The Netflix program ‘Lockwood and Co.’  review: A YA ghost mystery made for the deep, dark winter

The Netflix program ‘Lockwood and Co.’ review: A YA ghost mystery made for the deep, dark winter

If you are in the northern hemisphere, we are in that time of year of cold, freezing evenings, when we go out it seems like a fool’s errand and a more attractive activity is sinking into a spooky mystery, preferably with hauntings, secrets. , and bloody revenge. Of course, YA provides fiction.

Based on the young supernatural novels of Jonathan Stroud, Netflix’s Lockwood and Co. it gives us the ghostly, haunted teenage house energy we need in the deep dark winter Attack on the Block directed by Joe Cornish. As seen in his favorite foreign invasion, the Cornish series again puts young people at the forefront of menace, our best fighting chance against the forces of evil.

Lockwood and Co joins. break ghosts with some murder mysteries.

Netflix is ​​banking on the idea that older teens love spooky mysteries, boasting a string of recent YA detective releases with a pinch of the supernatural: think The Irregulars or Enola Holmes.

Riding on the coattails of mystery long loved by Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and the Scooby-Doo gang, Lockwood and Co. it ties in with a series of issues that see teenagers thrown into grown-up investigative jobs that require a certain amount of ass-kicking and a sprinkling of otherworldly action.

SEE ALSO:

Netflix’s ‘The Irregulars’ is a fun Sherlock Holmes adventure with a haphazard execution

Set in a world overcome by “The Problem”, a global crisis where ghosts can (and do) kill a person just by touching them, Lockwood and Co. revolves around the young psychic investigator from London, Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman), who runs his own hunting agency while fighting ghosts with his trusted sidekick George Karim (Ali Hadji-Heshmati).

When strong, psychic teenager Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes) joins the incredibly small agency, the three work together to Scooby Doo this crap.(Opens in a new window). But Lockwood has several skeletons in his closet (perhaps, quite literally), and Lucy’s power may be more than any of them can handle.

A ghostly form with an evil face and bright eyes is trapped in a jar.

ghosts = evil
Credit: Netflix

But why all the ghosts? The context of the show is detailed in the opening credits via headlines: millions of deaths are the result of ghosts being able to contact people, a night curfew is imposed, an “economic shock” occurs, and the materials of iron, silver and salt are considered ” our best defense.” Technology stocks have declined, and computers and electronic devices have become obsolete. Meanwhile, young people are found to be more sensitive to ghosts than adults and are trained in academies to erase them from the world of the living. And it is this world that Cornish has plenty of time to build.

Lockwood and Co. a world in dire need of ghost hunters.

Lockwood and Co. he does a comprehensive job of building the world within this phantom crisis. Set in the United Kingdom, the series draws on England’s long history of haunted locations, the upper floors of pubs, castles in the countryside, mansions in most parts of town. It is a thing The Irregulars reveled in too. In particular, the streets of London are full of ugly true stories of murder and death, which has long attracted authors to spin many ghost stories.

Being a series instead of a movie, Cornish is able to spend time on the details, such as what happens inside ghost training academies, the different types of ghosts, the gadgets and tools needed to fight ghosts, why certain industries like iron and salt. which have become successful, and which ghost agencies are at the highest level.

But Cornish is also able to expand the investigation of Lockwood, Lucy, and George to become multi-layered, intertwined with other mysteries that at first seem unrelated. Witcher side quest.

Despite being at the forefront of The Problem, literally fighting it, adults constantly refer to young people in the series as “little shits,” and refuse to show them any respect. “You’ve got no backbone, kid,” says grave-digging company owner Saunders, who can’t see why his psychotic young employees are getting sick of working around a haunted grave.

But young people are quite aware of their currency as more in tune with ghosts. “To be honest, adults are useless anyway,” says Lucy, with an adult client. “Because of their lack of sensitivity. They just get in the way.” The government’s Department of Psychic Research and Control (DEPRAC), the pervading authority, led by Inspector Barnes, is monitored by reasonable adults (Ivanno Jeremiah).

