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Thursday, November 28, 2019

LORE -- Movie Review by Porfle

Way up in the craggy mountains of the vast Northwest, surrounded by deep dark forests through which skulk creepy, crawly things that howl in the night, estranged couple Ann and Rich are desperately searching for their missing son Eric in the supernatural horror-thriller LORE (2018).

The basic plot is just that simple, but it manages to generate a lot of suspense and eerie atmosphere, along with a few genuine scares.  I kept expecting Bigfoot to lumber out from behind a tree, although what the local indigenous population claim may be lurking there makes even the big guy seem not quite as threatening.

Ann and Rich's Native American guide John (Sean Wei Mah, IT WAITS) doesn't believe in all that mystical mumbo-jumbo...much.  But when weird things start to happen to them in and around their campsite, and what appear to be dark phantom figures flit around in their periphery, he begins to doubt his own doubts.

The grieving parents must push onward, however, obsessed with the hope that their missing son might still be alive. And with our nerves on edge, we're swept along with their (possibly) doomed quest, watching as these wilderness neophytes survive only through the tenuous presence of their forest-saavy guide and hope nothing happens to him, which, of course, it does.

Eventually the worst happens at every turn as LORE begins to resemble THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT without the "found footage" angle (the direction and photography, in fact, are quite good) and things get more and more hopeless. 

They get scarier, too, as bad things continue to happen to our intrepid trio until the mysterious presence in the woods--if it indeed exists--seems to draw them ever deeper into its sinister clutches.

As all this goes on, the human side of the story comes to the fore when Ann and Rich's shared fear and desperation to find their son bring them to the verge of a reconciliation. 

This adds to our empathy for them and raises the stakes ever higher as their search gradually becomes a struggle for survival and, ultimately, a confrontation with their worst fears.

Lyndsey Lantz (CICADA SONG) and Max Lesser (CYRUS) are totally convincing as Ann and Rich, while Sean Wei Mah (IT WAITS) plays John as a reliable, no-nonsense guide constantly warning against wandering blindly into the unknown.  (The great Eric Roberts shows up for a single scene as a sheriff early on.)

Is there really some supernatural evil lurking through the miles of dark, dense forest, luring them all to a horrible fate? That's the question that keeps us on the edge of our seats in LORE, a nifty chiller-thriller in which survival may mean more than just staying alive.


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