Mike Flanagan's The Midnight Club Has Already Broken A World Record

Jump scares are an essential part of horror, but it's one of those things that a lot of people feel can be cheap or unnecessary. There is certainly a conversation to be had in that regard but when done correctly, they can be incredibly effective – just watch "The Exorcist III." Now, quantity over quality isn't always the way to go but Mike Flanagan, the man behind "The Haunting of Hill House" and "Doctor Sleep," just set the record in that department (literally) with his new show, "The Midnight Club."

As reported by Variety, Flanagan and his collaborators now hold the Guinness World Record "most scripted jump scares in a single television episode." There are a grand total of 21 jump scares packed into the premiere episode of the show, which is the filmmaker's latest collaboration with Netflix. "This is particularly important to me because I hate jump scares and I think they are the worst," Flanagan said at a press conference. "My whole career, people have been like, put more jump scares in, and do them faster!"

It is pretty fair to say that Flanagan, who also counts "Midnight Mass" and the woefully underrated "Hush" on his resume, is a modern master of horror. But it's also fair to say that he often resists jump scares in favor of something arguably richer, or at least different. So it's pretty impressive that when the man said "f*** it" and finally went for it, he literally set a world record.

Taking ownership of the jump scare

"The Midnight Club" is set at a hospice with a mysterious history, where eight members of a secret club meet at midnight to tell scary stories. The show is based on the works of author Chrisopher Pike and, much like the novels, it is set in the '90s. Flanagan co-created the show with Leah Fong ("Once Upon a Time").

Speaking further at the event, Flanagan explained that this was intentional — not so much the world record, but the density of jump scares. His idea was to use them so much that they would be all but useless moving forward. That might have backfired a bit, but now he's got this record to fall back on.

"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. But that didn't happen. They were like, 'Great! More of those!' So my whole career I've completely just s*** 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."

"The Midnight Club" is now streaming on Netflix.