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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story' (2015)

A "Not Slender Man" Story

I haven't had a chance to watch the actual Slender Man movie, so instead I decided to watch a recent knockoff. And who better to turn to for "not Slender Man" movies than my new favorite shit production company, Gravitas. These are the same people who brought us Tall Men and Awaken The Shadow Man, and other such "not Slender Man" knockoffs. Thus, I was thrilled to find out that the people who secured the rights to Slender Man, failed to secure the rights to Marble Hornets, so Gravitas picked them up. If you know anything about the history behind the Slender Man Creepypasta, you know that most of the actual video content was in the Marble Hornets project. So Hollywood clearly failed to do their fucking research and Gravitas benefited.

I have to give it to Gravitas, they really did it this time. They finally made a movie that didn't fall flat or fuck the ending up. Acting was good for horror, plot is easily digestible (even for people who are new to the Creepypasta), atmosphere was "Shaky Camera" (which is always a bit of a letdown but necessary for the Slendy-verse), and it wasn't gratuitous. Mind you the story and the plot are almost entirely borrowed from Marble Hornets so Gravitas didn't really have to try, they just had to not fuck it up.

I actually give this one my recommendation. I think people should actually watch this.

SPOILERS!

Being a fan of Ol' Slendy, I've actually watched most of the Marble Hornets videos and I have to say, this wasn't a half-bad representation. Mind you, there are HOURS of Marble Hornets, and they had to compress the same concept into the standard hour and a half, so a ton of shit is left out. No Slendy origins, no pages, no Slendy's daughter, it's just the protagonists discovering the tapes of Slendy's victims and the following madness that ensues.

What's important is that they stayed true to the way Slendy gets his hooks. In the original Marble Hornets, like the Creepypasta, the more you learn about Slendy, the more you let him in, the closer he gets to you. The catch is you have to learn more to try and figure out a way to stop him. Marble Hornets showed that you can spend years trying to avoid Slendy and he'd still find his way back in. This movie had to portray the same thing in way less time. But the pacing here was appropriate and I think they did a great job driving that sense of helplessness home.

Strangely, they chose a new avenue of how Slendy operates. Rather than just eventually getting close enough to you to kill you, he chooses a host to possess, and has them do all the killing. Seems odd that they didn't just have him kill everyone himself. I don't know how to feel about it. It didn't change anything significant about the mythos, it just smacked as odd. I guess they were trying to do something new and it wasn't offensive to the Slendy concept as a whole.

But yeah, while they basically used a preexisting story and plot, they didn't fuck it up and stayed true to the concept. Definitely worth a watch for fans of Marble Hornets or Slendy in general. Still worth a watch for people just looking for halfway decent horror.

Read next: People Watching
Reed Alexander
Reed Alexander

The world is one marvelous catastrophe waiting to happen. When humanity is long gone, I hope my work is found by intergalactic explores so they can learn about the great failed experiment called human society (a sort of "I told you so").

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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story' (2015)
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People Watching