Mike Flanagan’s new horror mini-series “Midnight Mass” premiered on Netflix on Friday, September 24. Helpful horror (and animal) fans have already pointed out some upsetting scenes pet lovers might want to skip in the TV show, which is set in fictional Crockett Island (real location: Richmond, British Columbia, in Canada).
ANIMAL SPOILERS BELOW
In the first episode, we meet Crockett Island teenagers Ooker (Louis Oliver), Ali (Rahul Abburi), and Warren (Igby Rigney), who paddle out to nearby island The Uppards to smoke some weed. Ooker tries to spook the other two guys with tales of bodies having been buried on the islands 100 years ago – and then resurfacing as food for all the feral cats.
Warren debunks that old wives tale, saying those bodies would just be bones by now. While they smoke in a clearing, the hear the cats either fighting or having sex.
However, their discussion sets up the grim reveal at the end of episode. At 55:28, newly released convict Riley (Zach Gilford) – Warren’s older brother – is walking near the beach when he sees seagulls flocking. As he continues walking, he’s horrified to see the beach is littered with dozens of dead cats, which the birds are feeding on.
Even more horrifying is what happened to a character’s beloved pet dog. We first meet Pike, a big black dog, in the first episode as he waits for his owner, town drunk Joe Collie (Robert Longstreet). Joe has been locked up again for drinking and trying to break into a local store. When he gets out of the local jail, his pup is waiting for him outside.
Joe also finds religious fanatic townswoman Bev (Samantha Sloyan), who is upset because the dog barked at her. She tells Sheriff Hassan (Rahul Kohli) that the dog is a “menace.”
If you want to avoid the dog’s agonizing death scene in the second episode, per Twitter user Sarah Miles, “Major content warning for episode 2 of #MidnightMass involving the death of a dog (as well as the dead cats in the first scene). If you want to skip the visual, it’s from 34:06 (about after the line “you’re gonna be great” is spoken) to 36:31.”
According to Ready Steady Cut, “This death is actually one of the first we see in the series, and it’s an awful one for any animal lovers. Joe is heartbroken, but also furious since he and basically everyone else knows exactly who is responsible.” Bev is seen taking chemicals taken from the school’s storage that she claimed were to combat a rat infestation.
Flanagan has included animal deaths in his previous Netflix series:
A litter of sickly kitten dies – and then return as a horrifying vision – in The Haunting of Hill House. Read: ‘The Haunting of Hill House’: A Box of Kittens
And a disturbed school child kills a teacher’s pet bird so he can be sent home in The Haunting of Bly Manor. Read: ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’: The Teacher’s Pet