Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1 of The Midnight Club. Created by Mike Flanagan and Leah Fong, The Midnight Club follows a group of terminal patients at Brightcliffe, a hospice for young adults. The series follows the group as they come to terms with their unfair situation and learn to embrace death in order to enjoy what little life they have left. One of the most important tools these young people use to cope with the hardships of life are horror stories, stories they tell in the library when the clock chimes midnight. Hence the name of the series, as the members of the Midnight Club take turns scaring their friends and telling horror stories closely related to their personal experiences with death and illness.
Following a quasi-anthology format, each episode of The Midnight Club invites a new Brightcliffe patient to tell a horror story. All of these stories help the viewer better understand the patients while also being used to advance character arcs. So there is no question that they are all significant in their own way. However, some stories stand out as true horror stories either because they’re scary or because they’re downright weird. And now this The Midnight Club is finally available on Netflix, it’s time to rank all of the series’ individual stories from the most irrelevant to the scariest.
The Schoolgirl Ghost (Natsuki)
Maybe it’s because we only listen to the ending, but Natsuki’s (Aya Furukawa) The schoolgirl ghost story is by far the worst story in The Midnight Club. The story follows a young man who tries to return home alone at night only to be tormented by a ghost that keeps appearing on his back. The story introduces Ilonka (Iman Benson) to the Midnight Club, but serves little more purpose than that. At the very least, the tale of the schoolgirl ghost starts an interesting discussion about jump scares, signs of cheap scares but effective ways of releasing adrenaline into the bloodstream. It’s also the scene that earned Flanagan and company the Guinness World Record for most jump scares in one scene (21!).
Julia Jayne’s Story (Ilonka)
Just like Natsuki’s schoolgirl ghost story, Ilonka’s first contribution to Midnight Club is less about exploring the character’s inner universe and more about presenting the core mystery of the season. By watching Julia Jaynes (Larsen Thompson) story has a supernatural outline, Ilonka wants to test her new friends on their knowledge of Brightcliffe history while proving that she’s a good storyteller and deserves her place at the club. While Ilonka’s changes to Julia Jayne’s story are interesting, the story is just a retelling of something that will be hammered out throughout the season. Also, Ilonka never gets to finish her first horror story, which pushes that first story to the bottom of the list.
The Eternal Enemy (Spencer)
“The Eternal Enemy” does too little, too late. That’s too bad, because Spencer (Chris Sumpter) is one of the best characters in The Midnight Club. Spencer’s only horror story goes back to his college years when he met the man who would give him AIDS. But instead of dealing with the damage accidentally done to him, Spencer wants to celebrate love and his identity as a gay man. The problem with The Eternal Enemy is that the story doesn’t come until the ninth episode, when we’re all more interested in solving the series’ central mystery. The fact that this story doesn’t advance the story also hurts its reception. Finally, The Eternal Enemy is the second story of the season dealing with time travel and people changing their own destiny, which is feeling a little uninspired nearing the season finale.
See you later (Amesh)
A net (Sauryan Sapkota) presents “See You Later” after burying his suit at a fake funeral. It turns out Amesh survived longer than doctors first thought, and to celebrate the occasion, the young man tells a touching time-travel story in which he saves the entire world. See You Later isn’t scary, but it does tackle some uncomfortable themes, like the human desire to go back in time and change the course of our lives for the better. It also speaks of Amesh’s fantasy of saving the world, something he will never do due to his health condition. Despite being a wacky sci-fi story, The Eternal Enemy still isn’t disturbing enough to rank higher on this list.
Give me a kiss (Sandra)
Who would have thought that one of the most entertaining stories of The Midnight Mass would come from Sandra (Annara Cymone)? At the beginning of the series, Sandra looks like a one-dimensional religious fanatic who repels anyone who is different from what her faith preaches. But through “Give me a kiss” Sandra can show that like all her friends she is a complex person. Additionally, the story serves as an excuse for how she ignored how her religion harmed gay people like Spencer. While Gimme a Kiss represents one of the most significant character additions of the entire season, it’s also a perfect homage to campy noir stories where detectives confront absurd murders and unbelievable twists and turns. The fact that the story is presented in black and white and in a square screen format only sets Gimme a Kiss apart from the club’s other stories.
Because Witch is split into two parts, the story becomes a testament to the changes brought about by Anyas (Ruth Codd) Death. Ilonka narrates the first half of “Witch” when Anya is still alive and the girl considers using her Paragon discoveries to save her friend. Therefore, in “Witch”, Ilonka turns into a sorceress who can see into the future and unfortunately causes the death of her friend. During this first half of the story, Ilonka ponders how to confront fate and imagines the deadly consequences of preventing someone’s death. The story is not completed until the season finale, when Ilonka has already accepted that she will die just like Anya and that the Paragon magic may not be real. That changes “Witch” as the story turns into a fantasy where Ilonka gives her life to save Anya. “Witch” hits even harder when Ilonka bursts into tears and is unable to finish the story, resulting in the rest of the Midnight Club writing the happy ending.
Road to Nowhere (Natsuki)
It takes a while before Natsuki gets another chance to tell a story The Midnight Club, but when she does, she blows us away. “Road to Nowhere” has a chilling vibe as we watch a version of Natsuki drive non-stop on a road that never seems to end. Natsuki’s character Teresa grabs two hitchhikers along the way, musicians trying to get to their next gig. Liberty Jack (Henry Thomas) is carefree and wild and wants Teresa to keep going. Poppy (Alex Essoe) tries to convince the girl to stop and think about what she is doing. There is a constant eeriness in Teresa’s journey. The night is dark and fog prevents her from seeing too far, and no matter how much she drives, she still ends up at the same gas station. As it turns out, the story depicts Natsuki’s attempted suicide, a twist that’s not exactly surprising but still makes Road to Nowhere one of the most devastating stories of the season.
The Two Dana’s (Anya)
Doubles, the devil, the existential fear of losing control of one’s body… Anya’s The Two Danas raised the bar The Midnight Club Anthology really high, and only in the second episode of the series. The story follows a ballerina who makes a deal with the devil to split herself into two bodies. One body would stay home and remain the perfect daughter while the other would party like there was no tomorrow. It’s a killer concept executed flawlessly, helping to tell audiences exactly what to expect from the show: creative horror stories that serve a higher purpose as they allow audiences to better understand the members of the Midnight Club get to know.
The Bad Heart (Kevin)
Our boy Dusty takes the crown as king of horror stories The Midnight Club. Told in three gripping parts, The Wicked Heart is simultaneously a gripping serial killer story and a tragic tale of family curses. In the story, Kevin (Igby Rigney) plays the role of a serial killer haunted by the ghosts of his victims. Dusty is a likable character who can commit gruesome crimes but is still trapped in the mask he puts on to trick everyone into believing he’s perfect. And while Kevin doesn’t seem to have a killer instinct, he puts other people’s needs ahead of his desires. “The Wicked Heart” is the best story of The Midnight Club because it still serves the larger storyline and allows us to get to know Kevin. Still, this is a spooky tale that works perfectly as a twisted murderer’s tale spiced up with supernatural outlines.
The Midnight Club is available now on Netflix. Check out the trailer of the series below:
https://collider.com/all-the-midnight-club-stories-ranked-season-1/ All The Midnight Club Stories Ranked From Boring to Bone-Chilling