Don’t you want to play with Robert?
Robert just wants to be friends.
Robert can be your very best friend… so long as you don’t cross him.
When asked which episodes of the wildly popular folklore podcast Lore they decided to adapt for television, podcast creator (and co-executive producer of Amazon Studios’ mixed-media adaptation) Aaron Mahnke joked that they went for the “hardcore favorites”: haunted houses, cursed objects, you know the drill. So, it’s no surprise that at New York Comic-Con they showed a clip from the Lore episode starring everyone’s favorite possessed doll, Robert.
But, in typical Lore fashion, there’s so much more behind that eerily vacant gaze.
Moderator Kevin Smith—who confessed to being so freaked out by various episodes he had to fast-forward and watch through his fingers, horror-movie style—praised the mixed-media approach to adapting Mahnke’s podcast: Each episode retains Mahnke’s voiceover, but instead of going for straight docudrama, each retelling is a mix of reenactments starring famous actors, animation, and archival footage supporting the stories.
Because, as the official description for Lore the podcast explains, “[o]ur fears have roots. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.”
For instance, you may not be surprised to learn that Chucky, the redheaded vessel of evil, was inspired by Robert. But did you know the bizarre and downright disturbing connection to late-night performers’ ventriloquist dummies?
If Lore went straight for reenactments, this episode “Unboxed” would fall short of creepy-doll horror; it’s not their fault, not much can top the ridiculousness of The Boy. But because they add in the stranger-than-fiction gloss, you are treated to pure nightmare fuel in the form of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his eternally smiling dummy Charlie McCarthy.
LOOK AT THOSE PHOTOS.
That last reveal—that Edgar’s poor daughter is none other than Candice Bergen—sums up in a nutshell why Lore the TV series looks so promising. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to scrub my brain with a rewatch of The Boy.