Review: Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ has the potential to be the next great supernatural show – USA TODAY

Stranger Things
Has Netflix found the "Key" to recreating the "Stranger Things" phenomenon? Not quite, but the streaming service has come close.  In  new supernatural series "Locke & Key, " Netflix nearly rips itself off in an attempt to find a new hit (although the comics "Key" is based on arrived long before "Stranger"). A story of three kids, a creepy old house, magic keys and a demonic but beautiful woman out to cause them harm,  "Locke" (now streaming, ★★★ out of four) is both familiar and new.  Like "Stranger, " "Locke" oozes with horror ambience and takes its cues from famous tales of the supernatural. It stars precocious kids, is set in a small town full of secrets and portrays adult characters as clueless or conniving. "Locke" is a mix of fairy tale and haunted-house tropes, fascinating magical mythology and teen drama, and while all are successful at some point during the 10-episode first season, they  rarely are simultaneously).  "Locke" is nearly as strong a debut as "Stranger Things" was in 2016, but it needs a few tweaks to jump the hurdle between good and great.   Based on popular comic books by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez,  the series follows the Locke family – mom Nina (Darby Stanchfield, "Scandal"); teens Tyler (Connor Jessup, ....


When their roles expand later in the season, they feel out of place.  Nina has a weak storyline, a function of the series' mythology in which adults can't remember their experiences with magic. She is around too often to be a "Charlie Brown"-style, unimportant adult,  but she isn't given enough screen time to make her feel essential.  In contrast to some overly padded streaming series, "Locke" could benefit from some breathing room. Much of the dialogue is obvious and explicative; young Bode sometimes sounds like a middle-aged professor. Writers struggle to incorporate adolescent drama with fantasy. Sure, having crushes on two boys isn't as inherently exciting as a key that can control someone's mind, but plenty of great series – "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, " "Supernatural, " "Roswell" – have balanced the mystical with the mundane, to far greater effect.  However, it is easy to overlook the series' flaws when its action and thrills really get going. .

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