Image from Netflix

A family finds itself in a mysterious house, haunted by its secrets that will change their lives forever. If that sounds familiar, well, it’s because it’s a Netflix show, but not that other show with a house on a hill or a hill house or—you get it.

There’s a new show on Netflix and it offers a refreshing take on the old family-house-mystery genre, and it’s called Locke & Key. Oh, and it’s from a comic book, which I have never even heard about before I got to watch season one of the show on Netflix. And as far as streaming shows are concerned, Locke & Key does a really good job. For starters, it has everything many viewers tend to love in a Netflix series: its protagonists are teenagers and a kid, it has a very retro vibe, and it has magic.

Speaking of nostalgic retro feels, the first couple of moments in Locke & Key has this ’90s TV series vibe. I like that. It reminds me of shows my parents used to watch and, because I had no choice, I ended up watching with them (not that I regret that). Some moments feel like an episode of Charmed or of Early Edition or of Boston Public or like scenes from the first few seasons of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Even the soundtrack is reminiscent of feel-good ‘90s flicks.


One other thing I liked about Locke & Key is how its teenage cast wasn’t the usual dark and brooding types, which there is a lot of now in other Netflix shows—sorry, new version of Sabrina and You, yes You. It’s one of the reasons why I liked the first season of Sex Education. This doesn’t mean, however, that the shows heroes, the Locke kids Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), were not relatable. It doesn’t also mean that they didn’t have their respective issues, which they have a lot of considering the fact that the show starts with them dealing with a particularly heavy, life-changing tragedy.

After the murder of their father Rendell (Bill Heck), the kids and their mom Nina (Darby Stanchfield) move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts, cheekily called Key House. It is here, in their new home, adjusting to life without their dad and to the new environment they find themselves in, that they realize there’s more to Key House than what their uncle Duncan (Shawn Ashmore) or anyone knows. Hidden in the house are keys with magical abilities, and it’s up to the kids to find and keep these from a devious demon who is hell-bent (pun intended) on getting them.

Locke & Key is a coming-of-age tale about overcoming difficulties with the help of family and friends. I know, I know, it’s not the first show to have this kind of plot. But the way it deals with it is quite refreshing and that’s why I find this series worth watching.

Locke & Key will stream on Netflix starting on Feb. 7.

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