Locke & Key Review
It’s been a long, emotional roller coaster for fans waiting for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez masterful horror comic ‘Locke and Key’ to make it to any sort of screen.
First it was a trilogy of movies, then a Fox Pilot that screened at Comicon, then a pilot for Hulu and then nothing.
Now, almost inevitably it seems, it has found its home on Netflix in 10 episodes from Carlton Cuse (EP/co-writer of LOST, Bates Motel) and Meredith Averill (EP/co-writer of The Haunting of Hill House) and while it takes the building blocks of the original and manages to create something new of its own, it unfortunately lacks the bite that makes the comic so effecting and, at times, terrifying.
The basic plot is the same – after the death of their father the Locke family move back to their father’s old, spooky house, find a bunch of keys that have magical powers and unwittingly release a demon called Dodge who is set on stealing the keys and unleashing all hell.
The showrunners for this incarnation, for some reason, have decided to condense almost 5 out of the 6 books worth of story into this first season which has resulted in a rushed, overstuffed adventure that is unable to earn it’s emotional beats and surprises.
The casting of the show, however, is one of its strong points. The three Locke children are perfectly cast and, despite some hokey dialogue and overwrought emotional scenes, do a great job. Emelia Jones, in particular, delivers all the required spunk and vulnerability to bring Kinsey to life. But it all feels a bit too much like a young adult melodrama instead of an horrific meditation on family, grief and regret.
With any luck it will drive new readers to discover the (seriously brilliant) comic series but unfortunately, they’ll know the best of its secrets before they get there.
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Locke & Key is screening now exclusively on Netflix