It's perfectly normal for any given movie to go through numerous changes over the course of its life. However, it appears that the recent horror movie Slender Man saw some pretty significant alternations before hitting theaters. The film was released last Friday to little fanfare, which, it is being reported, is part of the larger issue that led to Slender Man being drastically reworked.
The changes apparently started early on as the horror movie based on the internet-age creepypasta character was supposedly going to be much darker than the PG-13 rated movie that came out. While it's not uncommon for studios to mandate lower ratings in order to increase potential audience size, the issue here, according to Bloody Disgusting, was more about making sure the film's target audience of teenagers, as that's the age group most interested in the character, was able to see it.
Things didn't stop there, however. According to the report, Producer Sony/Screen Gems got nervous about Slender Man after the father of one of the children involved in a real-life violent attack surrounding the character came out against the movie. BD says that, in response, the studio pulled back hard on the movie and several, what it calls "major," scenes in Slender Man were simply removed from the movie, resulting in what is essentially an incomplete film.
While the source of this information is being left vague, likely intentionally so, so we can't confirm it, if true it certainly sounds like the troubled production that we had heard about previously apparently lasted for the duration. There are certainly some cleat and obvious changes that were made between the point where the marketing began and the film was released. There are scenes in the trailer below, such as a student stabbing themselves in the eye, that simply are not in the final cut of the film.
While it's not entirely uncommon for scenes that make it into trailers to be cut before release, and there's certainly no evidence that Slender Man would have been a significantly better movie if these scenes hadn't been removed, it certainly adds some fuel to this particular fire.
Slender Man opened in fourth place at the domestic box office this weekend with about $11 million. Considering the fact that it only cost about that much to produce, and that a minimal amount seems to have been spent on marketing, the horror film may end up turning a decent, if unimpressive, profit, even with all the issues.