(director: Sylvain White; screenwriter: David Birke/based on a character by Victor Surge; cinematographer: Luca Del Puppo; editor: Jake York; music: Brandon Campbell, Ramin Djawadi; cast: Joey King (Wren), Julia Goldani Telles (Hallie), Jaz Sinclair (Chloe), Annalise Basso(Katie), Alex Fitzalan(Tom), Taylor Richardson(Lizzie), Javier Botet (Slender Man), (), (); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Robyn Meisinger, William Sherak, Sarah Snow, James Vanderbilt; Screen Gems; 2018)

Poorly made horror flick.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A dim (filmed mainly in unlit rooms), not scary (the familiar jump scares are ineffectively crude), undeveloped (the narrative is absurd), sad ass (unappealing and tasteless) horror pic based on a 2009 internet meme that went viral after creeping out viewers. The French-born Sylvain White (“The Losers”/”Stomp the Yard”) directs in a perfunctory way this poorly made horror flick. It’s based on a character invented by Victor Surge (known also as Eric Knudsen) and is written by David Birke without wit or humor. This mythical tale about a bogeyman inspired an actual newspaper headline stabbing in Wisconsin of three young girls that was chronicled in Irene Taylor Brodsky’s documentary Beware the Slenderman. SM’s tagline reads “He gets in your head like a virus…. In a nameless wooded town in Massachusetts four bored middle-class high school girlfriends — Wren (Joey King), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair), and Katie (Annalise Basso) — spending Friday night together, decide to follow what some boys they know are up to on the Internet and summon up in a video from another dimension the mythological child snatcher, the faceless Slender Man (Javier Botet). The dark images on onscreen of the video downloaded unsettles them, as they watch the video after warned not to. It results in nightmares for the dumb ladies, with Katie vanishing during a class field trip. The surviving girls decide the myth might be real and make nice to the monster in the hope he will return their friend unharmed. Instead things worsen, as the girls become suicidal. Nothing really works well in this shoddy film, that couldn’t be more insignificant. A horror film in the same mode, called Absentia (2011), about an urban folk lore legend bogeyman responsible for missing persons, is the better one.