Slender Man (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sylvain White|
|Written by||David Birke|
by Eric Knudsen
|Cinematography||Luca Del Puppo|
|Edited by||Jake York|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$17.6 million|
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, Jaz Sinclair, and Annalise Basso, with Javier Botet as the title creature.
The film was announced in May 2016, and much of the cast signed on a year later. Filming took place in Ayer, Massachusetts in June and July of 2017. Slender Man was released in the United States on August 10, 2018, by Screen Gems, and received a largely negative reception from critics and audiences alike, being called "boring" and "derivative".
In a small town in Massachusetts, four friends, Wren (Joey King), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair) and Katie (Annalise Basso) summon the Slender Man (Javier Botet) after discovering their classmates had intended to. A week later, Katie disappears and the other three girls go to her house to investigate for clues. The three discover that Katie had been involved in the occult and that she wanted the Slender Man to take her.
The three girls decide to make contact with the Slender Man so they can get Katie back for an exchange. Wren, who has researched Slender Man mythology, warns Hallie and Chloe not to open their eyes while the three are making contact with the Slender Man for fear of death or madness. Chloe panics, opens her eyes and comes face to face with the Slender Man.
Some time later, the Slender Man enters her house and drives her insane. Soon after, Hallie starts having visions of the Slender Man. Hallie goes on a date with her boyfriend Tom (Alex Fitzalan) and has a vision. Hallie explains her situation to Tom and warns him to not watch a video.
Wren, suffering from frightening hallucinations, searches for a solution while Hallie unsuccessfully attempts to move on. Wren finds a book in the library on the subject of the Slender Man, but is confronted by the Slender Man and narrowly escapes. A short while later, Lizzie (Taylor Richardson), Hallie's younger sister suffers a major panic attack and is sent to the hospital to be sedated. Hallie discovers Wren had attempted to come into contact with the Slender Man again, with the help of Lizzie.
Hallie stops Wren from committing suicide and confronts her about her sister. Wren tells Hallie that the Slender Man only wants them, before she is taken by the Slender Man. Hallie realizes that the only way to save Lizzie is to give herself to the Slender Man, and sacrifices herself. Lizzie is able to recover, reflecting on the situation that resulted in the death of her sister and friends.
- Joey King as Wren
- Julia Goldani Telles as Hallie Knudsen
- Jaz Sinclair as Chloe
- Annalise Basso as Katie Jensen
- Taylor Richardson as Lizzie Knudsen, Hallie's younger sister
- Alex Fitzalan as Tom, Hallie's love interest
- Kevin Chapman as Mr. Jensen, Katie's father
- Javier Botet as the Slender Man
- Jessica Blank as Mrs. Knudsen, Hallie and Lizzie's mother
- Michael Reilly Burke as Mr. Knudsen, Hallie and Lizzie's father
- Miguel Nascimento as Kyle, one of Tom's friends
In May 2016, it was reported that Sony Pictures had started developing Slender Man, a film based on the supernatural mythical character created by Eric Knudsen, 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.
In January 2017, Sylvain White was hired to direct the film, while producers were set as Mythology's Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, and William Sherak, Madhouse's Robyn Meisinger, and No Dream's Sarah Snow.
In May 2017, Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, Talitha Bateman (who would later be replaced by Taylor Richardson) and Alex Fitzalan joined the cast. In July 2017, Kevin Chapman was also added, to play an emotionally defeated, alcoholic father.
On January 2, 2018, the first teaser poster was revealed, with a teaser trailer the following day. Reactions were mixed, with some online publications describing the trailer as taking a "traditional, low-budget horror route". Other publications noted the film's release coming four years after the Slender Man stabbing in Waukesha County, Wisconsin in 2014. After the trailer's online debut, Bill Weier, the father of Anissa Weier (who had committed the stabbing alongside Morgan Geyser), stated that the film's production and release is "extremely distasteful", and advised local theaters to not screen the film. A second trailer was released on July 26, 2018.
Slender Man was released by Screen Gems on August 10, 2018. It was previously slated for May 18, and then August 24, 2018. Prior to the release, Screen Gems shopped the film to other distributors following disagreements between the studio and producers regarding the marketing strategy.
After the film was released, it was reported that Screen Gems mandated a PG-13 MPAA rating and reworked the original script, as well as forcibly editing out several major scenes over fears of public backlash, which resulted in massive transition and continuity issues. This came after Bill Weier's comments on the production. The studio also reportedly had never shown any support of the development of the project to begin with.
In the United States and Canada, Slender Man was released alongside The Meg and BlacKkKlansman, and was projected to gross $8–12 million from 2,109 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $4.9 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews, and went on to debut to $11.3 million, finishing fourth at the box office.
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On Rotten Tomatoes, Slender Man holds an approval rating of 11% based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 3.4/10. The site'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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 29 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". 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.
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."
- Slender: The Eight Pages
- Slender: The Arrival
- Marble Hornets
- Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story
- Beware the Slenderman
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