Think of the worst horror movie you’ve ever seen. Now that you’ve thought of that, go in with the expectation that this movie will more than likely be worse than that. The people behind this movie clearly missed the mark and clearly have no idea why Slender Man was such a terrifying meme in the first place. Slender Man’s origins can be dated back to 2009, when a man by the name of Eric Knudsen started photoshopping pictures of a tall fictional character into the background of old pictures.
It was created as a creepypasta meme that he had labeled “Slender Man”. The meme rapidly spread like wildfire reaching every corner of the internet including Something Awful and 4Chan. People would soon upload videos claiming to have seen slender man and while most people knew it was just a silly internet joke, some people actually took the meme seriously and began hunting for the fictional legend. For whatever reason, enough people thought this was a good idea to adapt into a movie and boy were they wrong.
The reason that the Blair Witch was so successful is that it didn’t really give you a glimpse of the horror and it kind of kept the big evil bad as a mystery but you always felt the presence of. That’s the route Slender Man should have gone but they decided to go with a much more in your face approach. Warning: There will be some spoilers posted below this point.
Think of every stereotypical cliché in a horror movie and it’s more than likely in this movie. Instead of a super evil and scary monster, the Slender Man in the movie was portrayed as a very non-scary and flamboyant character. There was no intimidation level what so ever and wouldn’t scare anyone. Also, there’s a scene with the main characters of the movie conducting a séance, because that’s something we’ve never seen before, right?
As far as the actual characters go, there’s nothing remarkable or memorable about any of them. You don’t really get a sense of who they are, why they’re banding together and they come off as very bland. Also, we’re deeply disappointed with the way that Slender Man was introduced into the film. Everyone for some reason decides to summon him, which is something we can see High School students doing but it was the wrong approach for a film like this. Another common problem with this movie is you see Slender Man far too often. He might as well have more screen time than the actual characters because they put him in every possible scene that they can, eliminating a lot of the mystique and fear surrounding him.
Part of what made the internet meme so successful is that people never actually saw Slender Man. He was always hiding in the background or subtly photoshopped into the background of unsuspecting people just going about their day. He wasn’t aimlessly chasing people around or trying to jump scare people at every point he could. Interesting enough, this movie almost wasn’t released because Sony had been keeping close watch at all the legal troubles going on surrounding the internet meme including people who wanted to imitate the killer in real life, creating on-going court cases.
The meme itself has received a lot of negativity in the public eye due to gullible people trying to contact the fictional character, trying to summon him and trying to harm people using methods that people have detailed in creepypasta surrounding Slender Man. Not only that, but they didn’t even promote the film or let critics screen it (which is probably a good thing in retrospect). If you’re looking for a true Slender Man experience, you’re better off just playing the game or reading all of the different fan fiction that’s been posted online because this movie has missed the mark.
This movie will arguably ruin your vision of the character and the only scary moments in the movie are the numerous predictable jump scares, which is something we really wish Hollywood would stop doing. They’re so overdone and barely any movies ever do them right. A lot of people have compared this movie to Bye Bye Man, stating that even though Bye Bye Man is horrible, it’s far better off than whatever this movie was. In some scenes, it’s very clear that there wasn’t a large budget set to make Slender Man look real or terrifying because it looks like a video game glitch rather than Slender Man.
Slender Man is directed by Sylvain White and written by Victor Surge along with David Birke. Slender Man had a box office budget of $10,000,000 and it’s unknown at this time how much the movie made but guessing by the bombing reviews and how poorly this movie performed, we wouldn’t be surprised if it barely made its budget back.