Thursday, April 25, 2013

Robot Ninjas vs Dragon Zombies: Season One, Episode 10: "Marble Hornets"

I haven't slept in a week.


The Names Have Been Changed

      See, Cinema Won can be about more than just movies. It can be about web series too. Yeah! So, the basic story behind why I finally decided to dive into the over 69 episode long, 4 years running web show is kinda a long story. Basically, another group of famous YouTubers, Two Best Friends Play, played Slender: The Arrival and knowing that the game was based somewhat on Marble Hornets, I decided to check out the show based on seeing the game. Okay, maybe it wasn't that long a story. The series follows Jay, who is attempts to track down his missing friend Alex after watching mysterious tapes from the production of Alex's student film, Marble Hornets. While watching the tapes, Jay discovers that Alex was being stalk by the seeming supernatural "Operator". Jay struggles to unravel the mystery and he posts it all online for our confusment. Now that there's a theatrical movie in the works (Though not with the creators of the show), Marble Hornets is in the news and is well worth the look.

Fear Me a Lot

      There's something wonderfully awful about Marble Hornets. The show itself is so obviously simple and at time hilariously cheap looking. But, that's what makes it so utterly, cry-yourself-to-sleep terrifying. Similarly to the original Paranormal Activity, the show makes up for it's lack of budget by being very, very subtle. Episodes go by with little scary moments and only fleeting sights of The Operator. Every episodes forces you to pay close attention in order to solve just one of the shows many mysteries and as a result, by the time just the second episode ends, you are already fully absorbed in the mystery and working with fellow fans to try and pick apart every little clue. When you aren't being totally scared out of your baby pants like a baby, you are along for the surprisingly fun ride. You get highly invested in the characters and you want to see how the story plays out. Now, like any on-going mystery series, the ending might not be all that great, but it hopefully won't be enough to ruin the rest of the show. Besides, I'll be hiding under my covers to much to notice. I have seen a lot of horror film recently. I had never covered my own eyes with my fingers in fear. I never have had trouble sleeping. But, Marble Hornets does scary so right that you can't help but cry for your mommy. Now, every time I turn a corner of my house at night has become a mini-heart attack waiting to happen. And don't even get me started on going on hikes...

Take Action

      And unlike Paranormal Activity, Marble Hornets is still good four years later. Currently on it's 69th episode and in it's third season, the show still works, is still exciting and still scares me. Though, granted, I'll admit it wasn't all without it's flaws. Season Two got a little too bogged down in Jay sorting through tapes and maybe it was just the rush to finish the show so I could review it, but the most recent episodes have gotten to be a little too slow moving for my tastes, but not enough to keep from watching. I dunno. Maybe it's just that after 4 years of investigating this mystery, I was hoping Jay would take a more aggressive stance on everything. Not like he fight Slendy head on, but maybe he'd accept that this is his life and start to fight back a little. Having him still running scared after being on the frontlines for 4 years is getting a little stale. Also, if you do, like me, fall in love with the series, be prepared for some frustratingly long hiatuses. It's all good in the end and I can't imagine having to put all of this together, especially the totheark videos, but a month's break for a 5 minutes long episode is fairly annoying.

God damn Jehovah's Witnesses. 
The Verdict

      Marble Hornets is a refreshing series in the unfortunately stale horror genre. Honestly terrifying and perfectly subtle, it has two elements dreadfully missing in most mainstream horror efforts. And it's all for free on YouTube (And on DVD, for money). Sure there's room for improvement, especially if the show wants to avoid running out of steam, but for a show 4 years long, it's a helluva lot of fun and excitement. It may take awhile to get through it all, but it's well worth your time to investing in these good characters and great mystery. Just don't turn your lights off. Ever. Marble Hornets gets 5 and a half star out of 6.

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