Misty Midwest forests conceal a legend reaching a boney hand towards you in Slender Man. Hallie, Katie, Wren and Chloe are small town teens who get sucked into the web of the Slender Man after watching a viral video to summon him.
Slender Man is a film based upon the internet horror story, also known as a creeypasta, of a supernaturally tall, thin, faceless man in a suit hidden in plain sight in a number of photoshopped pics blamed for the abduction of children and teens. The story first emerged in 2009 and has inspired online games as well as a plethora of other stories about him.
Slender Man has unlimited potential as a jump scare smorgasbord and in that respect it doesn’t disappoint. There are some fantastic and chilling scares. The actresses who play our main characters deliver but there’s something off about the film. Perhaps it’s the rumored massive edits made to try to remove anything that would seem unsavory in light of the attempted murder perpetrated by two young teen girls in Wisconsin who said they were attempting to please Slender Man. Perhaps the male writers and director wrote the characters as male-behaving girls. Perhaps it’s both of these things. The result is a film that feels unfinished missing vital scenes, and teenaged girl characters who watch porn together and avoid sharing their thoughts and feelings about anything seeming to mimic male relationships more than female relationships.
I wanted to like Slender Man. I was fascinated by the back-web blogs about him but in the end, we don’t learn anything about the goals or motivation of Slender Man. I loved some of the sets, scenes and scares, but overall, it wasn’t satisfying. All we end up getting is a vague warning about the danger of seeking out the paranormal online.
What I liked: The scares, especially those scenes where the girls get video calls showing Slender Man’s POV through the house ever closer. The acting. I think the girls did the best with what they were given. The sets–they feel like authentic middle American homes. What I didn’t like: The editing done through the film leaves it feeling empty. We have definitely missed something that should have made this a better movie. How the characters are written: girls don’t act like boys—in American culture girls talk about feelings, fears, loves and that it missing totally from the film. Also, early in the film, the girls have a sleep over and are watching porn together and drinking vodka as if this is what they do all the time. This is not what most kids do together. I also hated the scene where Hallie is making out with her love interest and he turns into some kind of monster. Girls don’t push guys off them because they are hallucinating.