Title – Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story (2015)
Director – James Moran (feature debut)
Cast – Chris Marquette, Jake McDorman, Alexandra Breckenridge, Doug Jones
Plot – When a news team featuring cameraman Milo (Marquette) and reporters Sara (Breckenridge) and Charlie (McDorman) find some mysterious video tapes, they quickly discover that they’ve unwittingly invited the Operator (Jones) into their lives setting up a dangerous game of life and death.
Review by Eddie on
Good old Slender Man, the creepy, faceless and most importantly suited fiend that haunts the backwoods and creates all types of menace has certainly found himself to be a most popular figure amongst horror fans and the population in general after his rise to fame in the late 2000’s. Making the most of this popularity, Youtube channel Marble Hornets created the character of the Operator, who is most certainly a Slender Man riff and on the back of over 80,600,000 views on various Operator videos we now have Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story.
It’s an interesting study in the power of modern day media that Youtube now holds the backing power to get feature length movies made and while Always Watching never reaches grand heights it’s certainly far more creepier and well put together than many of its other handheld horror shaky cam brothers and sisters. A key to Always Watching creepy success is in its adaptation of the Operator’s co-creators Joseph DeLage and Troy Wagner’s web series by screenwriter Ian Shorr and director James Moran into a 90 minute feature that at its heart holds a pretty neat mystery mixed with eerie chills and for once a film that uses found footage, finds a plausible reason behind it with the Operator being a creature that can only be seen through the lenses cameras.
Key also to the enjoyment found in this jump scare laden low budget trip is that its cast of news presenters led by camera man Milo played by Chris Marquette are thankfully people we don’t mind spending an hour and half of shaky footage time with. Fans of character actor Doug Jones will be also pleased to know that the man himself plays the aforementioned Operator and whilst he doesn’t have to do a whole lot, this is another fine creation from the man behind such iconic cult appearances like Abe from Hellboy and the Pale Man from Pans Labyrinth.
Using its low end budget to its advantage, Always Watching provides a very decent trip down the Slender Man trail that provides one of the more effective found footage horror stories of recent years. It may not exactly cover any new ground and it may not ever leap forward above its unquestionably low ebb goals but Always Watching will be a great treat for Marble Hornets fans and anyone who’s found themselves caught up in the Slender Man craze.
3 impromptu hangings out of 5
James Moran’s found footage horror film ALWAYS WATCHING: A MARBLE HORNETS STORY is set to release on DVD August 4, 2015. The film is available for pre-order now through amazon.