‘Locke and Key’ proves too dark for spring release

Netflix’s new supernatural-horror-drama “Locke and Key” released its first season of 10 episodes at the beginning of this month.
The show is based on comics of the same name released in February of 2008 and is set in 1988.
The premise of “Locke and Key” follows the Locke family and their mysteries.
After Rendell Locke, the main family patriarch, is murdered at the hands of his former student Sam Lesser, his wife Nina is forced to move with their three children Tyler, Kinsey and Bode from Seattle to Matheson, Mass.
There, they take up residence in Rendell’s family home, the Key House.
The children quickly discover several mysterious keys throughout the house that can be used to unlock various doors or things in magical ways. However, they become aware of a demonic entity that is also searching for the keys with its own malevolent purposes.
I have no idea why this exists other than Netflix needs shows, and the streaming wars are ongoing.
Lately, Netflix has been releasing all kinds of new content. However, the show probably would have been best served before 2020.
That’s because the comic series was at the height of its popularity 12 years ago, and comics were selling out on the first day of release. “Locke and Key” has been trying to get produced since 2010 and finally in July of 2018 Netflix put in a series order.
I adore the concept of “Locke and Key,” but it was not considerately delivered. Bad directing, scriptwriting and casting held the show back from reaching its full potential.
Also, the pacing is off and awkward.
There are too many producers on one show and each of them did different sets of episodes. This adds to the lack of consistent tension throughout the series.
Two characters stood out negatively because of these unfortunate shortcomings. Tyler Locke, the eldest son, has a massive IQ but no common sense and is just baffling as a character.
Darby Stanchfield as Nina Locke, the matriarch of the Locke family, was directed to look shifty, but she looks more like an addict.
This is concerning because the actress is either doing a terrible portrayal or Nina was not written to be a believable or good mother.
The performances of Jackson Robert Scott as Bode Locke, the youngest brother, and Laysla de Oliveira as Dodge, the “well lady” of the house, are worthy of praise and are the biggest gem in the show.
The score by Torin Borrowdale, the set design and the visual effects are notable highlights of the show.
Also, the show appropriately handles themes relating to loss and trauma as well as its use of horror genre elements.
Another potential gem is influence taken from H.P. Lovecraft throughout the series. This alone will attract many viewers, perhaps in a more niche sense, but the direct tie to Lovecraft is not obvious to those who didn’t read the comics because the Netflix series changed the name of the place the Lockes move to from Lovecraft, Mass., to Matheson, Mass.
The children in “Locke and Key” will go from cheesy juvenile crushes to demonic entities, ghosts and mysteries – silly to serious with no fluent transitions.
All other background characters in the kids’ lives only exist to be potential love interests.
Unnecessary background characters and teenage love interests dilute the plot.
Sensible and realistic main characters and their interpersonal development and grief needed to be focused on more.
Though “Locke and Key” struggles to strike a consistent tone, it captures enough essence of its source material to provide entertainment.
Generally, positive reviews have been observed for the show across multiple mediums, but it did not strike a chord with me.
I asked two different friends if they wanted to watch this with me and they said “no” because they were deterred from the show via the brief supernatural introduction in the trailer.
“Locke and Key” is too dark a series for an early February release. I do not recommend this show.
It needs many tweaks before it can go from OK to great.
On top of the fact that it is dark and supernatural, it is not appropriate for all audiences and may be offensive or concerning to viewers.

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