The popular horror podcast Lore from creator Aaron Mahnke proved so popular among listeners that Amazon Video stepped in to adapt it as a six-episode live-action series. Airing appropriately on Friday the 13th, this new anthology series documents supposedly true stories that exist with the realm of psychological and supernatural horror, and according to a New York Comic Con panel discussion with Kristin Bauer van Straten (Once Upon a Time), who stars in the episode titled 'Unboxed,' the series takes a very "classic" approach to horror storytelling.
While the series does differ from other anthology tales in its unique construction, blending together real footage, live dramatization, animation, and, of course, per its podcast roots, narration, the series' intent is to harken back to a more understated MO.
During her interview, van Straten said:
"What we all try to do when we’re watching horror, is we try to immerse ourselves, we try to believe to a certain degree and this helps you take that next step into believing because they go back and forth between actual stories from people who have incredible events that have happened [to them] and I think it helps break down that wall a bit between entertainment and [documentary]."
The podcast itself harkens back to classic radio dramas, combining history and horror, without relying on any additional bells and whistles or extravagant effects. The series from which it is adapted is applying a similar aesthetic. Though the stories within the podcast and the series are described as factual, the truth is still very much subjective, which is where the simplified approach to its storytelling derives.
Van Straten added:
"It’s harder and harder in a modern day to impress us and because special effects and gore and stunts have gone to the limit and I’ve been thinking we have to go back to engaging the mind and that’s what this does is just classic storytelling. "
In film and television, the horror genre is a mash-up of dissimilar identities and styles. Between torture porn (the Saw series, Hostel), gothic horror (The Others, The Haunting), and Neo-Monsters (Tremors, Pumpkinhead), the genre has evolved and devolved generation after generation. Every so often, however, it crawls back to its roots -- to the classics. And in telling the supposedly true stories of Robert the Doll and Dr. Walter Freeman's icepick lobotomies, for example, Lore is expected to draw viewers in no differently than how Mahnke drew in his listers: with meticulous pacing, historical precision, and an unmistakably haunting atmosphere.
Lore premieres on Amazon Video as an Amazon Prime Exclusive on October 13, 2017.