Oh my God… this film tries to kill the myth of Slender Man :O
Dir. Sylvain White
Runtime: 93 minutes
Starring: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair
This supernatural horror thriller is directed by Sylvain White and written by David Birke. Slender Man is a mythical character created by Eric Knudsen which rose to fame on the internet in 2009. The character was designed for a creepypasta meme in the Something Awful thread.
A group of school friends attempt to disprove the existence of Slender Man by beckoning him (duh). When one of their friends goes missing, it becomes apparent that they were wrong not to believe in the myth. The story then follows them in surviving and trying to prove that they aren’t mad.
… or… here’s a summary in 180 characters of less…
Stupid school kids try to prove that a monster doesn’t exist by summoning it, and instantly regret being stupid.
What started off as an internet urban legend was committed to the silver screen in 2018, much to a lot of peoples delight. Unfortunately when those delighted people sat down to watch the film, negative reviews flooded in to film review sites. The story that was used for this film wasn’t all that dissimilar to other films with a maybe exists/maybe doesn’t monster. There wasn’t much originality and it felt like the film was just created to tick a box, rather than to make something good. The film actually felt like a ‘lift and shift‘ from about 50 other movies I could name without thinking too intensely.
The dialogue that the script brings is simple and at times dumb. I know horror films tend to dumb characters down so audiences have somebody to shout at (“Why are you doing that!!?“), but the charters here are far from naive, they are just plain stupid. Despite having an occasionally dumb script, the young cast seem to do their best in their roles – thankfully they have to scream a lot so that detracts from the poor script.
The hour and half of life you will waste watching this relies on jump scares to keep the audience engaged and on edge. The cinematography isn’t awful and at times there are some nice shots, it’s just a pity that they are often ruined by the poor characters and predictable story. The effects used for the Slender Man monster are fairly simple and don’t bring anything new to horror films. Sometimes less can be more, and I think this is certainly the case here as it felt that using Slender Man on screen more than was needed belittled the impact it could have had if it was just in the shadows or distance from time to time.
I didn’t enjoy this film and not many other people did by the look of reviews that are published online. This feels like a wasted opportunity and may actually go on to become the reason why the internet urban legend is killed and forgotten. You know those horror films that suggest there is a monster but the audience if fooled and it’s really one of the characters – I kept hoping that would happen to make this film more intelligent and absorbing. When I initially watched this I was kind and gave it a 3 out of 10. Having suffered the film a second time I’m downgrading it to a 2 out of 10. It’s shocking to think that the film is less than 5 years old when this review was written, and it already feels like it could have been produced in the early 2000’s instead.