I was so excited about Amazon’s upcoming show, Lore. I really was. Bunnyman Bridge, Robert the Doll, dead-ringers, etc. Lore promised to be a show that would cover all of the gruesome truth behind the folklore. Did it really deliver on that promise?
When the show started I immediately sussed out that something wasn’t quite right. The narrator was pausing in strange places. He didn’t seem to have a sense of flow as he stumbled over the words and phrasing, trying to dramatize mundane words and placidly running over important key statements. I immediately had to look up who this was. A former child-star? An lesser-known actor? No. The whole show was being narrated by it’s own co-producer, and writer, Aaron Mankhe. All sense of drama was left flaccid by Aaron’s awkward nasal voice. Apparently this guy has a podcast? Maybe he’s better unscripted. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
No problem, I thought. At least the scares and folklore would save it. Sadly, that was not the case. The episodes started promisingly, with a preface about people being buried alive and demons plaguing the house, and the Bunnyman bridge. But that preface always disappointed as we were then thrown into slowly paced, badly written amateur drama about families with Tuberculosis, A boy and his doll, and the first lobotomy procedures. No fright. No thrills, No chills. Just very stilted, boring, dramas. These reenactments are of the caliber of those Travel Channel TV episodes about families with haunted houses. Long pauses, tangential story-lines with milquetoast characters, and very often NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL PREMISE. I really don’t care about Doctor Walter Freeman’s strained relationships with his wife or his hatred of Thorazine. Nor did I care about Mr. Howard’s spiritual crisis about digging up his dead daughter. And at the end, when they teased about miraculous supernatural events and occurrences, murder, or sacrilege? Nothing. Because these stories are about real life and in real life, nothing like that happens. That’s pretty much the punchline of every episode here: NOTHING HAPPENS.
There was nothing new either. Every point covered has had about 10 television specials already. The points were redundant, highly speculated, generalized, and very uninteresting. Most of the facts could be found in a single wikipedia search. The real-life stories had nominal interest, but they certainly didn’t need to be drawn out into 40-minute late-night TV dramas with no budget.
And the torture porn. Oh, my sweet aunt, do they love torture porn in this. In the middle of the mind-numbing boredom, we’re treated to squick-factor, highly detailed uncomfortable closeups of fingernail needles, lobotomies, blood-letting, and other gross scenes that take up way too much time.
The worst offense in this show is that there seems to be no real focus. The premise has nothing to do with the rest of the episode, and they might tack on a twist at the end, but more likely they don’t. And the twist will be totally unrelated to the premise.
It’s very true that we’ve never seen anything like this show. We’ve seen better. If you’re interested in schlocky writing and spooky stories, try the Travel Channel. If you’re interested in real horror and scary folklore, look anywhere else.