X

10 Shows Like 'The Midnight Club' to Watch Next

Some horror stories are supernatural, some are psychological, many combine both elements.
by Katie Song — 
tmc-104-unit-00238rc

'The Midnight Club'

Netflix

Murder, shadows, and evil doubles abound around the Breakfast-Club-like gang of teenage patients in hospice in Mike Flanagan's latest Netflix series The Midnight Club.

Based on the young adult novel by Christopher Pike, The Midnight Club follows Ilonka (Iman Benson), a Stanford-bound high school senior whose plans are put on hold when she's diagnosed with terminal thyroid cancer. When she decides to stay at Brightcliffe, a hospice for teens, Ilonka befriends the other patients Spencer (William Chris Sumpter), Natsuki (Aya Furukawa),  Kevin (Igby Rigney), Cheri (Adia), Sandra (Annarah Cymone), Amesh (Sauriyan Sapkota), and Anya (Ruth Codd). One night after hours as Ilonka explores the somewhat foreboding premises, she stumbles upon the other patients in the library telling scary stories. They call themselves — you guessed it — the Midnight Club. 

As Ilonka grows closer with the group and gains more of their trust, she comes to realize that the stories aren't entirely fictional, alluding to each teen's own life and struggles. Between Brightcliffe's dark corridors and the teen's scary stories, Ilonka finds that her new life certainly holds more than meets the eye.

Flanagan's horror series are known for their tactful emotional pull accompanied by iconic scares, and The Midnight Club is no exception. The show deals with issues of mental illness, sexuality, and grief as well as the question as to what happens after you die. While many young adult stories can often romanticize real-life illnesses, this horror series portrays each patient's illnesses in such a way that is grounded in sincerity and human connection. For fans of Flanagan's work, The Midnight Club is not one to miss.

Here are 10 shows we recommend you watch if you like The Midnight Club, ranked by Metascore.


lovecraft-country-youtube.png

Jonathan Majors in 'Lovecraft Country'

HBO

Lovecraft Country

Metascore: 79
Best for: Fans of period pieces and Jonathan Majors
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, ,
Seasons: 1

Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country follows veteran Atticus Freeman (Majors), his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a journey across 1950s America in search of his missing father. It is Jim Crow America and between racist whites and otherworldly monsters, the group must struggle to survive and overcome whatever evils come their way. Nominated for several Emmys, this critically acclaimed series boasts a tale of real-world terrors combined with the supernatural, not unlike the stories told by The Midnight Club but deals in more mature themes.

"Misha Green's spellbinding Lovecraft Country defies genre stereotypes with fantastic Black talent both in front of and behind the camera." — Candice Frederick


the-haunting-of-hill-house-youtube.png

Michiel Huisman in 'The Haunting of Hill House'

Netflix

The Haunting of Hill House

Metascore: 79
Best for: Fans of red doors and horror novels
Where to watch:

, Google Play, Netflix, Vudu
Seasons: 1

Flanagan's first Netflix series follows five adult siblings — Steven (Michiel Huisman), Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser), Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), Theo (Kate Siegel), and Nell (Victoria Pedretti) — who are confronted by their haunted past and must come together in the wake of tragedy. The series bounces between two storylines, both past and present, as it recounts the family's horrors during their time at Hill House, a mansion that the family sought to renovate in order to sell. The show deals with trauma, familial bonds, grief, and, oh, it's really scary. Like The Midnight Club, this series delves into matters that are deeply human in a world that is less so.

"A horror series that doesn't immediately make a case for itself; like the best of the genre, it's slowly insinuating, building in power as it tells a story of repressed trauma and family discord." — Daniel D'Addario, Variety


channel-zero-youtube.png

'Channel Zero'

NBCU

Channel Zero

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of creepypastas and anthology series
Where to watch:

, ,
Seasons: 4

Based on popular internet horror stories, this 2017 horror series dedicates each of its four seasons to four different terrifying tales. For starters, the first season is based on the story "Candle Cove," in which a child psychologist visits home to determine if his brother's disappearance is related to a creepy children's television series that aired at the same time. Season 2 centers around a house of horrors; Season 3 follows the investigation of a potentially murderous butcher, and Season 4 tells the story of a newlywed couple who discovers a mysterious door in their basement. The lively pace of new stories each season will surely satisfy any fan of The Midnight Club.

"Channel Zero's more mundane approach to horror might keep it on the outskirts of popular attention, but the show is all the more compelling for its restraint." — Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic


the-terror-youtube.png

Jared Harris in 'The Terror'

AMC

The Terror

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of the Royal Navy and arctic tundras
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , ,
Seasons: 2

Following the anthology series trend, The Terror is a pyschological thriller series that recounts historical fiction dramas in each of its two seasons. The first season is based on the 2007 novel by Dan Simmons that tells the story of the explorer ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in search of the uncharted Northwest Passage. When the ships become frozen and trapped in ice, the crew is left to fend for themselves against not only the harsh terrain but a mysterious threat. The second season centers on a bakemono that haunts Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II. The Terror utilizes a historical framework to spin a spooky story, and like The Midnight Club, shows audiences that fictional horrors are not far off from real life.

