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    The 20 Best Moments From Mike Flanagan Films And TV Shows

    This man sure does put heart into his horror.

    Mike Flanagan has made a name for himself as a director, and not just in horror, but in pure drama.

    Mike Flanagan with Kate Siegel.
    Gregg Deguire / FilmMagic / Getty Images

    Having made modern classics like The Haunting of Hill House, Doctor Sleep, and the new Midnight Mass, Flanagan has won the praise of renowned storytellers, including Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, and William Friedkin. 

    Flanagan's work in horror has proved that he is the next Master of Suspense, and we can expect another masterpiece from his upcoming series, The Midnight Club. In recognition of his work, let's take a look at the 20 Best Moments in Mike Flanagan Films and TV Shows.


    20. The Tale of Msgr. Pruitt — Midnight Mass, "Book III: Proverbs"

    The Angel in a cave in "Midnight Mass."
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    We all knew there was something mysterious about Msgr. Pruitt, who spent the first few episodes missing from the town of Crockett Island. In the third episode of Midnight Mass, Father Paul (Hamish Linklater) tells of how Pruitt, in a fit of dementia, wandered into the desert near Jerusalem, where he encountered a winged demon inside a cave. Though it seemed like Pruitt met his end, the demon ends up feeding Pruitt its blood, making him young again and revealing he was Paul the whole time. Though Pruitt believes the creature to be an angel, we all know that this is a show about vampires.

    19. Maddie Meets the Man — Hush

    The Man behind the glass door in "Hush."
    Blumhouse / Via Netflix

    This small horror film was a simple but brilliant piece, which was elevated by the performances of its hero and villain. After deaf author Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) hangs out with her friend, Sarah (Samantha Sloyan), the latter ends up murdered by a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) with a crossbow. When she finally sees the man in person, Maddie tries to escape death by saying she won't tell and that she didn't see his face. However, the man responds by taking off his mask, showing that he is dead set on murdering her, establishing the cat and mouse battle between the film's leads.

    18. Jessie Breaks Free — Gerald's Game

    Jessie lying handcuffed to a bed in "Gerald's Game."
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    After spending most of the movie handcuffed to a bed during a romantic getaway gone wrong, protagonist Jessie (Carla Gugino) manages to break free by cutting her wrist with a shard of glass, using her blood to slip out of her bonds. It's gory and uncomfortable to watch as the skin is torn off her hand, but the fact that her solution came after remembering her repressed childhood symbolizes her escaping the grip her trauma has had on her life.

    17. Doris Sees the Demon — Ouija: Origin of Evil

    Doris looking through a planchette in "Ouija: Origin of Evil."
    Universal / Via HBO Max

    How often can you say that a prequel is 10 times better than the original? In this prequel to the critically panned Ouija, a family running a fake séance business accidentally summons a demonic entity after using the titular board in their act. In the movie's most unforgettable scene, the youngest daughter Doris (Lulu Wilson) uses the board's planchet to see the demon, who then reaches into her mouth and starts entering her body like a snake. It's one of the most unique and graphic displays of possession in horror cinema and a perfect setup for the madness that unfolds later in the film.

    16. Father Paul Feeds — Midnight Mass, "Book IV: Lamentations"

    Father Hill hugging Joe Collie in "Midnight Mass."
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    Midnight Mass explores the protagonist's struggle with alcoholism, but this scene cleverly uses vampirism as a metaphor for addiction. Though it seems like Father Paul is going to bite Joe Collie (Robert Longstreet), the latter ends up hitting his head and bleeding out on the floor. In a horrific display of addiction, Paul succumbs to his urge for blood and sucks the juice out of Joe Collie's head like it's a Slurpee. What's more, Paul and his closest followers brush off the entire incident like he just got out of a bender.

    15. Edmund's Death — The Haunting of Bly Manor, "The Way It Came"

    Edmund in front of the headlight in "The Haunting of Bly Manor."
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    In the first half of Bly Manor, the main protagonist, Dani (Victoria Pedretti), is haunted by visions of a ghoulish man wearing a glowing pair of glasses. We soon learn that this man was once her former fiancé, Edmund (Roby Attal), whom she decided not to marry due to her attraction to women. This angers Edmund, and in a shocking twist he gets hit by a truck right in front of Dani. After this, the image of Edmund's glasses in the headlights is burned into the minds of Dani and the audience. While Bly Manor wasn't as scary as Flanagan's previous projects, this moment stands out as one of the most frightening in the series. 

