Developed from the same-named character created online by Eric Knudsen, Slender Man is a supernatural film about a tall, willowy and faceless dark figure who preys on the young. Three teenage girls: Katie (Annalise Basso), Wren (Joey King), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles) and Chloe (Jaz Sinclair) decide to visit the website that gives instructions for conjuring Slender Man, the creepy character of myth and legend purported, by some, to be real. It’s later revealed that Katie had delved into darker research of her own, but at this point, the girls are momentarily spooked but nothing more.
A school exursion has Katie stare into the distant woods, then wander off…she fails to return and becomes another missing persons statistic. Her friends, especially Wren, are convinced of a connection between their nocturnal summons and Katie’s disappearance. Chloe then becomes mentally disturbed and stops attending school, Hallie has horrific dreams and hallucinations; it becomes clear the Slender Man is after all of them, to infect their minds like a “virus” or to take their lives.
Sylvain White uses the foggy forests of Massachussetts well to establish an eerie atmosphere and shots of shadowy stairways, wrought iron gates and gnarled trees contain a classic gothic feel. Music and sound effects by Ramin Djawadi and Brandon Campbell maintain the supernatural vibe but, even so, Slender Man just isn’t a scary film. Perhaps the PG rating had something to do with this. Or that similar ideas have already been played out before – more successfully- in movies such as Ring (1998) or The Candyman (1992). Discovering that readers of the fictional Slender Man were connected to numerous acts of violence, resulting in a 2014 near-death stabbing of a Wisconsin teen creeped me out a lot more than the movie did.
Slender Man – In Cinemas Now