Locke & Key review

Unlocke a worthy binge this weekend. 'Locke & Key' premieres February 7 on Netflix.

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Welcome to the Locke & Key spoiler free fandom review! Netflix's latest comic book adaptation only just begins to tell the complex and magical story of the Locke family. Is it worth the binge? The short answer is yes!

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The decade-long wait is finally over! 'Locke & Key' has likely found a forever home.

First, a little background info.

Locke & Key is based on the comic book series (by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez) of the same name. If you're wondering, having knowledge of the comics before watching the series isn't necessary.

So, in short, Nina and her three kids - two teens (Tyler and Kinsey) and a precocious 11 year old (Bode) - move to the family's estate, 'Key House', on the other side of the country. The reason for the move? Rendell Locke, loving husband and father, was brutally murdered. The motive behind his killing becomes clear as the series moves forward.

What trauma looks like.

Nina, who was injured in the attack, is a recovering alcoholic. Tyler, who witnessed with murder, feels partially responsible and Kinsey is also filled with guilt. She too was at home when the murder took place and had the means to stop it. However, Kinsey was so overcome with fear that she just froze. But, to her credit, she was also protecting Bode.

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That kind of baggage would be difficult for anyone to carry around. So it's only natural that one would feel compelled to get as far away as possible. Nina's choice was to leave Seattle and move to the Locke ancestral home on the east coast. As an added incentive, Rendell's brother, Duncan, lives in nearby Boston and remains a close and trusted uncle to the kids. And that's where our story begins.

Welcome to Key House.

Key House, located in the small town of Matheson, Massachusetts, sits on a massive plot of land. The property comes complete with a cemetery, a lush forest, a wellhouse, and a lovely ocean view. Although unoccupied for a number of years, the property is maintained by Rendell's school friend, Ellie, and her teenage son, Rufus (marvellously played by autistic actor Coby Bird). The land, and the mansion that sits on it, has a mysterious and sordid narrative. It's apparent that all the kids in Matheson have heard about it, and refer to the mansion as 'the most haunted house in Matheson.'

The creepy Key House is a major character in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

It's bigger than the pictures. Also, a little more Norman Bates. ~ Tyler Locke

Where there's a Locke, there's a key.

Hidden around the house are magical keys - each with its own incantation. And it's what that charm can do that can be both extraordinary and frightening. The fascinating history of the keys and the Locke family is complex. Although only briefly explained in the series, we learn that the keys were forged from 'whispering iron.' So, when a demon attempts to crossover from their dimension to this one without a host (a human to possess), it becomes a lump of iron - whispering iron. The portal to this demonic dimension is on the Locke property. And the keys were forged by a young blacksmith, Benjamin Locke, during the late 1700's.

Just a little turn of the Omega Key and you'll open the door to another dimension in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

The last time that door was opened, dad's friend got possessed by a demon. ~ Tyler Locke

What the heck is 'whispering iron' you ask? Well, when a demon attempts to crossover from their dimension to this one without a host (a human to possess), it becomes a lump of iron - whispering iron. The portal to this demonic dimension is on the Locke property. And the keys were forged by a young blacksmith, Benjamin Locke, during the late 1700's.

The portal to another dimension is beneath the Locke property in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

So many keys, so little time.

According to lore, many keys were forged. However, in season 1 of Locke & Key we see only a fraction of what's out there and what they can do. Young Bode (the memorable Jackson Robert Scott of 'It' fame) is the first one to find a key. Naturally, as the youngest member of the Locke family, he can hear the whispering of the keys.

Jackson Robert Scott is Bode Locke in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

They'll only call to people who are very special. Like you, Bode. ~ Dodge

What do they say? We don't exactly know. The whispering is incomprehensible, but the closer we get to the key the louder the murmur becomes. It's important to note that adults can neither hear the whispers nor remember anything that happens when a key is used. But, as we find out later, the memory lapse can be avoided.

Whoops! My bad.

Soon enough, more keys are discovered and Bode lets Tyler and Kinsey in on the fun. But, as the old saying goes, 'It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.' Or, in this scenario, 'It's all fun and games until someone releases a demon!' As the Locke siblings have fun with the different keys they find (they're magic, who wouldn't play with them!?), Bode inadvertently releases a demon.

Jackson Robert Scott is Bode Locke and Laysla De Oliveira is Dodge in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

I'll help you, Bode...but I need you to give me the Anywhere Key. ~ Dodge

Dodge (Canadian actress Laysla De Oliveira) tricks Bode into handing over a very important key. The 'Anywhere Key' allows the bearer to open any door and go anywhere they visualize.

Bode's little mistake becomes a major problem. With the help of the 'Anywhere Key', Dodge will do what she wants, when she wants, to whomever she wants to get the remaining keys. There's nothing more dangerous than a Demon who wants what you have, but can't just take it from you.

Not Narnia, and so not Disney.

Ok, so this is not a cute Disney tale about a magical wardrobe and talking animals. Locke & Key is dark. Very dark. Underage drinking, bloody murder, violence. Pretty much everything Disney+ doesn't have. Neither is Locke & Key just another 'haunted house' time-waster. Certainly, most of the 'magic' happens within the confines of Keyhouse but series is so much more.

Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Hallea Jones, Petrice Jones, Griffin Gluck, Genevieve Kang in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

Netflix can keep the interest of the mid-teen demo and stay ahead of Disney+ with more shows like Locke & Key, Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy. But it won't be easy. Certainly, both companies have a bottomless pit of cash available to make blockbuster movies and TV shows. But Disney is still the go-to choice for family entertainment.

Connor Jessup is Tyler Locke and Darby Stanchfield is Nina Locke in season 1 of Locke & Key. (Source: Netflix)

Season 2.

The 10-episode series only just begins to tell the Locke story. The family tree is huge (considering the size of the cemetery), so there are are more characters (and keys!) to explore. The Locke estate is like a massive evil amusement park. And the discovery of the portal to the plains of Leng is certainly an idea that we'd like to see explored in greater detail.

Unconfirmed, yet reliable sources, say that producers are already working on a second season. As I write this, Locke & Key's inaugural season is still a week away from release. However, there is already an established fanbase that seems to grow by the day. I'm confident that Netflix has done the right thing and fans will likely embrace Locke & Key. So, I see no reason why there won't be at least 3 more seasons.

Was it worth the wait?

I think so, yes. Even though the show isn't exactly like the beloved comic book series, Locke & Key is a worthy binge. It's violent, but not as bloody and graphic as the comics. There's also little humour - dare I say 'playfulness' - that isn't of the eye-rolling type.

I'm not a critic, and I barely qualify as a journalist. In fact, I wouldn't even call myself a writer, lest I insult actual wordsmiths! So, if I take the time to binge a series and then write about it, I do it because I'm a fan. And now, I'm Locke & Key's newest devotee.

The magical keys.

Benjamin Locke forged a lot of keys. Here's a list of the best keys to have, and what they can do for you. Oh, I should add that not all of these keys are used in the first season of Lock & Key.

Omega Key.

Opens the lock on the demonic door (aka: the Black Door). The first key created.

Echo Key.

Allows entry to the Keyhouse well house, and with the Echo Key in hand, allows a person to return a spirit from the dead to the world of the living. Leaving through the well house door, however, banishes the spirit back to wherever it came from.

Anywhere Key.

Opens a door to anywhere the bearer can visualize in their mind.

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Music Box Key.

Inserted into a magical music box, it will cause the music box to play a song that compels whomever is listening to it to obey its lyrics. Whomever turns the key can supply the command to be carried out by the listener. Commands are carried out so long as the music is playing and the listener can hear it.

Gender Key.

Opens a door that swaps the user's biological gender (males transform to females, females transform to males).

Head Key.

Inserted into the base of someone's head, it allows one to peer inside the mind of a person, where memories and mental concepts (even "sanity" itself) are represented as tiny beings. The memories can be removed, and even swapped between people. Books inserted into a head with the Head Key transfer their contents to the bearer of the key, though in such a situation the knowledge of the text is accurate but superficial.

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Shadow Key.

Allows its wearer to control shadow creatures, and even the shadows of other people, which are themselves capable of interacting with the material world (often violently). Embedded in a crown, it is a tremendous source of power for whomever is wearing it, though the shadows can themselves be rendered immaterial by bright light.

Giant Key.

This physically large key, once inserted into a keyhole-shaped window in Keyhouse, transforms the bearer into a massive giant.

Mending Key.

Opens a magical cabinet in Keyhouse into which a broken object can be placed (the cabinet can resize itself to the size of the object). Once the object is locked inside the cabinet, it is repaired. While it can heal even severely wounded people, it cannot apparently resurrect the dead.

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Angel Key.

Inserted into a harness with large feathered wings, it grants a person the power of winged flight.

Hurcules Key.

Embedded in a necklace, it grants the bearer considerable additional strength and bulk.

Ghost Key.

When used in the right door in Keyhouse, it separates the soul of whomever travels through the door from their body. Their body crumples dead, while their ghost is free to roam the Keyhouse grounds. Ghost souls can inhabit any other bodies nearby, and clash with other ghosts.

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Animal Key.

Used on the right door in Keyhouse, it allows anyone who travels through the door to transform into an animal. (It is unclear whether they have choice in the matter; it appears that they are assigned the animal by the key, according to some sort of spiritual affinity.) An animal with a human soul that travels back through the door (from outside to inside) turns into the human whose soul is in the animal, apparently.

Timeshift Key.

Operates a grandfather clock that allows a user to observe (but not interact with) past events. However the clock is limited to a specific time period. The earliest date one can visit is January 13, 1775 & the latest date is December 31, 1999.

Alpha Key.

Removes demons from possessed people; inserts into their chests. Because it turns the demons instantly into whispering iron while it is still inside the host, it is fatal.

Philosophoscope Key.

Gives access to a device that provides viewing access to various people and places.

(source: Wikipedia [based on the comic book version])

Locke & Key sneak-peek photo gallery.

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This page is a part of my 8FLiX Standom. For more "Locke & Key" fandom-standom awesomeness, check back throughout the week. I'll be adding loads of content to get you ready for Friday's premiere on Netflix. Thanks for your support and love! ❤️~ Nick

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Locke & Key (2020)
Starring: Darby Stanchfield, Emilia Jones, Connor Jessup, Jackson Robert Scott, Petrice Jones, Griffin Gluck, Laysla De Oliveira and Sherri Saum.

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