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Enter the Flanaverse: How to watch Mike Flanagan’s films

Want to get started on Mike Flanagan’s Flanaverse films? Here’s how to do it!

The Haunting of Hill House
Image credit: Netflix

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Are you ready to enter the Flanaverse? Mike Flanagan is one of the biggest names in horror filmmaking, and it isn’t hard to see why. The director’s groundbreaking films and television shows have pushed the boundaries of modern horror, entertaining and frightening audiences around the world. From television shows like The Haunting of Hill House, to films like Doctor Sleep, Flanagan continues to produce masterpiece after masterpiece.

If you’re looking to dive into Mike Flanagan’s cinematic library, Popverse has you covered. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the director’s films, and how to watch them. What is the Flanaverse? Why is Kate Siegel in so many of his films? What’s his connection to Stephen King? Here’s everything you need to know…

What is the Flanaverse?

Doctor Sleep still
Image credit: Warner Brothers

The Flanaverse is a collection of films from creator Mike Flanagan. Unlike other cinematic universes, Flanaverse projects don’t have any overt story connections. The Haunting of Hill House COULD share a continuity with The Midnight Club, but there is nothing to suggest it does. In fact, the Flanaverse has recurring actors playing different roles in different projects. For more on that, please refer to the actors section of this guide.

The Flanaverse is a name that Netflix came up with for their curated library of Flanagan projects. However, as far as classification goes, any Flanagan project can be considered part of the Flanaverse. For example, the feature film Doctor Sleep can be considered a Flanaverse film if you want. As long as it’s a Mike Flanagan horror project, it’s fair game.

If the projects have no overarching storyarc or shared continuity, then why is it called the Flanaverse? Probably because cinematic universes are a big deal now, and it’s a fun way for Netflix to market their Mike Flanagan originals.

According to Netflix, the following projects are part of the Flanaverse

  • Before I Wake (2016 film)
  • Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016 film)
  • Gerald’s Game (2017 film)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (2018 television series)
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020 television series)
  • Midnight Mass (2021 television series)
  • The Midnight Club (2022 television series)
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (2023 television series)

It should be noted that while most of these are Netflix originals, Ouija: Origin of Evil was a theatrical film that Netflix acquired the streaming rights to. This supports the argument that any Flanagan project can be considered part of the Flanaverse, whether it’s a Netflix original or not.

How to watch Mike Flanagan’s films and television shows in release order

The Haunting of Bly Manor
Image credit: Netflix

Are you ready to dive into the world of Mike Flanagan? If you want to watch all his movies and television shows in release order, here is how to do it! For this section, we’ve noted Flanagan’s role on each project.

  • Makebelieve (2000 short film) (writer and director)
  • Still Life (2001 short film) (writer and director)
  • Ghosts of Hamilton Street (2003 short film) (writer and director)
  • Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan (2006 short film) (writer and director)
  • Absentia (2011 film) (writer and director)
  • Oculus (2013 film) (writer and director)
  • Hush (2016 film) (writer and director)
  • Before I Wake (2016 film) (writer and director)
  • Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016 film) (writer and director)
  • Dobaara: See Your Evil (2017 film) (story writer and producer)
  • Gerald’s Game (2017 film) (writer and director)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (2018 television series) (creator, writer, and director)
  • Doctor Sleep (2019 film) (writer and director)
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020 television series) (creator, writer, and director)
  • Midnight Mass (2021 television series) (creator, writer, and director)
  • The Midnight Club (2022 television series) (creator, writer, and director)
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (2023 television series) (creator, writer, and director)
  • The Life of Chuck (TBA film) (writer and director)
  • The Room Returns (TBA film) (actor and producer)
  • The Dark Tower (TBA television series) (writer and director)

Do you need to watch the Mike Flanagan movies and TV shows in order?

Doctor Sleep
Image credit: Warner Brothers

Not really. Each of Mike Flanagan’s films and television shows tell their own story, without any big connection to his previous work. For example, you don’t need to watch Midnight Mass to understand The Midnight Club. You can follow the watch order in our guide, or you can just grab any title and get started. However, if you’re watching a television series, you should definitely watch the episodes in order (unless you’re feeling chaotic).

Other Mike Flanagan credits

Hot in Cleveland
Image credit: TV Land

Are you a completist? If you’re looking to watch every single project Mike Flanagan is credited on, you would need to include his television editing work. These are television projects where Flanagan served as an editor, rather than a director or writer. In other words, these are projects driven by other people, with no thematic relation to Mike Flanagan’s other work. If you watch Hot in Cleveland, don’t expect it to be anything like The Haunting of Hill House. Either way, no guide to Mike Flanagan’s work would be complete without listing these projects.

  • Untold Stories of the E.R. (2005 documentary series) (associate editor)
  • Bone Detectives (2007 documentary series) (editor)
  • Your Place or Mine? (2008 reality show) (editor)
  • Super Swank (2008 documentary series) (editor)
  • Machines of Malice (2008 documentary series) (editor)
  • Pinks: All Out (2009 reality show) (editor)
  • Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (2009 reality show) (editor)
  • Most Daring (2009 reality show) (editor)
  • Design School (2010 reality show) (editor)
  • “Behind the Hotness” Hot in Cleveland episode (2010 sitcom) (editor)

Is the Midnight Club part of the Flanaverse?

The Midnight Club
Image credit: Netflix

The Midnight Club is a Netflix original series based on a 1994 horror novels by Christopher Pike. The series follows a group of terminally ill teenagers who form a club that shares scary stories. The Midnight Club ran for 10 episodes, but it was cancelled after one season. The Midnight Club is one of the projects under Netflix’s Flanaverse banner. So yes, it’s part of the Flanaverse, but you don’t need to watch anything else to understand it. The Midnight Club (and other Flanaverse entries) are self-contained projects, with no chronological connection to one another.

