07 February 2020 18:44
Locke and Key brings together the Amblin vibes of Stranger Things, the chills of Haunting of Hill House, the impossibly good looking cast of Riverdale and retro spookiness of Goosebumps into a magical 10-episode series that feels destined to become a Netflix smash. Based on the critically acclaimed Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez comic book series, the series follows the Locke family, who are returning to their ancestral home after the shocking murder of their father Rendell. The home Key House is filled with dark secrets from Rendell's past and a series of keys with magical powers - a Head Key allows the owner to step inside their own brain, a Matchstick Key that gives you fire-starter skills at your fingertips, a Ghost key that lets you, well, become a Ghost, obviously. Locke and Key jumps across genres - fantasy, horror, high school love stories, family drama - and is utterly addictive. BT TV caught up with two of the show's main cast, Darby Stanchfield, who plays the Locke family matriarch Nina, and Connor Jessup, who plays the eldest Locke sibling, the dashing hockey player and high school heartthrob Tyler.
There is a rich TV and film history of haunted houses, mansions and creaky old buildings with locked doors, dingy basements and secret attics. Locke and Key fits into that rich tradition, playing with the conventions and tropes of haunted house horror. Early on in the series, the lead female character Kinsey Locke, removes her fear emotion using the Head Key, ensuring that she's the opposite of the hopeless damsel in distress. However, Locke and Key does delve into the fears that we all have about creepy old buildings in the wilderness and breathes fresh life into the genre. It always feels like there is old life there." Jessup adds: "One of the themes of this show is family.
And the house is the physical embodiment of that." How Netflix finally make Locke and Key? "This is the third time in the attempted making of Locke and Key. But we had the great advantage of having Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez really supporting us," explains Stanchfield. "And by putting it into the hands of [executive producers] Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill, it built a really cohesive team." Jessup admits that there was an "initial burst of nerves" about taking on a series that was held so dear by fans of the comics, but believes that they have made a good decision to shift the tone and dynamic rather than create a page-by-page recreation of the source material. It's been nice to make it ours and find our way." Joking about the addictive nature of the series, he adds: "We're hoping everyone sitting down to watch has seven and a half hours on their hands." The terrifying Mirror Key scene One of the first major set-pieces comes from the use of a Mirror Key, which ends up involving Stanchfield and Jessup trapped in a spiralling world of reflections. Stanchfield, who admits that she is too pragmatic to be scared by the supernatural, said that the scariest moments on set for her was having to work with stand-ins for the younger members of the cast. "There are nuances of confusion, disbelief, total fear or fearing for the life of your family." The making of Key House Filmed in a freezing cold Toronto, Locke and Key looks beautiful on the screen. There was one scene where I literally couldn't say any of my Rs or Ts. It was horrible." The Canadian snow and freezing temperatures made it the perfect location to film the series, but how did they find the perfect building to match up to how fans have always imagined Key House? It's incredible." Locke & Key is streaming now on Netflix. After a couple of failed attempts at Fox and Hulu, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's Locke & Key has finally made its way to the small screen, courtesy of Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel), Meredith Averill (The Haunting of Hill House), and Aron Eli Coleite (Heroes). Netflix and the team have clearly approached this material in an effort to find the next Stranger Things, or maybe a lighter version of The Haunting of Hill House, rather than to deliver on the vicious promise of the source material. On the show, Rendell is confronted in his home by Sam Lesser (Thomas Mitchell Barnet), who demands to be told "what I need to know about Key House!" Before Rendell can even say much, Sam shoots Rendell, seemingly almost by accident, when Rendell's son Tyler (Connor Jessup) pounds on the front door. More about that day will surely be revealed, but for now, Rendell is dead, and his widow and three children are moving back to the creepy Locke family home, a place with hidden doors and long hallways that hold years of secrets. His sister, Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and mother, Nina (Darby Stanchfield), aren't doing much better, but young Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) seems almost excited about the change in scenery and the chance at a fresh start. Someone or something is living in that well, talking only to Bode, telling him about how this house is full of keys, objects with magical powers. While there's some of that in the books, especially later, it almost feels like a pilot for Locke & Key should focus solely on the house and the evil force living in its well. At the end of the episode, the "Echo" tricks Bode into giving her the Anywhere Key, which she then takes to Sam, the man who destroyed the Locke family. It's a sign the Locke family is going to need one another to survive what's coming, and that even something as seemingly trustworthy as their own reflections could betray them. • When Tyler comes to Key House and calls it "a little more Norman Bates," it's obviously a Psycho reference that had to make Cuse laugh a little after coming off Bates Motel. If Locke & Key was going to skew younger, it would be essential to cast the kid roles well, and it appears to have done that.