The woodsy suspense thriller “Lore” isn’t a great movie, but it might become a significant one — because it gives hints that its creators, the writing-directing team of Christian Larsen and Brock Manwill, may be going places.
In this debut, they go into Idaho’s Cache National Forest, an area just north of the Utah border seldom used for filmmaking. It’s a beautiful, if rough-hewn territory, the sort of place one might expect a hiker to get lost and never found.
That’s exactly what has happened to Eric (Derek Grange), a 17-year-old boy who has been dealing with the breakup of his parents, Ann (Lyndsey Lantz) and Rich (Max Lesser). When the story begins, Ann is begging the sheriff (Eric Roberts, in a strategic cameo) to continue the so-far fruitless search efforts on the mountainside.
The other side of the mountain is on tribal land and outside the sheriff’s jurisdiction, as well as the subject of mystery and superstition. With the sheriff unable to help, Ann and Rich seek out John (Sean Wei Mah), an Indian guide and tracker, and apparently the only person willing to venture near the mountain’s summit. John reluctantly agrees to take them up, but warns that something up there doesn’t like to be disturbed.
The three hike up the mountain, and soon they start hearing noises and seeing lurking figures in the woods. It’s not exactly “The Blair Witch Project” in terms of chills, but Larsen and Manwill conjure up some satisfactory moments of dread and terror.
It doesn’t all hold together for 90 minutes, and the tension dissipates a little too soon before the final credits. But these first-time filmmakers have talent, and “Lore” provides enough suspense to make moviegoers wonder what Larsen and Manwill might do next.
Opens Friday, Sept. 21, at the Megaplex Jordan Commons (Sandy). Not rated, but probably PG-13 for violent images. Running time: 90 minutes.