REVIEW: Slender Man

Hey Slender Man, Samara from The Ring made a better viral video – you mate, are just a meme.

Four small-town best friends accidentally call upon the horrifying presence of the online urban legend known as Slender Man, who’s shadowy lurkings lead to the girl’s slow descents into madness.

Wowza. 2018 has been an interesting year for the horror genre, with one side leaning towards memorable masterpieces such as Hereditary and A Quiet Place and the other being memorable crap heaps like Truth or Dare? and Winchester. Before I start this review, I want you to guess what side of the coin Slender Man falls on. Seriously, just take a few minutes. I have time… ok, and that time has presumably past. What do you think? If you think Slender Man is on the level of Hereditary and A Quiet Place raise your hand – obviously I cannot see you go through with that motion, but, I can assume that nobody reading this in their right mind came close to even lifting a finger in agreeance with that statement. If you did, I respect your opinion, but come on, stop being silly. Slender Man is one of the worst films I have seen in 2018.

If you did not know of the Slender Man myth prior to this movie adaptation, the titular creature originated as an internet meme back in 2009… yeah, around a decade ago. The Slender Man movie is the definition of rocking up to a sick a** party uber late because your dad is way too cocky to take directions, simply because he “knows the way”. Not only does this movie feel dated as all hell but Slender Man also just does not at any point surface any real originality or creativity in bringing the once terrifying Slender Man myth to the big screen.

slender-man-trailer
(Chitwood 2018)

Littered with the cheapest of jump scares every few second, Slender Man bathes in cliche after cliche from every horror film having found a release in the last decade. Nothing comes as a surprise and, as a result, this movie just falls flat on its face like every lead character who attempts to run away from Slender Man and forgets the basic maneuvering that is ‘running’. Every character is an idiot and nothing really makes sense within the capacity of this movie’s runtime.

The acting is appropriately atrocious, savour for some moments from Joey King (and trust me, they are brief moments). Everyone feels so flat in this movie like whatever threat they are facing is just another ‘thing’ and nothing to really despair over. And when the characters do eventually panic, it is so overdone and cheesy that you just want to cover your eyes, not from fear, but to escape the pure cringeness of the situations.

Back to the characters real quickly. There are indeed four protagonists, but none of them give any real reason for the audience to remotely care about their dramas. Most of them are stupid for, no reason. Most of them are b*tchy, for no reason. Most of them are clumsy, for no reason. The first girl to go missing just disappears with no real payoff; the second is literally written out of the script and after halfway is never mentioned again (despite the fact, she never physically disappears); the third one, I do not even remember what happened to her; and the fourth one, was so bland that her thinly written sister and boyfriend were more interesting inclusions in the film than her!

Sure, Slender Man features some creepy imagery here and there, for which, in a better film would have genuinely scared me. Though in this, a frightening visual will consume the screen and in a matter of seconds the character will awake to reveal the horror to just be a nightmare. And then to add insult to injury, the character will then see Slender Man and wake up FOR THE SECOND TIME! Real Nic Cage Wicker Man sh*t.

What I don’t understand is why the filmmakers did not just make this movie a found footage film in the vein of The Blair Witch Project? Like I know that trope of found footage is getting old and stale, but it would have 100% worked for a character like Slender Man who works as a shadowy, hard-to-uncover silhouetted creature. Better yet, they could have used awesome stop-motion techniques like The Conjuring 2 or Coraline to bring the lanky monster to life… but nooooooo, CGI is always the answer, is it not?

Look, its pretty obvious I did not like Slender Man. This movie was nothing more than a waste of my time. I would not go so far to say it was the absolute terribleness that was Truth or Dare? but Slender Man at least hits Winchester levels of bad. The movie has trouble committing to its own lore and set mythology and wraps up with such dull narration, I was more scared that the movie was not yet over. At this point, I am ready for the Ugandan Knuckles meme to make a better horror movie than this dud.

Slender Man, without a doubt in my mind, belongs in the… THEATRE OF DOOM!

Image Sources:

  • P+A 2018, ‘Slender Man (2018)’, IMP Awards, TMDb, viewed 27 August 2018, http://www.impawards.com/2018/slenderman.html (Featured Image)
  • Chitwoood, A 2018, ”Slender Man’ Trailer Reveals the Creepy Film Adaptation’, Collider, Complex Media Inc., viewed 27 August 2018, http://collider.com/slender-man-movie-trailer/#poster

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