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Series / Chapelwaite

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"There's something inside that you hide from us. It scares me."
Loa, to Charles Boone

Chapelwaite is a 2021 Horror limited series made for MGM+ (formerly Epix) by Jason and Peter Filadi (The Craft). It is an Adaptation Expansion of Stephen King's 1978 short story, Jerusalem's Lot, which in of itself is more or less a prequel to King's novel, 'Salem's Lot.

In the 19th century, a sea captain, Charles Boone (Adrien Brody), learns that he has inherited a saw mill and an estate in Maine named Chapelwaite from his estranged cousin Stephen. Hoping to give his daughters Honor and Loa and son Tane a new life following the death of their mother, Charles decides to live on the estate and try expanding the saw mill into a shipbuilding business. Unfortunately, the new life he envisions for himself and his family has shaky foundations. Charles learns that Stephen committed suicide after the sudden accidental death of his daughter Marcella and is troubled by the strange rat-like noises in the mansion's walls. Things are even worse outside the house. Many people from the nearby settlement of Preacher's Corners look down on Charles' children because they are half-Hawai'ian and believe that the Boone family is at best cursed and at worst somehow responsible for a mysterious disease killing the town's residents. Then there's the matter of Charles' increasingly realistic and disturbing hallucinations involving worms...

This series contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Calvin from the original story, although a similar role is filled by Able Stewart, along with Kenneth and Randolph Boone.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Although some elements remain true to Stephen King's short story Jerusalem's Lot, the limited series gives Charles an immediate family and a love interest, adds some new characters, shifts a few characters and their roles and motivations around, and adds a new villain.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Marcella Boone, who now defies her father and grandfather by hiding De Virmis Mysteriis.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In the original story, James Boone founded the cult that worships the Worm. Here, he's a victim driven mad by De Vermis Mysteriis who just stumbled across the book by accident. His original role mostly goes to a new villain, Jakub.
  • Apocalypse How: If the Worm is conjured up, at least Class 2.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jakub and Stephen and Philip Boone are destroyed along with Jakub's cult, the summoning of the Worm has been thwarted, and it's implied Honor has forgiven Loa for joining with Stephen Boone. However, most of the men from Preacher's Corners have died in the effort. Also, Charles Boone condemns himself to an existence underwater at deep sea as a perpetually starving vampire to protect the world from De Vermis Mysteriis, and it's unclear what will happen to Loa after her siblings and Rebecca live out their mortal lives.
  • Defector from Decadence: Faith, who fled Jakub's cult before the events of the series.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Worm, as in Jerusalem's Lot. Also in this adaptation the Worm is apparently a god who existed before the creation of the universe and, if summoned, could destroy the capital-'g' God and make vampires the dominant species. Or so Jakub, and Charles Boone after his vision, believe.
  • The Generation Gap: One theme of the series is the clash between the more progressive and tolerant outlooks of Charles Boone, Rebecca, and Minister Burroughs versus the (literally) Puritanical attitude of the elderly Samuel Gallup, who still has a stranglehold over the minds of the people of Preacher's Corners.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Boones are cursed to madness unless De Vermis Mysteriis is returned to the undead; the protagonists make Charles's escalating insanity go away by tying the book to the captive Mary Dennison in the cellar, who was recently turned into a vampire.
  • Shout-Out: While reading from De Vermis Mysteriis to raise the Worm and blot out the sun, Jakub mentions the name "Yog-Sothoth".
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: De Vermis Mysteriis.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Also like Jerusalem's Lot, it's unclear what influence if any the events of this story have on what will happen in 'Salem's Lot.