Review: Locke & Key Netflix Adaptation

The thing that gets me with every review ever is that I have to scroll forever and a day just to find out if it’s a positive review or not. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I don’t like reading negative reviews of things I loved, so I generally click out of a review if it’s negative, and it’s so much more efficient if I can just know this up front.


Also, this review will be completely spoiler-free, so have fun! And now, with that out of the way, let’s chat!

Welcome to Keyhouse! Look, honestly, if you’ve been keeping track of my overwhelming love of Locke & Key, you know that I’ve been absolutely losing my shit over here about the adaptation. From the announcement of Jackson Robert Scott as the most perfect Bode Locke ever to the incredible slow reveal of Keyhouse in all its glory, I was pretty much guaranteed to love this no matter what. All that said, however, I had some seriously unrealistically high expectations for this adaptation.

Hill manages to still weave his excellent storytelling through a different (and shorter) medium, and volume one is like the setting of a grand stage. Big, weird, creepy things are coming, and I can’t wait.

Welcome to Lovecraft, Vol 1 review

I’m a huge Joe Hill fan. I’ve currently read everything he’s published, which is really sad because I stretched his books out so much so I could have another one to read for as long as possible, but alas, we’re at the end of those glorious days.

Locke & Key is easily one of my favorites, though. It follows three siblings, who have recently lost their father, as their mother moves them across the country for a fresh start in Massachusetts. Set in Keyhouse, the Locke family’s ancient manor, Bode, Kinsey, and Tyler quickly discover that Keyhouse is much more than just a huge, empty house. There are magical keys hidden inside its nooks and crannies, keys that can grant you wings, turn you into a ghost, and even open a portal to an alternate dimension.

Image result for bode locke gif

I had faith in Netflix. Well, kind of. They did cancel Sense8 after all, but they did also create Sense8, so the logic is that Locke & Key is going to be fantastic. Not only that, but Hill was one of the writers, so there’s another bonus point. Plus, I loved the adaptation for Horns, and while I haven’t actually watched NOS4A2 yet, it looks pretty damn amazing. Thus, going in, I had hope. They were going to do this right.

The moment I finished this, I had this massively relieving feeling of yes thank god I already have the third volume at home.

Head Games, Vol 2 review

I don’t think I was quite prepared for just how right it was going to be. I never think of him when I’m doing Top 10 lists, but Bode Locke is definitely one of my top favorite characters. He’s such an adorable little punk, and I both want to dropkick him and hide him beneath a mountain of blankets.

Jackson Robert Scott? Damn, damn, damn. It’s like they plucked Bode straight out of the comics and dropped him into real life. And it’s not just Bode! Kinsey & Tyler both have absolutely stellar representations, particularly because we get little nods to bits of the comics–Kinsey’s hair & Tyler’s hat in the last episode. Everyone else is there, too–Scot, Zack, Dodge, Nina, Duncan, I could go on and on because I thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s portrayal in this.

I find this particularly interesting, too, because there were some departures from the comics. Nina is already in recovery for her alcoholism at the start of the show. Zack isn’t Tyler’s friend. Duncan is way cuter than in the comics. There’s a ton more, too, but every single change felt right, felt like it made sense. They didn’t just arbitrarily have Nina in recovery so they didn’t have to deal with her alcoholism at all. Instead, they gave her space to continue to heal, to struggle, to fall apart, to prove to herself that she could keep surviving, to pick herself back up. She was given the chance to allow herself love again–both to and from her children.

While it wasn’t technically a perfect adaptation, I stand behind every change they’ve made so far.

And the plot! Granted, I forget things pretty quickly, so I only remember, like, the basic structure of the plot and the big events that happen, so I did some quick research after watching. The show pulls from the first three volumes, and it does so it a noticeably less gruesome way. Like, my dudes, this was way less gory than the comics are, and I honestly didn’t mind that. Instead, this leans pretty heavily on the magic of the keys and the development of the Locke siblings, which, hey, I’m always here for siblings over gore, soooooo, I’m calling this a win?


Clockworks, Vol 5 review

There were definitely some things that I remember from a little later in the comics, but nothing that’s going to confuse you now if you start watching without reading. They did a really excellent job of weaving everything together in a cohesive way, and I’m so excited to see where it goes next. When I saw Hill last year for a Full Throttle signing, he mentioned that he & Gabriel Rodriguez weren’t done with Keyhouse yet, so I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that we’re in it for the long haul.

Overall, there’s a lot to love about Netflix’s adaptation of Locke & Key. Even if you haven’t read the comics, or don’t want to, I think this show is an excellent weekend plan. The plot will keep you guessing and wanting more so that you stay up until midnight watching (like I did, despite almost never binge-watching shows anymore), Bode will absolutely steal your heart, and while the finale will work just okay if Netflix decides not to renew, it also opens up potential for so much down the line.

I love this series so much. I can’t wait for the TV show to come out, especially because they seem to be picking a truly perfect cast. This ending was riveting, full of drama and moments where I really almost threw it at the wall, and just so overcome with heart. I love these characters. I love this story. And I love, love, love the ending.

Alpha & Omega, Vol 6 review

Honestly, five stars. It could have very easily been four stars bolstered only by my undying love for Bode Locke, but it knocked every aspect out of the park, and I’m so relieved that my stupidly high expectations were not only met, but exceeded. If you’re a fan of the comics, definitely watch this. If you’re a fan of magic, funny horror, and family dynamics, watch this. If you want to laugh one scene and cry the next, watch this. It’s 100% worth your time.

11 responses to “Review: Locke & Key Netflix Adaptation”

  1. theorangutanlibrarian Avatar

    Great that this worked so well! I’ve always been curious about the graphic novel, but not read it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I definitely recommend the graphic novel! It’s one of my favorites.


  2. waytoofantasy Avatar

    Glad to see you loved this! I haven’t read the GN yet although I do have the first one in my TBR pile, I keep wavering back and forth on whether to check out the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      You totally should! It’s excellent just on its own without the book, so definitely recommend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. February Wrap-Up – Mary and the Words Avatar

    […] here is my glowing review for Locke & Key. I absolutely adored everything about it. I don’t normally binge-watch anything these days, […]


  4. Amy Helina Avatar

    I have not read the book, I actually didn’t even know it existed. HOWEVER I absolutely loved the show! I really hope they continue it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      The graphic novels are AMAZING, and I highly recommend if you loved the show!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amy Helina Avatar

        Thank you, I will check them out!


  5. Book Adaptations – Mary and the Words Avatar

    […] Sometimes, you’re just sat there, in your house, minding your own business, and then you realize that not only have you been blessed with one Joe Hill adaptation, not two, but three??? If this is the world we’ve got to live in, I’m here for it. And if you’re surprised to see Locke & Key on this list, well, then, you haven’t been paying attention. […]


  6. Review: Joe Hill – Mary and the Words Avatar

    […] on, we all knew Locke & Key was going to be high on this list. I practically wept all over my review for the Netflix adaptation, and one of the best days of 2020 was when they announced the renewal. They’re now onset […]


  7. TTT: Favorite Activities to Do for Halloween – Mary and the Words Avatar

    […] Locke & Key because I reviewed those through my wrap-ups and then talked about them during my adaptation review, but Hill is one of my auto-buy authors, and I’ve had so much fun this month catching up on […]


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