I have for reasons unknown recently become slightly obsessed with
The Slender Man. The boogeyman was created in a meme by one Eric Knudsen on the Something Awful forums back in 2009. The character is a tall, thin man who abducts and/or kills children, depending on his by now many variations. He’s the thing a good horror movie is made of, enough so I have started my pursuit of finding the best one. So far, it has been slim pickings, and the eponymous movie – Slender Man – wasn’t quite the jumping-off point I had hoped it would be.
The plot follows the aforementioned concept closely, with a group of girls summoning The Slender Man by watching a video, and… Honestly, that setup falls flat from the beginning. It worked well with The Ring, but things get a bit shaky when we swap out a physical V.H.S. tape with an online video. Put that sucker on YouTube, and it would literally be watched by millions once the word got out. The Slender Man wouldn’t possibly have time to stalk them all, but let’s put that digression aside.
After one of the girls disappears, the rest of the group starts investigating the phenomenon, with The Slender Man always just a few steps behind them. Again, a solid concept and the first fifteen minutes of Slender Man are promising: stylish filming, with a decidedly indie vibe flowing throughout it. A good cast, too.
And then it sort of just stops.
Exactly what happened is hard to say, but it feels like the script was written for a thirty-minute long movie, giving the director sixty additional minutes to flesh out. This results in nightmare sequences that feel vaguely Phantasm-like, but which are ruined by a complete lack of lighting and cohesiveness. Outside of those scenes, the investigation into The Slender Man takes up most of the screen time, though they seem random and never do much to advance the story. After the first half an hour, the movie just kind of is.
It’s too bad, and the young cast deserved something better to work with. When the biggest mystery for the viewer is figuring out where The Slender Man got his spiffy suit from, you know the movie has issues.
Slender Man is not a recommended watch, then. So far, Butterfly Kisses, which I’ve previously reviewed, is the better variation on the story that I’ve tracked down.
But, the hunt continues.
Letterboxd summary: In a small town in Massachusetts, four high school girls perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the lore of Slender Man. When one of the girls goes mysteriously missing, they begin to suspect that she is, in fact, his latest victim.
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||2/6|