The magical world of Locke & Key

Imagine a world where you can open any door, or have magic power with a key. Yes, we are talking about a few keys, that will be able to open different magical doors and you will eventually step into the world of Locke & Key!

Locke & Key cast, storyline

The Locke children Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), as well as their mother Nina (Darby Stanchfield), move to their ancestral home of “Keyhouse” after the family patriarch Rendell (Bill Heck) is murdered. The series is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez.

It’s their younger brother Bode who has the most exciting interactions with their powers in Season 1, even though siblings Tyler and Kinsey do have their own adventures with the keys. This Locke & Key adaptation is a little more kid-friendly than the book, so Bode’s young glee after finding each key is palpable and quite contagious. Bode is always given just the proper amount of wonder and innocence by Scott, who never makes him seem overly impressionable.

When Tyler and Kinsey aren’t working with Bode, their adventures throughout the first half of the season are typically limited to high school drama, such as utilising the keys to get even with “mean girls” or trying to win over a potential love interest. When Locke & Key leans into its fantastical elements, it feels far more engaging than when it occasionally resembles a CW teen drama rather than an ambitious mystery.

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The magic of keys

The “Head Key,” which allows the series to experiment with body horror while still becoming inventive with its graphics, is one particular highlight in that regard. Using the key, which is put into the back of the neck, a person can figuratively unlock the door to their mind, allowing them to revisit memorable events or record new knowledge for later recall. The appearance of each person’s mental palace varies depending on their life experiences; Bode’s is similar to a sizable playground or arcade, while Kinsey’s is similar to a sizable mall. Even better, the Head Key provides the audience with enlightening glimmers of the Locke family’s past.

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Past and present!

The series’ skillful use of flashbacks, which enables the spectator to witness the children interacting with their father and imparting believable weight and pain to those connections, is one of its most stirringly emotive features. It’s simple to overlook the fact that a magical key is the source of all of these fantastical events, which are wonderful opportunities for the kids to develop their character. The most compelling aspect of Locke & Key is its assured fusion of fantastical and realistic drama. When the series tries to address too many narratives at once, it runs into difficulty.

Villian, not so villian-y

Dodge, an enigmatic character who torments the Locke family in an effort to get their keys, is one of the issues I’ve had with the book. The issue is not Laysla Oliveira’s portrayal of Dodge; rather, the character’s development suffers as a result of the story’s adaptation from the graphic novel to a more general audience.

Even when Dodge kills someone in a way that would be shocking in any other circumstance, the show frequently leans into the absurd humour of her actions rather than amplifying the tension, undermining some of the show’s scariest moments. Dodge is the main antagonist, so you’d expect her to be a truly terrifying figure. Even with a nemesis like Dodge waiting in the shadows, it’s hard to picture something terrible happening to the Locke kids despite all the mischief they get into.

Final verdict

Locke & Key on Netflix excels because to its bright aesthetics and emphasis on the close bonds among the Locke family. Jackson Robert Scott does a good job portraying Bode, who is the emotional core of the show. However, because the programme prioritises humour above horror, it struggles to make its main enemy truly menacing.

In addition, throughout Season 1, the show makes valiant efforts to be an engaging family drama, supernatural thriller, murder mystery, and high school dramedy. As a result, the series never quite feels like a unified whole. While the fantasy parts concerning the keys and the family storyline are effective, other aspects of the plot aren’t quite as memorable.

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