Christopher Pike's The Midnight Club Is Coming to Netflix - Comic Years
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Christopher Pike’s The Midnight Club Is Coming to Netflix

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BY May 8, 2020

Master of YA horror and Christopher Pike is an author that is beloved by a generation of genre readers. Weirdly, very few of Pike’s novels have ever made it to screen in the 30 years that he has been writing. His novel Fall Into Darkness was made into a tv movie in 1996, but beyond that there is nothing. Given his vast body of work and the popularity of his books, it is strange that more of them have not been adapted. Now that is all set to change with a Netflix adaptation of Pike’s bestselling novel The Midnight Club.

Mike Flanagan and Leah Fong are onboard to co-write and executive produce the series, fresh off their work on Netflix’s upcoming series The Haunting of Bly Manor. Reports indicate that the series will also incorporate elements from other Christopher Pike novels, which is certainly interesting given his extensive bibliography.

Christopher Pike Was A Bestselling Horror Author In The 90’s

The Midnight Club Netflix Image via Simon & Schuster

Even those who have not read Christopher Pike might recognize his novels from their iconic 90’s cover art. Neon embossed lettering and cartoonish characters jumped out at anyone perusing the shelf. Other popular YA horror authors such as R.L. Stine also wrote fiction during this time. Stine tends to get more attention, but Pike is by far the better writer. Sadly, the majority of Pike’s earlier work has been out of print for several years. Hopefully the new Netflix adaptation of The Midnight Club will spur a reprinting of some of his classics.

Pike was definitely a writer for teenagers as opposed to kids. His novels did not flinch away from the realities of being a teenager, frequently depicting sex and drug usage. Often the horror was entwined with the real world fears around these taboos. At other times his stories were completely nuts in the best way. Twins framing each other for murder; also ghosts who have to solve their own murders, a girl who lives until the end of time and keeps reliving history over and over as different people. Time travel, ancient gods, lizard people, vampires, robots, Pike covered the gamut of genre from horror to sci-fi and fantasy. His work is rife for adaptation, and we can only hope that The Midnight Club will be the first of more Netflix shows from Christopher Pike in the future.

The Midnight Club Is A Study In The Horror Of Chronic Illness

The Midnight Club was published in 1994, at the height of teen horror movie popularity. It has a very 90’s horror film synopsis as well. But the synopsis doesn’t quite do the novel justice.

Rotterdam Home, a hospice where teenagers with terminal illnesses went to die, was home to the Midnight Club. A group of five young men and women who met at midnight and told stories of intrigue and horror. One night they made a pact that the first of them to die would make every effort to contact the others…from beyond the grave.

The Midnight Club is a truly beautiful and scary novel that I loved as a teenager. It is one of the more profound Pike novels, meditating on themes of loss and grief. The horror inherent within the text is a real life horror of facing death as a youth, when everything should be full of life and promise. This is actually one of Pike’s more constrained novels, not nearly as weird or wacky as some of his other work.

The Midnight Club Netflix Image via Simon & Schuster

How Will Pike’s Other Work Be Incorporated Into The Midnight Club?

The Midnight Club is reminiscent of Are You Afraid of the Dark? The framing is centered around stories told by dying teenagers late at night. With the knowledge that other Pike stories will be incorporated into the Netflix adaptation of The Midnight Club, I wonder if some of these stories will be altered to reflect other texts by the author.

The stories told in the novel range from scary to deeply moving. A study in how to face life and death at a young age, the novel also deals with ideas about reincarnation and second chances. The story of The Midnight Club is also incredibly sad. It is unclear if Netflix will take any liberties with the story (hopefully not) but this is a show that is guaranteed to be a tear-jerker.

A Quick Plea For More Christopher Pike Adaptations

If R.L Stine was the horror author of choice for kids, then Christopher Pike was always the next step up for genre fans. Going from Goosebumps and Fear Street to Pike’s excellent Last Vampire series was a natural reading progression for young readers transitioning from childhood fears to teenage angst. (Side note: with all of the oversaturation of vampire novels turned into television and movies how have we never seen The Last Vampire come to life onscreen? It is so much better than the majority of the other YA vampire series like for example The Vampire Diaries based on a similar 90’s era horror series by L.J. Smith).

The Last Vampire Christopher Pike Image via Simon & Schuster

Christopher Pike has an astonishing body of work, with over 50 published novels between 1985 and 2015. There are so many that are suited for adaptation into movies or television series. Beyond The Last Vampire, there are some personal favorites that I would love to see come to life on Netflix. Among these is the stellar novel The Starlight Crystal. This is certainly one of Pike’s more outlandish tales, but it is another one that studies deeper themes. This science-fantasy novel that travels into the depths of space and the end of the universe. The Starlight Crystal has a strong female lead character who must grapple with what it means to be human. Another heart-wrenching tale with a supernatural twist, The Starlight Crystal definitely deserves to be brought to life onscreen.

The Starlight Crystal Christopher Pike Image via Simon & Schuster

Here is hoping that the Netflix adaptation of The Midnight Club is good enough to spur more adaptations. What do you think of this news? Do you have any favorite Christopher Pike novels that you would like to see on screen? Let us know by joining the conversation with Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Adaptation NewsAdaptationsChristopher PikeGenre FictionHorrorHorror BooksNetflixThe Last VampireThe Midnight ClubThe Starlight CrystalTVTV ShowTV ShowsYA Fiction

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