At long last?
Alright, so this has some history behind it, so lets take a field trip to HISTORY!!!
In 2009, Creepypasta, an internet meme forum website, held a contest to photoshop paranormal images, or something or other. One of the users submitted a pair of related images of a tall, slender figure among children, the mythology of the monster that children either die, or end up missing. While I can’t say if Slender Man won the contest, it has since grown to become an internet sensation.
All over cyber space, internet users have expanded on Slender Man’s mythologies, creating more images relating to the character, fanfictions, cosplays, and has been referenced in Youtube movies. In 2012, it was adapted into an online video game called, SLENDER: THE EIGHT PAGES, and has become the subject of more than a couple of indie films, one of them had Slender Man portrayed by famed costume and make-up actor, Doug Jones.
However, that’s not to say that Slender Man hasn’t had it’s fair share of controversy, though not by its own fault. In 2014, twelve year old girls Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser had somehow found a way to worship Slender Man and, with very mentally ill reasoning behind it, held down and stabbed their friend Payton Leutner nineteen times, all in the name of appeasing a fictional character. Though the two girls were found not guilty by reason of insanity, they’re facing up to sixty-five years in a mental institute. One can hardly blame Leutner’s father for being outspoken against this movie about subject matter that’s caused his family so much pain.
With that said, a movie is made, so we’ll see what happens.
The story looks like it’s about a group of teen friends, and one of them goes missing. In their search for her, they discover that she’s been studying about a “Slender Man,” and in their own search for it, they become infected with visions, and are attacked by it.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Joey King (WISH UPON , INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 , THE CONJURING , 3 episodes of JERICHO [2006 – 2008], and upcoming films CAMP  and ZEROVILLE ), Julia Goldani Telles (stuff I’ve never seen or heard of), Jaz Sinclair (PAPER TOWNS ), Annalise Basso (NOSTALGIA , OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL , and upcoming films LADYWORLD  and CAMP), and Javier Botet (INSIDIOUS 4 , IT , THE CONJURING 2 , and upcoming films MARA  and IT: CHAPTER TWO ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Sylvain White, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of. Penning the screenplay is David Birke, known for ELLE (2016), and the upcoming BENEDETTA (2019). Co-composing the score are Brandon Campbell (stuff I’ve never seen or heard of) and Ramin Djawadi (WRINKLE IN TIME , THE GREAT WALL , WARCRAFT , and the upcoming video game GEARS 5 ). The cinematographer is Luca Del Puppo, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of. Finally, the editor is Jake York, known for stuff I’ve never seen or heard of, and the upcoming CADAVER (2018).
Overall, while I might say that it’s relatively faithful to the mythos of the monster, from what little I’ve read about them, I can’t say that this is going to be a good movie. It looks incredibly boring. Some of the visuals may be kinda cool, but I don’t have high hopes.
This is my honest opinion of: SLENDER MAN
Teenagers Hallie (Julie Goldani Telles), Wren (Joey King), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair), and Katie (Annalise Basso) take the challenge to summon the urban legend monster, Slender Man, a faceless being that terrorizes children and teenagers, either by making them disappear, haunt, or drive them insane. What they think is a dumb internet challenge turns out to be a little more real a week later when Katie disappears. Believing that some of legend is true, Wren, Hallie, and Chloe do their best investigate the matter and even attempt to bargain with Slender Man to give Katie back. But the harder they try, the worse their efforts become.
Yup, it’s about as bad as I thought. Not the worst horror film I’ve seen, but I’m fairly certain the internet wouldn’t care much for how by the numbers it is.