As a director, however, Cornish has full faith in young people as being better able to deal with impending alien or supernatural attackers than fully grown adults. In this reality children are forced into adulthood faster than perhaps they should be, owning businesses, acting as real heroes, interrogating suspected adult criminals. It’s in their language, their manners, their home decor. They use ancient technology to study evidence and place gorgeous items in glass museum cases. Newspapers are used for job ads, everyone uses 80s style landlines instead of smart phones, and VHS tapes are actually useful. And the show doesn’t put too much emphasis on special effects, with most ghost busting relying on Lucy’s mean work and George’s detection by touch, which is mostly done through sound and stunt work.

A teenager wearing a straw hat sits in a cafe.

Hayley Konadu as Flo Bones
Credit: Netflix

Lockwood and Co. however, it doesn’t just immerse the audience in a post-pandemic reality without drawing systemic inequality. Like other British detective stories The Irregulars and Enola Holmes, the series examines class at its core, with privilege and power still going hand-in-hand despite the world being overrun by murderous ghosts. Outcasts, rogues, and relic hunters like Thames’ best Flo Bones (a true highlight played by Hayley Konadu) forge a way of life in a city that makes it impossible, and wealth exempts them from the most dangerous work. “We all make our living dealing with the dead,” says Flo. “The only difference is that you are caught in the cogs. Slaves to a system run by the rich. At least I’m free.” Cemeteries are an industry unto themselves, with new jobs including night watchman (“lowest pay, lowest life expectancy in the business”) developed to keep visitors in the ground, and sensibilities (” listeners basically, too scared to pick up a rapier or too posh to need a”). Even Lockwood calls his agency “specialists in mansions” – surely country mansions aren’t the only haunted mansions?

Lockwood and Co. the central three ghosts to life.

In the heart of the Lockwood and Co. the titular agency and its only employees: owner of the same Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman), trusted 2IC George Karim (Ali Hadji-Heshmati), and newcomer Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes). Within our main three, there’s a little Harry/Hermione/Ron energy, especially with the growing chemistry between Lucy and Lockwood and the demands of George’s third wheel. Within the creaking walls of the agency, they are ghost roommates, with all the fun and awkwardness that comes with sharing a house: busting into each other’s rooms in an emergency in different states without pants, burning the toast, or simply sitting around the kitchen table with cups of tea or bottles of beer, scribble ideas on the chalkboard.

A young girl looks as if in a trance in a dark room.

Ruby Stokes as Lucy Carlyle.
Credit: Netflix

Haunted by the past and constantly haunted by ghosts, Lucy is a complex protagonist, the best Ghost Whisper(Opens in a new window) of the team, and Stokes both lets her struggle with her developing powers and gives her a no-nonsense attitude towards posh pricks. Stokes takes on the ever-challenging task of convincing audiences that it’s all in her head, joining a long, brave tradition of television media from Phoebe Halliwell to Alyssa Milano in Charmed to Allison Dubois Patricia Arquette in Medium. It’s never an easy task, but Stokes conveys it confidently, aided by Cornish’s clever noise-cancelling-style sound design. The Last of Us‘ “listening mode.”

A young teenager with glasses sits in an armchair reading a book.

Ali Hadji-Heshmati as George Karim.
Credit: Netflix

George is Dr Watson of Lockwood, to Rupert Giles, the group’s academic. George was Hadji-Heshmati, and he achieved solutions with the true energy of Jonathan Creek. Meanwhile, his boss Lockwood, played by Chapman as a grown-up entrepreneur in the body of a teenager. Lockwood comes from old money, despite trying to look like he’s not – “We’re mortgages to George, I’m practically a serf.” He directs the series to rely on an age-old emotional investment for the audience: to keep the main character’s independent, rebellious business open against all odds. Lockwood protects his employees from all boring things like bills, trying to physically protect them from spirits. But to make things interesting, the series plays the Mr. Rochester, including a forbidden locked door on the second floor of Lockwood.

A young teenager sits in a messy lounge room wearing a suit.

Cameron Chapman as Anthony Lockwood.
Credit: Netflix

Lockwood and Co. set in a very specific target age demographic, taking scary spaces back to teenagers in a way that only Wednesday Addams can enjoy. One thing I want to warn that every episode of Lockwood and Co. There are many dark reasons for death that haunt, so it’s not exactly for younger teenagers. But being released in the deepest winter months of the northern hemisphere, Lockwood and Co is the kind of show adults might enjoy at this time of year: a ghost-hunting detective story where psychic powers and personal secrets are revealed . Get a big cup and a bra and settle in.

Lockwood and Co. streaming on Netflix from 27 January.(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab)

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