A Short Review of 'Slenderman' (2018, Sylvain White)
7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, 3/10 on IMDB, 29 percent on Metacritic, what the hell did I get myself into!?
As well as bad reviews, this film has received controversy and even a petition to stop its production, because of the characters association with a number of crimes that were committed in the U.S. following its popularity, with accusations that the project was trying to cash in off real life.
When I heard about the very bad rep and reviews this film was receiving, I immediately thought that it is going to be a load of crap. It was crap, but to be honest, overall it was just absolutely boring. Extremely mediocre, dull, tedious, tiresome, mundane monotonous and just outright boring! So much so, I'm going to run out of thesaurus alternatives for the word boring. This was such an uninteresting, truly worthless, and not the least bit scary experience that I nearly had a nap during the screening. I wish I did now, my dreams would have been more entertaining. Actually, before the screening I was browsing in HMV and I came across a Sharknado (2013, Anthony C. Ferrante) knock off, called Waspnado (2015, Milko Davis). I have to admit I would have preferred watching that, to Slenderman. I at least would have gotten some entertainment value from it.
Slenderman, based on the original character created in 2009 by Eric Knudsen for a Photoshop contest, which went on to be established as an internet meme and horror game, was to be quite frank not a good idea for an adaptation, and even if it was, I think the filmmakers would definitely have still messed it up. With tedious dialogue, poorly executed jump scares, no proper story build up and no characterisation what so ever, that it ends up with all of the characters presented effectively as blank slates that we do not give a damn about, Slenderman truly is a film not to waste your money over. Very poorly handled and unscary jump scares, along with randomly, appallingly placed psychedelic digital effects replace all sense of fear, danger, suspense and tension. Taking away the creepiness and atmosphere often associated with Slenderman and the very basic ingrediants required for a horror film.
Also many things in this film, important things that anyone would consider important to the plot, just feel completely glossed over, leaving many significant pointers and questions unanswered. For example, a major twist is revealed about one of the characters true identity and her relation to Slenderman. This is literally seen as a quick glimpse on a computer screen. As a filmmaker in training I know that visual story telling is a truly essential part of any film but this was so poorly done that I think the films audience would not notice its significance what so ever. It is a fleeting glance. An extremely irritating, fleeting glance.
We go on to end the film with a, almost comedic, badly written voice over spoken by the main characters sister, who has managed to survive the clutches of the mythical beast and tries to warn us of how Slenderman prays on his victims. It is so poorly worded it sounds like something out of a coming of age drama, not a horror film! I would go as far to say that the rest of the film is truly like that as well. You know what, the film makers should receive an award. For they have somehow taken one of the most revered and controversial internet icons in existence and somehow turned it into the mundane antagonist of an extremely poorly managed horror production, that has been such a meritless, nauseating experience, that I can guarantee it will not need a petition to stop its production, to make it a failure.
Wait a minute...
8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
It was already a failure to begin with.