A viewers perspective of ‘Slender Man’
The lights dim down in the theater as you settle back against the comfortable leather padding of your seat to see the Creepypasta fictional story “Slender Man” that people were obsessed with almost ten years ago. Despite seeing the 7 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you have hope that somehow the director managed to tastefully and uniquely craft the story into something never seen before. Unfortunately, that hope is lost within the first 20 minutes of the movie.
The development of the character, the Slender Man, is simple and has been used numerous times in multiple cultures. He’s a fictional 10-foot monster that abducts, traumatizes or tortures children by bringing them to his mansion in the woods. Seems familiar, right? The Boogeyman, the “Blair Witch,” etc.
What’s amazing about a character like this is that while it has been used to tell different stories — maybe used to teach life lessons in other cultures or just plainly been the plot of every bad scary movie — it is the amount of things to work with when creating a story with that basic of a premise. If you strip away character names, locations and story, many of our favorite movies follow an almost exact plot line of another, but if the director has the creativity level and passion for storytelling that is crucial to taking on such a popular title, you’ll never know the difference. Sylvain White, director of “Slender Man,” did not have those levels, nor did he have the passion.
Upon its release, “Slender Man” almost immediately gained negative attention and reception from audience members and critics everywhere. It tells the tale of a group of female social outcasts living in a small town. After a night of the usual, “I just want to get out of this stupid town” lines, the girls decide to watch a video that supposedly summons the monster, the Slender Man, into their sleepy suburban town. Seven days later, one of the core members of the outcasts goes missing, spiraling the town and the girls into a sea of unrealistic and predictable terror, with low-quality CGI and horrific acting following closely behind. The terribly stereotypical dialogue and actions between the characters throughout the entire run time made themselves prominent in the first ten minutes. It felt like White introduced such common and cliche themes while believing the audience had never seen them before.
White, the creator behind multiple poorly reviewed films and box office failures, had his chance to make some kind of comeback with this film. He had the chance to do something never seen before with this internet character that sparked a video game, two movies and even a documentary. Instead, he rewrote the script of “The Ring,” played around with some half-decent special effects, relied on suspenseful music and dark lighting to create fear, hired some mediocre actors and threw them all together. There was no steady plot line, and throughout the entirety of the film it felt empty and dry. There were no new ideas for such an innovative character like the Slender Man, and nothing separating the film from the countless terrible horror movies that have been released already.
To make a good movie in general, there needs to be a steady pace of the characters or dialogue casing an action, which causes another action. Every motion and motive done in a film has to have reason and thought with a pace, but “Slender Man” gave an awkward, almost childish way of going about the actions of the characters and dialogue, as if the director was too overwhelmed with possible ideas and outcomes that he couldn’t just focus on one. Modern horror movies are making a tasteful and unique resurgence, but “Slender Man” is far from one of them.
Rating: 1/5 stars
Lilly Adams is a sophomore majoring in film/video. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Sophomore / Film/Video Studies