The Outlook

Slenderman Offers More Stupidity than Scares

Harrison Le, Staff Writer

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If you mixed a 2009 internet fad, Hollywood producers and maybe a little stupidity you could probably do better than “The Slenderman”. The movie’s 7 percent rating on RottenTomatoes is one of the most generous ratings I’ve ever seen. It is rightfully one of the worst movies, that actually tried to take itself seriously, I have ever watched.

A story of a child abducting, long armed, tuxedo wearing monster dates back to a post on a forum in 2009. It goes like this; Slenderman haunts forest, Slenderman sees child, child must not open eyes or be abducted, child eventually gets abducted anyway. The “creepy” story is in itself laughable in its execution; the story is hastily written and short. And yet, it became viral at a time when the internet was more akin to the Wild West. Games about the monster were made and I remember fan stories being written and playthroughs of the Slenderman game flooded Youtube. He became a staple for many kids during this time, including me. With such a big impact and Hollywood starving for horror ideas (see last year’s “The Bye-Bye Man) it was only natural that the story would be picked up for filming … nine years later.

The movie was doomed the minute the first sneak peeks came out. A common problem with both action and horror movies is showing the best parts of the movie in the trailers, causing some to even avoid the teasers altogether. The director Sylvain White pulled every stop he could to ensure the trailer showed every single horror scene the film could possibly provide. Anyone who listened to the teasers instantly knew any potential jumpscares, and Slenderman had a lot, that would come up. If anything, the trailer was much more action-packed than the actual full-length movie itself.

If you listed every single horror stereotype you could, “The Slenderman” would check every one twice from yawning scares to laughable tension. The Slenderman tries to be mysterious by hardly allowing audiences to see the main villain but when the monster finally shows up its reveal is subpar and sleep inducing. The characters are so uninteresting that at a certain scene where one of the girl’s hides behind a tree, I found myself rooting for Slenderman. “The Slenderman” should be marketed as a daycare special; guaranteed to bore toddlers to death and fall asleep.

Normally, a bad movie would be tolerable. Directors and producers often realize the sheer stupidity of their films and play at that B-movie audience. They don’t take themselves seriously. What Slenderman does wrong is take itself way too seriously. What could have potentially been a tongue-in-cheek play at a internet fad is completely ruined by an untested director and an unknown cast who simply tried too hard.

Yawning during a bad movie is often an exaggeration but I challenge you to strap yourself to a heart monitoring machine and see if your pulse gets any higher than when writing an essay on a Monday morning. The movie was too little, 7 percent, too late.

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Slenderman Offers More Stupidity than Scares