The adults, heavy-drinking Mom Locke and ineffectual Uncle Duncan, appear even less equipped to handle the aftermath of Ren's demise, so once we see Sam Lesser escape the juvenile psych facility that's holding him until his trial, we're pretty sure the kids are gonna have to fend for themselves. The evil something, which is capable of taking on both female and male form, is looking for some keys that were once in young Ren's possession. For reasons not yet explained, said keys are attracted to the youngest Locke, who keeps finding 'em in surprising places. The mansion's many doors, it turns out, open to more than one place if you have the right key. First one Bode opens allows whoever steps through it to temporarily leave their body, in essence becoming a living ghost.
In stories like this, it's rarely the grand whosit that provides the creepiest elements, but their all-too-human lackeys. Like his father, Hill possesses the commendable knack for creating believably recognizable antagonists without shying from the grandiose hideousness of their actions. And in Sam Lesser, he's crafted a great horror henchman: pathetic and menacing at once. In lesser hands (you knew I was gonna use that phrase, right?), the inclusion of Sam's back story would've diminished the impact of his violent acts - not so in Locke & Key.
He's aided in this by artist Gabriel Rodriguez, who has a firm grasp on grandly gory splatter and quiet angst, a strong handle on his characters' emotional body language as well as the story's atmospheric mansion setting. The well house is a particularly fine visual construction: when we see it in a photo in Ren's office and a ghostly figure suddenly appears in the picture's window, it's a neatly eerie moment. Bet it would've given young Joe Hill pause if he'd come across anything like it in that Creepshow comic . . .