Review: ‘Locke and Key’ Premiere

Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Joe Hill, ‘Locke and Key’ is a supernatural horror series presented by Netflix. The streaming service has previously delivered a critically acclaimed horror drama, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, so expectations are high when it comes to another such series.

There is, however, a huge difference between the two shows. ‘Hill House’ is adult-oriented, while ‘Locke and Key’ would rather share the universe with the likes of ‘Stranger Things’, though without the 80s nostalgia. Whether or not it succeeds in becoming a fan-favourite like the sci-fi drama is yet to be seen, but the first episode does create enough intrigue for one to be interested in finding out what happens next.

Locke and Key Episode 1 Recap

When the news of Rendell Locke’s death reaches him, the as-yet-unnamed man uses a mysterious key to burn himself, as well as, his whole house to the ground, along with the secret documents. Three months later, we find the Locke kids- Bode, Tyler and Kinsey- on their way to the ancestral home, Key House, with their mother, Nina. Tyler and Kinsey are not too happy about leaving their life in Seattle, and Bode is too young to care.

At the house, they are greeted by Uncle Duncan who shows them around and soon enough, bids sayonara to the house. While Kinsey and Tyler attend the awkward first day at their new school where everyone already knows them, Bode goes around exploring. He finds a well and talks to Echo, who tells him about the magical keys hidden in the house. He has to rely on the whispers to guide him to them.

Locke and Key Review

The first episode of ‘Locke and Key’ gives a great introduction to the characters as well as the story. It doesn’t reveal too much at once but gives us enough to hold on to for the coming episodes. It starts and ends with a mystery and we already find ourselves picking up on little details that could come in handy later. The story moves forward quickly, though it does know when to slow down a bit and allow the characters to start building their own arcs.

In the Locke family, we get four people, each grieving in the ways that tell us a lot about their character. It is not just the shock of the loss, but also how they acted during it that tells us how they will act if and when a similar situation arises again. And considering how people are already dying in the show, we expect more life-threatening situations to come up with increasing frequencies.

Speaking of the danger, we also get to meet the antagonist. For now, we know her as Echo and she is introduced in the fashion that is typical to horror stories. She is the strange sound whispering into the ears of a kid who is too innocent to understand that it is being manipulated by something sinister. Jackson Robert Scott’s innocence makes Bode too pure for this world, and we become easily attached to him. Unlike his older siblings, who are working through their guilt and trauma, it is easier for Bode to accept the changes and find an escape. This presents a contrast between the three of them while giving us the one thing that does bring them together in the end.

All in all, ‘Welcome to Matheson’ is a great watch. It sets the tone of the story, which oscillates from horror to mystery to adventure. Even when the pace goes up and down, there is no dull moment in the episode. A clear boundary is set between the heroes and the villains and while some mysteries are unlocked, there are some that stay just out of reach. Looks like, it will be the constant pursuit to catch them that will get us to the end of the season, and we look forward to finding out what else the show has tucked away.