A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers see Locke siblings become closer, more reliant on and protective of each other as they share this unexpected experience. Story deals thoughtfully with issues like grief, regret, anger after shock of losing a loved one. Though their paths are different from Nina's, both Locke kids and their mom search for resolution to their emotional turmoil after Rendall's death.
Positive Role Models
Nina shows psychological strength in moving her family across the country and attempting to create a new normal after loss. All the Locke kids make poor judgment calls at points, which threaten their safety to some degree, but what stands out even more is how they trust each other when they need to.
Violence & Scariness
Violent deaths (a shooting, a suffocation, a man stabs himself with a key and is engulfed in flames, etc.) are central to this story. Tales of drownings and other accidents in the past. Flashback scenes revisit Rendall's death and Nina's gunshot injury, show the kids' fear and grief related to those events. Some creatures are scary, including Echo, who tricks people into helping her before turning on them. Fistfights, other skirmishes pop up between teens as well.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Infrequent scenes show teens making out in various levels of undress; no nudity. In one case, a woman is shown in her bra and panties asking a man to choke her during foreplay. Talk of getting laid, dry humping, other sexual terms.
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"Bulls--t," "s--t," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "Jesus," and "d--kwad." In one scene, Duncan gives the middle finger in the direction of his childhood home.
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Products & Purchases
Series is based on graphic novels of the same title.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens smoke marijuana, drink at parties. In one scene, Tyler arrives home from a party and mentions being high, but there's little consequence for the actions. An adult drinks to the point of drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Locke & Key is based on the same-named series of horror-themed graphic novels. There are violent moments throughout the series, both in the present and in flashbacks to a defining moment in the characters' lives when a family member was shot and killed. In other scenes, a woman chokes a man to death, there's a lengthy fistfight, and there's a death by fire with suspicious causes. Language includes "bulls--t," "a--hole," "hell," "Jesus," and name-calling like "d--kwad." There's also teen sexuality (no nudity) and underage drinking and smoking. That said, the show is exceedingly well crafted to appeal to both teens and adults, and the villain's sinister, mysterious nature makes for a riveting watch. Need another reason to like it? The Locke kids' relationships start off realistically strained but improve as they face the uncertainty of their challenges together, which helps them better cope with a tragic loss.
Is It Any Good?
This thrilling series raises more questions than it answers from the unnatural death in the very first scene, and it doesn't stop there. Watching it is like riding a rollercoaster with more uphills than downhills; you always feel like you're headed toward a resolution of some kind, but instead every turn just brings more intrigue and suspense. This series excels at revealing just enough insight at just the right times to keep your interest and tempt you to come back for more.
You needn't be a horror or sci-fi geek to appreciate Locke & Key. The storyline that follows the family's healing process after a painful loss and traumatic experience is every bit as compelling as the one about a living, breathing spirit who threatens them in the present and has uncertain ties to their family's past. That said, it's a fairly gritty watch and has a definite creepiness that tingles a bit, so young teens who are sensitive to that kind of content may want to be wary of this one.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.