Locke & Key
Season One Episode One
Welcome to Matheson
In the wake of a personal tragedy, the remaining members of the Locke family will travel to the deceased husband’s ancestral home of Key House to start a new life.
The Locke family moves into the home with the help of Uncle Duncan, the late Rendell Lock’s younger brother, who definitely has some feelings about the old family home as well as its secrets. As the family settles in, the two oldest siblings start a new school in the middle of the year so the teen angst is on full display as they navigate a new school filled with people who not only know about the tragedy that brought them to Matheson, but all have their own stories and legends about Key House.
Young Bode is, of course, the one to kick off the mystery of Key House when his unsupervised exploring introduces the creepy well where the mystery woman lives and whispers to him. There is a lot of whispering in this episode and those moments are some of the only ones that are suspenseful as Bode follows the whispers to find a series of keys that unlock hidden and magical section of Key House.
There is a lighter tone to this first episode than I thought there would be. From the fantasy style opening, I got the feeling that this show would veer more towards the family friendly and blunt moments of possible and probable suspense and terror. To some extent, I was right to feel that way. The tone of the episode has a more “Series of Unfortunate Events” vibe than something like “Haunting of Hill House”, but it is definitely worth watching for the look of the series and the setting.
The cinematography is definitely one of the heroes of this episode. Key House has the right amount of creepiness to it. The town is beautifully shot to showcase its New England setting. The acting is fine, but too cliche in its characterizations, especially with the older siblings. There are a couple of interesting moments towards the end where Kinsey Locke confronts her trauma, but that’s about it. The first episode of Locke & Key is all establishment and setting and that’s fine. I just wish there was more tension in both the acting and the story.