A high-profile horror movie based on a character whose origins are traced back to a Creepy Pasta Internet meme in 2009 seems like a joke.
It’s no joke though. The year is 2018 and we have had our Slender Man movie. A movie based off a character that has no basis in reality no matter how hard the Internet tries to tell you otherwise. A character that has already gone beyond the point of being stale.
Expectations were low going into this film. Simply put, I expected nothing more then a supernatural horror with jump scares at every turn. I was right but what I didn’t expect was for it to be far worse. For it to be devoid of plot, for it to have terrible pacing, for it to have so many holes and for it to have a shockingly lacklustre ending. Slender Man is one of the worst horror movies of 2018 seemingly expecting movie-goers to flock to see it based on the character alone.
Well, thanks to the combined efforts of everyone involved Slender Man is dead. As a character he will never be taken seriously again.
The movie opens introducing us to four friends; Wren (Joey King), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair) and Katie (Annalise Basso). We get the briefest of character development before the movie decides we’ve seen enough to convince us of the four’s friendship. Suddenly it’s sleepover night at Katie who has her drunken father and unhappy life hilariously forced in. So what do all teenage girls do at sleepovers? Watch hardcore porn and summon Slender Man.
It’s as simple as watching a video on the net and following the very easy instructions. Afterwards, most of the girls forget about it except Katie who has dreams before disappearing completely on school field trip.
Over the following weeks her friends try to find her but everyone, including law enforcement, comes up short. This leads to Wren believing that Katie was taken by Slender Man. Forget that she was very unhappy and talked about running away, nope the supernatural internet meme did it.
This decision that Slender Man was involved comes out of nowhere from the characters stand-point and makes them all seem like idiots. Not that they have the emotional range to actually seem like they care about Katie or the events that follow.
They decide to summon Slender Man to bargain for Katie which goes as well as you might expect. The rest of the film is one ‘scare’ sequence after another as old Slender plays around with the girls. For wanting to take them away he sure likes to take his time playing mind games first!
Be prepared for disappointment as Slender Man follows the same scare formula all the way through. Character hears noise, lights go out, they creep around, Slender Man tries to make everyone jump. If you’ve seen any paranormal horror ever, you’ve seen what Slender Man has to offer here.
It doesn’t help that we see it in all its CGI glory 30 minutes in. That the movie then goes back to using distant shots of Slender Man after having it up close shows how little understanding those involved have of making a character effectively creepy.
All of this is stretched around a basic story that constantly forgets what part it is supposed to be telling. Over the halfway mark, a minor character is brought forward then dropped 10 minutes later, one of the girls disappears from the screen and is barely spoke of again and suddenly the focus is on Hallie and her sister for the finale.
It’s hilarious that considering how much the movie drags its heels, it suddenly decides to speed up for the final 10 minutes as if it is desperate to be over.
That is a sentiment that will be shared by most who watch this utter dross. There’s nothing to praise. It’s visually ugly and dark a lot of the time. The story is a joke, the villain lacks impact and the cast fail to spark. Friends? Not when one chooses to go on a date while one is missing, another is catatonic and the other is close to a nervous breakdown. Boys, though? Right!?
Beware the Slender Man? No, beware the Slender Man movie.