When it comes to adaptations no writer’s work has been turned into series and films more than Stephen King (not that we’re complaining). The most recent adaptation of King’s work is Epix’s soon to premiere series “Chapelwaite,” based on King’s short story Jerusalem’s Lot.
Academy Award® Winner Adrien Brody stars alongside Emily Hampshire in the series set in the 1850s. The series follows Captain Charles Boone (Brody), who relocates his family of three children to the ancestral home he inherited in the small, seemingly sleepy town of Preacher’s Corners, Maine after his wife dies at sea. He is surprised to learn that the entire town hates his family. Hampshire’s Rebecca offers her services as a nanny for Charles’ children without him knowing that she took the job to learn more about his family for an article she’s secretly writing. Soon all hell breaks loose as Charles and his family become the target of vampires out to find an ancient book that could plunge the world into darkness. Charles and his family must fight to not only survive but also to save the world.
Jason and Peter Filardi do deviate from King’s story a bit as well as expand on it, but they did a fine job of creating something emotionally charged, thrilling and touching.
Brody is absolutely incredible in his role as a father struggling to protect his family. He makes the character of Charles Boone feel so real. The way he emotes Charles’ sadness and fear are impressive, but that is exactly what you would expect from this amazing actor. He’s proven time and time again that he’s one of the best in the industry.
All of the cast did an amazing job in their roles and feel so authentic, including Jennifer Ens, Sirena Gulamgaus, Ian Ho, Devante Senior, Steven McCarthy, and Julian Richings. The young actors really put their heart into the role and prove they have great careers ahead of them.
While there are dark themes of death, heartbreak, brutality, regret, and the supernatural, at its core, it’s all about love, the love of a father for his children, and the love between a woman and a man as well as the lengths that Charles will go to protect those who are dear to him. Your heart breaks for this man who has had so much suffering in his life, but he still soldiers on. This series is a prime example of how character development should go.
Chapelwaite Manor, the house itself, is a character all its own. It is used as a tool to install dread and fear as its secrets are slowly discovered. The way the house’s walls are used to manipulate the characters is clever and the way the family discovers something is lurking just on the other side is creepy. Imagine living in a home and discovering it’s not safe, that you aren’t alone after all and something dangerous is able to get in at will. Imagine discovering that your safety and security are just an illusion. That would be terrifying.
“Chapelwaite” made me forget about everything going on in the world as I became completely invested in the story. That’s so very rare these days. It left me desperate to know what happens next. Dark and intense, “Chapelwaite” is a series I think King himself would approve of. It far exceeded my expectations in many ways. And I can honestly say it’s one of the best new series of the year… scratch that, it IS the best new series of the year. Needless to say, it has earned its spot on our “Best of 2021” list that will be released this December.
“Chapelwaite” premieres on Epix on Sunday, August 22, 2021, at 10 pm ET/PT. I urge you to check it out. You won’t regret it.