There are two things which stand out almost immediately when listening to Locke & Key, based on six volumes of graphic novels by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. The first is the exceptionally high production quality realised by Audible Studios. The second is the need to focus.
With more than 50 voice actors involved, this full-cast dramatisation of the graphic novel series is hard to follow, compounded by short scenes that jump between characters and place. The story is exciting and it’s backed by a stellar original music score by Peter Van Riet but it’s easy to lose the thread. This is one of those productions that has a great pay off if you can sit still and just listen.
Locke & Key is a supernatural thriller that centres around the surviving members of the Locke family, who return to their ancestral estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts after tragedy strikes their home in California. Back in the 1700s, a group of soldiers had discovered an inter-dimensional portal on the land and sealed it with a series of magical keys that were forged from the remains of escaping demons. With family members now back on the estate, an evil presence is determined to use them to find and open the portal again.
Joe Hill’s imagination seems boundless, conjuring up dark and quirky images, while the audio adaptation by Elaine Lee and Fred Greenhalgh is full of tense moments, comedy and thrilling action.
The cast is superb and features well-known names such as Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager), with appearances by horror author Stephen King and the original team of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.
Locke & Key is directed by William Dufris with great care and skill. It’s a mammoth undertaking that is handled expertly under his watching ear.
Produced by AudioComics, Locke & Key was released in October 2015 by Audible Studios and runs for approximately 13 hours and 26 minutes. It is available through audible.
Locke & Key was a finalist for the 2016 Audie Awards for Original Work and won the 2016 Audie Award for Excellence in Marketing.