Locke & Key: False Advertisement in Horror

After the Netflix deal with Marvel fell through, the possibility for more comic book shows off of the streaming service looked bleak. But the company decided to take the indie route and started producing content from Dark Horse, Vertigo, and IDW. Last year we got the amazing Umbrella Academy and it was phenomenal. So this being the case, I was actually excited for the new “horror” series based off the critically acclaimed IDW comic: Locke and Key.  Unfortunately this show does not hit the mark. I will say it was legitimately interesting and has good scenes but ultimately the tone was made for teenagers, the plot became boring and filled with dumb decisions, and the characters just were not likeable.

Creating good horror movies is difficult. Creating a good horror TV show is damn near impossible. The problem that a lot of shows fall into is that need to create side stories to fill up the time slot. There is a very fine line between building suspense and wasting time. Locke and Key wastes a lot of time. I would put this show in the same category as Twilight, Riverdale, and American Horror Story (after season 2). They focus so much time on building relationships with the teenagers and it serves no purpose other than filling up the time with stereotypical high-school nonsense. The amount of times in this show where a problem could be solved easily, or avoided all together, if the characters didn’t do dumb things is outstanding. Nobody would react the way these characters did to this situation. There’s a demon hunting them down and killing people after they found magical keys that can literally break the laws of physics… but first they have to decide what boy likes them more. I believe this show suffers from the same thing all horror television series suffer from, the hot topic demographic. Television executives know that goth teenagers make money and this show was made for them more than the fans of the comic.

I know I’m hating on this show a lot right now. But I do want to say there were parts I legitimately liked. I did finish the entire season for a reason. The concept was awesome, the mystery was compelling, and the character Dodge, played by Laysla De Oliveira, was a great villain. Every time they found a new key, I feel like an entire movie could have been made around that unique power alone. The final three episodes had me hooked until the end. The problem was how it took seven episodes to cut through the bullshit to get to the story that should have started at episode two. Another problem with having a demographic for a younger audience is the need to over explain things. There were some really cool plot twists throughout the show. However I figured them out right away, and enjoyed them, but then had to apparently wait for the rest of the audience to be hand fed the information to a point that dumbed down the amazing reveal. The highschool mentality given to this show ruined what could have been something amazing.

Locke and Key will not be surviving The Snappening. When season two comes out, I won’t be watching it. The advertisement for the show showed a very different story than the one we got. Literally every scene in the trailer, put in the correct context, was not a horror scene at all and that continually put a bad taste in my mouth. It simply is false advertisement. If you are interested in the story, just read the comics. You will get the same level of complexity and mystery, but not have to suffer through the moments that make your eyes roll, yelling at the screen that no human would react this way. Good scenes and great characters cannot outshine the overall unnecessary highschool love crap and dumb/unbelievable character choices that plagued this show. 


Show watched and review written by: Troy Smith



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