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Always Watching DVD Review

Always Watching DVD

“Always Watching” suffers from the usual found footage movie flaws.

Based on the Marble Hornets web series, “Always Watching” is a horror thriller in the found footage subgenre. The story begins with a news team (Milo, Sarah, and Charlie) doing a piece on foreclosed houses. After scoping out one empty home, they discover that the family that lived there up and vanished without a trace. They left virtually all of their belongings behind including some tapes. As Milo goes through the tapes, he begins to see a creepy faceless man in a suit (The Operator/Slenderman) in several pieces of footage. Things get really freaky when The Operator begins to appear to Milo, Sarah and Charlie. Knowing that something terrible is going on, the news team sets out to rid themselves of The Operator and to hopefully find some answers as to what is going on.

Considering the success of the admirable Marble Hornets series, it was only a matter of time before it was turned into a feature film. Unfortunately, the eerie concept doesn’t quite get its due with “Always Watching” (AKA “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story”).

While the movie boasts a memorable monster in The Operator, the creepy selling point is wasted amidst a horror film riddled with problems. Not only does “Always Watching” suffer from standard horror movie clichés (flickering lights and video, dumb character actions, a “curse” plotline), but the found footage approach once again fails to work. Look, we all know the found footage style worked extremely well with “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity,” but it hasn’t been utilized well for other films for the most part. With this particular film, screenwriter Ian Shorr tries to integrate it into the story, but it’s extremely clumsy. You’re constantly wondering why the camera is rolling.

Another critical issue is that Ian Shorr’s script feels like an early draft. This is especially evident in the aimless middle section which primarily consists of the characters driving and trying to outrun The Operator. Why didn’t Shorr attempt to explore the mythology of The Operator instead of having the characters meander about? It was a wasted opportunity to be sure.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? Visually, the film looks pretty good for a found footage type horror film. The lighting is particularly effective.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The dialogue and sound f/x always sounded clear to this reviewer.

No extras have been included.

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July 23, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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