Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story (2015)

June 7, 2015 - 9:48pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Alexandra Breckenridge, Alexandra Holden, Always Watching, Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story, based on web series, Bellevue Productions, Blair Bomar, Chris Marquette, Cynthia Murell, David Pevsner, Doug Jones, found footage, Graham Clarke, Ian Shorr, Jake McDorman, James Moran, John Zaozirny, Kirill Baru, Marble Hornets, Mary Payne Moran, Michael Bunin, Morgan E. Bastin, Mosaic Media Group, pov, Rick Otto, Shashawnee Hall, Slender Man, Slenderman, The Operator, The Slender Man, Tim Seitter

Your rating: None Average: 8.2 (5 votes)
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James Moran
Alexandra Breckenridge, Doug Jones, Alexandra Holden, Jake McDorman, Chris Marquette, Rick Otto, Cynthia Murell, Michael Bunin, Shashawnee Hall, Blair Bomar, Graham Clarke, David Pevsner, Morgan E. Bastin, Tim Seitter, Mary Payne Moran

With a sea of found footage movies populating the genre right now it was only a matter of time before a film about Slender Man came to fruition. Originally titled The Operator (because they don't have the rights to the Slender Man name) before settling on Always Watching, the pic wouldn't necessarily follow the webseries it's based on, but would be set within that universe. That's a relief for me since I've only caught a handful of episodes, so I don't know much about what goes on in that particular storyline.

The story here starts off with a news crew that's sent out to cover foreclosed homes, where they come across one particular residence that seems a bit odd--it appears that the family mysteriously disappeared without a trace (cue dramatic music). While exploring the home they uncover an old box of tapes in the basement and decide to bring'em back to the studio in hopes of maybe uncovering the circumstances leading to the family's sudden departure.

Unfortunately for them, they've just unearthed evidence of what appears to be a faceless man in a suit stalking the family and it's not long before "The Operator" begins stalking them too. Much like the webseries, the Slender Man (or whatever you want to call him) can only been seen through photos or videos, so when our characters eventually realize this they're forced to always keep cameras on to make sure that gangly well-dressed creeper doesn't sneak up on them.

The movie has a few things going for it (or so it seemed): They got character actor Doug Jones to play Slender Man; that's pretty much perfect casting right there! Next is the whole mythos behind Slender Man, which is terrifying in general, but the film doesn't really go too deep into that or divulge much at all, so I suppose it's kind of a missed opportunity. Lastly, the concept of always being watched by some ominous mystical figure is pretty frightening in itself and there are actually a couple decent creepy scenes (like the night driving scene), but those moments are too few and far between.

Aside from the concept, there really isn't anything new here--it looks and acts like any other generic found footage. I suppose the only difference would be the fact that they used actual semi-recognizable actors as leads. It's sad because the aspects of a good movie were there, but it's ultimately another missed opportunity.

Always Watching had the makes of a solid horror effort, but turned out to be nothing more than a great concept behind another generic found footage flick. If you're a fan of the series or Slender Man in general you may want to give it a look (you may even like it), but aside from the faceless bony antagonist there's really nothing new here.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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