Netflix Mini-Review: Locke & Key

Joe Hill’s and Gabriel Rodriguez’s comic book is brought to the small screen and it’s pretty good.

SUMMARY (Spoiler-Free)

After the death of their father Rendell (Bill Heck), Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke (Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott) move with their mother, Nina (Darby Stanchfield) to Matheson, Massachusetts. They move into the Locke ancestral home, Keyhouse. Inside the house, the kids find out that there are a number of keys hidden which grant the users special abilities, but also discover that there are evil forces (Laysla De Oliveira) who want the keys for themselves. 

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They’re very creative in their use of keys. 

END SUMMARY

So, if you are a fan of the comics, you’ll notice that they changed the name of the town from Lovecraft to Matheson. It’s a little less fitting because the type of horror that forms the basis of this story is more associated with H.P. Lovecraft than Richard Matheson, but since Lovecraft was a horrible racist, I completely understand the need for the change. The other changes are a little more necessary for the adaptation of the story to the small screen (something Matheson’s work does better than Lovecraft’s), but most of the key (pun fully intended) elements of the series remain intact. There’s a lot more emphasis on the lives of the kids outside of the house than in the series, but just cramming a lot of effects-driven escapades in would have been extremely expensive, so that was going to happen.

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New England home with lots of lamps? That’s Lovecraft.

If you’re not aware of the comics, don’t worry, it’s pretty easy to get into the series. The characters are not the most complex you’ll see out there, but that’s because the emphasis in the series is mostly on the worldbuilding and the premise. If you find the first episode compelling or interesting, you’ll find the rest of the series the same. If you don’t, and you might not since it’s pretty niche. The series has a dark tone that doesn’t quite lend itself to the added scenes of mundane high-school troubles, but when it’s focused more on the fantastic elements it works well. It tries to do the best it can with the non-linear chronology of the comic and I think it mostly pulls it off to similar revelatory effects. It helps keep everyone guessing where certain motivations come from.

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There’s some light gore. Be warned.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good. Not mind-blowing, but if you’re a fan of this type of genre, you’ll like it. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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