    14. Dan Meets "Lloyd" — Doctor Sleep

    Dan looking through a broken door in "Doctor Sleep"
    Warner Bros. / Via

    In an attempt to trap the villainous Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson), Dan (Ewan McGregor) returns to the Overlook Hotel decades after his fateful stay there. Following an exploration of the abandoned hotel, Dan encounters the ghost of his father, Jack (Henry Thomas). Surprisingly, Jack denies that he's Dan's father and claims he's actually the bartender, Lloyd. Even after a lengthy conversation with him, both Dan and the audience realize that Jack has completely surrendered himself to the will of the hotel to the point that he seems to have forgotten who he is. No one could ever replicate Jack Nicholson's brilliant performance as Jack in The Shining, but actor Henry Thomas does the classic justice. 

    13. Rose Caught in a Trap — Doctor Sleep

    Rose the Hat in the supermarket in "Doctor Sleep"
    Warner Bros. / Via

    In a surreal sequence, Rose the Hat astral projects and enters the mind of young psychic Abra (Kyliegh Curran) as she sleeps across the country. While Rose looks through the literal file cabinets of Abra's mind, the young girl catches Rose in a trap, slamming the cabinet drawer on her hand. Seeing Abra staring at her without any eyes, Rose desperately rips her hand out in a particularly gruesome fashion. Despite the gory visuals, audiences will no doubt love seeing Abra get the upper hand as she catches this murderous witch in her psychic trap.

    12. Steven Sees a Ghost — The Haunting of Hill House, "Steven Sees a Ghost"

    Nell looking at the camera in "The Haunting of Hill House"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    The first episode of Hill House really got us all hooked with its shocking ending. After returning to his home, the Crain family's eldest son, Steven (Michiel Huisman), sees his younger sister, Nell (Victoria Pedretti), inside. While things seem normal at first, he then receives a call from his father, who reveals the Nell was found dead at Hill House. After this frightening realization, Steven sees Nell screaming as her face and eyes turn grey, confirming her to be an actual ghost. And with that, the episode ends. Not the best visit from your sister.

    11. Talking About Death — Midnight Mass, "Book IV: Lamentations"

    Riley and Erin sitting together in "Midnight Mass"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    Not much happens in this scene, but it is noteworthy simply for its subject matter and the performance from the actors. After Erin (Kate Siegel) suffers a miscarriage, she is left depressed by the loss of her child. As Riley (Zach Gilford) tries to comfort her, the two of them end up discussing their theories about what happens when they die. Though Riley provides a depressing idea about it, Erin provides a hopeful and beautiful picture of the afterlife. Both of their monologues perfectly reflect their characters, and it's a glowing testament to Flanagan's brand of storytelling.

    10. The Children Give In — The Haunting of Bly Manor, "The Two Faces, Part Two"

    Dani, tied up, speaking to Flora in "The Haunting of Bly Manor"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    After trying to escape the eponymous manor with Flora (Amelie Bea Smith), Dani is taken by her brother, Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), to the attic. There, both siblings reveal their plan to let the ghosts of lovers Peter (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and Rebecca (Tahirah Sharif) possess their bodies so they can leave the house, which will allow the children to escape into their memories, free of pain or suffering. We all experience nostalgia sometime in our lives, and it's truly heartbreaking to see how far these children are willing to go in order to be happiest again.

    9. The Entire Episode — The Haunting of Hill House, "Two Storms"

    The Crain family sitting on the floor in "The Haunting of Hill House"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    This stand-out episode alternates between past and present, following the Crain family at Nell's funeral and on a night at Hill House years ago, both during storms. What's amazing about this episode is that it is presented in only a few continuous shots, even when it goes back and forth in time. It's a miraculous feat of filmmaking that harkens back to Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, fully immersing the audience in the story's voyage through history.

    8. The Kill Switch — Oculus

    Kaylie seeing her mother in the mirror in "Oculus"
    Blumhouse / Via

    In this Lovecraftian horror film, siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillian) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites) try to destroy a mysterious mirror with hallucinogenic powers that drove their parents to their deaths when they were children. They attempt to document the mirror's powers on camera before destroying it with a device holding an anchor to the ceiling. But when Tim finally activates the device, he is shocked to see that Kaylie was really standing in front of the mirror the whole time and that he unintentionally killed his sister. And with the cameras depicting him as a murderer, Tim is taken away by the police just like when he was a kid. Dark.

