Updated: Oct 22, 2021
If any of you are fantasy lovers like me, you know that the moment a new fantasy show comes on, you’re hurrying over to Netflix to check it out. Well, recently Netflix came out with Locke and Key, based off of the comic series by the same name.
The show has a very early 2000’s movie feel going for it: a family moves to a mysterious new house after a traumatizing event only to discover that something supernatural lies beyond the house’s doors.
Let’s start with what this show is excellent at, one being, re-creating childhood nostalgia. Locke and Key brings viewers back to a child-like state of wonder by revealing a magical world that is full of surprising and unique ideas. The magic keys keep us invested in the plot, and excited for all the future keys to come. Besides magic, the real focus in, Locke and Key, is on the children, and them coming to terms with their past and new life. To my surprise, the show takes on the theme of grief with a surprising sense of authenticity and love. Typically, I'm not fond of flashbacks unless they bring something new to the story. In Locke and Key, every flashback feels handcrafted with sensitivity, bringing so much emotion and weight to the tragic event that befell this family. By the end of the show, though there’s magic and a bit of teen issues, the real story is about a family coming together through the loss of a loved one, and learning new things about themselves on the way.
Now, I love magic a lot, and I’m usually ready to give it leeway at times, but there are moments in Locke and Key when the appearance of a magic key can seem relatively convenient for the plot. Even though the show is both about magic and the children’s challenging new lives, the balance between the two isn’t always equal. For the most part, the story leans more on the children’s lives than it should, and viewers might find themselves waiting for the magic portion of the plot to come back into play. However, the most significant fault within Locke and Key is its main villain. In the first couple of episodes, the main villain is shrouded in mystery and relatively intriguing, but soon after that, the plot gives no motive for any of the villain’s actions. The only explanation for the villain’s actions is that it does these things because of what it is. Now, this may work for certain monster movies, but for this show, it feels more like a crutch for the plot, and ultimately undermines the tension.
This show does have its issues, but overall it’s the perfect show for a rainy day afternoon when you want to relax. It’s full of mystery, magic, and the overall message is beautiful on its own. Watching the show made me want to go pick up the comic books.
So if you just want a fun day, where for a moment in this busy world of ours, you can go back and unlock (pun very much intended) some magic, turn on Locke and Key.