Slender Man (film)

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Slender Man
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySylvain White
Written byDavid Birke
Based onSlender Man
by Victor Surge
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyLuca Del Puppo
Edited byJake York
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • August 10, 2018 (2018-08-10) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10–28 million[2]
Box office$51.7 million[3]

Slender Man is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Sylvain White and written by David Birke, based on the character of the same name. The film stars Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Taylor Richardson, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, and Alex Fitzalan with Javier Botet as the title character.

Development of the film began in May 2016, with Birke being hired to write the script and much of the cast signing on a year later. Filming took place in the state of Massachusetts in June and July of 2017.

Released in the United States on August 10, 2018, the film was panned by critics and audiences but was a modest box office success, grossing $51.7 million against a budget between $10‒28 million. For her performance, Sinclair was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.

Plot[edit]

In the fictional small town of Winsford, Massachusetts, Hallie Knudsen, Katie Jensen and their friends Chloe and Wren approach a group of boys to probe their evening plans, but they are told that it is top secret. During a sleepover in the basement of Katie's abode, the girls discuss the boys' intentions to summon the Slender Man, a tall, slender, horrifying supernatural being with a featureless visage who is infamously known throughout the Internet as a menacing individual who primarily targets innocent children by seducing and then abducting them; they subsequently visit a website containing a link to a disturbing video that demonstrates how he can be reached. The following week, on a class field trip to the historic Clifton Cemetery, Katie becomes haunted by a paranormal presence in the trees. A short amount of time passes before she disappears without a trace, forcing the entire crowd of students to stay behind for hours until the police arrive to begin examining the premises. Deciding to hunt for clues at her dwelling, the other three recover her laptop, discovering that Katie, who had been unhappily living alone with her alcoholic father, had become involved in the occult, developing an unhealthy obsession with Slender Man sightings and videos and messaging Allison Riley, also identifiable by her online handle "AlleyKat93", regarding methods of reaching the character, who would spirit her away from her currently miserable environment.

Allison explains that he infects people’s minds similar to a virus, eventually either driving them completely insane or kidnapping them, and to retrieve Katie from his clutches, the trio need to "unveil themselves", which they interpret as surrendering an item that is very special to each of them. Wren brings a piece of handmade pottery that she created when she was five years old, Chloe offers a picture of her and her father taken prior to his passing a few months afterwards, and Hallie relinquishes her younger sister Lizzie’s blanket, woven by their grandmother upon her birth. Having researched Slender Man mythology, Wren instructs Hallie and Chloe to don blindfolds and warns the pair against removing them or opening their eyes to look directly at his face while contacting him, even if they hear something, for fear of death or madness. However, Chloe panics and flees, meeting the Slender Man up close. Sometime later, he enters Chloe's house and drives her mad.

Wren, suffering from frightening visions, researches further about the figure in the local library, where it attacks her, and Hallie unsuccessfully attempts to move on from the issue by spending the night with her boyfriend Tom, for which Wren chastises her. Meanwhile, Lizzie suffers a major panic attack and is hospitalized and sedated. Scouring her computer, Hallie discovers that Wren, aided by Lizzie, had attempted to contact the Slender Man.

Heading to Wren's residence to confront her, Hallie encounters information that Wren gathered in her bedroom concerning Slender Man and his victims, one of whom was Allison Riley, a psychiatric patient who claimed that the malevolent entity absconded with nine of her peers. After Hallie dissuades her from committing suicide, Wren, feeling guilty for causing the recent chain of events, breaks down and confesses that Lizzie approached her with interest in the Slender Man and asked that she accompany her to the woods, where she offered her teddy bear to him. She then admits that the sacrifices they gave him earlier were insufficient, as he will only rest once he has seized all of them physically. Suddenly, Slender Man shatters the glass window and kidnaps her, pulling her outside with his tentacles appearing in the shape of branches. Hallie, now realizing that her sole available option for rescuing Lizzie is to sacrifice herself to him, ventures into the wooded area to deal with him upfront. Encountering the monster, she pleads for him to take her instead. He obliges, and moves to grab her as she tries to escape. Using his enormous appendages to traverse the forest like a spider, he grabs and ensnares her, both of them fusing together as a tree. Lizzie awakens in the hospital screaming for her sister, but ultimately makes a successful recovery and reflects on what happened to the quartet.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In May 2016, news outlets reported that Sony Pictures had started developing Slender Man, a film based on the supernatural mythical character created by Eric Knudsen,[4] with the screenplay to be written by David Birke. Sony's Screen Gems was in talks with Mythology Entertainment, Madhouse Entertainment, and It Is No Dream Entertainment to produce and distribute the project.[5]

