Netflix's The Midnight Club: The plot, setting and viewer reactions to the new horror show

Netflix's The Midnight Club has already broken records - this is everything you need to know...

Netflix The Midnight Club
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's The Midnight Club has arrived just in time for Halloween - but if you're easily scared, this might not be the series for you. 

The Midnight Club has earned itself a Guinness World Record for the most jump scares in a single episode. This comes as no surprise as one of the co-creators is Mike Flanagan, who was at the helm of other Netflix hit horror series The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and 2021’s Midnight Mass. 

There's no shortage of thrilling Netflix shows to watch at the moment, with the harrowing I Came By and true crime series like The Thing About Pam gripping viewers. New Netflix series The Midnight Club dropped on Friday and viewers have taken to social media to express their approval of the show, calling it a "beautiful" and "heartbreaking" take on the horror genre. So what is The Midnight Club about and is it as scary as its reputation would have us believe?

*Does not contain spoilers for The Midnight Club*

What is The Midnight Club about?

Netflix The Midnight Club

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Midnight Club is based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Christopher Pike and his later works. The plot follows a group of terminally ill teenagers who are living together in an end-of-life facility called Brightcliffe Hospice that's been developed specifically for young people.

Each night, at midnight, the teenagers get together in the hospice's eerie library to swap horror stories. One night, they make a pact that whoever dies first will give the rest of the group a message from the beyond to determine whether there is an afterlife. 

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After one of the patients in the hospice passes away, soon strange occurrences begin happening around the property, but it's all far more sinister than the teenagers envisaged.

There are 10 episodes of The Midnight Club in total and each episode is around an hour in length.

When is The Midnight Club set?

The Midnight Club is set in 1994, the same year that the original novel was set. This means it harks back to '90s nostalgia, with plenty of nods to '90s makeup, '90s fashion trends, and memorabilia. 

The soundtrack is also, naturally, full of '90s classics including the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. For pop culture fans, there are also plenty of references to the classic teen movies of the '80s and '90s, including the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club.

Is The Midnight Club scary?

The short answer is yes - with the Guinness World Record for the most scripted jump scares in a single episode - that's 21 in total - you should expect a few frightening moments.

However, as with Flanagan's previous horror series, it's not all cheap thrills and gore - like Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Blye Manor that came before it, the storyline is emotional and there's a lot of investment in the characters, as one viewer expressed on social media after watching the series. 

Writing on Twitter, a fan of the series said, ""i truly hope mike flanagan wins an emmy for the episode “anya” of the midnight club. i have never cried like this through an episode of tv. it is so beautiful and heartbreaking." To which another viewer replied, "you’ve done it again @flanaganfilm."

What are viewers saying about The Midnight Club?

So far, the reviews have been mainly positive, with viewers taking to Twitter to praise Mike Flanagan's storytelling skills. 

"The Midnight Club on Netflix—Mike Flanagan obviously—has some of the best dialogue and story-within-a-story framing work and use of metaphor and trauma psychology I’ve ever seen on television," said one viewer after watching the show.

"The midnight club has succesfully hooked me on to it. It's been a while since any show's done that," wrote another impressed viewer of The Midnight Club.

"Just finished The Midnight Club. Goddamn does Mike Flanagan know how to hit me directly in the feels. This was really beautiful. Loved seeing the Flanaverse regulars pop in here and there, but the show really belonged to the young cast, who completely knocked it out of the park," wrote another fan. 

But not everyone was a fan of the show, with some viewers finding the horror show more comical than scary. "Y’all that jump scare scene in the first episode of The Midnight Club is the funniest dang thing I’ve ever seen," wrote a less-than-impressed viewer. 

All episodes of The Midnight Club are available for streaming on Netflix now.

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.