“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.”

A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock is an original story that combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland.

Studio: Warner Brothers
Year: 2018
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Run time: 550 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 4 BD100
Region: A

If you have read The Dark Tower series, Needful Things and The Talisman, chances are you will ‘get’ Castle Rock. If not, you will probably sympathize with – or be one of – the many reviewers here who are fond of words like Plotless, Aimless, Boring and Confusing. If you liked those particular novels I urge you to watch this series, and dare you not to be intrigued by it’s cleverness, complexity and continuity.

The main deep references in Castle Rock, the conceptual ones, are unmistakably End-World / The Territories influenced. Amazingly the writers have even tied these concepts in with the effects of dementia, providing a grounded analogy that explains King’s familiar concept of multiple worlds and timelines through the experience of Spacek’s character in a subplot. This genius achievement in itself is worthy of at least 5 stars to anyone with half a brain.

The plot is complex and many stranded, unexpectedly divergent at times, yet never loses it’s continuity – every digression always finds it’s way back to where you left off. And the twists are unexpected, you won’t see them coming until they have sped past. I recall 4 major *gasp* moments throughout the series which caught me by surprise. Without giving anything away, it’s fair to say the storyline itself is the biggest twist of all.

Movie Quality: 9/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the image quality. Having watched every single episode of this series on broadcast television in high definition, this show looks really good in its transfer to Blu-ray. While some maybe disappointed because some of the lower quality CGI in some episodes, that doesn’t detract from an excellent looking transfer. Colors are strong throughout and vary from episode to episode to fit with the atmosphere. Details are great especially with scenes where the camera is up close. Black levels are very strong considering that the series has many dark scenes throughout each episode. There is also grain and noise throughout the transfer, it never becomes obtrusive or distracting. Fans of the show will not be disappointed the slightest.
Video Quality: 9.5/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The soundfield is immersive at all times no matter if it is the special effects or dialogue. I was literally amazed with the amount of dynamic panning from each speaker in the rears. Bass was punchy. Dialogue is also well placed in the center channel sounding crisp and clear. The best part of this all around aggressive soundtrack is that it is well balanced between the dialogue and sound effects.
Audio Quality: 9/10

Special Features

  • Inside The Episode (Severance, Habeus Corpus, Local Color, The Box, Harvest) [HD]
  • Inside The Episode (Filter, The Queen, Past Perfect, Henry Deaver, Romans [HD]
  • Castle Rock: Blood On The Page [HD]
  • Clockwork of Horror [HD]

Special Features: 7/10

Final Thoughts

Highly recommended to seasoned King readers and anyone who is thinking of picking up The Dark Tower or The Talisman for the first time.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10