Springing from the King closet of season one like so much that goes bump in the night, Castle Rock: Season 2 cements the staples that King is, well… King; horror doesn’t always have to be bloody to be brilliant; and Lizzie can certainly throw a tizzy better than your average bad girl. Yes, King fans, ankle-crackin’ Annie is back – portrayed beautifully by a more than competent Caplan – to keep the folks of Castle Rock on their toes and eager fans up all night with the lights on.
To add to Annie’s fire, located on “the other side of the tracks” – if there is such a thing in Castle Rock – we have the Merrill Clan, spearheaded by King alum Tim Robbins and squared off by strong performances from Abdi, Warsama, Sparks, and Alan. If fans thought King’s Margaret White, Nettie Cobb and Jack Torrance were collectively crazy, it’s safe to say some of the Merrill’s sure put up a fight for first. And while season two may bring with it some convolution, confusion, and a leaning bias towards all things Wilkes. Still, the caliber of freshly realized characters, storyline and performances more than make up for a few season missteps. It’s important to keep in mind that the series isn’t meant to be a verbatim re-telling of King’s beloved prose, but rather an alternative – or dare I say enhancement – of his master crafted characters all wrapped up in newly proposed theories and twisting plots.
If there is a failing here, it isn’t with the series but rather with the supplements of the Blu-ray set. Granted, most television seasons are hard-pressed to compete with the big bonus draws of feature film materials; but still, only one bonus featurette – albeit a good one – is included. Remaining fixated on all things Annie, Annie Wilkes: Mother of Sorrow offers fans a nice 17-minute plunge into our nutty nurse, including Caplan’s views on the iconic character and the choices she made to pay homage to – while still differentiating from – the Academy Award winning performance of Wilkes by Kathy Bates. And while the featurette does touch on some of the remaining cast throughout the season, I believe an opportunity to fully realize the remarkable roster of season two was largely missed. It would seem that even at the end of the season run there’s still no love for the Merrill clan.
So, in a town that’s uncanny and home to one crazy Annie, Castle Rock: Season 2 hobbles the horror genre once again.
Studio Synopsis: Stephen King’s multiverse, Castle Rock, is a place which combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of the best-selling author’s best-loved works. In season two, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes (Lizzie Caplan, Masters of Sex), Stephen King’s nurse from hell, gets waylaid in the small town of Castle Rock. Local businessman Reginald “Pop” Merrill (played by Academy® Award-winning actor Tim Robbins – Mystic River) is dragged into the fight, when Pop’s nephew, legendary bully John “Ace” Merrill (Paul Sparks, House of Cards), stirs up trouble. It’s another eerily unforgettable season of Castle Rock, as the mysterious town’s ongoing epic saga continues to unfold.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 550 minutes
Number of Disks: 2
– Annie Wilkes: Mother of Sorrow Featurette
Central Cast: Lizzy Caplan | Bill Skarsgård | Tim Robbins | Paul Sparks | Barkhad Abdi | Yusra Warsama | Matthew Alan | Elsie Fisher
Creators: Stephen King | Sam Shaw | Dustin Thomason
Central Writers: Stephen King | Sam Shaw | Dustin Thomason
Television Premiere: October 23, 2019
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: July 21, 2020
Genre: Drama | Fantasy | Horror
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE