Slender Man opened at the domestic box office in fourth place this week, grossing approximately $11 million. It has been slammed by critics as being an incomplete film that is disappointingly un-terrifying. Some movie goers, however, have had a horrifying Slender Man experience that they are never likely to forget – oddly however, it was at a showing for Mission: Impossible 6…
Slender Man is a fictional character originally created in 15 minutes by Eric Knudson for a Photoshop competition on a ‘Something Awful’ sub-thread entitled ‘Create Paranormal Images’ in 2009. The Slender Man is an unnaturally tall and thin, almost human-like creature, with featureless face wearing a black suit and is often pictured luring children away to desolate places. Since 2009 the character has been unstoppable, inspiring horror stories, games and short films, all shared across the internet.
The issues with the Slender Man character became apparent when it was the inspiration for a real-life attempted murder. Two 12-year-old girls – Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser – in Wisconsin, held down and stabbed their classmate 19 times, indicating that Slender Man had instructed them to do so. Fortunately the victim survived but is still haunted by the events that had unfolded. The father of one of the young perpetrators claimed that Sony was exploiting his daughters tragedy:
“It’s absurd they want to make a movie like this…It’s popularizing a tragedy is what it’s doing. I’m not surprised but in my opinion it’s extremely distasteful. All we’re doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through.”
Sony, quite rightly, became nervous about their project when the father spoke up against the film, it would not be hard for him to shut down the movie. In response, the studio removed major scenes in an attempt to rectify the situation. Unfortunately this leaves the disappointed audience with an incomplete film, with no real plot resulting more in confusion than suspense.
Their good taste does not appear to have paid off for them, and a theater chain in Wisconsin announced that they would not be showing the film in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties out of respect for those involved in the tragedy.
One fan, however, left this respect at home as he turned up to the movie theater dressed in the Slender Man costume – featureless face mask and all. A group of children snuck into the 7pm showing of Mission: Impossible – Fallout in New York. The one wearing the Slender Man costume, according to sources, waited until the climactic scene of the Tom Cruise movie and silently walked into the theatre. Terrified movie-goers quickly rushed out from the theater to notify managers and authorities.
Movie-goers were upset with the situation and accused management of being involved in the prank – however it would seem, according to video taken, that the youth were informed to wait outside the theater until the next showing of Slender Man began.
Although this may seem like a harmless prank, it is against National Amusements policy for patrons to wear masks to the theaters, and it can be imagined that the poor movie goers first thoughts would have gone to another mass shooting in a theater, especially those that have no idea who the Slender Man is.
The people complaining are justifiably upset, but at least someone got some scares out of the Sony movie this weekend.