"The series is striking not only for its scope, but for how uncompromising it is." — Steven Scaife, Slant


mmass-105-unit-05390rc

'Midnight Mass'

Netflix

Midnight Mass

Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of mysterious monsignors and small-town sentiments
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1

Also from Flanagan, Midnight Mass follows Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), a man haunted by having killed a woman in a drunk driving incident. Released from prison, he returns to his small hometown on Crockett Island in the hopes of rebuilding his life. At the same time, a mysterious and handsome priest (played by Hamish Linklater) arrives to replace the community's older one, in an attempt to revive the town's dwindling faith. But when mysterious events begin to plague the small town, Riley can't help but question the priest's true intentions. In classic Flanagan fashion, this series delves into life's most pressing questions from religion to loss.

"It's heady, highbrow horror that, though talky, grows more engrossing the longer you stick with it." — Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


strangerthings-strangerthings4-9-00-35-34-09

Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown in 'Stranger Things'

Netflix

Stranger Things

Metascore: 74
Best for: '80s kids and D&D heads
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 4 (so far)

Acclaimed for its nostalgic charm and charismatic youthful cast, Stranger Things tells the story of a powerful teen named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who escapes an underground government program, where she was trained to use her psychic abilities. Set in 1980s Indiana, Eleven joins forces with local nerds Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Will (Noah Schnapp) to battle demogorgons, Mind Flayers, and monsters of the like, while also learning what it means to be a kid. Like The Midnight Club, this series wields the power of young friendships to battle forces ranging from the mundane to the supernatural.

"The pace is brisk, the gang's all (eventually) here and there's a lot coming down the pike – so settle in for the ride." — Michael Starr, New York Post


american-horror-story-youtube.png

John Carroll Lynch in 'American Horror Story: Freak Show'

FX

American Horror Story

Metascore: 65
Best for: Fans of Ryan Murphy
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 11 (so far)

Created by Murphy and Brad Falchuk, this long-running anthology series tackles new themes and stories in each season, though all of them exist in the same fictional universe, and in later seasons characters have returned. Common cast members through the years have included Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Lily Rabe. The first season, subtitled Murder House, takes place in modern-day Los Angeles in which a family moves into a haunted house and is tormented by its generations of ghosts, but subsequent seasons dip into different periods and locations while exploring covens, vampires, aliens, cults, and more. Like The Midnight Club, American Horror Story does not shy away from different genres and portrays an array of time periods and horror genres ranging from carnivals to covens.

"The show may be ridiculous, but the humiliation and panic feel real. And there's something to be said for surprise." — Emily Nussbaum, Vulture


haunting-of-bly-manor-youtube.png

Victoria Pedretti in 'The Haunting of Bly Manor'

Netflix

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of nonlinear storytelling and au pairs
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1

The Haunting of Bly Manor is the second and final installment of The Haunting series from Flanagan. It follows Dani (Pedretti), a young American who is hired as an au pair for the two children living at Bly Manor. Unbeknownst to Dani, the manor is haunted, and through a disjointed tale between past and present, she soon uncovers the grounds' dark secrets. Like The Midnight Club, this series tackles themes of love, life after death, and an inability to let go.

"An entertaining and evocative followup to Hill House, despite never quite reaching the heights of its predecessor." — Sadie Gennis, TV Guide


lore-youtube.png

'Lore'

Prime Video

Lore

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of Lore (the podcast) and historical horror
Where to watch:


Seasons: 2

Based on the podcast series of the same name, this horror anthology series features new horror stories every episode, using documentary footage and staged scenes to walk its audience through the origins of each horror story. Narrated by Aaron Mahnke, the series opens with the story "They Made a Tonic," which delves into the 1800s New England belief that disease could only be stopped by making sure the dead are really dead. 

"It can entertain with its information, but the audience has no investment in what's going on beyond curiosity, and live-action scenes take you out of what's happening." — Ben Travers, IndieWire


red-band-society-youtube.png

'Red Band Society'

ABC

Red Band Society

Metascore: 58
Best for: Fans of teen dramas and Octavia Spencer
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 1

This 2014 medical dramedy follows a group of teenagers who live together as patients in the pediatric ward of a hospital. The series opens with Kara (Zoe Levin), a popular high school cheerleader, who collapses during practice and is admitted to the Ocean Park Hospital. It's there that she meets the other residents of the ward, each with their own reasons for being there. Though the show is not a horror series, Red Band Society stands as the most similar to The Midnight Club in its foundation of community and trust amongst sick young people.

"Red Band Society has a tone that is both sassy and sorrowful, a carefully calculated balance of humor and sentiment." — Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times