Locke & Key: A Confusing Blend of Dark Fantasy and Teenage Angst
What the f— moments ahead
In the eerie town of Matheson—straight out of an American Horror Story episode—the Locke family returns to their abandoned ancestral home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts after their father’s horrific, unsettling murder. They transfer towns to get a fresh start and, more importantly, to find answers.
Throughout their stay, siblings Tyler, Kinsey and Bode find supernatural keys, which give them magical powers; a key which erases memories, another which can change how you look, an all too powerful key that can bring you inside your head and more. A malicious spirit is on the hunt for all the keys and endangers anybody who gets in the way. The Netflix original series is based on the bestselling graphic novels from Joe Hill (writer) and Gabriel Rodríguez (illustrator).
Locke & Key is a Young Adult adaptation scattered with horror, combining the dark fantasy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children with hints of The Haunting of Hill House. It’s reminiscent of so many rich media before it (see Carrie reference—sans the pig blood—after Kinsey’s failed cameo with the pretentious “Savini Squad”) that it fails to separate itself from others before it. What kept me going was the hope of an ending so extreme and unpredictable, it would be worth it; yet, it left me underwhelmed.
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It’s 10 long episodes of teenage angst mixed with violence that it’s almost amusing. An innocent kid is pushed on the tracks of a speeding train; a long-handed creature with eyes bloodshot—straight out of a horror flick—and Dementor-like creatures afraid of light attack the siblings. The jump scares are few but noteworthy. The sex scenes are displaced (but did I really expect anything else with an 18+ rating?) when it’s supposed to be, I assumed, child-friendly but it’s almost like a Riverdale episode at times. The acting was bland apart from a young Ryan Phillippe clone.
Still, I take my hats off to the impressive cinematography and entertaining story plot; maybe it wasn’t all that bad, I just don’t see myself anticipating for the next season.
Stream Locke & Key only on Netflix.
Art Alexandra Lara