    7. Dan Vs. Rose — Doctor Sleep

    Abra and Dan with an ax in "Doctor Sleep"
    Warner Bros. / Via

    In the film's climactic battle at the Overlook Hotel, Dan takes an ax and faces Rose the Hat. In a sequence that perfectly mirrors Jack's encounter with Wendy in The Shining, Rose follows him throughout the room, offering him happiness and immortality with her. Of course, Dan denies her and literally throws the ax down on her. However, Rose gets the upper hand and painfully feeds on his life force ("steam"). After seeing flashes of his past stay at the hotel, Dan finally releases all the hotel's ghosts, who all devour Rose's energy until there's nothing left of her. It's a fitting punishment for such an evil woman and a perfect homage to Stanley Kubrick's horror classic.

    6. Riley's Goodbye — Midnight Mass, "Book V: Gospels"

    Riley sitting on a woman with a woman in "Midnight Mass"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    After being turned into a vampire by Father Paul and his demon master, Riley takes Erin out on a boat and confides in her. After all this, Erin worries that Riley brought her out to devour her blood. But Riley reveals that he really brought her out so he could have nowhere to run when the sun rises. This tragic but poignant scene shows Riley finally finding peace as he takes the hand of the woman (Ebony Booth) he accidentally killed drunk driving. However, Erin's screams as she watches her true love burn alive will no doubt haunt the viewer long after the credits roll.

    5. The Church Massacre — Midnight Mass, "Book VI: Act of the Apostles"

    The Angel in the church in "Midnight Mass"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    On the night of Crockett Island's Easter Mass, Father Paul finally reveals his true identity and his plans for the town. He urges everyone to drink poison so they can be reborn as vampires, and most of the townspeople actually go through with it in a mass suicide akin to Jonestown. They then come back as bloodthirsty vampires who start feeding on everyone with human blood inside the church. It's a horrific sight to see how what was once a peaceful town immediately goes to hell as they succumb to the demons inside of them.

    4. Island of Fire — Midnight Mass, "Book VII: Revelations"

    Leeza and Warren watching Crockett Island burn in "Midnight Mass"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    This is a particularly depressing conclusion in Flanagan's filmography. After everyone on Crockett Island has either been killed or turned into vampires, all the shelters have been set ablaze, leaving them without a place to hide when the sun comes up. With no way to escape death, the undead townspeople simply sing as they make peace and embrace their final demise. This apocalyptic ending is both tragic and uplifting, and the image of Leeza (Annarah Cymone) and Warren (Igby Rigney) watching the island burn as the sun rises is akin to a Biblical painting. Truly fitting for such a religious epic.

    3. Baseball Boy's Death — Doctor Sleep

    Rose and the True Knot in "Doctor Sleep"
    Warner Bros. / Via

    Horror films have always been about pushing the boundaries, but some audiences thought this scene was a bit much. Halfway into this Stephen King adaptation, a young boy with "the shining" is captured by the True Knot, a cult of psychic vampires who feed on the energy of people who "shine." The Knot slowly and brutally stabs a little boy (Jacob Tremblay) to death as they suck the life out of him, while psychic Abra watches the horror unfold from across the country. This scene was so terrifying that even King himself thought it was too much, with the scare factor being enhanced by Jacob Tremblay's unforgettably convincing performance.

    2. Nell Pops In — The Haunting of Hill House, "Witness Marks"

    Theo and Shirley in the car in "The Haunting of Hill House"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    I don't think anyone saw this one coming. After Theo (Kate Siegel) kisses Shirley's (Elizabeth Reaser) husband, both sisters start arguing in the car. But just when you thought this scene couldn't get any tenser, Nell's ghost suddenly comes out of nowhere and scares the living daylights out of everyone. After they both run out of the car, Kate Siegel's character breaks down and explains herself with an emotional monologue that really should've won her an Emmy.

    1. The Bent-Neck Lady's Reveal — The Haunting of Hill House, "The Bent-Neck Lady"

    The Bent-Neck Lady in "The Haunting of Hill House"
    Netflix / Via Netflix

    Since her stay at Hill House, Nell Crane has been tormented by visions of the mysterious Bent-Neck Lady. These visions, combined with the multiple tragedies she's experienced, cause her to break down until she finally returns to Hill House. While there, she is tricked by the ghost of her mother (Carla Gugino) into hanging herself. Then, in a terrifying twist, it is revealed that Nell was the Bent-Neck Lady all along, horrifically implying that she was always destined to die the way she did. After the audience hears Nell scream at her younger self, they will definitely remember this as one of the best twists in series history.

    Do you agree with this list? Are there any scenes that you'd like to add? Let us know below in the comments!