In January 2017, Sylvain White was announced as the director of the film and the producers would be Mythology's James Vanderbilt, and William Sherak, Madhouse's Robyn Meisinger, and No Dream's Sarah Snow.[6] Ramin Djawadi and Brandon Campbell composed the score for the film.[7]

Prior to the release, the producers shopped the film to other distributors following disagreements with the studio regarding the release and marketing strategy.[8] After the film was released, Bloody Disgusting reported that Screen Gems had required the producers to meet an R MPAA rating and that several scenes had been cut over fears of public backlash (including several scenes that had appeared in trailers), resulting in narrative and continuity issues in the final film.[9][10]

Casting[edit]

In May 2017, Lea van Acken, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, Talitha Bateman, and Alex Fitzalan joined the cast.[11] In July 2017, Kevin Chapman was also added, to play an emotionally defeated, alcoholic father.[12]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography on the film began on June 19, 2017, in Boston and concluded on July 28, 2017.[13]

Marketing[edit]

On January 2, 2018, the first teaser poster was revealed, with a teaser trailer the following day.[14][15] Reactions were mixed, with some online publications describing the trailer as taking a "traditional, low-budget horror route".[16][17][18] Other publications noted the film's release coming four years after the Slender Man stabbing in Waukesha County, Wisconsin in 2014.[16][19][20][21] After the trailer's online debut, Bill Weier, the father of one of the children convicted in the stabbing, protested the film's production and release as "extremely distasteful" and advised local theaters to not screen the film.[22][23] A second trailer was released on July 26, 2018.

Release[edit]

Slender Man was released on August 10, 2018. It was previously slated for May 18, and then August 24, 2018.[24][25] Marcus Theatres did not show the film at their locations in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties in Wisconsin due to the impacts of the real-life events in the area.[26]

Home media[edit]

Slender Man was released on Digital HD on October 19, 2018, and on Blu-ray and DVD on October 31, 2018 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Slender Man grossed $30.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $21.2 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $51.7 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, Slender Man was released alongside The Meg and BlacKkKlansman, and was projected to gross $9–12 million from 2,109 theaters in its opening weekend.[27] The film made $4.9 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews,[2] and went on to debut to $11.3 million, finishing fourth at the box office.[28] It fell 56% to $5 million in its second weekend, finishing eighth.[29]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, Slender Man holds an approval rating of 8% based on 80 reviews and an average rating of 3.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Slender Man might be thin, but he's positively robust compared to the flimsy assortment of scares generated by the would-be chiller that bears his name."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D−" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an "awful" 38% positive score; social media monitor RelishMix noted that "the majority's feeling toward [the] film" was negative.[2]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a D, writing "a tasteless and inedibly undercooked serving of the Internet's stalest creepypasta, Slender Man aspires to be for the YouTube era what The Ring was to the last gasps of the VHS generation. But... there's one fundamental difference that sets the two movies apart: The Ring is good, and Slender Man is terrible."[32]

Accolades[edit]

