Slender Man – Film Review

With the rise of social media and the proliferation of visual manipulation programs, the modern world has begun to give birth to its own myths. These new myths, created by those skilled in computer-generated imagery or photo manipulation, have circulated on the internet for years. Slender Man is just one example of these new legends, but it is among the most popular. It is particularly well-known in the United States, where many people are genuinely afraid of this figure. The internet is filled with believers who share content related to Slender Man. However, what sets Slender Man apart from other legends is the fact that there are people who genuinely believe in him and have taken legal action. For those curious, I’m leaving a link to a documentary below.

In light of this, creating a good Slender Man film would have been a successful box office strategy. But please note what I said: a good film. If you present things that have become legendary and familiar to everyone in a cheap and simplistic manner, success is unattainable. If the audience finds what they watched on YouTube scarier than what they see in the theater, then failure is evident. The 2018 Slender Man film falls precisely into this pitfall. It’s a horror film made to scare but fails to do so. It has relied on its name and made no effort to add anything new, resulting in subpar work.

Featuring rising star Joey King and future talent Annalise Basso, as well as top-tier musician Ramin Djawadi in the cast, “Slender Man” unfortunately squanders everyone’s efforts. The film disrespects the legend of Slender Man and is a weak endeavor in terms of its screenplay and visual design. The screenplay is the primary issue here. It’s not bad because there is no screenplay to speak of. Another problem, as is the case with many horror films nowadays, is the lack of horror sequences. In an adaptation of an internet legend that has become children’s nightmares, the scarcity of “scary moments” can be attributed to the film’s reliance on its name and box office expectations.

Director Sylvain White’s personal display in the film can be seen as somewhat wasteful, as it falls into clich├ęs. However, it’s truly surprising that a film with a screenplay written by a quality screenwriter like David Birke turns out to be so bad. Even worse, the film repeatedly refers to Slender Man as “he,” which ruins all the suspense in the film. Referring to a figure with an indistinguishable face as male solely because he wears a suit is a misguided choice. In films like these, it would have been best to use the word “it” for its ambiguity, which would have been more suitable for suspense and for Slender Man.

To cut to the chase, Slender Man is, unfortunately, a subpar film that hides behind the ready-made popularity of a legend rather than developing it. None of the scenes I thought would be in the film, based on the trailer, were actually in the movie. As much as I love Sylvain White’s “Stomp the Yard,” Slender Man will undoubtedly be one of his biggest failures in his career. However, this failure is not his personal failure. The film, in all its departments, has let the legend it held in its hands fall flat on its face. The main reason is, unfortunately, the desire to turn the legend’s name into a box office success by relying on it.

Cast & Crew

director: Sylvain White

writers: David Birke

starring: Javier Botet, Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, Kevin Chapman, Alex Fitzalan

USA | 2018 | 93 MINUTES |


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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