I liked Joe Hill’s LOCKE AND KEY comic series quite a bit and was excited to hear it would be coming to Netflix. Unfortunately, despite some nice threads and plenty of promise, the adaptation, which deviates quite a bit from the comics’ darker material, feels like standard TV fare, and by the end had me banging my head against the wall at characters making constant terrible decisions without any consequences.
The story follows the Locke family, which is moving into the father’s ancestral home, Key House, after he is murdered by a student at the high school where he worked. Everyone is grieving or dealing with guilt. The three kids in the family try to make their way at their new school. Then the youngest begins to find mysterious keys around the house, each of which grants a magical power. Unfortunately, an evil entity also needs the keys, which it intends to use to unleash hell. This begins a cat and mouse game where the kids use the keys to gain powers while fending off the evil entity, which often has the upper hand.
The result was not bad for me so much as simply lackluster and overly familiar. The keys were fantastic, a really fun element in the story that kept me interested. The characters, unfortunately, weren’t exactly likeable, and the villain was dastardly and conniving to the point of being eye-rolling. Some of this was in the acting, while much of it was simply an adaptation of very dark and powerful material to render it safely packaged for a wide TV audience. By the end, the characters were making one terrible decision after another, generally without consequences.
So overall, LOCKE AND KEY was okay for me, a fairly decent watch but lacking the strength of its source material and paling in comparison with other amazing shows.