Who are the same actors in the Flanaverse?

Henry Thomas in The Haunting of Hill House
Image credit: Netflix

As you watch Mike Flanagan’s movies, you might begin to notice some familiar faces. That’s because Flanagan enjoys reusing actors that he’s had good experiences with. It’s a great way to hang out with friends when you’re supposed to be working. Since Flanagan’s projects are self-contained stories, it allows him to reuse actors without disrupting continuity. Eat your heart out Marvel!

This guide isn’t big enough to catalog every actor that has appeared in multiple Flanagan projects, but here is a partial rundown of actors who have been cast in 4 or more productions – Alex Essoe, Henry Thomas, Carla Gugino, Rahul Kohli, James Flanagan, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Annabeth Gish, Robert Longstreet, and Katie Parker.

And then there’s Kate Siegel….

Is Kate Siegel in all of Mike Flanagan’s movies?

The Haunting of Bly Manor still
Image credit: Netflix

Kate Siegel isn’t in every Mike Flanagan film or televisions show, but she has appeared in a lot of them. At the time of this writing, Siegel has been cast in 8 of Flanagan’s projects, and it’s believed she’ll have another role in the upcoming film The Life of Chuck. When you look at the amount of times they’ve worked together, you might begin to wonder how close they are.

Actually, they’re married. Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel have been married since 2016, and they have a son and a daughter.

Here is a listing of all the roles Siegel has played in Flanagan’s projects.

  • Oculus – Marisol Chavez
  • Hush – Madison Young
  • Ouija: Origin of Evil – Jenny Browning
  • Gerald’s Game – Sally
  • The Haunting of Hill House – Theo Crain
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor – Viola Willoughby
  • Midnight Mass – Erin Greene
  • The Fall of the House of Usher – Camille L’Espanaye
  • The Life of Chuck – TBA

What is Mike Flanagan’s best work?

The Haunting of Hill House
Image credit: Netflix

There is no scientific way to determine Mike Flanagan’s best work. It all comes down to personal preference, but if you check social media, horror blogs, and movie review sites, there is one project that constantly lands at the top of the list.

The Haunting of Hill House is a horror mini-series that premiered on Netflix in 2018. Based on the 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, the series follows the Crain family. The Crains move into a mansion known as Hill House, hoping to renovate the property and sell it for a profit. However, a series of paranormal events begins to tear their family apart.

Maybe it’s Mike Flanagan’s greatest work, or maybe it isn’t. However, if you Google the term ‘what is Mike Flanagan’s best project,’ you’ll be surprised how many times this show pops up in the results.

What is Mike Flanagan’s connection to Stephen King?

Gerald's Game still
Image credit: Netflix

Mike Flanagan keeps on adapting Stephen King’s work, which is great news for horror fans. Flanagan has adapted Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep, and he’s just getting started. Flanagan is currently working on The Life of Chuck, which he believes could be the best movie he ever makes. King was initially reluctant to give Flanagan the film rights because he didn’t want the filmmaker to lose focus on The Dark Tower, an upcoming television adaptation of King’s novel series.

However, King was impressed with Flanagan’s pitch. And why wouldn’t he be? The filmmaker has proven himself to be one of the best (if not the best) directors of King’s work. King has been a longtime fan of Flanagan, praising his work on the horror film Hush.

When Flanagan’s filmmaking and King’s stories come together, the results are a treasure trove for viewers. Hopefully their partnership continues for years to come.

Why is Mike Flanagan leaving Netflix?

Midnight Mass
Image credit: Netflix

Mike Flanagan produced some of his greatest work on Netflix, but it’s no secret that the relationship between him and the streamer was rocky. When Netflix cancelled The Midnight Club, Flanagan made a Tumblr post airing some of his grievances against the streaming service. In an interview with Deadline, Flanagan elaborated on some of the disagreements he had with Netflix. “I think it’s safe to say that a lot has changed in the industry and Netflix in the four years since we started our deal. So, as this year started and we knew we were coming up to the end of it, we thought it would be very prudent to stick our heads out, look around and see what else may be there for us. Given how much change dieverything’s gone through in the last few years, we were feeling like there might be a better fit for us.”

That better fit turned out to be Amazon Studios. Speaking of which…

What will Mike Flanagan do next?

Mike Flanagan might be done with Netflix, but the filmmaker isn’t slowing down. He’s currently developing projects for Amazon Studios, including a television adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower. Flanagan is also working on The Life of Chuck, a Stephen King adaptation starring Time Hiddleston and Mark Hamill. He’s also producing (and acting in) The Room Returns, a remake of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Flanagan has also signed a deal with Universal Pictures to direct a film adaptation of the Christopher Pike novel The Season of Passage.

Where can I watch Mike Flanagan’s films?

The Haunting of Hill House still
Image credit: Netflix

If you’re looking to watch Mike Flanagan’s filmography, you’re going to need a Netflix subscription. Most of Flanagan’s iconic work can be found on the streaming service, including The Midnight Club, The Haunting of Hill House, Gerald’s Game, and more. It should be noted that Netflix is protective of their original projects, which means there aren't physical releases (or availability elsewhere) for most of the Flanaverse library. Amazon Studios will be handling Flanagan’s upcoming projects, including The Dark Tower, so look for those on Prime Video once they’re completed. Other Flanagan films and television projects can be found on a variety of video-on-demand platforms, including Vudu, Tubi, Apple TV, and more.

The Flanaverse is growing, so it’s the perfect time to dive in!

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About the Author
Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.