Reviews: One Hundred Yard Stare

Not bad at all. Deserves to be better known.

This is a whole series review as much as it can in Early 2013 which means I talk about the first season and the first half of the second. And yes, there will probably be spoilers in this, I try to mark them.

The Good:

  • High production value.
  • Acting is quite good, after some episodes.
  • Takes ideas from many sources.
    • So it tries to be more then a copycat. The child stealing makes an appearance for example... with actual child 'actors' at times. I'm also convinced that what we see the birth of a cult.
  • Surprisingly fast and still good pacing for a Slender Man series.@
  • Standalone.
    • To date it failed to reference or crossover with any other Slender work. Which is a good thing.
  • No disappeared or dead friends, Distressed Damsels (if anything the opposite)
  • No Found Footage till very late in the series.

The Bad:

  • No real buildup of suspense.@
    • No time for it... this needs to be fixed.
  • Too many appearances by Slendy and too many distortions.@
    • If Marble Hornets builds a Pavlovian fear reaction of distortions this series overuses it so much that reaches Narm level. Slendy becomes less frequent in later episodes thank goodness as he is a giant Special Effects Failure for me.
  • The 'acting' is questionable at the beginning.

The Questionable:

  • @ The episodes are very short. Rarely over 3 minutes and many times less than 1.
    • Yes. This editing choice has to do with all things marked with @. In my opinion if episodes would be between 5 and 3 minutes, then most problems would disappear.

Amazing; obscure; quick.

Finished watching the series last night, with low expectations (given how little info TV tropes had on it), and I was pleasantly surprised. One Hundred Yard Stare obviously borrows much from the existing mythos (e.g. make free use of the Operator Symbol), and does come close to other series at times, like EMH, but it strikes out as an original work in its own right. OHYS eschews the subtler approach of more (and less) popular stories, and dives right into the action from the very first episode. Although the action-packed plot is admittedly thin, this actually works in the series' favour: The short episode & series length combine with the dramatic content to propel the plot at breakneck speed, which I doubt could be sustained over a greater period.

OHYS also deserves a great deal of credit for realism: Its first-rate acting all-round (and particularly regarding "Ellie") greatly complements the Shaky Cam technique so widespread amongst Slendervlogs, enhancing the sense of authenticity.

Finally, I think it's also worth evaluating the series from a feminist perspective, as the only boys present (excepting SM himself, obv.) are minor/supporting characters; the main triad are all girls. And they are awesome. This makes a nice and much needed change, IMO, considering that not only are the more famous SM vlogs/blogs are very male-centric, but when girls do enter the equation, they tend to fall into the Damsel In Distress mould.

Overall, I think this is an excellent series, especially if you're looking for a quick archive binge, and a great introduction to the mythos besides. I highly recommend it to fans and nonfans alike.