This won’t be long. Above all, laughter is appropriate commentary for this film.
But hey! I filled my horror quota for the month! Just kidding; I’ll probably watch one more. Maybe. We’ll see.
“In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of friends, fascinated by the internet lore of the Slender Man, attempt to prove that he doesn’t actually exist – until one of them mysteriously goes missing.” – IMDb
Upon request of my brother, I viewed Slender Man under the category of “ironic viewing.” Critical reviews and user reviews alike paint the film as a soulless cashgrab of capitalizing on the online popularity of the Slender Man creepypasta. Very little about the film convinces the viewer that the producers did any research on the topic, boiling it down to random clichés that monsters in horror abide by.
Let me clarify one thing before we begin: I’m not necessarily against adaptations taking creative liberties with subjects with parent sources. If Slender Man wanted to make Slender Man into something different, so be it. What matters is execution.
Execution is terrible, in this case. Very little is even elaborated on when it comes to Slender Man as an entity. Theories are grazed over at various points in the film, but what its intent is, its powers… very little is described even adequately. Slender Man is a tree… thing… and it stalks people… and its face is wooden, like a tree… and it likes staying in the forest… and can hack cameras… what?
Granted, I am not a horror film veteran, so I can’t say for sure how high my tolerance for fear is. That said, this film is not scary whatsoever. Actually the opposite—it can be funny on a number of occasions. Nothing is earned and many (read: many) attempts at traumatizing special effects come off more as comical and weird. Lots of scenes of characters walking in a dark place, only to turn around and be greeted to a jump scare. Repetitive, uninspired, uncreative.
Writing is similarly atrocious, which in turn affects the performances of the actors. Joey King is the sole person of the group that I believe is actually trying, yet is still very underwhelming. One of the leads looks bored for about 99% of the film; characters just drop off like flies at random points when the script has nothing more to do with them. Many would consider it a mess.
More than anything, to me, Slender Man is nothing. No worth, no effort, no commitment to making a worthwhile product. Soulless. Throw together a quick film (93 minutes with credits) and a bare-boned voodoo-like plot of disappearing teenage girls (for sympathy) to cash in on a debatably niche online trend. It made $51.7 million worldwide on a $10 million budget (lol), so they did profit… probably…
Watch it if you want to have a nice laugh. Or maybe you aren’t into ironic viewings and would rather be bored to death. The only hook this has going for it is that it has that funny creepypasta guy you saw online a few times when you were 14 or younger. Replace it with anything, though, and the film barely changes whatsoever. It’s nothing.
Final Score: 1/10
The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.
For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!
Thank you for your time. Have a great timezone.