Sunday, February 5, 2012

Marble Hornets: Masky and Hoody and Slendy, Oh MY!

You likely have not heard of it.  It doesn't have cute kittens saying funny things with a lisp.  It doesn't have a celebrity throwing a tantrum.  (See what I think of most of the people on the Internet? Like how I slipped that in? Except for you of course.  You're straight up!)

What it does have is an eclectic assemblage of settings, a group of young actors with varying degrees of talent, and some quite surprising pepperings of simple, yet effective visual scares.  You can watch it here.

The premise
Alex, a young college filmmaker, has written a script for a movie called Marble Hornets, which as near as I can figure hovers somewhere in the vicinity of Tommy Wisseau's The Room as far as dialogue and storyline go, with better talent and fewer cameras.  However, Alex's movie Marble Hornets isn't the focus of this Youtube Blair Witchian tale.  Several years ago, Alex gave away his mountains of tapes, dropped the project, and disappeared.

The real story begins when his friend Jay decides three years later to go through the tapes and finds that Alex was having some sort of paranoid break-down and, as Jay is drawn deeper and deeper into the life of his missing friend, seemed indeed to be tailed by a strangely proportioned, faceless man in a business suit.

Now, this would not have seemed odd to me if I had not been regaled for the past 2 years by my daughter with spooky stories of The Slender Man, an urban legend that somehow escaped my radar.  You can read about him here.

The players
Alex- Alex is an insufferable, superior nerd of the first order.  One of those people you run into who walks with his nose in the air and takes pride in his own ostracizing by the rest of the human race because he knows the names of all the red shirts in Star Trek. Although he disappeared three years prior to Jay finding the mystery on the tapes, he re-emerges as a great big geeky thorn in the side of his much cooler, much braver former colleague.

Jay- Jay is this average dude who happens to have a streak of what almost comes across as a good dose of noir detectivism in him.  He goes out into the wide, post-college world in search of Alex, and low and behold!, the other disappearing members of the cast and crew of Marble Hornets.

Masky- Now, this is not the official name of the character who turns up in odd places such as Jay's bedroom bureau in the middle of the night, burned-out husks of deserted houses, and remote forest locations.  He wears a very disturbing mask and has a way of turning his head that sends goosebumps scattering like cockroaches.  Take that as you will.

Jessica-Jessica is something of an enigmatic character.  When we first see Jessica, she is walking down a hallway in a hotel and appears not to know Jay beyond the fact that his name sounds familiar.  However, we realize much later (despite the fact that we were told the tapes were probably out of order) that this is not the first time Jay and Jessica have met.  Both are suffering long lapses in memory, have no idea how they got into this hotel, and are freaked out by the fact that they are the only 2 people there other than the staff who are strangely absent from screen.

Hoody- (or is it Hoodie?) Hoody is another enigma of the Marble Hornets saga.  For motives that are all his own, Hoody appears in the woods where Alex and Jay have apparently been followed by The Slender Man.  Jay drops his camera in fear and hot foots it out of there.  Knowing that the only key to Jay's survival now that he is involved is the footage, and the continuous filming of every noisy step he takes, a mysterious figure in a gray hooded sweatshirt is seen through the camera lens after having rescued the camera and deposited it into Jay's car for safe keeping.  Hoody, as he has been affectionately termed by his fans, turns toward the camera, pauses for effect, and disappears.  He, of course, has no face that is distinguishable beneath the hood from whence he gets his name.

The event
Over the course of several years and around 53 (so far) uploaded "entries", Jay unravels for us a convoluted tale of terror.  After his apartment building is burned down, Jay runs for the hills, only to discover that he is easily located by friend and foe alike.  He promptly wakes up in a hotel room to discover that  7 months of his life is missing and the key to it all is locked in a safe in his hotel room, to which he has forgotten the combination.

What we view on screen is the videotaped events as near in order as Jay can guess since most of them do not have dates or labels.  Jay finds himself on the tapes narrowly escaping situations with his life, finding all the missing people from the Marble Hornets film project, and totally ignoring what must be clues that will be picked up later on when the crew decides to continue the story.

The crazy thing about this whole Marble Hornets thing is that it has inspired spoof movies, fan fiction, Halloween costumes, motivational posters, watch-me-watching-entry-43 Youtube videos, and much much more.  Fans scour the 3- to 14-minute-long uploads for hidden clues, hidden faces, hidden signs of a dark and dismal future. And setting it all off is the strange and foreboding circle with an X through it called, inexplicably and ominously, "operator". There are even anime, crossdressing works of art starring the members of the Marble Hornets cast!

In conclusion, enjoyed alongside the uploads from the Youtube account "totheark" which seem to be official uploads from someone trying to goad Jay along, the Marble Hornets saga can be quite addictive.  I have no idea why I'm writing about it, though.  I can't tell you anymore about it without giving too much away.  But then, is there really much else to give away? A lot happens.  Or does it? I feel oddly compelled to share all this with someone.  Anyone.  And...I think I hear footsteps.

1 comment:

  1. Have you watched Marble Hornets? Seen the Slender Man? Have theories on the ending of Marble Hornets? Share them with me!