Mike Flanagan (born May 20, 1978 in Salem, Massachusetts) is an American director and screenwriter.
He primarily works in the horror genre and made his name with his films in this wheelhouse, all of which he directed, wrote, and edited. He has also created several horror shows for Netflix, starting with The Haunting of Hill House (2018), which was based on Shirley Jackson's novel of the same name.
A lifelong Stephen King fan, Flanagan has said that making an adaptation of The Dark Tower is his biggest dream. He acquired the rights to the books in 2022, though considering the long and tortured history of attempted Dark Tower adaptations, there's no guarantee anything will come of it.
He's married to Kate Siegel and they have two children together.
- Absentia (2011)
- Oculus (2013)
- Hush (2016)
- Before I Wake (2016)
- Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
- Gerald's Game (2017)
- The Haunting series
- Doctor Sleep (2019)
- Midnight Mass (2021)
- The Midnight Club (2022)note
- The Life of Chuck (TBA)
Tropes & Trivia in his works:
- The Alcoholic: A recurring theme in his works is alcoholism and the damaging effects it has on both the alcoholic and those around them, with Doctor Sleep and Midnight Mass (2021) both focusing heavily on the lead character's efforts to maintain sobriety. He has said it's based in part around his own struggles and efforts to get sober that began in 2018.
- Anyone Can Die: No character is safe in Mike Flanagan's films, especially his protagonists.
- Creator Couple: With his wife Kate Siegel; she acts in almost all of his projects and they co-wrote Hush.
- Creator In-Joke: The Lasser Glass from Oculus will at times make its appearances in his films with the exception of Absentia.
- Creator Thumbprint: In every one of Flanagan’s projects, there will be someone (or something) with unearthly, glowing irises, glinting from the darkness… and every time, it will be creepy as hell.
- Dysfunctional Family: A recurring element in his work between Oculus, Before I Wake, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Fall of the House of Usher.
- Parents as People: Played for drama and even horror in Oculus, Before I Wake and The Haunting of Hill House.
- Production Posse:
- If you see his projects, expect his wife Kate Siegel to show up a lot. Not that it's a bad thing considering Siegel's own talent as an actress.
- Others include Henry Thomas, Carla Gugino and Elizabeth Reaser. Rahul Kohli, Bruce Greenwood, Victoria Pedretti, Samantha Sloyan, Alex Essoe and Katie Parker have also appeared in multiple works of his.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Almost all his works have female leads or major characters who have dark hair and pale skin.
- Signature Style: He sticks to the Psychological Horror genre.
- Bittersweet Endings are usually his foray as well, as they seem to go more than just straight Downer Endings.
- Exploring the relationships between estranged and troubled family members.
- Lean and Mean ghosts, demons and even human characters who prefer to stick to the shadows.
- Especially in his Netflix shows, characters have a tendency to go on long monologues that are often shot in one long take.
- Statuesque Stunner: If his works have a central female character, she'll likely be tall and very good-looking.