“Slender Man” is a Horrendous Waste of Source Material

Slender Man

“Slender Man” was directed by Sylvain White and stars Julia Goldani Telles, Joey King, Jaz Sinclair and Annalise Basso. The film is based on the famous creepypasta forum post by Eric Knudsen, which was eventually made into a widely popular video game in 2012. The movie is about a small town with four girls who attempt to summon the Slender Man, which leads to one of them disappearing.

I loved the video game and creepypasta story behind the Slender Man back in my teenage years, with both equally scaring the hell out of me. The game specifically really got to me, so the thought of a movie around the lore did excite me, though the trailers did very little to add to that excitement.

The Good

There’s a shot or two, maybe, where I liked the camerawork at play. I also enjoyed one scene in the middle of the film involving a video call, even if it didn’t make much sense. I think, at the least, King’s performance was very outlandish and interesting to watch. Even if she wasn’t all that great, at least she was watchable.

The Bad

“Slender Man” is a trainwreck from front to back, with there barely being a redeemable moment for the entire runtime. The acting is bad, the pacing is worse and there isn’t a solid scare to be found at any point in the movie. All this thing had to be was interesting, and all it had to do was follow its source material, but it barely even does that, consistently finding ways to be as bland as possible.

King is fine, I’ll give her a pass because she put a lot of emotion into it, but every other major performance in this movie is absolute garbage. Basso is barely in it but fails to leave an impact in any way. Sinclair is similar, though she has a few scenes where she struggles to bring the dramatic heft or the horror to the situation. Still, they are all Cate Blanchett’s to Telles, who gives possibly the very worst performance of the year. Calling her dull would be an insult to the word dull, because this girl gives the laziest, most coma-inducing turn I have seen in a very long time.

Telles may portray the most boring human being on the planet, but at least she fits into the movie. This has got to be one of the most tedious, most monotonous movies I have ever seen, and even more so for a horror movie. White constructs a scary movie that is impressively almost completely devoid of scares, and instead of creating that horror, he fills his movie with boring relationships and crappy dialogue that made chills go down my spine more than any of his attempts at generating fear.

Did I mention this isn’t scary? This is not a scary movie, not at all, and this is coming from someone who pretty much peed his pants at the thought of the video game it is based on. There is only the smallest bit of the lore that made the Slender Man so interesting, and it is almost insulting how little of the already scary concepts are used in this film. All I could have wanted was a bit of fuzziness on the camera, maybe a reference to the eight pages, literally anything that resembles a reference. Instead, most of the movie is spent on total crap without building any tension or anything of substance about its iconic villain.

Somehow White makes this 93-minute movie feel four hours long by the horrid pacing, and then he has the balls to barely even make an ending on this thing. After a movie full of crappy plot points that lead to a potential resolution, the movie ends on a downer, barely making any sense at all. It’s as unsatisfying as the rest of this pile of crap, but stands on its own for being inconclusive, potentially lending itself to an even shittier sequel.

Conclusion

“Slender Man” is a tragedy in a film, a bumbling mess of a movie that didn’t have to be. This is a boring, excruciating watch that only got me to jump by putting an obscenely loud noise behind a librarian walking across a screen. The scares are borderline hysterical, the performances make it even worse and it ruined some great potential in the source material. Is “Slender Man” the worst movie of the year? It certainly is more in the conversation than it ever should have been.

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What did you think of “Slender Man”? Comment below with your thoughts.


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