Editor’s Note: There are spoilers in the following article.
I want my money back.
Granted, I never paid for the tickets in the first place, because my date did, but regardless Slender Man was painful to sit through and nonetheless a waste of time and popcorn.
The movie, directed by Sylvain White, brings the Internet sensation to life and draws on the fact that it is a legend that stems from deep dark forums, but unlike real life, the movie implies that Slender Man is based on real stories and legends.
He’s a legend sure, but the concept was entirely created on the Internet and not based on any German or Egyptian or Amazonian legend that was lost in time.
Slender Man was birthed by several contributors in the bowels of a forum called Something Awful, according to a July 2016 article from the Washington Post, sometime in 2009 when the rest of us were falling off bikes and playing outside.
The invented monster, as the Washington Post calls it, spread across the Internet and onto sites like Reddit and Tumblr, infecting search engines like a plague.
The trademark to any Slender Man story is, of course, is a Photoshopped black and white, grainy image with the depiction of a wispy, skeletal like figure often showed with a blank, sack-like head in lieu of a face and tentacle-like arms that spout form his torso.
Scary, right? The kind of monster you make up to scare your younger siblings so they’ll leave you alone for the rest of the night. Yeah, you get the picture.
Well, all those stories, you know, the ones filled with grammar mistakes and typically read on random, sketchy blogs, are better than the film.
The film starts off like any other high school-themed horror flick. A bunch of girls, you assume they’re all friends, they all meet up, one has a little sister that “can’t hang.” The other lives with an alcoholic parent and dreams of escaping, the random dog that barks every time something “scary” is going to happen and, oddly enough, everyone seems to know everyone’s password.
Every theme from any horror movie that you can think of is hashed out in the first 20 minutes of the film.
Then we get to the action, the pivoting point that kicks off the plot.
If that’s what you want to call it.
Clearly, these characters have never watched a horror movie in their lives because they thought summoning a creature that makes children disappear was a good idea.
After watching a video, following the only directions they shouldn’t have followed and hearing three church bells ring, at least according to the film, Slender Man is supposed to be attached to each of the four girls.
And it all follows what has happened to other “victims” that the movie creates on this online forum that the girls follow to try to find a solution.
Long story short, and after an uneventful journey complete with half-assed jump scares and laughable “scary” scenes, one girl loses her mind and remains in an almost possessed state of mind, the one who went missing is never found, one is killed by a tree and the other is also… killed by a tree that happens to be Slender Man?
I guess every tree seen in the woods is some poor child who watched this video.
As bad and as corny as it was, I think there is one take away from this entire film. Pay attention to your kids and what they do on the Internet.
No, you can’t censor them or monitor them 24/7, but you can have those types of conversations with them about horror stories that happen as a result of some bizarre blog that someone made up for laughs but seemed “too real.”
Remember, this “legend” convinced two girls from Wisconsin in 2014 to stab their friend 19 times (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 2018).
The Internet can be the “Boogie Man,” so don’t just laugh it off.
Analcia Haynes is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]