Slender: The Eight Pages and its sequel Slender: The Arrival became indie horror phenomenons after the games were released in 2012 and 2013, respectively. YouTube personalities shared their terrified reactions as they were repeatedly scared by the long-limbed, mysterious “Slender Man.” Now, the infamous monster is starring in his own film, Slender Man, and the first trailer points to a film version that’s just as intense and spooky as the games.
“Where is my daughter?” a man asks as police search through a forest with flashlights. “People don’t just disappear.”
Next, we see a girl walk past a crib mobile, which has small dolls hung in nooses rather than the usual adorable animals we’d expect. As she approaches a wall, several drawings of the Slender Man and his victims can be seen. A few show him using his arms like Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man, and it appears the fear of the monster could be more dangerous than the monster himself.
The trailer shows children having nightmares and being forced into mental institutions, but it only offers a small glimpse of the Slender Man, who stands behind fog in a forest, much like he did in the original game. Without warning, he appears in front of a girl and extends his arm, which has several smaller tentacles growing off of it, before the camera cuts away. As the police arrive in a large field, we see a girl slowly approach, her mouth covered in a black liquid, and it’s unclear if she’s under his control.
The Slender Man creature is a relatively recent creation. It was cooked up by users on the forum Something Awful as part of a paranormal pictures contest, and it may have been inspired by the German “Der Großmann” monster first seen in the 16th century. A pseudo-documentary that can be found on YouTube offers a look at some of these earlier images.
Slender Man hits theaters on May 18. It’s directed by Sylvain White, who previously worked on television series such as The Americans and Sleepy Hollow. He was also responsible for the 2006 horror film I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, as well as the independent film The Losers.
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