Sony’s “Slender Man” movie has always seemed like a bad idea.
This is a perfect Sony movie. Very little original thought, coupled with a big, recognizable existing brand.
The studio loves taking public domain concepts or internet memes, and twisting them into ridiculous movies that nobody asked for.
Oh, and there are bonus points for movies that have absolutely no value or substance to them. Sony loves money, but hates having to build a popular brand.
We’ve seen this with recent fare like “Peter Rabbit” and “The Emoji Movie”. All it takes is a little bit of brand recognition, and Sony executives will be clawing for a chance to market it to oblivion.
“Slender Man” is the logical next step from “The Emoji Movie”. Sony is essentially trying to co-opt a popular horror character that exists as a series of internet memes.
The strategy that didn’t work for kid’s comedy can be recycled as a teen horror film.
Presumably the next step is a “Taken” knock-off starring Grumpy Cat, or an actual CinemaSins movie.
The character of Slender Man does have a concrete initial creator. But the mythos surrounding Slendy has been embellished by various parties across the internet. Sony can easily get away with borrowing heavily from dozens of different stories.
The benefit of doing this is it means producing a script for this movie didn’t require a lot of original thought.
The Slender Legacy
The newest trailer for “Slender Man” makes it very clear that the film will be wearing its internet inspiration on its sleeve. We see three girls researching Slender Man online, and they then head into the woods to perform a ritual that’s inspired by the character’s wider fiction.
In creating a story about three girls performing a ritual to draw in Slender Man, Sony’s movie is not only plagiarizing YouTube videos and computer games. The story is also dramatizing a real life event.
For some reason, instead of copying the “Slender” video game or the “Marble Hornets” YouTube channel, Sony is making a movie about a real event where a pair of teenagers tried to kill their friend.
The Real World Slender Problem.
The true Slender Man story is not much fun.
Two girls, inspired by the Slender Man myth, lured their friend into the woods before performing an invented ritual. This was meant to end with the girls’ death, but she was able to escape before the whole sorry scene could be completed.
It is not appropriate for the “Slender Man” movie to feature a similar ritual with three girls, and anything along these lines is cruel to commit to film.
This is made worse by the fact that in the movie, the result of this ritual is some form of Slendy inspired insanity. Hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety. The classic on-screen depiction of a mental illness.
Sure, it’s a completely fake portrayal of these illnesses, but Sony doesn’t care.
Except, in real life, two of the girls involved in the ritual are believed to have been suffering from very real mental illnesses. It’s these mental health issues, it’s argued, that caused them to attempt to murder their friend.
To repeat: in the real world, the “ritual” that’s dramatized in the movie involved genuine murder.
This is not a story that should be turned into a supernatural horror film!
A Bad Idea For a Movie
As I stated the last time a “Slender Man” trailer came out, there are plenty of other stories surrounding the character that exist in the popular consciousness that are far more appropriate.
Fictional stories about Slendy are fair game, but instead, Sony has deliberately decided to dramatize a real life attempted murder.
The studio has also, apparently, built the girls’ mental illnesses to resemble typical cool spooky horror movie fare. This is so horribly cruel that it’s a wonder anyone could have ever thought this was a good idea!
The father of one of the girls involved with the real life Slender Man ritual attempted murder has spoken out against the film, and I add my voice to his.
This movie is in horribly bad taste, and it deserves to bomb at the box office.
I recommend that you avoid seeing “Slender Man” in theaters, or even at home. Play a game or watch YouTube instead. That’d be more fun anyway.
It also doesn’t help that the film is so generic and boring that it’s impossible to get a good sense of what might make this unique. There’s absolutely no originality on display here.
If you skip this, you won’t be missing much.
Do not give Sony your money, because this generic horror film isn’t worth your time.
Don’t look. That’s how they get you.