Locke & Key review: Netlfix unlocks dark secrets

The Locke children Kinsey (Emilia Jones), Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) and Tyler (Connor Jessup) are pulled into a strange world when they move home.
The Locke children Kinsey (Emilia Jones), Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) and Tyler (Connor Jessup) are pulled into a strange world when they move home.

Netflix's adaptation of Locke & Key plays the psychological card to scare viewers and keep them entertained.

It uses a few familiar cues - the creepy house in the middle of the countryside, whispering voices, an inquisitive kid - but manages to come up with something fresh.

The adaptation also steers clear of the gore associated with the graphic novel on which the show is based.

Locke & Key follows the Locke family, mum Nina (Darby Stanchfield) and the three kids, Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Tyler (Connor Jessup), as they come to terms with the death of their father Randall.

Nina decides the family requires a fresh start and she needs a new project so they move from Seattle to Randall's family home, called Keyhouse, outside a small town.

The home has been left untouched for many years and looks like something Norman Bates would live in (co-writer Carlton Cuse created the series Bates Motel).

The family tries to settle in and deal with the problems of moving towns as well as dealing with Randall's death.

They also quickly discover their family name has a long history in the area and with that comes so dark secrets.

Magical keys are hidden around the house and Bode (the youngest of the siblings) is the first to discover their potential and their dangers.

Bode's exploring of the house has echoes of Danny in The Shining and it is the unknown that is used to play on the viewer's mind.

The spooky atmosphere also reminded me of the early Stranger Things episodes that played on the mind rather than the eye.

This isn't a scare a minute show though. There are light and funny moments and the mystery is the key part of the storyline. Bode's use of a GI Joe toy is a great foil.

I don't know how close this adaptation is to the original novel but I still enjoyed it without any knowledge of it.

Locke & Key is definitely one to add to the watchlist and worthy of a binge session.

By GAVIN STONE