This New Netflix Series Is So Scary, It Broke a World Record
Guinness World Records recognized The Midnight Club for a very spooky reason.
When it comes to scary movies and TV shows, some viewers are more spooked by psychological scares, while other just can't handle anything jumping out at them on screen. If you fit into the latter category, you may want to avoid—or immediately check out—the new Netflix series The Midnight Club. The new show, from the creator of some of the service's other horror hits, is so full of jump scares that it actually set a Guinness World Record. Read on to learn more about The Midnight Club, which is streaming now.
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The Midnight Club follows a group of sick teens.
The Midnight Club, which premiered on Netflix Oct. 7, is about a group of terminally ill teenagers living in a hospice care home. The teens meet up at midnight to share ghost stories, and they also make an agreement that the first of them to die will communicate from the afterlife. It's based on the 1994 novel The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike.
It broke a record for jump scares.
The first episode of The Midnight Club set a new Guinness World Record for the most jump scares in a single episode of television, with a total of 21. According to Entertainment Weekly, a representative from Guinness was in attendance when the first episode of the show premiered at New York Comic Con on Thursday, Oct. 6 and made the record official.
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The series creator never wanted to rely on those kinds of scares in his projects.
Mike Flanagan, who co-created the show with Leah Fong, said at Comic Con that he hates jump scares but has been encouraged to include more of them throughout his career. Flanagan also directed the horror movies Oculus, Gerald's Game, and Doctor Sleep, and the miniseries Midnight Mass and The Haunting of Hill House, among other projects.
In 2016, he told BuzzFeed, "I don't even like to call them jump scares. They drive me nuts, because I think it's just startling. There's no artistry in walking up behind somebody and smashing a cymbal behind their head and making them flinch." The director also explained, "Horror itself is becoming mistaken for loud sounds. The more I can work against that, just career-wise—I will always want to."
The jump scares in The Midnight Club are very intentional.
The jump scares in the first episode of The Midnight Club aren't just there to put viewers on edge. Instead, there are so many included so that they become less powerful over time.
"I thought, 'We're going to do all of them at once, and then if we do it right, a jump scare will be rendered meaningless for the rest of the series.' It'll just destroy it. Kill it finally until it's dead," Flanagan said at the premiere, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. "But that didn't happen. They were like, 'Great! More [scares]!'"
The show even pokes fun at that kind of horror.
According to EW, the first episode of The Midnight Club calls out the use of jump scares within the show.
While listening to a ghost story from a fellow member of the group, one teen says, "Startled isn't the same as scared. Anyone can bang pots and pans behind someone's head. That's not scary. It's just startling. And it's lazy as [expletive]."
Flanagan is proud of the record anyway.
Flanagan might have set a record for something that he doesn't even like about the genre, but he sees a real benefit to it regardless.
"My whole career I completely [expletive] on jump scares as a concept, and I wanted to make sure it was pinned to me, too, as much as it is to the show, to Netflix, and all of us who have inflicted this on everyone," he said. "Now, I have my name in the Guinness Book of World Records for jump scares, which means next time I get the note, I can say, 'You know, as the current world record holder for jump scares, I don't think we need one here.'"