Neil Runge | Staff Writer
Horror, gore, drama and a story with as many twists and turns as a winter drive through downtown Pittsburgh. That’s what to expect from the Hulu original show Castle Rock. This new installment to Hulu’s list of original shows is a digital anthology of the novels, short stories, settings and characters with abundant Easter eggs from the renowned author Stephen King. The tying thread through this mashup of King’s unnerving tales is a brand new plot from the minds of Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason that is just as suspenseful as anything King has written.
Castle Rock follows Henry Deaver (Andre Holland) who is drawn back to his hometown of Castle Rock because a mysterious man (Bill Skarsgård), who was found in a cage, spoke his name after being mute for days, maybe even years. Henry goes on to discover that the strangeness he left behind is far from gone. As Henry uncovers more and more oddities and gets thrown into increasingly dangerous situations, the show grows exponentially more intense.
As of the writing of this story on Sept. 3, eight of the ten episodes have been released. These eight pieces of the story have taken viewers on a whirlwind. I know that I have spent too much of my free time watching countless videos on theories about Skarsgård’s unnamed character and who he could be, and videos analyzing each frame of the promos and behind the scenes clips.
Now, I should say that I’m not a horror fan, I leap out of my skin from jumpscares and quiver behind the couch when things get too tense. However, I’m attached to the residents of Castle Rock. I care about what happens to them, but that doesn’t stop me from watching it with all the lights on, the strings of a hoodie pulled as tight as they can go, and from under a blanket. My fear tells me to look away but my desire to see the end of the episode keeps me from doing so.
A part of what keeps me from looking away is the cast of this show. It includes the aforementioned Skarsgård (It, 2017), and Holland (Moonlight, 2016). There’s also Sissy Spacek who got her break in the 1976 rendition of Carrie and Melanie Lynskey of The Informant. They all carry the series with astounding performances. Spacek, in the role of Henry’s adopted mother, exhibits award-worthy acting skills. Holland plays the show’s leading character and he doesn’t take that lightly. Finally, Lynskey’s character, Molly Strand, is an odd person. She seems to have a special mental connection to Henry that has yet to be fully fleshed out.
With only two episodes left in the first season and a second season confirmed, I will be on the edge of my seat, searching for Easter eggs and clues that will tie the story and characters together. Castle Rock brings something new and innovative along with the familiarity of King’s work.