Released: August 24th, 2018
Director: Sylvain White
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Cast: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Annalise Basso, Jaz Sinclair, Javier Botet
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Film Rating: 15
Review Score: 4/5
The modern urban legend of Slender Man has become well known after it became an internet meme created by Victor Surge. In 2012 it reached peak popularity after many YouTube videos made games out of the creepy, lanky figure. I remember as a teenager everyone was speaking about Slender Man joking around in the coridors about going to the woods to summon him and in this movie that is pretty much what four high school girls do. Except in this story they find him through a video online. This tale warns of the dangers of the internet and how easy it is for potentially harmful things to be accessed.
It opens with the gloomy quiet town which the story is set in. We first see two of the main characters sat outside of their school watching a video on a phone. This introduces the time period plus the idea that technology may have an influence over the characters. The antagonist Slender Man is first mentioned within the school giving the first insight into how he finds his prey, through human curiosity and word of mouth. However, it isn’t until the four girls are alone that we begin to learn his story. The girls decide to view the online video and the true horror begins. This scene had me anxiously anticipating the arrival of the creature as the distorted bells rang. I found myself glued to the screen as the last bell tolled. What I was met with was a flashing video showing a selection of images on the screen that left the characters confused and me as a viewer excited to see what was to come next.
As the movie continues various horrific things happen to the characters. I personally found it interesting that most of what happened was similar to a hallucination rather than something physical. My favourite scene that showed this was when Wren (Joey King) sees Slender Man in the library. The walls of the room begin to move in front of her eyes which I believe was a good reflection of fear and how fight or flight reactions can cause a person to see things differently. This is the beginning of Wren’s total mental downward spiral. I think that Joey King portrayed this very well and I felt genuinely afraid for her character.
Throughout the entirety of the movie, Cicadas were chirping and I liked the use of this as I knew when they went quiet something bad was away to happen and when they were chirping the characters were probably safe for a little while. Using them as a sound effect also kept it in the back of my mind that there was always woodland surrounding the characters and that Slender Man could have been watching them at any moment.
For a horror movie, my one downside was that I didn’t find there were any moments that made my heart race. Slender Man was creepy but there was nothing about his story that particularly scared me. I think having known about the legend of Slender Man for a number of years I expected to see more of the dark tales that accompany him but instead, it felt more like a teen film with a horror twist.
Would I recommend this movie? Overall yes I would recommend this if you are looking for something easy to follow that won’t keep you up at night. The storyline held my attention and the movie stuck to a steady pace. Every scene felt like it belonged and was important to the story. However, as it has an age 15 rating I believe that it could be aimed more towards a teen audience and I think people within that age bracket would enjoy it more.
Review by Kayleigh McKenzie