Monday, August 24, 2015

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story - DVD Review - Anchor Bay

You Shouldn't Have Looked

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story - DVD Review - Anchor Bay

Released by: Starz / Anchor Bay
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Production Year: 2015
Region Code: 1 
Running Time: 1:31:20
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: 480i (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SHD, Spanish


On the hunt for an intriguing news story, small-town news team, Sara (Alexandra Breckenridge, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story), Milo (Chris Marquette, Freddy vs. Jason) and Charlie (Jake McDorman, American Sniper) follow a crew inspecting repossessed houses. Inside a particularly strange house, the news team discovers a box of video tapes inside a locked closet. Sensing a story, they decide to take them back to their studio. From the tapes, they learn that the family who had lived in the house was not pushed out by the banks, but fled the house in fear for their lives. Trying to decode the story, the crew keeps seeing a faceless figure dressed in a dark suit appear in the footage that causes the videotape to scramble. Their fear mounts when this figure, The Operator as he is deemed, starts to appear in their real lives, standing quietly and always watching them. Tortured and terrorized, the three crew members must track down the mystery of The Operator before it's too late.
"Always Watching" is based upon the "Marble Hornets" series of videos from Youtube, which were inspired by the story of the "Slenderman." 

I am generally not too excited about the thought of watching "found footage" films. The primary reason being that they tend to look like the camera operator was shaking the camera on purpose, mostly to obscure action scenes. However in "Always Watching," the shaky cam syndrome is not too bad. I normally get annoyed easily with that sort of thing and it never bothered me while watching the film, so that says something. 

I found "Always Watching" to be fairly entertaining. There were several scenes that should keep its viewers on the edge of their seats with anticipation. The Operator is one creepy looking individual. The cast did a nice job in their acting roles especially Alexandra Breckenridge who had several highly emotional scenes.

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story - DVD Review - Anchor Bay Alexandra Breckenridge


The DVD includes an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. I thought the sound quality was quite good on the DVD. The audio sounded good throughout the film and the sound effects were very effective in key, shocking moments. Dialogue was easy to understand. I did not encounter any issues with the audio like drop outs, hissing, loud pops and so on. The DVD also includes English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story - DVD Review - Anchor Bay Alexandra Breckenridge


"Always Watching" stalks its way on to DVD thanks to Starz/Anchor Bay and Gravitas Ventures. The film is presented in 480i anamorphic widescreen with a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. For being a "found footage" film, the video quality looks pretty good. The screen shots included were taken directly from the DVD. The film presented some nice fine detail in close up shots. Colors look good throughout and skin tones looked natural. 


There are no special features included on the DVD.

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story - DVD Review - Anchor Bay Alexandra Breckenridge


"Always Watching" might be a polarizing film for fans. I could see there being a lot of love it and hate it groups. The film itself is better than your average horror film. It features a good cast. Unfortunately the DVD did not include any extras. But the video and audio quality is very good. If you happen to enjoy the "found footage" style films, you should really give this one a chance. If you are like me and can take them or leave them, I would suggest giving the film a try because like me, you might be surprised. The film is available via VOD on several sites including Amazon and Youtube.

OVERALL: 3 / 5