told by patients, was bound to be full of more than usual. However, during the New York Comic-Con convention, information corroborated this supposition, and even surpassed it.

Indeed, during the convention, an assembly chaired by journalist Perri Nemiroff (Collider) awarded the team of The Midnight Club a certificate approved by Andrew Glass, official judge for the Guinness World Record: record for the number of jumpscares present in a single episode of a series. Indeed, one of the episodes of The Midnight Clubhas 21 jumpscares in all, an absolute record for this type of program. Known for his work on Midnight Sermons or The Haunting of Hill House, Mike Flanagan strikes another blow with The Midnight Club.

We can obviously wonder about the need to insert so many jumpscares when each section only lasts a maximum of one hour. If we establish the minutes/jumpscares ratio of this famous record episode (the first therefore lasting 58 minutes), it offers an average of one jumpscare every 2 minutes and 45 seconds. A very very high ratio which risks, on paper, falling into useless one-upmanship and therefore boring or on the contrary amusing instead of terrorizing. Warning the sequel contains spoilers on the first episode of the series.

However, the curious who have already been able to discover the first episode of the series know that this record number of jumpscares is not trivial. On the contrary, the profusion of jumpscares comes during a story told by one of the teenagers of the famous “midnight club” and focuses on a sequence of less than three minutes. And this excessive exploitation fuels this teenager's inability to frighten her partners with terror, forcing her to multiply jumpscares in the hope of creating a scare on the benches of the club.

Suffice to say that the series plays on this ground precisely to denounce the superficiality of jumpscares when they are overused and therefore misused in horrific works. A clever idea to play with the meta side of the series, the series seeking, in part, to scare or criticize the genre through the own mini-stories of its characters. In any case, if you want to judge now, The Midnight Club is available on Netflix since October 7.

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