In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of teenage girls explores whether or not the creepy internet urban legend character, The Slender Man is true. Best friends Hallie, Chloe, Wren, and Katie go online to try and conjure up the Slender Man, a tall, thin, horrifying figure whose face has no discernible features. Soon after, they begin experiencing supernatural phenomena that make them believe the story is real and that they are now being haunted by the Slenderman. Two weeks later, Katie mysteriously disappears during a class trip to a historic graveyard. Determined to find her, the girls soon suspect that the legend of the Slender Man may be all too real. Directed by Sylvain White. Based on the character created by Eric “Victor Surge” Knudsen.
To begin with, for those that are not very familiar who the legend of The Slender Man, I’ll give you a small into. The Slender Man, or Slenderman, as some may call him, is a fictional supernatural character that originated as a creepypasta Internet meme created by a “Something Awful” forums user by the name of Eric Knudsen (also known as “Victor Surge”) in 2009. He is depicted as a very thin, unnaturally tall humanoid with a terrifying and featureless face and wearing a black suit.
And now for a little extra, and more recent background on this character: Many stories of the Slender Man usually refer to him as an entity that stalks, abducts or traumatizes people, especially children. The Slender Man is not confined to a single narrative but appears in many disparate works of fiction, typically composed online. Fiction relating to the Slender Man encompasses many media, including literature, art and video series such as Marble Hornets, wherein he is known as The Operator. Outside of online fiction, the Slender Man has become an internet icon and has influenced popular culture, having been referenced in the video game Minecraft with the Enderman character and generated video games of his own, such as Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival. He has also appeared in a film adaptation of Marble Hornets, where he was portrayed by Doug Jones, and an eponymous film, where he was portrayed by Javier Botet.
I’ll begin this review by saying that, while the Slender Man movie was good, there was nothing truly spectacular about it. I really wanted this one to be great and I totally gave it a fair chance. I was so excited when I first heard it was in the making, but sadly, it ended up being mediocre at best. I didn’t bother reading any reviews before watching it because I wanted to form my own opinion. I will also say that there will be many people who end up hating this movie, mainly because of how bland it is. I honestly can’t say that I blame them, although it makes me feel sad for some reason. I guess because I wanted to love this one and be completely horrified beyond anything else I’ve ever seen. Yeah, right. Didn’t happen. Another reason why I think some won’t like it is that most people might be too wrapped up in the Slender Man memes, or just going along with whatever the majority says about this film. That seems to be a trend these days.
Slender Man is about four teenage girls who summon, (yes, you read that right, summon) the Slender Man so that he can begin his reign of terrorizing them one by one by either simply taking them (they disappear for no reason) or driving them completely batty. The characters involved, even though I adore Joey King, were a bit bland and not very memorable at all, and it felt like many times they were reading from a script. As far as the Slender Man himself goes, I think they brought him to the forefront way too much, he would have been much creepier and more sinister if they kept him subtly in the background of things. And also, I know for a fact that many people are not aware of how the Slender Man came into existence, so Sony really should have given him some sort of a backstory for him so people would actually have a clue. As a matter of fact, ALL of the characters in this film needed a little backstory added to them so that we could have cared more about their outcome. As it was, I found I didn’t care if they lived or died. Nice job, Sony!
Just so you know, the film’s not bloody or gory, however, there are a lot of jump-scares involved, some seeming on target and authentic while a few felt like they were only added because they couldn’t decide what else to use in that scene. I’m not sure if I’ll end up being the only who felt this way or not, but it sort of felt like some parts of the movie was missing, like a lot of footage from the trailer didn’t seem to make it into the actual film. With all that said, there is still a great amount of suspense involved, and the actual Slender Man looked really good and creepy.
Basically, the only areas I had a few gripes with were from some of the CGI/Special Effects scenes. For example, there’s one scene where Wren gets pulled through a window by tree branches (which are actually the Slender Man’s tentacles). The tree branches were lacking real texture which in turn made it blatantly obvious that it was CGI animation. Another irritating example is when Hallie is having a bad dream about being pregnant and these silly looking tentacles begin pushing through her stomach. If only they had taken more care with these parts and had given the characters a backstory, I’d have given this film a higher rating. Oh well. Overall, it’s still a decent film, and I can still recommend seeing it at least once. Maybe wait until it comes out on something where you can stream or rent it cheap instead of paying full movie theater price!
Title: Slender Man
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Studio: Sony Pictures
Starring: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Directors: Sylvain White
Reviewed by: Disturbia
Our Rating: 3.2 /5
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