Locke and Key is a 2020 Netflix Original show that’s an adaptation of the supernatural horror, fantasy graphic novel series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez (artist). The first season has ten episodes with each segment running approximately fifty minutes long. The show revolves around a family who survived a terrible and traumatic event. In order to start anew in the aftermath of this horrible incident, they moved to a small town and old family home where the kids discover that the house has many magically mysterious secrets.
I picked up the Netflix series after reading the first volume of the collector’s edition of the graphic novel, and while the comic can be a bit darker than its adaptation, I feel it’s one of those shows where the differences and direction can be respected and adored as a separate entity as it works wonderfully as a piece of live-action media.
Upon it’s release, it actually acquired a decent amount of recognition. The buzz for it is what ultimately encouraged me to pick up the TV series, as well as my roommate’s very enthusiastic love for the comics. Since a second season is scheduled to release later in 2021, I thought it would be fun to revisit Locke and Key and highlight some of the brilliant reasons why you should watch the show—which is older-teen family friendly—if you haven’t done so already.
The Themes on Family Togetherness
Because the family experiences a significantly harrowing event, which includes the death of one of their own, it creates a powerful psychological impact on them individually, one that is laced with grief and that hangs over every second of their lives like a persistent shadow. Most of the decisions they make are weighed against a vortex of anguish, confusion, and a great sense of being lost.
Seeing how each member of the family copes—or ignores—their grief and other related issues separately and how these dealings inevitably affects their relationships with other people around them is breathtakingly intimate and unexpectedly moving. Different pieces of a puzzle that are threatened to break apart and spiral far away from one another inevitably find a way to reconnect in their own ways and this sense of devotedness is beautifully soothing, so much so that whenever I find myself yearning for old, family-centred comfort, I turn to Locke and Key and know it shall never disappoint in that respect.
Excellent Depiction of Cause and Effect
Another facet of the series that I found to be wholly fascinating is the concrete depiction of cause and effect, decision and responsibility. For example, what would you do if you had the power to get some petty revenge on a superficial bully that picks on you ruthlessly because you’re different? Would you take the opportunity to satiate your vengeance, and if so, how far would you be willing to go? Do you think it would change you? Another example would be having the strength to completely destroy your fear. What would happen if you were suddenly incapable of feeling fear? Would it make you emotionally invincible or more vulnerable than ever before?
These sorts of questions arise, and they provide a rather personal and vivid perspective at the results of allowing emotions to influence one’s choices in a magnificent manner. The echoes of our fears, our guilt and shame, and even our grief and longing can be incessant in shaping our futures, and the tale of how these echoes resonate like ripples along each path that becomes available afterwards is handled quite amazingly here.
Great Sense of Adventure and History
There is a lot of urban adventure in the series as we watch how the keys are discovered and what their true individual specialities and traits are. It’s exciting as much as it is enigmatic and treacherous, doing a terrific job of drawing the watcher into the story with morsels of the Locke family’s history as well as the dark history of the keys as they are methodically unravelled and revealed.
Another aspect that contributes to the sense of adventure is the strong and protective nature of the kids with respect to their mum. They see her quietly suffering from her own special brand of mourning and how it starts to pull her strings looser and looser. The courageous yet haphazard way they jump into the foray of unknown magic and fantasy is brilliantly beguiling.
The visuals are crafted in a way that makes everything look so real and this totally sells the charm of Locke and Key, particularly the darker and more cerebrally vibrant elements. The special effects are superbly accomplished making it easy to forget for a moment that one is watching fantasy. The strength of the suspension of disbelief is effortless with smoothly rendered cinematography, compelling one to binge each episode after another, with curiosity peaking to maximum.
The final component of the series that truly brings everything together so delightfully is the storytelling. It’s a well-balanced brew of character development; world-building; intrigue and mystery; history, lore, and horror; and a variety of themes to appeal to a variety of watchers and consumers of fantastic tales, to name a few. None of this would be possible without the stupendous and thoughtfully imaginative writing that went into the story’s creation, making Locke and Key a quintessential piece of entertainment.
As you can see there are many awesome reasons to watch this show if you haven’t yet picked it up. Because there is a very limited amount of cursing, no gratuitous levels of blood, gore, other forms of violence, and sex, while containing an adventurous spirit, it’s a really nice series to watch as a family with kids that are about thirteen and older. My second time watching this, I did so virtually with my nephews and the experience of it surpassed even my wonderful initial introduction. The second season should be hitting the streaming waves in late 2021.