1 (out of 4)
Even as the most famous of creepypastas, generating a wealth of internet-generated lore and mythology, it's difficult to claim that Slender Man was worth a movie. Nevertheless, arriving several years too late, this feature resembles nothing even close to a serious effort to spawn a new horror icon.
With a real life incident wherein two Wisconsin teens endeavored to sacrifice their peer to Slender Man in 2014, an online culture responsible for turning the faceless suited stalker into a online legend and an adequate if rudimentary woods-wandering PC game, there was at least something worth incorporating into a film adaptation of the ambiguous, haunting figure. Perhaps its the ambivalence in origin and character that eventually equated to 90 minutes of wholly superfluous detritus.
To call Slender Man cliché is a slight to the tradition of tropes. There isn’t a solitary instant that hasn’t been done and reworked countless time before. The film's only hint of value as horror is in brief, mildly diverting hallucination sequences. Slender Man is also shot on shit-o-vision or some similar lens, where even daytime shots are so incomprehensibly murky that you’ll have to regularly squint at the screen just to distinguish what's happening. Our band of teenage girls are blank slates led by Joey King of The Conjuring (an overrated horror film that deserves nearly as much criticism for securing the viability of The Nun 2, Lord save us) and the uniformly derided Wish Upon.
The actual attempts at eeriness or spooks – though they do not lean as hard on jump scares as the very worst of this strain of flick – are weak bordering on entirely absent. Unresolved storylines, a sparse, illegible plot and a pathetic establishment of rules and background folklore serve only to secure Slender Man as instantly forgettable and torturously trite. The neutered original cut offers an aggressively safe PG-13 rating just to make sure this needless film's existence is even more irrelevant and insulting.
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