Go Watch Marble Hornets
Last week, a web series called Marble Hornets ended. It took 5 years, 87 entries, 2 YouTube channels, and 555 tweets to finish. You should go watch it.
Over the course of those five years, 3 amateur filmmakers created 3 seasons of a real-time fictional web video series consisting of YouTube videos uploaded one by one. Marble Hornets was promoted as a horror series, but really, it was more than that. The first season was one of the most terrifying pieces of entertainment I’ve ever watched. The creators managed to instill bone-gripping fear in their viewers for nearly every moment of every entry, all while telling a story so intriguing that no one wanted to stop watching. The next two seasons morphed into a mystery series with all of the excitement of the first season. The story was simultaneously too supernatural to believe and just real enough to keep you wondering in the back of your head, “is this really happening?” The five year timeline arose not simply because of production, but because the events in the series were supposedly happening in the present day, with each entry often serving as a handheld camera account of what had happened to the channel’s owner in the past few days. The actors aged and changed in real time over the life of the series, and the entries coincided with tweets from the the narrators, giving Marble Hornets a sense of realism that television shows can’t come close to achieving.
Marble Hornets combined the style and mythological themes of Blair Witch Project with the creativity of the most viral internet phenomenon and the utter dread of the closing scene of The Silence of the Lambs. When I first was shown it, I wrote it off as another dumb YouTube series. Five years later, I’m writing about it. So, if you have a chance, give it a shot. You might enjoy it. And if you’re lucky, you might not be able to sleep very well tonight.