Slender Man (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sylvain White|
|Written by||David Birke|
|Based on||Slender Man|
by Victor Surge
|Cinematography||Luca Del Puppo|
|Edited by||Jake York|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$51.7 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, Annalise Basso, Alex Fitzalan, and Taylor Richardson, with Javier Botet as the title creature.
Development of the film began in May 2016, with Birke hired to write the script and much of the cast signing on a year later. Filming took place in Massachusetts in June and July 2017.
Released in the United States on August 10, 2018, the film grossed over $51 million worldwide and received a largely negative reception from critics and audiences. For her performance, Sinclair was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.
In a small town in Massachusetts, four friends, Wren, Hallie, Chloe, and Katie summon the Slender Man. 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 in an attempt to get Katie back in exchange for something else. 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. Sometime later, the Slender Man enters Chloe's house and drives her insane.
Wren, suffering from frightening visions, searches for a solution while Hallie unsuccessfully attempts to move on. Soon, Lizzie, Hallie's younger sister, suffers a major panic attack and is sent to the hospital and sedated. Hallie discovers Wren had attempted to come into contact with the Slender Man again, with the help of Lizzie.
Hallie confronts Wren about her sister. Wren tells Hallie that the Slender Man only wants them before she is taken by the Slender Man. Hallie, realizing that the only way to save Lizzie is to give herself to the Slender Man, sacrifices herself for her sister. Lizzie is able to recover and reflects on the situation that resulted in the death of her sister and her sister's friends.
- Joey King as Wren
- Julia Goldani Telles as Hallie Knudsen
- Jaz Sinclair as Chloe
- Annalise Basso as Katie Jensen
- Alex Fitzalan as Tom, Hallie's love interest
- Taylor Richardson as Lizzie Knudsen, Hallie's younger sister
- Javier Botet as the Slender Man
- Kevin Chapman as Mr. Jensen, Katie's alcoholic father
- Jessica Blank as Mrs. Knudsen, Hallie and Lizzie's mother
- Michael Reilly Burke as Mr. Knudsen, Hallie and Lizzie's father
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, 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 announced as the director of the film and the producers would be Mythology's Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, and William Sherak, Madhouse's Robyn Meisinger, and No Dream's Sarah Snow.
Prior to the release, the producers shopped the film to other distributors following disagreements with the studio regarding the release and marketing strategy. After the film was released, Bloody Disgusting reported that Screen Gems had required the producers to meet a PG-13 MPAA rating and that several scenes had been cut over fears of public backlash, resulting in transition issues in the final film.
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 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. A second trailer was released on July 26, 2018.
Slender Man was released on August 10, 2018. It was previously slated for May 18, and then August 24, 2018. Marcus Theaters did not to show the film in their theaters in the Waukesha and Milwaukee counties in Wisconsin due to the impacts of the real-life events in the area.
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.
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. It fell 56% to $5 million in its second weekend, finishing eighth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Slender Man holds an approval rating of 7% based on 74 reviews and an average rating of 3.11/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100 based on 15 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; social media monitor RelishMix noted that "the majority's feeling toward [the] film" was negative.
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."
|List of awards and nominations|
|2019||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Supporting Actress||Jaz Sinclair||Nominated|||
- Slender: The Eight Pages
- Slender: The Arrival
- Marble Hornets
- Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story
- Beware the Slenderman
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