Monday, September 3, 2012

Marble Hornets Season 2 review

    Hey folks,

    I went through the first two seasons pretty rapidly so I thought it only appropriate to review the second one ASAP. Is it as good as the original? Not really. The original kept the ever ratcheting up tension consistent through the entirety of the season right up until the climax in Episode 26.
    The second season spends most of its time trying to explain the events of the first season, slowly unraveling many of the early mysteries and only introducing new ones towards the end. This hurts its effectiveness as a horror movie but was perhaps necessary for a sustained narrative. There are also quite a few genuine scares and shocking moments, building on the characterization it takes times to develop.
    The premise is an effective continuation of the original narrative, introducing a massive memory loss for our protagonist, one which creates a new motivation for him to seek out the video tapes necessary to fill-in-the-blanks for the past seven months. This was brought about by behind-the-scenes concerns as I understand but makes perfect sense to me in-universe. After all, memory-loss is an established part of the Marble Hornets mythos.
    While I can't say Season 2 manages to keep the almost superhuman terrifying tension of the original season up, I will say the storytelling and acting is consistently good. The previously underdeveloped characters of the original Marble Hornets series, including Jay the protagonist, get a lot more development.
    At the risk of spoiling some of the season's black humor, it becomes readily apparent Jay  isn't quite right in the head. His dogged pursuit of the Operator/Slenderman despite the creature's obvious supernatural powers and going into obviously dangerous situations isn't as lampshaded as it will be in Season 3 but comes up enough to reveal there's something going on. He is obviously using his investigation as a crutch against the insanity he's discovered and it's not healthy for either him or those around him.

    We also get an expanded role for the character of Alex, who previously only appeared in video tapes leftover from the original doomed production of Marble Hornets. Alex survived the wrath of the supernatural for three years, seemingly no worse for wear, but is he? The mystery behind how much Alex knows about the Operator/Slenderman is a major focus of season two and I loved watching it play out. What happened to Alex's girlfriend at the end of season 2? What's his connection to the Operator/Slenderman? Is he a friend or a foe?
    I also enjoy the new character of Jessica. While she doesn't get as much screen time as Jay or Alex, her appearance adds new layers to both characters while also opening up questions about what exactly the Operator/Slenderman is capable of. I hope she'll make an appearance in Season 3 and we'll find out more information about her role in Jay's investigations.
    The mythology of the Marble Hornets mythos is also expanded with the introduction of Rosswood Park. Eldritch locations are a personal favorite of mine and the use of a state park as a place of hidden horrors is a stroke of genius since so many of us have them in our backyards. It also provides a nifty location for our heroes to be return to whenever they are in need of new clues. You know, despite the fact that the Ultimate EvilTM might or might not enjoy hanging around there.

    If there's any flaws with season 2 other than its occasional lack of tension, I'll say that story takes a little while to get up off the ground. Likewise, with the exception of Alex and Tim, some of the acting isn't quite up to notch with the original. Season 1 benefited from the fact that our protagonist was mostly off-camera or dealing with abandoned areas. Here, the acting requirements are a little stricter and the edges occassionally show. Still, nothing is laughably bad and a few of the scenes are brilliant.

    In conclusion, I recommend to people who enjoyed the original Marble Hornets season and am eagerly awaiting the next one.


No comments:

Post a Comment