Directed by Sylvain White [Other horror films: I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006)]
Slender Man surprised me a bit. I definitely wasn’t expecting much, especially after seeing the low rating of 3.2/10 on IMDb, but for a good chunk of the movie, I thought there was definite potential. It’s with the second half of the film, though, that this is all flushed down the toilet and instead we’re left with jump scare after jump scare (assuming you can make out what’s going on), along with some pretty bad CGI. In a way, though, I’m in the unenviable position of feeling I need to defend this.
I didn’t think the main performances were particularly bad, but I also don’t think they were that memorable. Joey King was perhaps the best here, but Julia Goldani Telles, Annalise Basso (who is utterly smoking here) and Taylor Richardson all do reasonably. I didn’t see the point in Alex Fitzalan’s character, but I guess he did okay also.
What starts somewhat decently, especially regarding the mystery of one of the girls’ disappearance, turns into a really generic and jump scare-filled movie, and what tops it off to make it worse is that it has that glossy Hollywood look that just gives Slender Man such a tame feel.
Does the Slender Man design generally look fine? Sure. The CGI is really spotty at points, but the Slender Man himself wasn’t God-awful. It’s most of the other effects that fail, such as a few wild dream sequences, little of which looked appealing in any way.
Had they gone a different route, I think this could have been decent. I didn’t love the story past a certain point, but I did mostly like the characters, so with the budget they had, it’s just sad they couldn’t have come up with something better. At the same time, I don’t think Slender Man is near as bad as some of the ratings seem to indicate. I don’t think it’s good, but to me, it falls much closer to forgettable than it does memorably awful.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this classic.