Mike Flanagan's new TV series The Midnight Club has only just landed on Netflix today, but the Guinness Book of World Records has already bestowed the filmmaker with the record for "most scripted jump scares in a single television episode," per Variety. The accolade was bestowed upon him during the series' panel at New York Comic Con, with a representative of the organization claiming that the series premiere includes 21 instances of the genre trope. Interestingly, Flanagan himself thought the recognition was ironic, as he claimed he is often given the note to incorporate more jump scares into the stories he tells.
"This is particularly important to me because I hate jump scares and I think they are the worst," Flanagan shared during a press conference earlier that day. "My whole career, people have been like, 'Put more jump scares in, and do them faster!'"
The filmmaker's reaction to being told to include more jump scares was to lean so heavily on the trope that he embraced the extreme opposite end of the spectrum.
"The notes were already coming in of, 'Time to do jump scares.' So I thought, we're going to do all of them at once and, if we do it right, a jump scare will be rendered meaningless for the rest of the series and we'll just destroy it and kill it, finally, until it's dead," the filmmaker confessed. "But that didn't happen. They were like, 'Great! More of those!' So my whole career I've completely just sh-t on jump scares as a concept, and now I want to make sure that it was pinned to me as much as it is to the show and Netflix and all of us who have inflicted this on everyone, now I have my name in the Guinness Book of World Records for jump scares, which means the next time I get the note I can say, 'As the current world record holder in jump scares, I can tell you I don't think we need one here.' And that's my whole strategy."
Despite how effective the tactic can be on screen, Flanagan noted that it's not quite as chilling on set.
"Filming a jump scare is ridiculous, because just outside of frame everyone is just waiting to do the scare," Flanagan confessed. "We got to have the kind of fun I never have at work."
The Midnight Club is now streaming on Netflix.
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