‘Chapelwaite’: A Dark, Brilliant Adaptation Of Stephen King’s ‘Jerusalem’s Lot’

I am a massive Stephen King fan, so I was delighted when I found out that the new Epix TV show, Chapelwaite, was based on his short story, Jerusalem’s Lot, from his short story collection, Night Shift.


Set in the 1850s, the series follows Captain Charles Boone (Brody), who relocates his family of three children to his ancestral home in the small, seemingly sleepy town of Preacher’s Corners, Maine after his wife dies?at sea.?However,?Charles?will soon have to?confront?the secrets of?his family’s sordid history,?and fight to end the darkness that has plagued the Boones for generations.?

After burying his wife at sea, Charles Boone (Adrien Brody: The Pianist), takes his three children, Honor (Jennifer Ens), Loa (Sirena Gulamgaus: Orphan Black TV series), and Tane (Ian Ho: A Simple Favor), to live in his ancestral home known as Chapelwaite in Maine. The townspeople of nearby Preacher’s Corner, however, are not welcoming, and the only help he receives is from governess Rebecca Morgan (Emily Hampshire: Schitt’s Creek TV series). She explains that the town believes his entire family line is cursed. Now Charles must find out if the curse haunting his family is real or imagined, and if so, if there is any way to escape it.

With talent like Adrien Brody leading the way, the acting is incredible. Brody has always been strong, but he really looks at home here, his strained face carrying the weight of the world behind his quiet eyes. I was also particularly impressed with Emily Hampshire as Rebecca Morgan and the young Jennifer Ens as the steely elder daughter, Honor Boone.

The plot, although saddling Charles with a family this time, stays fairly true to the story, but does take its own liberties, especially at the end. The complications of having a family make living more difficult for Charles as the town of Preacher’s Corners have no problem letting their prejudices show. The look of the show is dark and moody, reflecting the secrets always just waiting around the corner for the Boones. Many scenes are lit using minimal light, building up brilliantly to the reveal of the actual monsters. The practical effects were just gory enough without being too over the top.

While overall, the production of Chapelwaite is incredible, there are some problems worth noting. The story doesn’t really get going until the third or forth episode, which seems like an excessive amount of build up. I confess that while I found the majority of the cast of characters to be amazing, there was one that I found to be insufferable to the point that I would gladly hit the fast forward button on every one of her scenes the second time around: Sirena Gulamgaus’s Loa. The actress did what she could with the part she was given, but the character was cliched to the point of obnoxiousness. Loa Boone reminds me that, no matter how much I the show, The Strain, I will always hate the kid in it.

Stephen King’s works will always be fodder for adaptations, and Chapelwaite is one of the finest TV adaptations I have seen so far. Anyone looking for a well written, gory show to sink their teeth into will not be disappointed. Catch it on EPIX!

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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