The Slender Man movie premiered in theaters on Aug. 10, 2018 – a day that was more than five years too late. There were no more than five other viewers in the theater on opening night, which was when I saw it. Much of the publicity for Slender Man was in 2012 and 2013, and the infamous character has existed for even longer. Even if the movie had been released in a more timely year – or decade – it was disappointing for followers of the horror story and others.
The only compliment I can give to the Slender Man movie is that it was funny. I was laughing at what were intended to be the ‘scariest’ scenes of the movie. The special effects were just as laughable, as it looked as though Slender Man himself had been picked out of the low-budget Eight Pages game that was popular from 2013 until 2015. Unfortunately, this movie isn’t a ‘so bad that it’s good’ classic, and the film besides the horror was boring.
A negative review isn’t the most hostility that the Slender Man movie has seen. In 2014, two 12-year old girls, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, attacked their friend by stabbing her 19 times. Their motive was to satisfy Slender Man. Payton Leutner, their victim, survived, and so have the news stories of the near-murder on behalf of a fictional character. At the release of the movie’s trailer, the father of Anissa Weier – who was sentenced to 25 years in a psychiatric institution – accused it of “popularizing a tragedy”. The argument of the family was not enough to prevent the production of the movie; however, a scene that appeared in a trailer did not make the final cut. In the trailer, one of the main characters is seen wielding a scalpel, and it is implied that she stabbed herself.
The Slender Man movie was years behind its time, and disappointing regardless of the year and the horror trends. What stood out as the movie’s achievements were when it failed to scare. By the end of the movie, my overpriced theater popcorn had more substance than what I was watching.