REVIEW: Slender Man (2018)

Have you ever had an experience in the cinema that left you frustrated, impatient, and almost incapable of moving out of the sheer boredom presented by the finished product? I’ve had a few, and I can now add Slender Man to the list.

This movie revolves around four friends who summon the elusive Slender Man; once they lay eyes on the lavishly lanky faceless entity, they’re pretty much screwed. The film is also based off of the PC game, which became an internet sensation.

This movie has no connection to its source material aside from its faceless, lanky threat, but that’s not what makes Slender Man bad. What made this movie a disappointment is the sheer lack of passion. This movie is so chronically crafted, and the writing is a gigantic mess where not a single character feels properly established, all of whom are either despicable or just as faceless as Slendy himself.

A seminal requirement while watching any film is that the film itself ensures that it doesn’t reflect its length. Slender Man had 90 minutes and it was the longest 90 minutes I’ve spent in the cinema. This movie is so inept in its direction, and the lighting is a joke; this is an aesthetically ugly movie that doesn’t showcase character or anything remotely resembling good craftsmanship.

The characters bombed for me, and I feel an immense amount of pity for cast members Joey King (The Conjuring, The Dark Knight Rises) and Annalisse Basso (Oculus, Ouija: Origin Of Evil) in particular as they have impressed me in the past. Here, the former is arguably one of the highlights, while the latter is relegated to three minutes of screen time with no character development. The intended main character, portrayed by Julia Goldani Telles, was one of the most unengaging protagonists I’ve seen all year. This is a horrifically stupid and unlikable character who seems to be in constant denial over everything that’s happening.

This movie also purposefully rips off the videotape scenes from The Ring. How the girls summon the Slender Man involves watching a video full of rapid, flashing, convoluted imagery. None of it makes sense. This movie just makes no sense. Why is it so heinously written? Why isn’t it scary? Slendy himself is a CGed creation who’s mainly left in the shadows; this would’ve worked if the movie itself hadn’t kept itself hidden in the shadows the entire time. But everyone knows what Slendy looks like so what’s the point? This movie is just six years too late.

Slender Man was horrible. I hated this movie. It’s a putridly long, joyless, humourless, directionless, aimless bore. To the point of pain. One of 2018’s biggest cinematic disasters, avoid it like the plague.

By Seán Mac G.

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