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dvd / blu-ray Review

Always Watching (DVD): Review

Film

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story, a film based on the Marble Hornets web series, about the online myth Slender Man. A fictional character that has inspired fear in persons online, the world over. The Slender Man character resembles a tall man, with featureless face, wearing a black suit.

Always Watching picks up the story when a small town news crew are doing a story on house evictions. They find a box of old DV tapes, and decide to learn more about the family who have left their house in what now seems to be very hurried circumstances.

Presented in a found footage format, with cameras becoming integral to the plot in several ways, we follow the news crew as they begin to uncover more and more startling evidence that the family on the tapes was being tormented by a figure appearing on the tapes. This dark, featureless figure slowly drives the family insane, and it is not too long that the crew find that they too are falling victim to the attention of this character.

While on the surface, Always Watching is a simple story of horror and supernatural, this basic plot lends itself to stirring the imagination of the viewer, in so much that the fear comes not from the cheap ‘jump’ scares, but in the growing sense of dread and unknown that the news team themselves must be feeling. One eventually wishes something horrid would happen, just to cut this ever building tension, rather than be left with the unknown.

There are no major plot turns to speak of, but as a viewer, the details are revealed to us at the same pace they are revealed to the news team, meaning that at no point do we ever have more knowledge in hand than the man characters.

Always Watching is a tense story, letting the viewers imagination run wild at the many possibilities, right up to the final moments of the story. Best enjoyed in a dark room, late at night.

Disc

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, resulting in a steady image, free of artefacts. It should be noted, that due to the nature of the title, that there is an amount of these artefacts introduced as part of the story, and which are not as a result of poor encoding.

Audio

The soundtrack is presented in a 5.1 mix, and whereas this does add to the viewer experience, and does draw the viewer further into the on-screen events, that the nature of the film, being a found footage type presentation, that most audio is concentrated on the front channels.

Navigation

The disc menus are easy to use, with a background video containing some snippets of the film, however these do not give away anything of the actual plot.

Features

There are unfortunately no bonus features on the disc.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/