The Stories Told in Amazon’s ‘Lore’ Will Keep You up at Night

What do you get when you tell the true stories of a possessed malevolent doll, a Kennedy sibling lobotomy gone wrong, the origin of Vampires, and more macabre tales from the moonlight? The Amazon original series, “Lore.” Based on the popular podcast of the same name, which launched in 2015 and garners over 5 million dedicated monthly listeners, the series uncovers and examines some of the most compelling real-life horror legends that have launched into our darkest nightmares as well as the pop culture lexicon.

Narrated by Aaron Mahnke, who also provides his voice to the podcast, the visual adaptation of “Lore” is as equally compelling as its audio origin. Executive producer, Gale Anne Hurd, who is also responsible for “Aliens,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” and its blockbuster mothership, “The Walking Dead,” may have just found a unique next venture.

The streaming giant is putting a lot into the series, in the hopes of capturing the same attention that the podcast has received since its relatively recent debut. “Lore” is the subject of the L.A. haunted attraction “Creep LA,” which will allow viewers the chance to delve into the strange and eerie tales they see on the screen and hear about on the internet.

Fans of the successful podcast will likely carry over, as the allure of all things strange is overly apparent. Each episode of the new horror anthology tells a different tale. The series has the potential for a wide-reach, as the stories told throughout the show focus on lore that is known around the world. In the first season alone, stories come from American cities to the rolling hills of U.K. farmland.

Much like Amazon’s other prominent documentary series “American Playboy,” which told the story of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s start-up days, “Lore” is made up of dramatic reenactments, archival historical footage and documents, narration, and animation. But just like “American Playboy,” the reenactments in “Lore” run at such a long stretch on occasion, that it engulfs the viewer. However, the attention is quickly cut when the reenactments are filtered with archival footage and animated visuals. It would have been pleasurable to see these stories told solely in dramatic form, as opposed to the more traditional documentary format. Its chosen structure will be an acquired taste that some viewers may or may not prefer.

Aesthetically, the reenactments, set mostly during the late-19th and early-20th centuries, are only slightly above par with typical paranormal docuseries, “Paranormal Witness,” “A Haunting,” and the plethora of others. Superimposed bodies stand in for ghosts, while flashes and jump cuts are used to set the tone and atmosphere. The camera shies away from showing too much blood and gore, while the opening sequences feature lavish animation – which keeps the series tasteful, yet still enjoyable.

Nonetheless, the factual stories as told in the six-episode season one run are just as intriguing as they are bizarre. It is fascinating to see how common lore branches off of actual medical practices and religious beliefs from prior time periods. Just when you think there isn’t any more to the story, the episode expands upon the tale in ways you would have never imagined – giving enthralling origin explanations behind some of most infamous tales and monsters.

Lore” season one premieres Oct. 13 on Amazon.