Mon. Aug 19th, 2019

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

4 min read
I have to give it to Gravitas, they really did it this time. They finally made a movie that didn't fall flat on it's fucking face or fuck up the ending. The acting was good for horror, the plot was easy to digest (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 Slendyverse), and it wasn't gratuitous.

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, and 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 on it’s fucking face or fuck up the ending. The acting was good for horror, the plot was easy to digest (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 Slendyverse), 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 to Horror Heads. I think people who aren’t even fans of the Slendyverse will enjoy 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 was 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 they stayed true to the way Slendy gets his hooks in. 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 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.

Fans of my review, the e-book of “In the Shadow of the Mountain,” is no longer free. I’m very sorry but I could only convince my publisher for about a week of free downloads. If you haven’t got a copy and aren’t sure if you want to shell out the $5+tax, let me give you something that I’m sure will convince you. Check out a sample of the first chapter at the link below. https://horror.media/a-sample-in-the-shadow-of-the-mountain-by-reed-alexander-2019

Watch out for my next novella “Inhuman Error,” dropping this September. It’s part of a three book series, co-authored with James Lief, that follows the FBI’s special unit, the Unnatural Perpetrators Department. The UPD is charged with hunting down and stopping serial killers of ‘unnatural origins.’ Just check out that awesome cover art!

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