Stephen King’s multiverse in Hulu’s Castle Rock
Courtesy: Hulu

A single chapter by Stephen King is bound to make our head spin, now imagine what diving into his expanded universe would be like. That is exactly what Castle Rock is – a Stephen King Mixtape; a horror themed wonderland for King’s fans where every house is haunted, every family has a dark past and every individual as a skeleton hidden in their closet. It is an original story with characters and references from King’s established works set in Castle Rock: fictional town in Maine repeatedly visited by King in many of his books such as Cujo, Dead Zone and Needful things.

Castle Rock has omnipresent sense of evil which haunts everyone, even the good men. They constantly struggle to do the right thing and say, “It wasn’t me… It was this place” and the previous warden of Shawshank assures us from beyond the grave that they are right. The town seems to have gone through a lot of tragedy and though they do not acknowledge it, the residents are aware that something is not quite right as awful incidents happen very frequently and evil seems to lurk beneath the surface of the town.

HENRY DEAVER: PROTAGONIST OR JUST A CENTER OF GRAVITY FOR OTHER CHARACTERS?

Andre Holland who is well known for his role as Kevin in Moonlight, stars as Henry Deaver – an adopted boy who is the town’s only black resident. Deaver disappeared for 11 days in his childhood and reappeared with no recollection of his missing days. His disappearance was shortly followed by his father’s death which the whole town seems to blame him for. The story takes a pace when he returns back to his hometown to represent a client – a shady kid locked up in a cage in The Shawshank Prison.

BILL SKARSGARD: HOLLYWOOD’S CREEPY KID

Bill Skarsgard in Castle Rock
Picture Courtesy: Hulu

This shady character is perhaps the most peculiar and sinister part of the series which is justifiably portrayed by the very attractive and talented Bill Skarsgård who also starred as Pennywise in King’s IT. This off-the-books prisoner portrayed by Skarsgård who is mostly mute may seem harmless but can send chills down your spine with a single dead-eye glance and radiates evil like the devil himself.

CASTLE ROCK: WHERE THE NAME ORIGINALLY COMES FROM

Stephen King originally burrowed the name Castle Rock from William Golding’s famous classic novel Lord of the flies. This is King’s favorite novel and can also be seen reading by The Kid’s cellmate in the second episode of the series.

The Kid's cellmate reading Lord of The Flies
Courtesy: Hulu

Produced by Stephen King himself and J.J Abrahms, headed by the showrunners Dustin Thomason and Sam Shaw, the series is a bowl of perfectly whipped mixture of unnerving monologues, grotesque acts of violence, creepy flashbacks and appalling storytelling with off-putting cinematography. So perfected with every element that it even appears clichéd at some point. Though there are plenty of references to Stephen King’s work, you can very well enjoy the series without any prior knowledge. Apart from the references, the series also pays homage to King at certain points. This King-dom is the best recommendation to audiences who love small town dark and horrifying mysteries.

First episode date: July 25, 2018 (ongoing)
Network: Hulu
Program creators: Dustin Thomason, Sam Shaw
Genres: Horror fiction, Occult Fiction, Thriller film
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10

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