Some things are better left unsaid, the adage goes. I think another one to add to the list, internet creations should stay on the web. A movie didn’t work for Grumpycat, and it seems that the newly imagined Slender Man, based on the viral photo-editing/scary story sensation, isn’t going to be much better:
That’s right, Sony has made a movie based on the creepypasta The Slender Man. The official synopsis is: “In a small town in Massachusetts, four high school girls perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the lore of Slender Man. When one of the girls goes mysteriously missing, they suspect that she is his latest victim.” A few creepy shots in the woods, darkness approaching, jerking heads, gross bugs, and suddenly, I feel like I’m living in the late-2000s and everyone’s trying to recapture the horror of The Ring.
Slender Man is directed by Sylvain White, who is best known for Stomp the Yard and one of the I Know What You Did Last Summer sequels. The screenwriter, David Birke, is best known for writing Elle, a pretty graphic sex thriller. What I’m saying is neither of their resumés would make you think either is ready to tackle an internet horror icon. The one saving grace is that the title character will be played by seasoned monster actor Javier Botet, best known for his work on Crimson Peak, Mama, and IT.
The problem is that scary figures like the Slender Man thrive when the horror is left to the imagination, hence why he is most popular in photos where he’s standing at a distance and a video game where you only really catch glimpses of him. Having a whole movie revolving around him and his victims kills all the mystery and allure, and creates little more than a generic movie monster. One has to wonder if the idea is to appeal to teens, in which case it’s about three years too late to have any real cultural relevancy.
Slender Man premieres in theaters on May 18, 2018.