<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 4, 2020




‘CASTLE ROCK’ is a HULU TV series based on various materials penned by horror master Stephen King. Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock in Maine, it starts in 1991 when Castle Rock’s sheriff, Alan Pangborn, finds missing black boy Henry Deaver, adopted son of Ruth and Pastor Matthew Deaver, on the town’s frozen lake. 

The boy has no memory at all of what happened to him and how he got there. 

Then the story jumps to 2018. Warden Dale Lacy (Terry O’Quinn) of Shawshank Penitentiary (a fictional prison featured in King’s “Shawshank Redemption”) is shown committing suicide. Soon, a guard, Zalewski (Noel Fisher), finds a prisoner kept by Lacey in a secret underground cage for almost three decades. 

He won’t talk so they just call him The Kid, played by Bill Skarsgard, son of Stellan and brother or Alexander. He played the deadly clown in “It”. 

The guard heard The Kid whispering the name of Henry Deaver so he calls Henry (Andre Holland), now a criminal lawyer in Texas, and Henry goes back home to Castle Rock to find more about The Kid.

He learns that his mom (Sissy Spacek) is now suffering from dementia and is living in with her former boyfriend, Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), who’s very devoted to her. Alan tells Henry that Lacy told him The Kid is actually the devil in person and it was God who told him to lock the boy up in a cage. 

Henry is ostracized in their hometown as folks think he’s the one who caused the death of Pastor Matthew (Adam Rothenberg), who fell off a cliff and died at the time he was missing. 

As a boy, Henry has a special connection with Molly, a girl who lives at the house across theirs. Molly (Melanie Lynskey) tells Henry that she can read his thoughts and it was he who urged her to remove the breathing tube on his dad’s life support system. 

The mystery deepens when the guard Zaleswki slowly loses his sanity because of his association with the Kid and ends up shooting many cops inside the prison before he himself is shot dead in front of Henry. 

At this point, we’re starting to get bored because we can’t seem to figure out where everything is leading to. But we stuck to it hoping there will be a very satisfying pay off at the 10th and final episode.

Finally, in episode 9, we see The Kid as a doctor named Henry Deaver and he is the real biological son of Ruth and Pastor Matthew. They also live in a town called Castle Rock but it is in an alternate universe. 

There are differences in the story of the white Henry and the black one. In the white Henry’s alternate universe, Ruth succeeds in leaving her husband to join Alan in Boston.  

Pastor Matthew is not killed by Molly but kills himself. The white Henry then finds the black boy Henry imprisoned in their basement. Black Henry succeeds in returning to his own universe and the white Henry accidentally followed him, thus becoming The Kid.

Sorry, we think that might be quite a spoiler, but we have no choice but to recount it here to tell you why we’re disappointed with how the story went, after presenting it with so much enigmatic mystery and, later, how it is concluded weakly (that we’ll no longer reveal.)

Maybe, the diehard fans of Stephen King who are familiar with his works and his storytelling would be able to appreciate it more, but sorry to say we’re not really that big a fan of King. We even think some of his works are just overrated. 

“Castle Rock” is so sluggishly paced for us and we’re hoping there’s a better reward for all its vagueness, but the explanation of its mysteries as an alternate reality is really quite ho-hum and a letdown for us, as it’s not even one bit scary and you don’t really get to sympathize with the lead characters. 

There are even elements left unexplained, like how come wherever The Kid goes, tragedy and death seem to happen? And how come he didn't age at all after 30 years?

The best reason to watch “Castle Rock” is the fine performances of the actors. Holland, Skarsgard and Melanie as Molly are all first rate in their respective roles. But the episode we like the most is the 7th episode which is told from the point of view of Ruth. 

Sissy Spacek truly gives a stunning and heartbreaking performance recalling Ruth’s life while the beautiflly edited timeline moves back and forth from past and present, including her relationship with Alan Pangborn. 

We remember Sissy as Carrie in 1976 and as Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in 1980 for which she won an Oscar. It’s enthralling to watch her as a mature actress in full command of all her thespic talents.

The ending of Season 1 suggest there is going to be a Season 2 to shed more light about what happens to the characters but, honestly, we don’t really give a damn any more.