Jaz Sinclair was nominated at the 2019 Golden Raspberry Award as Worst Supporting Actress for her performance in this film.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slender Man". British Board of Film Classification. August 14, 2018. Archived from the original on July 10, 2021. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 10, 2018). "'The Meg' Chomps A Huge $4M On Thursday Night – Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Slender Man (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Rogers, Katie (May 6, 2016). "'Slender Man,' a Horror Meme, Gets Ready to Step Out of the Shadows". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (May 6, 2016). "Sony in Talks for 'Slender Man' Horror Movie". Variety. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 4, 2017). "Sylvain White Set To Helm 'Slender Man' For Screen Gems". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  7. ^ "Ramin Djawadi & Brandon Campbell to Score Sylvain White's 'Slender Man' | Film Music Reporter". Archived from the original on 2022-05-12. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  8. ^ Lang, Brent (May 21, 2018). "'Slender Man' Being Shopped to Other Studios as Sony, Producers Clash (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  9. ^ Miska, Brad (August 12, 2018). "How Sony's Own Fear Killed the Big Screen Debut of 'Slender Man' [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  10. ^ Foutch, Haleigh (August 15, 2018). "'Slender Man' Reportedly Cut Several Major Scenes over Studio Backlash Fears". Collider. Complex Media. Archived from the original on August 15, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  11. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 22, 2017). "Lea van Acken, Julia Goldani-Telles & More Join 'Slender Man' From Director Sylvain White". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  12. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 10, 2017). "Godzilla: King Of The Monsters' Adds Elizabeth Ludlow; Kevin Chapman Cast In 'Slender Man'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (May 29, 2017). "'Slender Man' horror movie will be made in Boston". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  14. ^ Scott, Ryan (January 2, 2018). "Slender Man Movie Poster Will Send Chills Down Your Spine". MovieWeb. Watchr Media. Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  15. ^ Reed, Ryan (January 3, 2018). "'Slender Man': Watch Disturbing First Trailer for Meme-Based Horror Film". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Tiffany, Kaitlyn (January 3, 2018). "Watch the first trailer for the Slenderman movie called Slender Man". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Martinelli, Marissa (January 3, 2018). "Prepare to Scream Your Face Off at the First Trailer for the Slender Man Movie". Slate. The Slate Group. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  18. ^ Lumb, David (January 3, 2018). "'Slender Man' trailer is proof some things shouldn't leave the internet". Engadget. Oath. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Chitwood, Adam (January 3, 2018). "'Slender Man' Trailer Reveals the Creepy Film Adaptation". Collider. Complex Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Evangelista, Chris (January 3, 2018). "'Slender Man' Trailer: The Internet Myth Comes to Life". /Film. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Evans, Greg (January 3, 2018). "'Slender Man' Trailer, Poster: Scary Internet Meme Creeps To Big Screen". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  22. ^ Richmond, Todd (January 3, 2018). "Wisconsin girl's father says Slender Man movie in poor taste". MSN Entertainment. MSN. Archived from the original on July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "Father of "Slender Man" Attacker Claims New Film Is "Popularizing a Tragedy"". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Associated Press. January 3, 2018. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  24. ^ Zinski, Dan (January 23, 2018). "Slender Man Release Date Pushed Back". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  25. ^ Pederson, Erik (July 18, 2018). "Sony Moves Tarantino's Manson Pic, Dates 'Zombieland 2' & 'Little Women'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on July 24, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Ottomanelli, Victoria (August 10, 2018). "Marcus Theatres won't show Slender Man movie in Milwaukee, Waukesha counties". WISN.com. WISN-TV. Archived from the original on August 11, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  27. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 8, 2018). "Box-Office Preview: Big-Budget 'The Meg' Heads for Tepid $20M-Plus U.S. Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  28. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 12, 2018). "'August Audiences Get Hooked On 'Meg' Shelling Out $44.5M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 19, 2018). "'Crazy Rich Asians' Even Richer On Saturday With $10M+; Weekend Bling Now At $25M+ With $34M 5-Day Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  30. ^ "Slender Man (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 2018-08-15. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  31. ^ "Slender Man Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  32. ^ Ehrlich, David (August 9, 2018). "'Slender Man'Review: A Tasteless and Inedibly Undercooked Serving of Creepypasta". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Archived from the original on August 9, 2018. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  33. ^ 39th Razzie Nominations!. YouTube: Razzie Channel – via YouTube.

External links[edit]