Movie Review – Marble Hornets
Once in a great long while, when the planets align just right, black holes reverse their pull, and roving gangs of narwhal whales meet in the Arctic Circle to have knife fights with Edward James Olmos, I actually look forward to something that I'm to review. Well, the planets are in alignment, the black holes are spitting up all measures of space junk, and Edward James Olmos is using his magical moustache to sharpen up his bowie knife.
This being the Halloween issue, I've decided to review a horror film, of sorts. Rest assured, it's not going to be something god-awful like House at the End of the Street. Rather, it's an ongoing project that calls the dark corners of YouTube its home. Before I launch into the full-blown review of the legitimately scary, albeit terribly named Marble Hornets, a little backstory is needed.
On June 8, 2009, a post was made to the Something Awful forums. The thread was simple – create a monster. User Victor Surge created the Slenderman – an entity that stands between 8-15 feet tall. "He" wore a black suit with a red or black tie, had impossibly long limbs, and no face. Anywhere the Slenderman was seen, people disappeared. There were later found, often impaled on tree limbs with their internal organs removed. Shortly after this post was made, another user on Something Awful made a post about his friend's encounters with the Slenderman, which were documented over the course of the filming of his student film. Thus, Marble Hornets was born.
On June 19 of that very year, Marble Hornets became an official YouTube account, and the next day, their first video went live. Marble Hornets is shot in the documentary style, and chronicles the story of Alex Kratie’s ill-fated student film of the same name. As their earlier videos explain, Alex became more and more irritable and difficult to work with until production was shut down entirely. Alex's friend, Jay, procured the tapes and began to review them. Enter the Slenderman, who seems to have serious nark on for anyone involved with this production.
Since 2009, the Marble Hornets account has grown from a few followers to receiving millions of views on each of its 68 videos to date. What started out as one student studying the tapes of another has turned into a series about fear, paranoia, the paranormal, and the depravity of humans under duress. And despite all of its hiccups, it’s still an incredibly well done psychological thriller.
A lot of people say that they can't stand Marble Hornets because of its striking similarities to 1999's The Blair Witch Project. While the two films do share some similarities, Marble Hornets handles itself well, whereas Blair Witch shits the bed five minutes in and falls asleep in the wet patch. Blair Witch was intentionally ambiguous to cover its lacklustre story. You were supposed to be scared, but there was never a clear idea as to what you were supposed to be scared of. In Marble Hornets, the fleeting glimpses of a faceless watcher that you do see are enough to get your imagination working overtime, thinking of the horrible things that could happen to you should you encounter it yourself. Like Silent Hill 2, another great genuine horror experience, Marble Hornets recognizes that a monster is only scary the less you see of it. All you need to really scare someone is an idea, and it's the idea that Marble Hornets executes so well.
So, there's Marble Hornets in a nutshell. For a great horror experience this Halloween, skip the traditional slasher flicks and instead marathon Marble Hornets. After all, the independents should be supported, until the soulless sell-out fucks start making big box office returns. At the very least, you can be sure that Marble Hornets will kick the shit out of whatever cheap scares are sure to be in store in Paranormal Activity 4.