Wednesday, November 29, 2017

TV Show Review: Lore

Amazon's horror documentary exclusive adapts the popular podcast into six terrifying stories that explore the monsters of our history. From vampires to ghosts to werewolves, Aaron Mahnke lays out the legends of our past in an entertaining manner that puts all the pieces together. The episodes switch between a single narrative of a past event and explanations of how the legend was formed and similar cases in more recent history that were explained away. The stories are pretty spooky and the scenes give a decent amount of suspense made that much more horrifying because of their somewhat factual nature. At only six episodes, Lore feels a little short for a first season but if any passionate viewers want more, there are a ton of podcast episodes to which they can listen.

The first episode tackles the fear of being buried alive and mysterious illness that render their victims nearly dead. The story revolves around George Brown (Campbell Scott) and his conviction that people should be dug up to prove they are dead. The story leads to the creation of vampires from the author Bram Stoker. The second episode explores the medical procedure of lobotomy. The story explores the life of Dr. Walter Freeman (Colm Feore) who specialized in the procedure but had a strange life of his own.

Black Stockings, the third episode, introduces a strange mental condition where a person suspects someone close to them is actually someone else. Mahnke traces it back to the Irish folktale of fairies who snatched innocent people and tells the story of Bridget Cleary (Holland Roden) and her crazy husband who murdered her as he suspected she was a fairy. One of the scarier episodes, Passing Notes, introduces the concept of seances. Reverend Elakim Phelps (Robert Patrick) believes his house to be haunted and traces it back to a witch. Mahnke researches the spiritualist movement and its interesting ties to Harry Houdini. 

Werewolves are explored in  The Beast Within, the fifth episode, that addresses the beastly nature of man. Peter Stubbe (Adam Goldberg) is famed for being accused of being a werewolf and the story shows his brutal torture relating that back to public executions, which were happening surprisingly recently. Rober the doll is still in a museum in Key West where visitors must ask to take a picture with him. Unboxed, the sixth episode, explores the fear of dolls and how people become to these human looking creatures. 

Lore is an interesting show and I'm looking forward to another season as they explore even more topics. I haven't had much time to listen to the podcast but knew it was creative and informative. The show confirmed that suspicion, and I was shocked by some of the things I learned. I have taken so many of these legends for granted and have put such little into thought how these things were invented. Aaron Mahnke does have an interesting voice that is distracting at times but his stories are so clever and fascinating that he has put a great new spin on entertaining nonfiction. 

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