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Castle Rock Season 2 Blu-ray Review


The top notch cast can’t quite save a messy season.

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.”

In the 10 episode second season of Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” a familiar face from the Stephen King realm takes center stage. The character in question is Annie Wilkes from “Misery.” This isn’t the Kathy Bates version, however, but a younger version of the character who winds up in Castle Rock with an alleged daughter named Joy. The other main players are a family of locals in Castle Rock comprised of an Uncle (Pop) who raised Ace and Chris (now adults) and two adopted Somalian children (Abdi and Nadia). There’s plenty of drama within that family. As the season unfolds, things only get stranger in the creepy town as cultists begin to emerge, the dead come back, murders take place, family secrets emerge, flashbacks occur (including one set 400 years prior), Annie’s warped past is revealed, and other story elements you’ll have to discover for yourself.

While perhaps an improvement over the first season, the sophomore season of “Castle Rock” still suffers from the same issues as the debut season. The concept of an anthology series based in the Stephen King universe is ripe with potential, but unfortunately, the execution of this series is messy. The writers seem to want to do too much as they cram in elements that are rather strange in combination (in the case of this season it’s basically “Misery” meets the “Salem’s Lot” mythology). Of course, the show is packed with references, easter eggs and homages to everything from “Stand By Me” and “Needful Things” as well. Viewers also have to deal with some dull family drama involving land and property that has purpose, but isn’t exactly must see TV. The season is at its best when it focuses on Annie Wilkes which leads me to the real highlight of this season.

Say what you will about the show itself, but the casting is top notch here yet again. It’s a tough task for any actor to fill the shoes of a character that Kathy Bates made iconic and yet the always underrated Lizzy Caplan does so admirably. Her performance grabs your attention for the entire season and truthfully keeps you watching. Caplan has quite an award winning cast backing her up though with Elsie Fisher of “Eighth Grade” fame, Barkhad Abdi best known from “Captain Phillips,” and Tim Robbins who is certainly no stranger to the Stephen King world. To say this cast elevates the material is an understatement. 


Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? The episodes look flat-out pristine in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is an effective 5.1 track that makes an impression.

* Digital copy
* “Annie Wilkes- Mother Of Sorrow”- A 17 minute featurette on the character and her inclusion in season 2.

July 18, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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