Let’s tackle one of the biggest problems in the entire movie: the summoning of Slender Man. What’s the point? And that’s not a cynical question. I really do ask what the point is. At least in a movie like WISH UPON, having the music box grants seven wishes. There’s motivation to have it and a sick sense of dark indulgence. Even something as silly as a Ouija board can be used to contact the spirits of dead friends or family. But what is the point of summoning Slender Man? “Just to see if it would work” is a pretty thin excuse. As a result, because we don’t know the point of summoning Slender Man in the first place, we can’t really get attached to anything that happens in the rest of the movie. The monster wears a business suit, for God’s sake! One would think the idea of summoning him would be to bargain. Sacrifice something that you love for something that you want. But no. The bargaining doesn’t come until after someone disappears, and even then it’s a useless plot device.
Also, when you get right down to it, Slender Man isn’t exactly the most original idea. Preys upon kids and teenagers and screws with their minds? I think Freddy Kreuger. Silent killer? Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Watch a video that primes to kill you IN SEVEN MOTHER F**KING DAY?!?!? The Ring movies. Dreams within dreams?? INCEPTION anyone?? The monster chasing its victim in a library?! IT (2017)?!?! For the love of Christ, does anyone else see what this movie is doing?!?! Hell, you can even call it out on Slender Man’s spider-like transformation and say that CORALINE did it better, and that’s a damned kids film! It’s design isn’t even all that bad. Tall, slender, and most importantly, faceless. This makes me relatively happy as I’ve complained in the past how monsters look pissed off, rather than be emotionless and therefore, you don’t know what they’re thinking or feeling. It just makes something more terrifying. So in that regard, I got my wish. Too bad it was part of a horse-crap movie.
The rest of the flick fares no better. The writing is awful, of course. Like, when the girls see a group of boys, they pretend they’re on safari. Yes, movie, I too have seen Nickelodeon cartoons before. Thank you for reminding me that they’re more imaginative and better written. And when someone in the group has to read a passage from the Slender Man summoning website because no one in the group can read. I mean, they obviously can, but the movie thinks the audience is stupid, so that girl reads it out loud anyway. And the characters are stupid, as should be expected in sub-quality horror films. When the rules are to not take your blindfold off, and you take off said blindfold, then I don’t care who you are, you earned your death, or bad things that happen to you in general. Why in piss would they lie about the effect that watching the video had on them, especially from Hallie? Yes, yes, denial is an idiot’s past time in horror movies, but when all of your friends are open about the insane things that have been happening, then what’s the big deal about sharing what you experienced too?
Alright, so the movie is downright awful. Is there anything that might redeem it?
Well, I might argue that the actors are trying at least, especially King and Basso, for the limited screen time that Basso has. Not that either Telles or Sinclair do a terrible job, per se, but they don’t have the same charisma King does, which is by no means their fault. The best of actors wouldn’t have been any better considering how poorly written everyone’s character was. But seriously, someone give these women quality roles. Much as I adored WISH UPON as a glorious dumpster fire, I don’t want King’s career to be just bad horror films. If her upcoming film list is any indication, there’s hope in that department. Same for Basso, though I think she’s going to be perfectly fine.
I might also say that the montage of creepy imagery toward the end were pretty fun. Not that I remember much outside of tree branches growing out of someone’s mouth, which can be found in the trailer, so it’s a pretty thin compliment.
Overall, the movie is objectively trash. One of the worst of the year. But as for my personal feelings, it’s not the most offensive. I mean, did anyone really go into this thinking it was going to join the ranks of the great horror icons? Maybe if you’re a fan of the Slender Man mythos, then you got suckered good. As for me, no, I went in thinking this was going to be bad, and I left the auditorium thinking that it was bad. It isn’t the least big scary, and even the cheap jump scares were barely effective enough to keep me awake, the script was awful, the characters are terrible, and is pretty boring. Here’s hoping these leading ladies get better material in the future. Fingers crossed.
My honest rating for SLENDER MAN: 2/5
This week’s reviews:
Next week’s reviews
- MILE 22
- CRAZY RICH ASIANS
- JULIET, NAKED
- THE WIFE
- WE THE ANIMALS
- MADELINE’S MADELINE