Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Films I'd like to see made: Slender Man

"We didn't want to go, we didn't want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time..." 

I imagine many people know Slender Man from the game Slender: The Eight Pages. A very basic but effective game where you basically try to find these eight theatening notes, scattered around an extremely dark forest, with only a flashlight to see. You are not allowed to see the Slender Man, and very tall, very skinny man with no face. He just appears out of nowhere, and the longer you look at him, the quicker he will kill you. When he does attack you, tenticles shoot out of his back, wrapping you up and killing you.

There has been a surprising amount of people on the web you believe Slender Man to be some kind of real urban myth. In fact, Slendy was created in 2009 by Victor Surge on the Something Awful forums in response to a request to photoshop supernatural entities into photographs. So effective where the grainy black and white photos (all based in the 1980's) with their believable but somewhat disturbing annotations (see above), that Slendy soon became a very competent internet meme.

There are already two films out about Slender Man already. Entity (2013) is directed by the Jadallah Brothers and focus' on a family finding strange secrets in a vacation home after a family member disappears. The Slender Man was released free online after a Kickstarter campaign. I don't know much about this film, but the imdb rating for it is 3.7, so don't get your hopes up. The last major interpretation, for the moment at least, is Marble Hornets. Based on the original Something Awful thread, user "ce gars" created a bunch of YouTube video's and Twitter feeds for an alternate reality game. The story is based on the abandoned film of a friend who gave up due to the stresses caused by making the film. After coersing him to give him the tapes, the boy starts going through them all and noticing strange things, like a faceless man standing in the garden...

The only thing that I don't like about these films is that they don't focus on the most scariest thing about the original Slender Man photo's; the children.

TREATMENT: Now, if I was going to make a film about the Slender Man, I would shoot it from the perspective of the children. Its already scary enough in our modern world to imagine an adult hanging out with children in a park. We know that the Slender Man is scary, we know he kills the children, but he also seems to comfort them at the same time, which is equally horrifying. I would develop that theme, explore how children could befriend a monster. I would also shoot it in black and white, not only to match the photo's, but also to exagerate that sense of history, nostalgia. Slender Man feels like he has been around for centuries, not four years. I would also try and show Slender Man as little as possible. The brilliant thing about the game was the anticipation of seeing him was as scary as the split second you saw him for.

Slender Man is a brilliant and subtle creation, and the jump scares are only the beginning of his creepiness. One good film could make him as immortal as the Bogey Man.

Do you think Slender Man is the worst thing to haunt your nightmares? Looking forward to the films about him? Let us know in the comments.


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