What we already knew about Chapelwaite wasn’t much, but the trailer is showing us little else so far. The series, based on a Stephen King creation, will follow the story of a man that has relocated his family to his ancestral home after the passing of his wife, and from what we can see in the trailer, the ancestral home has seen better days. Anything with King’s name attached is usually expected to be terrifying, unnerving, and in many ways set to grate on the nerves and become the type of nightmare fuel that keeps people up at night. There’s not much shown in the trailer, but what is there so far is enough to make it clear that things are not right in the ancestral home of Charles Boone, who is played by Adrien Brody. Stephen King can take just about anything and turn it into a horrifying ordeal, and those that have adapted and pushed his stories to their limits in recent years have done a great job of making certain that his tales are being told in a way that will be seen as something worth watching.
With that being said it’s easy to wonder at what will be revealed when Chapelwaite is released next month since the series will be coming to Epix on the 22nd of August. While it’s based on King’s story, Salem’s Lot, and written by Peter and Jason Filardi, it still feels as though it’s taken a great deal of inspiration from King, as the dark and foreboding demeanor of the home and the dread that appears to permeate the area makes it clear that this homecoming is about to be anything but peaceful. Whatever dark family secret is bound to be revealed is certainly something that will be seen to hang over the heads of the Boone family until that perfect moment when it needs to be unveiled. Up until then, this sounds like the type of ghost story that is specifically designed to offer a great deal of exposition along with some spine-tingling scares that hopefully won’t contain that many jump-scares, but will at the very least keep things tense without making them boring.
This is unfortunately what trailers can do since this is how they’re designed, to build up the show or movie that’s coming and draw people in. The hope of course is that the program will be worth it and that we’ll see something that will keep viewers on their toes throughout the series, but it almost feels as though this might be better off as a limited series that will tell a compelling story and then exit stage left. The plans for this tale aren’t that well-known, but it’s not too hard to imagine that someone will want to keep pushing the series so long as people are watching and it can turn a profit. Horror stories, be they openly antagonistic or silently withdrawn as this one appears to be, are at the best of times one of the most attractive types of tales that people will flock to and want more of no matter how cheesy they might get or how grand they are in scope. But good horror stories are popular nearly all the time since they can be a nice break from other genres or they can be compelling enough that they hook people in without much effort.
Chapelwaite might actually take a bit to develop it feels since diving headfirst into the horror aspect of the story doesn’t appear to be the goal as the trailer shows. The suspense and the dread are two major feelings that need to be allowed to develop naturally, but they need to be fully developed before rushing to the idea that the house is haunted, there’s a dark family history, and so on and so forth. Movies and shows that move too fast tend to lose the overall feeling of mastery that could make something like Chapelwaite into a masterpiece. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Adrien Brody it feels, but it also appears that he’s going to stand out quite well in this series and should be a great addition to the story.
Chapelwaite is definitely worth taking a look at since haunted house stories and old, family curses that come back to haunt people tend to be a lot of fun to work with when they’re done in a manner that doesn’t thrust everything into the audience’s lap all at once. With a series, it’s easy to think that the reveal will be gradual and not quite as forceful at times as the story allows people to work into it. How effective the story will be is something we’ll have to wait and observe. But if it was inspired by something that Stephen King created, there’s a good chance that it will be entertaining.
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