The six-book graphic novel series Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez is an all-time favorite of mine, so I was thrilled when Netflix released an adaptation of it last year. Season One was strong, with more emphasis on fantasy vs horror than the book. This opens the narrative to more possibilities, and also makes it a bit more open to a younger audience, although it stills skews towards mature storylines. The ten episodes continue to tell the tale of the Locke family who are fighting an otherworldly evil and has been doing so for generations.
The season begins with the trio of siblings- Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode – not knowing that two of their friends, which includes Kinsey’s boyfriend Gabe, are evil. In fact, their naivety is frustrating, as they tell many of their friends about the magic of the Keyhouse and trust too many people. They discover more keys in and around their home, giving them various powers that will prove useful in the future. Their mother Nina and Uncle Duncan are clueless as to what is happening around them, as adults can’t remember the magic they witness afterward (even after a giant spider attack in the clip below!). Tyler is nearing eighteen, and his girlfriend who is a bit older than him begins to forget magical things that she had experienced, so Tyler knows he doesn’t have much longer to help his siblings. Luckily, a memory key returns Duncan’s memories, which is crucial as he had known how to make new magical keys when he was younger. That later Nina is also given the key of memory was important, because it had become heartbreaking that she was not privy to what her children were going through.
Many shows that incorporate teens have actors and actresses that are much older and so very perfect looking, but the casting in this series is more realistic. The cast is (mostly) age-appropriate and has a welcome diversity, not just as token representation, but how authentic town inhabitants might look. The teens make foolish mistakes, and while they do have to “save the day”, it is chaotic and messy getting there. The adults aren’t portrayed like they are stupid, and loving family ties are shown. I like how this adaptation is playing out, as it is going deeper than just replicating the storyline from the books.
I’m excited that season three was green-lit at the same time season two was. They filmed the seasons back-to-back, which was critical for Bode and the other young actors, that they not grow up too much between seasons. The television series is really starting to veer significantly off the book series, so the conclusion was not what I expected and where it will be heading next is anyone’s guess! And I will be there to watch how the Locke family deals with all the magical mayhem.