This month, the popular podcast Lore made the jump to the small screen as a mini-series on Amazon Prime Video. It premiered on Friday, October 13th, a fitting date for a spooky series that begins each episode with the note that “The following is based on real people and events.” With a blend of animation, live action, and Mahnke’s signature narration, the TV show takes folklore storytelling to the next level of creepy, and will leave you checking the dark corners of your closet or under the bed, just in case.
As any fan of Lore will know, the podcast thrives because it takes folk tales and the dark little corners of our cultural history and pulls them out where we can see them, and examine how they have affected us. Whether it’s taking a deeper look at the “wolves” that walk among us or examining why seances suddenly became trendy in the 19th century, the podcast has always been “based on true events.” The Lore TV show maintains this perfectly, and delivers in the creepy department, especially once it hits its stride around episode three.
There is certain trepidation going into a new, visual medium to deliver what has, up until this point, been an auditory-only experience. That being said, the TV show adapted 6 popular episodes of the podcast, in a smart move to add a new layer to what people already love about the creator, Aaron Mahnke’s, storytelling.
It is entirely different to experience these stories in a visual format, even when you are previously familiar with the content. What sticks out to me most prominently as an example is episode 2, which is about the rise and fall of lobotomy as a treatment for mental illness. Mahnke didn’t mince words in the podcast episode about it, but to actually see what’s happening on the screen? That’s a whole other ballgame, my friends.
For me personally though, the biggest creep-factor episode was far and away the one about Robert the Doll. The original podcast episode is already spooky, but the tv episode takes it to the next level by not only allowing the viewer to actually see the events played out, but then by visiting the real home where the events took place and even the current “home” of the real Robert the Doll. No spoilers here, but if you already don’t love old dolls, this episode will not help with that in the slightest.
I will say that the only thing about the strong visuals was that there were moments when the live action becomes to intense that when the narration breaks it, it is startling. And some of the episodes jump around a little, pulling in other elements that have varying degrees of relevance. While this works in a fully narrated podcast, it doesn’t always hit the mark in a TV episode, but instead feels like the plot is going off the rails a little. Overall, though, these were fun to watch and provided the chills I wanted on a dark, rainy weekend in October.
If you’re looking for something spooky to watch this Halloween, Lore TV might just be your cup of tea. Each of the 6 episodes is less than an hour, so you can watch in small doses or in a weekend binge. But don’t say I didn’t warn you– this show just might make you believe there are still things out there that go bump in the night.
Lore is produced by Propagate Content and Valhalla Entertainment. Mahnke is Co-Executive Producer.
Images courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.