Stalked by Slenderman: A review of "Marble Hornets"
Published: Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 2:35pm
Marble Hornets is a YouTube channel series that tells a fictional story from the viewpoint of a man named Jay. In the videos, Jay goes on many mysterious and creepy adventures to find out what happened to his missing friend, Alex.
Alex had been working on a film project titled "Marble Hornets" when he suddenly threw away all the tapes of footage he had filmed. Soon afterwards, Alex went missing. Jay has now uncovered these old tapes and hopes to find clues as to the whereabouts of his missing friend. Instead, Jay uncovers a scary secret: Alex was being followed.
After continuing to watch the videos, Jay repeatedly sees clips of an abnormally tall, faceless being that stalks Alex. This startlingly inhuman image and the thought of his still missing friend compels Jay to go search for Alex. While searching, Jay is followed by the same figure that stalked Alex. Jay decides to record everything by always carrying around a video camera to collect evidence that will help him uncover the mystery of Alex's disappearance.
Marble Hornets is posted on YouTube in small 5-10 minute videos known as "entries." The project is still in progress, and videos are still being uploaded, each one adding more to the story. With each update, the viewers get closer to the ending of the story. For viewers really desperate for more information, the producers of Marble Hornets set up a Twitter account that posts extra updates and information. The Twitter account is updated from the perspective of the main character, Jay, and tells viewers when new videos will be uploaded.
One of the reasons this series succeeds at being a good horror story is because of the frightening character of The Operator. The Operator, known to viewers as Slenderman, is the tall, faceless, alien-like, inhuman being that stalks the main characters throughout the story. Unlike many aliens, Slenderman is well dressed in a suit and tie. Although this is an odd way to portray a stalking alien, it makes Slenderman no less creepy. Slenderman randomly pops up in places where you least expect him, adding suspense to the story. In some entries, he creeps slowly in the background, and sometimes the main characters don't even see him. This dramatic irony is spooky.
All of the videos are told in first person by Jay, who uses a handheld camera that shakes and makes noise as he moves around the settings. This makes the entire story seem more realistic. The unprofessional taping makes one actually believe that what happened was real and, therefore, makes the story more frightening and creepy. Also, the fact that most of the scenes are set in rather simple settings makes the videos more realistic and scarier.
The way that Marble Hornets progresses in entries is also suspenseful. The story is still being updated, and each new entry has a cliffhanger ending, leaving the viewers on the edge of their seats and wishing for more.
With each entry, a new piece of the story and the plot is revealed to the audience. I find it fun to try to piece together the videos and speculate about how the series might end and who the mysterious Slenderman might be. Sometimes, a new entry brings with it something totally different than my expectations and surprises you.
I enjoy Marble Hornets because of its suspense and unpredictability. Every moment of an entry leaves you clinging to your chair, expecting Slenderman to appear and scare the living daylights out of you.
If you are a person who likes horror, suspense, and twisting plots, I highly recommend Marble Hornets. It is fun to watch and will leave you cautiously looking out windows and around corners for fear of the mysterious Slenderman.