Saturday, August 18, 2018

Slender Man (2018)

High school students Hallie, Chloe, Wren, and Katie are best friends who dream about running away from their small town together. When the guys of their group are hanging out and plan to summon the Slender Man for fun, the girls decide to rise to the challenge and summon him as well. They watch an eerie video and close their eyes after a series of bells. Nothing happens for while and everything returns to normal until Katie suddenly disappears. Hallie decides to investigate theories behind the Slender Man to try to get her friend back.

Slender Man is a supernatural horror film based on the infamous creepy pasta. This film tries to take a sweet, wholesome group of girls and throw the Slender Man in to make their lives fall apart. They all have their own problems and reasons for wanting to get out of the small town they live in. Most of them are essentially interchangeable and not well acted, but Joey King seems to be the only committed actor. These girls are supposed to raise emotional stakes, but the audience doesn't really care about them. One character disappears at the beginning of the film to kick off the mystery. Wren disappears for most of the movie for no reason only to reappear for a second at the end. Chloe has creepy stuff happening but is never mentioned or seen again. The emotional stakes for the characters are about the same as for the audience: very low.

Even though it has its own lore and mythology, this Slender Man steals from The Ring with a much less creepy internet video. The people who watch the video have weird stuff happen as time goes on, but it comes off terribly. The effects look awful and come off unintentionally funny. On top of that, the latter half of the film is about as boring as watching dirt. The Slender Man is barely seen and is less threatening than The Bye Bye Man. That film is a masterpiece compared to this one. There's also the added factor that the real life attempted murder in Wisconsin put Slender Man in the public eye. The film avoids direct parallels, but the concept of sacrificing things or people to the Slender Man is there in addition to characters growing obsessed with him. It's distasteful.

The Slender Man is one of the worst cinematic experiences I've had in recent years. There is no tension, little scares, and numerous dropped plotlines and characters. The visual effects are lackluster at best and there's no reason to care about any character. The one brief shining thing was Joey King's performance even though she was gone for a third of the film. Avoid this like the plague unless you have insomnia or just like being bored.

My rating: 0.5/5 fishmuffins

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