CHAPELWAITE Season One
From Dusk Till Yawn
UK Paramount+, streaming now US Epix, finished
Showrunners Jason Filardi,
Cast Adrien Brody, Jennifer Ens, Emily Hampshire, Christopher Heyerdahl
Based on the 1978 Stephen King short story “Jerusalem’s Lot”, a prequel to Salem’s Lot, Chapelwaite tells the tale of Charles Boone (Adrien Brody), a mid-19th century ship’s captain from a cursed family. When his wife dies, he turns his back on a life at sea.
Conveniently, his estranged cousin dies around the same time, leaving Charles a mill in New England in his will. So Charles moves in with his three mixedraced children, but the reception from the locals is decidedly hostile, and not just because of the colour of the children’s skin. Many blame the Boone family for all the ills visited upon the town, including multiple deaths from a mysterious illness, and a baby born with no eyes. Charles soon learns that what he thinks are rats in the mill’s walls are actually razortoothed vermin of a different kind.
In terms of production values, Chapelwaite exudes quality, from sumptuous cinematography to elegant production design and very effective gore effects. The acting is top rate, with a splendidly brooding Brody giving the series a solid core. There are moments of exquisite tension and some disturbing images that’ll lodge in your brain for quite some time.
But it’s all so slow, and has nothing new or surprising to deliver to anyone vaguely literate in the vampire genre. It doesn’t help that the Big Bad vampire sounds worryingly like Nandor the Relentless from What We Do In The Shadows. Sure, it’s an exercise in slow burn, but sometimes the endless scenes of people wandering about in the dark feel like a war of attrition with the viewer. When you play that game, the pay-off needs to be something mindblowing, and on that level, Chapelwaite doesn’t deliver. Still, there is some magnificent wallpaper… Dave Golder
The other Stephen King short story that showrunner Peter Filardi would like to adapt is “Sometimes They Come Back”.