Based on characters and settings created by Stephen King, Castle Rock comes fast on the heels of Stranger Things, with a tale of psychological horror that will have you hocked from the get-go. Combining King’s trademark combination of mythological horror and in-depth characterisation, Season One follows the story of Harry Deaver (André Holland), an attorney, who returns to his hometown after an anonymous phone call from the infamous Shawshank State Penitentiary. The caller reveals that a young man (Bill Skarsgård) has been found locked up, apparently by the previous prison warden, in an abandoned cage, in an unused part of the prison. How, why, and who—or what—the Kid may really be unravels as the story progresses.
Notable performances from Holland, Sissy Spacek and Melanie Lynskey, as the psychic Molly Strand, make for some stand-out episodes—especially The Queen, which serves to showcase just what a fine actress Spacek is.
Aficionados will enjoy spotting references to the wider King-verse scattered liberally throughout the tale. However, these are more than just cookies. Rather a nod to the fact that, with King, we’re in very safe hands and while, Castle Rock is a slow burn piece, we know that the journey will be well-worth the effort.
Permeated with a sense of foreboding and dread—-along with some genuine scares—Castle Rock is classic King with a liberal sprinkling of Upside Down oddness thrown in for good measure.