Verdict: 2.5 / 5
Ah, the movie industry. Where no fun indie idea can remain online for long before it gets turned into a feature release that somehow misses the point. Well, this time it’s the turn of YouTube series Marble Hornets and the Slender Man mythos to get marketed, and once again, the result, Always Watching, is not particularly compelling.
Marble Hornets is a series of YouTube videos, where the maker of the clips tries to determine what happened to a friend of his who was shooting a documentary. Little is known of what drove the friend into a breakdown, but by examining the footage that the friend left behind, strange things start to happen, and a creepy figure is seen in the background of most of the clips.
Marble Hornets the film carries none of the original storyline, except for a group of people finding tapes that seem to show an odd figure in the background. Then bad things happen to them. In this way, the entire experience becomes a generic horror movie. The beauty of the original web series was that the amateurish nature of the medium and the place you were watching it added to the scariness of the whole experience.
You really did get the feeling that these things might be happening somewhere for real. But dress that all up in marketing and a box art, and what you have is just a C-Grade feature. For once, making it look too professional kills the spirit of the original.
Without that concept, not even the best acting or script could save Always Watching. Which is good, because those two things are pretty bad too and I would hate to have seen people’s effort wasted. Rather stick to the online original.