In a lot of cases, controversy can be good for the horror genre, with bad press only enticing fans even more. Think of the ‘video nasties’ that were deemed so gruesome that people tried to have them banned, which ultimately only led to the titles in question gaining a new lease of life as the added notoriety made them unmissable to the diehards.
However, it also helps if the movie doesn’t suck, which cannot be said about 2018’s Slender Man. In tragic real-world circumstances, the fictional creepypasta character at the core of the story was at the center of a stabbing in 2014, and protests from the victim’s families dogged Sylvain White’s film all the way through development and production.
The Slender Man movie follows a group of best friends who try to conjure the titular fiend, and they think it ended in failure before one of them mysteriously vanishes two weeks later. Naturally, the rest of the gang discovers that the nightmarish creature is real, and they set out to stop him before it’s too late.
An 8% score on Rotten Tomatoes was not a great return, but Slender Man did at least manage to turn a profit after earning close to $60 million at the box office on a relatively meager budget. Genre veteran Javier Botet was about as haunting as you’d expect in the title role, but there’s not much else worthy of praise. That being said, the horror dud has been experiencing a new lease of life on Netflix recently, rocketing 80 places to rank as the platform’s fourteenth most-watched title.