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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Review: Lore

Director: Christian Larsen and Brock Manwill
Screenplay: Christian Larsen and Brock Manwill
Year: 2020

Native American Indians are a culture deeply in contact with their spirituality. As what happens with many other religions, this contact with spirituality opens the door not only to positive forces that care and guide their followers, but also open the doors to opposing forces focused on evil. “Lore” explores the spiritual folklore of Native American Indians and dives deep into one of their myths as the basis of a horror story.

Affected by his parent’s divorce, a teenager goes to the mountains, where he disappears. His parents put aside their differences to look for their lost son in the mountains with the help of a Native American Indian that knows the place. While they investigate the paths of the mountain, they start to experience strange happenings, all of which coincide with a Native American myth.

“Lore” starts as a family drama focused on the divorce of Ann (Lindsay Lantz; “Cicada Song”) and Rich (Max Lesser; “Ashby”) and the disappearance of Eric (Derek Grange) in the mountains. The first act puts its efforts into establishing the characters and the emotional part that makes them take the subsequent actions and establish the slow-burn rhythm that prevails through most of the movie. While the basis of the plot is set out, we get a brief cameo of Eric Roberts (“The Evil Inside Her”), who has moved his career to this type of short cameos, as the town’s sheriff indicating that they will not continue looking for Eric and which represents the turning point in which the parents decide to go search on their own. 

Once they meet John (Sean Wei Mah; “Frontier”), a Native American Indian that decides to help them, the plot on the script of the also novice directors Christian Larsen y Brock Manwill gains a little bit more rhythm and a gloomy atmosphere is established, founded on the dangers of the wilderness and the supernatural. The location used for filming the movie offers plenty of aesthetical value that is well used in the cinematography and at the same time offers a place that is so calm that its juxtaposition with the plot and Native American folklore is effective in creating tension and build up some good scares. Along with the decent acting, this ensemble makes the plot interesting and captures the viewer despite its slow build-up.

On recent horror movies that have used Native American folklore as the basis for their plots, as with “Hallowed Ground”, “Lore” does a great job in effectively translating folklore to this genre. Still, the myth doesn’t feel like it was well fleshed-out or made the most out of for the plot or for creating tension. The ending is another part that feels ambiguous and leaves more questions than answers and it doesn’t make a great job of explaining the reason while everything happens. 

“Lore” uses Native American folklore to establish its horror story and, although is not the first one in doing so, this is one of the best in achieving it. The good use of folklore, symbolism, and mythos of a culture so spiritual as this helps to create a dark atmosphere even in parts that take place in plain daylight. In general, this is a well-done movie and offers an interesting plot, a slow but constant development, and good cinematography, but is affected by everything it leaves unanswered and an ambiguous ending.

“Lore” is distributed by Indican Pictures and is available on video-on-demand. For more information about this movie visit their web page.

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