The unknown is an intoxicating element for mystery or horror. For many a television show or movie, the more unsettling a notion or idea is, the more it sticks in the mind like a splinter, chilling us with every passing minute. Such as it is with Aaron Mahnke’s Lore, which combines factual information and story telling to a degree that it makes for one of modern times most chilling experiences.
Now set to become a television series, executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd and under the showrunner eye of Glen Morgan no less, himself one of the key writer and architects of The X-Files, Lore’s mixture of superbly chilling information and wonderful storytelling, all courtesy of Mahnke on the podcast, looks set to find a whole new audience.
Listed as one of The Atlantic’s 50 best podcasts of 2016, as well as one EW’s 10 best podcasts of the same year, in a day and age when everything seems to need move faster and with more pace, Mahnke’s storytelling style is slow, methodical and beautifully atmospheric, his soft tones imparting tales of increasingly dark material, but in an easily digestible way; not a bad thing when the material you’re dealing with concerns vampirism, werewolves and all plethora of mysterious deaths.
The series superbly deals with all manner of phenomena and makes for an increasingly compulsive listen. Backed up with an atmospheric music score, it’s no surprise that Mahnke has listed Unsolved Mysteries and The X-Files as two of his major inspirations as the podcast comes on like the glorious lovechild of both, managing to engage with stories that are rooted in real world mysteries, but with a paranormal element that feels truly imaginative, yet, even more creepy, centred on stories that actually happened.
With new episodes bi-weekly, the series has amassed critical acclaim and a massive cult following and is set to expand even more. With the television series on the way (debuting on Friday the 13th no less), the podcast is also extending to books, with The World of Lore set to be published, not to mention live episodes that have been on tour in the US this year.
As for the originator of this ongoing phenomenon, the podcast has gone from strength to strength, with incredibly detailed accounts from Mahnke on subjects that skirt the line between horror and history. If anything, the podcast could be said to be as much historical as it is a genre one, if not more so, such is the wealth of historical background that is involved in each episode. It just happens to be the historical background that chills the bone and curdles the blood, and the effect is unlike anything being offered by any other podcast out there right now.
It feels like such a unique experience, its camp fire like atmosphere building and building throughout so much finely tuned story telling. It will be interesting to see if such an atmosphere can be transferred over to a visual medium, but with talent involved in it that has brought The Walking Dead, The X-Files and Millennium to our television screens; and combine that with Mahnke’s brilliant ability to tell a compulsive narrative, the omens are looking good.
Lore Season 1 airs on Amazon Prime in the UK on Friday. Are you a fan of Lore? Share your favourite episodes with us in the comments below.