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Thin Margins

Slender Man follows, you guessed it, the thin, lanky social media phenomenon as he attempts to steal the souls of a group of teen girls who dared try to summon him. Pretty straight-forward.

Slender Man Review

As an undead horror movie critic, I should be ashamed I can't better define what I mean when I use the term "mainstream horror" as a disparaging description of certain movies. But thanks to Slender Man, I can better give our readers a proper visual of what I mean...

The term "mainstream horror" isn't necessarily, 100%, bad all the time...but it usually entails a forgettable cast, no writing and a high school essay outline's level of predictability in the story. You know...three to eight sentences per paragraph, double-spaced, 1-inch margins...Except in "mainstream horror" it's setting up a cast of misfits for death as they gradually realize their doom and solve the mystery at the end that generally has a predictable or rigid twist or fate. It's dull. It's exhausting. It's what Slender Man was.

But for fear of having the "James Wan universe" grouped in with "mainstream horror", as often times I believe it is technically classified, I will have to term the Slender Man-level of garbage something else...perhaps..."Hollywood horror". I think that conveys the proper amount of distrust and disgust to have in the production of such films. Because Hollywood doesn't actually know what horror fans like and tries blindly to cash grab whenever it can. And this is blatantly apparent on many films before walking into the theater. If anything says "Hollywood blindly attempting cash grab", it's trying to scrape some money off of an internet horror sensation from 2009.

That isn't to say that all of these Wan spin-offs are immune to such things, that all hold the same value, or aren't becoming predictable in their style and storytelling...but, frankly, they are effective scary movies for the most part and I appreciate them. They're like the Marvel movies of horror...They have a set conceptual strategy that has proven effective and they'll ride it till it dies. And while, like Marvel, it's becoming blatantly apparent this is happening and it is growing dull on the edges, we'll ride it out with them.

But enough of that soapbox, I suppose...let's get back to Slender Man. It was bad. There you go. Beyond the fact that almost every one of its scary scenes can be traced to other horror movies (IT remake, Evil Dead, Poltergeist, The Ring), many that aren't even that old, it was simply poor copy-and-pasting on top of it.

Fine, here's a little more...Being a nice dresser that he is (like the suit, buddy), Slender Man knows how to make an entrance. He is in his brief reveals and subtle movements the sole highlight of this movie. But if you wanted that, you can find countless altered photos, YouTube videos and indie video games that can satisfy that itch. And none of them will cost you a movie ticket and a wasted hour of pointless dialogue and slow-moving actors attempting to build suspense with rigidity directed by the guy behind the camera.

Efrit agreed...you feel every minute of this runtime, and somehow more. Like getting lost in the void of Slender Man's clutches into a timeless suffering from which the only escape is rolling credits.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 4/10

Film Quality: 2/10

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan