Slenderman was a creepypasta internet meme that sprung up around 2009 in various different forms, created by Victor Surge, as he’s credited in the film. The tales of a tall faceless man with thin arms and legs, became incredibly popular and led to many so called sightings and YouTube videos showing vague glimpses of the creature, usually hidden in the blurry backgrounds of woodland areas, badly photoshopped. The mythos around the creation grew larger and large, and the near fatal stabbing of a 12 year old girl in America in 2014 by 2 other young girls that were influenced by the Slenderman story, brought huge media attention to the whole affair, and HBO released a documentary on the subject in 2016.
So now in 2018, we are faced with a film adaptation of the Slenderman story, and what a film it is. This boring ill tempered cash grab is a project that should have been abandoned at the first opportunity. Not only is this a badly constructed film, there are scenes that just seem to end and restart without any attempt to follow a narrative, but it’s horribly written and despite the subject matter, it’s just not scary.
We follow the footsteps of 4 teenage girls, that are close friends in small town USA, who decide one night to summon Slenderman. So unoriginal is the scene, that it eventually just decides that the best way to do this is to quite openly rip off The Ring and hope nobody will notice. Once the ripped off ritual is complete, we stumble from one boring inept scene to the next, as Slenderman kidnaps girl 1, there’s no point mentioning names as they are all interchangeable anyway, and the others try to bring her back, leading to their own private nightmares with the title character,
By this point it’s obvious where everything is going, so as a viewer you are now just marking time waiting for the victims to be picked off. There is some attempt to try and give Slenderman a backstory, and a scene in the most beautiful library ever seen, honest, it was lovely, shows us some gobbledy gook about bio-electric beings and the Pied Piper of Hamelin. But it’s just so vague and disjointed that none of the information actually points to anything that might be the semblance of a honest idea and we are left frustrated by the stupidity of the story and those characters that have found themselves entrenched in it.
There’s jump scares, incredibly some of them don’t even work, and dream sequences that make no sense, and a love interest who is literally forgotten about by the end of the third act. The acting is awful, the colour pallet is too dark, there are scenes where you can’t make out what the leads are reacting too, and the director, Sylvain White, tries to embellish scenes with what he thinks is artistic flair, but it’s more like childish scribbling on your newly painted living room wall. This film is a mess.
It lacks imagination and plot, and when we do get to see Slenderman, he’s a poorly constructed CGI tree spider with all the menace of Spongebob Squarepants. The $10 million budget must have went on the casting, as the special effects are just horrible, dated and amateurish. I can’t believe this thing even got made in the first place, and it deserves to fall down a memory hole and be torn apart by various YouTube channels that must be clapping their hands with glee at the free content this film will provide.
Don’t waste your money, or more importantly your time, on this desperate pile of rubbish.