Friday, June 28, 2013

Pleasant Surprises (3/6)

Never underestimate your enemy, or your potential entertainment source.  
Sometimes disappointment will win out, but other times you may find a pleasant surprise lurking where you least expect it.  Here are six works I found waiting just around that proverbial corner.

Ranking of these is not by quality, but rather how unexpected it was that I liked them.

4.   Kralie Film Presents...

In Association With University Labs...


a film...

about finding your place...

Entry 46

Ohdearheaven save me!

I don’t like horror.

Marble Hornets is a horror series.

I really like Marble Hornets.

This YouTube series is inspired by and is a pillar of the Slender Man Mythos.  Slender Man, for those of you unfamiliar, is like the Bigfoot of the Internet.  A tall, man-like creature that lurks in the background of photos, faceless yet watching.  Blogs, YouTube videos, games, and even a few movies have been made surrounding this Urban Legend that was born out of a few photoshopped images on a forum.  Marble Hornets was one of the first and one of the most (if not the most) popular entries of the Mythos.

- I’m not sure I like Where’s Waldo any more... -
Photoshopped image from Slender Man creator Victor-Surge.  Can you find Slender?

The show follows a young man named Jay who finds out that his friend Alex Kralie has been stalked by a tall, faceless entity.  Evidence of this is found in the discarded tapes of Alex’s student film “Marble Hornets,” through which Jay has begun to search for clues of his friend’s whereabouts.  However, it appears that Jay’s curiosity has drawn some unwanted attention upon himself.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t like horror.  The following it a list of things that made it difficult for me to sleep at night: Shyamalan's Signs, Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.  Not a single one of those is horror.  Only one is rated “R.”  Can you imagine me watching something like The Ring?  Nope, I can’t either.

I don’t think it’s wise to allow an opening for fear to roost in yourself.  Fear can be a hard thing to get rid of and my imagination can get the best of me.  So you won’t find me watching The Ring or Saw or Paranormal Activity.  But you will find me belly-first on the floor, my face not a foot from the computer screen, with the next Marble Hornets entry loaded.

Granted in about thirty seconds, I will be sitting up with my feet putting as much distance between myself and the video as possible.  And still watching.

Why?  Dear heaven why?

Is it addicting?  Yes.  The mystery of the Slender Man - called the Operator in the series - is intriguing.  No one knows what he wants, or what he will do to get it.  Other creepy characters appear who may be friends, who may be foes, and even friends may not remain so for long.  Jay himself treads the edge of sanity and we see what he may become if he steps too far.  These are mysteries too terrifying to be left unanswered.  So back I come to the next entry.

But I am not one to get addicted on pure misery.  The lack of hope or joy is what makes it hard for me to read the work of Philip K. Dick.  It’s why I can respect the works that are Watchmen and Dune, but never consider myself a fan.  Marble Hornets, despite all the jump scares and the descents in madness, carries both.

It lies within the main character, Jay.  He’s by no means perfect.  He will lie, he will be drastically inconsiderate of others, and many times he will be an complete idiot.  

- Yes, Jay.  Why don’t you take a walk into the woods with the unhinged psychopath at twilight? -
Entry 38

You will want to shout at him, smack him upside the head, and then cheer him on.

Jay got into this mess because he was nosing around Alex’s stuff.  He stays in the mess because he can’t get out. He goes deeper in because he wants to save his friends.  Be it Alex or people he meets along the way, Jay is determined to fight because of the people around him.  He will take risks not just to solve the mystery, but to save a friend, even if it would get him killed.  There is an especially terrifying and touching moment when the Operator is closing in on Jay and an incapacitated companion.  Jay refuses to leave even as the other shouts at him to go and the Operator comes ever closer.

So even as the cold chill runs up my spine and I do the occasional double take at night, I recall more the moments that the characters, especially Jay, take risks for each other.

I watch for the mystery, the story, and the camaraderie.

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