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Urban legends are fascinating things. Tales of terror told on playgrounds, at sleepovers and around campfires wriggle their way into parts of our brains that movie-borne characters can never reach. That is because these stories are often presented as being true, corroborated and local. The internet age has given birth to a new urban legend, the boogeyman known as the Slender Man. The Slender Man rose to prominence recently, partly for unfortunate, real life reasons, so it was only a matter of time until the character was tapped for a feature film debut. The Slender Man will be making his way to big screens and growing his legend this year, and now you can take a look at the eerie trailer for Slender Man.
This Slender Man trailer is quite visceral and focuses more on creating a foreboding tone than on establishing characters or story. The preview is meant to unsettle us and convey just how chilling this flick is going to be. There is a lot of really disturbing black and white imagery that creates a jarring motif throughout the trailer. There isn't a relaxed shot in this thing. Every frame is dripping with ominous tension. Without much in the way of character or story, this trailer runs a bit on the long side for my taste. However, I do like that they are holding back the evil character. The trailer doesn't even give you a glimpse of the Slender Man until the second half, and even then it is just an outline or a quick glance. This character has been depicted online countless times, so better to hold back and build to his reveal for his big screen debut.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that unfortunately the legend of the Slender Man has had real life consequences. In May 2014, two 12-year-old girls in Waukesha, Wisconsin stabbed a classmate because of the Slender Man stories. Fortunately, the victim lived, and last year HBO actually aired a documentary about the character and the case. The horrible act carried out in the Slender Man's name aside, it is somewhat fascinating the way urban legends develop. It would be easy to think that the urban legends you heard as a kid are the same ones your parents heard and the same ones that are being told today, but that is not the case. I have often wondered if we will ever have another iconic horror character on par with the creations of the '70s and '80s like Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers. While I have doubts that Slender Man can reach that level, his mythology is already well known and a great film could cement his place in horror history.