A Guinness World Record for the most scripted jump scares in a single episode of television has a claimant. Coincidentally (well, not really), it’s a new series premiering on Netflix.
Series cocreator Mike Flanagan and his creative team were presented with a certificate honoring the new record of 21 jump scares at Netflix New York headquarters on Thursday. That’s just a day before his new series, The Midnight Club, bows on the streamer.
A representative for Guinness, adjudicator Andrew Glass, was in attendance to make it official.
Flanagan isn’t really a fan of jump scares, but decided he’d shut up those clamoring for more of them by going over the top in the new series.
“I thought, ‘We’re going to do all of them at once, and then if we do it right, a jump scare will be rendered meaningless for the rest of the series.’ It’ll just destroy it. Kill it finally until it’s dead, But that didn’t happen. They were like, ‘Great! More [scares]!'”
The Midnight Club, cocreated by Flanagan and Leah Fong, is an adaptation of Christopher Pike’s teen novel. The story is set at Brightcliffe Hospice, a place for terminally ill teenagers with its own eerie history.
Eight of the residents — Iman Benson’s Ilonka, Adia’s Cheri, Igby Rigney’s Kevin, Annarah Cymone’s Sandra, Aya Furukawa’s Natsuki, Ruth Codd’s Anya, Sauriyan Sapkota’s Amesh, and Chris Sumpter’s Spencer — gather each night in the library at the stroke of midnight for gatherings of the Midnight Club, a group where members share ghost stories and look for signs of life beyond death.
“My whole career I completely shat on jump scares as a concept, and I wanted to make sure it was pinned to me, too, as much as it is to the show, to Netflix, and all of us who have inflicted this on everyone,” Flanagan said. “Now, I have my name in the Guinness Book of World Records for jump scares, which means next time I get the note, I can say, ‘You know, as the current world record holder for jump scares, I don’t think we need one here.'”
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