The concept behind ‘Castle Rock‘ is truly unique and there is hardly any other series that follows a similar path. The story of the show is based on various elements from several Stephen King novels. Criminal attorney Henry Matthew Deaver is the central character of the story. He has come back to the town called Castle Rock after a long time in order to answer a strange request made to him. We meet several interesting and mysterious characters in Castle Rock. One of them is Molly Strand, who used to be a neighbor of Henry’s when he was younger and lived in the town. Molly is no ordinary woman. She possesses telepathic powers and can also understand the emotions going through a fellow human being.
There is also this convict known simply as The Kid. Warden Dale Lacy had locked him up in Shawshank State Penitentiary for 27 long years. Upon his release, The Kid claims that he is related to Henry and that he comes from an alternate universe. One of the employees at Molly’s M. Strand & Associates Real Estate is Diane “Jackie” Torrance, and she reveals that she is the niece of the famous Jack Torrence, the character portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the 1980 film ‘The Shining‘, which is also based on a Stephen King novel.
Critical praise for the series has been widespread since its release, with reviewers praising the makers for staying true to King’s vision and his way of telling a story. If you’re done watching this show and are looking for more titles that explore similar ideas and concepts, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘Castle Rock’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘Castle Rock’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. Haven (2010-2015)
Based on Stephen King’s novel ‘The Colorado Kid’, this series is set in the fictional eponymous town in Maine. Emily Rose plays the protagonist, FBI Special Agent Audrey Parker. She soon realizes that the town is infested by a plague-like disease called ‘The Troubles’. The disease shows supernatural symptoms and has affected the town of Haven twice already. Audrey finds her personal life slowly getting intermingled with the case and the town, and she soon realizes that her connection to Haven is much deeper than what she had thought. The series was received poorly by critics who were mainly dissatisfied with the derivative nature of the story. There are several references to other works by King in this series as well.
7. Lore (2017-)
Originally a podcast, ‘Lore’ is a horror anthology story based on real-life incidents Each episode of this series deals with a different story. The stories sometimes use documentary footage, dramatization, and even animation to portray the details of the supernatural incidents. Though the series received mixed critical acclaims from most critics, some praised its unique format and storytelling.
6. The Stand (1994)
‘The Stand’ is a miniseries based on a Stephen King novel. Interestingly, King himself wrote the series’ teleplay and even has a guest appearance in it. The story begins in a secret government laboratory from where a special influenza virus gets released in a town and slowly all over the earth. 99.4% of the entire world’s population falls prey to this virus and dies, thus leaving a few scattered people alive. The people who survive in this post-apocalyptic world start seeing visions where apparitions ask them to travel either to Nebraska or to Las Vegas. This four-part series was originally broadcast on the ABC network. It became very popular during its run and was watched by around 19 million Americans.
5. Light As A Feather (2018-)
This supernatural thriller is based on Zoe Aarsen’s book of the same name. The story revolves around a group of girls whose fate takes a sinister turn after they start playing a game called ‘Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board’. As a part of the game, people need to take on certain characters, and within the game, these characters die. When these deaths start happening in real-life, the girls understand that the evil force which has targeted them is not something alien but stems from someone within their group. The series received mostly mixed reviews from critics.
4. Under The Dome (2013-2015)
‘Under the Dome’ revolves around the residents of a small town called Chester’s Mill. Stephen King’s novel of the same name is the inspiration behind the series. The story is set in a small town in Maine where a dome has suddenly appeared out of nowhere and is covering the entire two, thus cutting off its contact with the rest of the world. Attempts are made from both inside and outside the dome to break it down, but it seems indestructible. Meanwhile, a small group of people start unraveling complex mysteries about the dome. If something is not done soon enough, the people trapped inside the dome might die on account of diminishing resources. The first season of ‘Under the Dome’ became a huge success for the channel. However, the positive reviews and viewership of the first season did not continue in the second and third seasons, due to which it got canceled.
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3. 11.22.63 (2016)
Adapted from a Stephen King book of the same name, ‘11.2.63’ is a Hulu original miniseries that released in 2016. Famous Hollywood actor James Franco co-produced the series and stars in the lead role as well. Franco’s character is called Jake Epping. He is a divorced school teacher leading a monotonous life who suddenly gets the opportunity to time travel to the past and change one historical event. He chooses to prevent the assassination of the former American president John F. Kennedy. The situation complicates to a large degree when Epping finds people to care about in the past and does not wish to return to the present.
Besides being a tale of science fiction, there is also a deep human aspect to the series as human connections and the effects of loneliness become important aspects of the story. Interestingly enough, Franco was so impressed after reading the book that he himself contacted King for its rights. He was informed that Abrams was already making it. After reading Franco’s essay on the story in Vice, Abrams offered him the lead character.
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2. Mr. Mercedes (2017-)
A thrilling crime-drama, ‘Mr. Mercedes’ is a series based on Stephen King’s trilogy of novels built around the character of Bill Hodges. In this series, Hodges is seen chasing after a serial killer who he was unable to catch while working for the police department. This person, now made famous by the police and the media as ‘Mr. Mercedes’, had run his car over 16 people standing in a queue. As Hodges begins his search for Mr. Mercedes once again, the psychopathic killer starts stalking Hodges online. The character of Mr. Mercedes, Brady Hartsfield, was first given to Anton Yelchin. However, the actor passed away after the first episode and the role later went to Harry Treadaway. The series met with positive critical acclaim, with the reviewers praising its creepy narrative and brilliant dialogues.
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1. Stranger Things (2016-)
‘Stranger Things’ is one of the most popular original shows by Netflix, and has received audience approval and critical acclaim in equal quantities. The story is set in the 1980s and is deeply influenced by the pop culture of the era. Influences of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and the famous author H.P. Lovecraft are quite apparent in the narrative and aesthetics of the show.
The story of ‘Stranger Things’ is set n a small town called Hawkins in Indiana. Everything begins after a child goes missing and his friends start investigating the matter. They also come across a strange girl called Eleven who possesses supernatural powers of psychokinesis. It is later revealed that Eleven’s father is involved in a secret research project which has opened up a portal to another parallel universe just like Hawkins but is populated with terrible monsters. The landscape there is creepy and desolate. It is this experiment which is behind the terrible misfortunes that the people of Hawkins are facing. The creators of the series, the Duffer brothers, later said that they wanted ‘Stranger Things’ to serve as a homage to the 1980s. The name of the series is also inspired by a Stephen King novel called ‘Needful Things’.
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