'Midnight Mass.'
Source: Netflix

'Midnight Mass' Has an Ambiguous Time Period to Make the Horrors Feel More Real (SPOILERS)

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Sep. 26 2021, Published 4:37 p.m. ET

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Midnight Mass Season 1.

The latest Netflix horror series crafted by mastermind Mike Flanagan is Midnight Mass, and the show has audiences everywhere on edge. Set in the fictional town of Crockett Island, the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater) brings religious fervor to the community. But Father Paul's arrival might bring more harm than good, and the show quickly takes a dark turn.

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The show's setting might be fictional, but when does Midnight Mass take place? Is it meant to be set in the past or the future? And what does that have to do with the mysterious monsters in town? Here's everything we know about Midnight Mass' time, explained.

'Midnight Mass' characters Riley and Father Paul Hill.
Source: Netflix
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When does 'Midnight Mass' take place? The set provides a few hints.

While Midnight Mass doesn't give a set period in which it takes place, but a few items around the set gives clues as to what period the show could be. For example, in the first episode, Annie Flynn (Kristin Lehman) speaks to her son on a landline phone with a cord popular from 1970 onwards.

Based on the characters' relatively modern hair and clothing, the show could be set in a middling present, not entirely with the times, but not significantly in the past. None of the characters seem to carry cellphones either, which is also potentially indicative of the Island's remote nature as well as the show's period.

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'Midnight Mass.'
Source: Netflix

The benefits to having a show set in an ambigous time period makes the audience feel like the events that unfold in the show could happen to any town, any where, any time. It leaves both the creator and the audience more room to suspend disbelief. Showrunner, director, and writer Mike Flanagan hasn't made any comments specific to the show's period, but maybe he will clarify in the near future.

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Horror fans were shocked at the reveal of vampires on 'Midnight Mass.'

Audience members quickly come to realize that there is a mysterious creature plaguing Crockett Island, but it isn't until Episode 3 that the idea of vampires is introduced on the show. Father Paul Hill reveals himself to be the missing Monsignor Pruitt, who disappears at the beginning of the show, much to parishioners' distress. Father Paul claims that it is because of the vampire — who he refers to as an "angel"— that he has become young again.

Rahul Kohli as Sheriff Hassan in 'Midnight Mass.'
Source: Netflix
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As most horror fans know, vampires rapidly become more trouble than they're worth, and the same is true on Midnight Mass. Father Paul eventually gives most of the residents' vampirism, believing it to be a miracle or gift from God. The vampires are eventually defeated at the price of the town, but not without some losses.

Midnight Mass is now streaming on Netflix.

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