You’ll Regret Looking at This Slender Man
August 29, 2018
If you were active on the internet 2010-2013, you might have run across a strange legend– or perhaps I should say, myth– about a creepy fictional character called Slender Man.
The gist of the story is that a tall, thin man with impossibly-long arms and no features (a character that originated in a creepypasta internet meme) lives in the forest and steals children.
This idea took the internet by storm, for some unknown, strange reason, led to many stories, games, and short films that tell the tale of this imaginary monster. In fact, in 2014, a number of the character’s fans participated in some violent acts, including two tween girls who were convicted and sentenced to jail for the stabbing and attempted murder of a classmate, an act they said was inspired by the character.
Recently, a major motion picture about the Slender Man has somehow made its way into theaters. Since the character was at its height of interest several years ago, I have no idea who or what decided that 2018 was the magic year to make a movie about a dead and buried trend, but here we are.
But I recently had the pleasure–or displeasure, in this case– to visit one of my local movie theaters and watch this film.
Trust me: If you’ve ever seen the trailer for Slender Man, you’ve already seen everything that this movie has to offer. Ironically, there are very few “scares” in the movie that weren’t in the trailer to begin with.
I didn’t think it was possible to be more scared during a movie’s trailer than while watching the movie itself, but Slender Man managed to prove me wrong. I’ve never seen a more cliched horror movie in my life, and it was ridiculously easy to predict the scares before they happened.
I guess that I should summarize the movie, which I’ll do in the least amount of words possible to spare you from the garbage fire of a story that I had to sit through.
A group of high school girls get the idea to summon the mythical Slender Man. They do. He scares them.
That’s about as deep as it gets.
So let’s talk about what was good. The acting, overall, was pretty fair. Normally, I’d list the names of the characters, but the fact that I didn’t know any of their names by the end of the movie, which I usually do, should give you a pretty good idea of what a poor job Slender Man does in developing its characters.
Instead, I’ll just use the loving nicknames I gave the few characters that actually mattered. The Conjuring Girl (played by Joey King) was who I thought was the main character for the first 45 minutes of the movie. She was easily the best actor in the movie, and the only character with any kind of enjoyable personality.
Next up is Main Character’s Sister (played by Taylor Richardson), who was an enjoyable surprise for the short time she appeared on screen.
Every other character, including the real main character (I’ll let you decide who that is if you’re still a glutton for punishment and actual watch this flick), had little impact on the story and literally only existed as a plot device to drive the plot forward (poorly, I might add).
Now the fun part: all the bad.
Most of the actors in this movie were useless and had zero purpose except to give the Slender Man a warm body to scoop up and spirit away to the forest.
What about the “scares”? Out of ten supposed jump scares in the movie, I only flinched once. Jump scares were literally the only thing this movie had going for it, and they didn’t even do those right. I expected a lackluster attempt at a psychological horror theme, but they didn’t even try to hide how unscary the Slender Man character was.
There were also a couple plot inconsistencies, such as a scene where one window had bright light coming in, but the very next shot it was pitch black outside.
Slender Man is definitely not the worst movie, or horror movie, I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely the worst I’ve seen in theaters. I’m shocked it didn’t go straight to Netflix, where it actually would’ve probably done much better than it did in theaters.
I give Slender Man 2 out of 8 pages, for its lack of interesting plot, characters, scares, inconsistencies, and its reliance on cliched horror themes in a sorry attempt to scare the audience. (Of course, if you’re in the market for a horror movie that is so bad it’s funny, I’d highly recommend checking out Slender Man.)
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a horror film that’s actually worth your 13 bucks, check out The Nun, which comes out Sept. 7. There were more good scares in its three-minute trailer than in the entire 90 minutes of Slender Man.