Castle Rock 4K/Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Castle Rock is an horror television show executive produced by the master of horror Stephen King (Mr. Mercedes, The Mist, 11.22.63, Haven, & Under the Dome) & based on the stories of the legendary author. It was created by Sam Shaw (Manhattan, Cocked, & Masters of Sex) & Dustin Thomason (The Surgeon General, Lie to Me, & The Evidence). It produced by J.J. Abrams (Lovecraft Country, Westworld, Person of Interest, & 11.22.63) & Mark Lafferty (Halt and Catch Fire, Genius, White Collar, & Manhattan). It was made for & premiered on Hulu. Sheriff Alan Pangborn has appeared in various Stephen King adaptations including The Dark Half & Needful Things. Castle Rock was also featured in The Dead Zone & Stand by Me. Scenes take place in the Shawshank Prison from The Shawshank Redemption. Castle Rock was renewed for a 2nd season!!!!
In 1991 in Castle Rock, Sheriff Alan Pangborn (played by: Jeffrey Pierce from Bosch, The Nine, & Alcatraz) finds missing child Henry Deaver (played by: Caleel Harris from Blaze and the Monster Machines, The Loud House, & Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween) standing on the town’s frozen lake. 27 years later, on his last day as warden of Shawshank State Penitentiary Dale Lacy (played by: Terry O’Quinn from The Stepfather 1/2, Lost, Silver Bullet, & Tombstone) commits suicide. Prison guard Dennis Zalewski (played by: Noel Fisher from Shameless, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1/2, & Final Destination 2) comes across a Kid (played by: Bill Skarsgård from IT, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, & Assassination Nation) locked in an underground cage. The Kid whispers Henry’s full name. Zalewski anonymously calls Henry Deaver (played by: André Holland from American Horror Story, Moonlight, The Knick, & Selma) against new warden Theresa Porter’s (played by: Ann Cusack from Mr. Mercedes, Better Call Saul, Stigmata, & Nightcrawler) wishes.
Weaver’s troubled past comes back to haunt him including flashbacks of his religious preacher father Matthew (played by: Adam Rothenberg from Ripper Street, The Immigrant, & The Divide) as he returns to his hometown for this mysterious client. He visits his dementia suffering mother Ruth (played by: Sissy Spacek from Carrie, Badlands, JFK, & Blast from the Past) & discovers the old sheriff Alan (played by: Scott Glenn from Silence of the Lambs, Backdraft, Daredevil, & Training Day) now lives with her. He gets information at local bar from Jackie Torrance (played by: Jane Levy from Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe, Shameless, & Suburgatory). He manages to get The Kid released from prison after investigating the situation. Weaver re-connects with his childhood friend Molly Strand (played by: Melanie Lynskey from Two and a Half Men, Togetherness, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, & Detroit Rock City) after settling back into his old life. Strange events start happening once The Kid is back in society after being locked up all those years. Nothing is making any sense & chaos is now around every corner. Did Henry do the right thing by helping this unknown person? or Did he help start the apocalypse in Castle Rock????
J.J. Abrams first brought Stephen King’s work on Hulu with 11.22.63. Now he returns with a much darker approach from the master of horror with Castle Rock! It starts out very strong for the first half of the season with many familiar names, locations, & other material from past King adaptations. The main cast which includes Bill Skarsgård, André Holland, Sissy Spacek, Scott Glenn, Jane Levy, & Melanie Lynskey give some of their best performances in their entire career here. The Kid character had me so curious & I want to learn more about him in future seasons because he was very powerful & evil in Castle Rock. Towards the middle of the show it gets a little sloppy, confusing, & moves away from what made it so great in the beginning so you have to be patient with it. It does get better towards the end but a few episodes before it really test your attention. I am hoping the next chapter is more consistent compared to this. It had some messed up moments & for the most part it was very entertaining. It’s still one of the better Stephen King television shows in recent years & it has so much potential to be go past all those other adaptions if done right. RECOMMENDED for any horror, Stephen King, Bill Skarsgård,Sissy Spacek & Scott Glenn fans!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 2160p (1.78:1) transfer looks amazing in 4K for all 10 episodes which include Severance, Habeas Corpus, Local Color, The Box, Harvest, Filter, The Queen, Past Perfect, Henry Deaver, & Roman. The Stephen King universe is nothing like anything else, I love the unique setting & atmosphere of Castle Rock. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track has a nice boost to it. The dialogue is very clean, the intense moments really stand out, & the music fits the dark vibe perfect. It also has English SDH, French, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, & Swedish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features on this 4K & blu ray release! Disc 1 has a few “Inside The Episode” featurettes which include “Severance” that’s almost 4 minutes, “Habeus Corpus” that’s almost 3 minutes, “Local Color” that’s a little over 3 minutes, “The Box” that’s almost 3 minutes, & ending with “Harvest” that’s almost 3 minutes. Disc 2 has a few “Inside The Episode” featurettes which include “Filter” that’s a little over 3 minutes, “The Queen” that’s a little over 3 minutes, “Past Perfect” that’s a little over 2 minutes, “Henry Deaver” that’s a little over 2 minutes, & ending with “Romans” that’s a little over 3 minutes. It has interviews with show creators Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason. They sit down & summarize each episode for the first season. They say the 1991 scenes were shot on film & the later scenes were done digitally to create a difference in time. They talk about all the characters, actors, & crazy situations for the production. They mention various connections & nods to previous other Stephen King adaptations in Castle Rock. “Castle Rock: Blood On The Page” is almost 20 minutes. It has interviews with show creators Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, producer J.J. Abrams, actors Bill Skarsgård, André Holland, & various others. They show their appreciation for author Stephen King. They chat about Castle Rock. They mention the influence it has had on so much material. They bring up the changes it went through & why they picked this year to take place in rather than the past. They go over the characters & connections made during the show. “Clockwork of Horror” is almost 5 minutes. It has interviews with several members of the production. They talk about mixing the techniques of Stephen King & J.J. Abrams for Castle Rock. They chat about the setting & familiar territory for the stories. It also includes a slipcover box, digital copies of each episode, & 2 blu rays. It’s available everywhere right now & streaming on Hulu, CHECK IT OUT!!!!