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Slender Man | 2018 | PG-13 | - 2.6.5

Horror film based on a 2009 urban legend and Internet meme about a thin, faceless creature that demands sacrifices and abducts children: A group of teenage girls (Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair and Annalise Basso) perform a ritual to learn about the Slender Man (Javier Botet) and after one of the girls goes missing, the rest become haunted by the creature. Also with Taylor Richardson, Alex Fitzalan and Kevin Chapman. Directed by Sylvain White. [1:33]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A teen boy and a teen girl sit on a couch where they kiss and then lie down and continue kissing until the girl hallucinates and screams (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A teen girl kisses a teen boy for a few seconds.
 A teen girl asks a group of teen boys if they are planning a "circle jerk"; they do not reply. A teen girl jokes to her mother that a teen friend is pregnant and the woman does not laugh.
 Teen girls are seen wearing scoop neck blouses that reveal some cleavage and tight jeans that hug their curves in a few scenes. Three teen girls wear mid-thigh length shorts and one girl wears a very short mini dress that exposes her bare legs to the upper thighs.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - The film centers on a thin, eight-foot-tall figure dressed in black with unnaturally long arms and no face, ears, or hair; his hands and arms sometimes look covered in long opera gloves, but close-ups show black wooden hands and fingers like tree branches, with very long nails and the creature can grow taller, changing into a dark tree with many branches coming from his back and it is said that he hypnotizes thousands of children and teens, and then kidnaps some, drives some mad, and kills the rest. Line drawings of the Slender Man creature depict it as a shadow person and show him as a tree absorbing a child in its trunk; the Pied Piper is also said to be a shadow person.
 A teen girl runs through the woods, a bell gongs three times, Slender Man appears, it grows taller and many long limbs sprout from its shoulders and back acting as legs as it chases the girl with creaking wood sounds; it grabs her, throws her to the ground, lifts her, and ties her to its trunk with more long limbs that squeeze her (a close-up of her face shows shock) and small branches grow into the sides of her head and face, cover her face and body completely, and trap her inside the trunk (the scene cuts to the hospital where the girl's sister screams and cries).
 A teen girl shouts, "He wants us!" and that she tried to appease a monster by giving him her friend's younger sister, but it was not enough; a loud boom sounds and a phone screeches and crackles with static as a monster enters the house and climbs the stairs; another teen girl locks the stairway door and a black cloud seeps underneath it, a dozen long black tree branches shoot through a window and grab the other girl away and loudly crashing glass covers the floor in shards as the victim screams.
 A teen girl reads a paranormal book in a library and hears wood creaking and a door slamming as she hallucinates and sees walls and shelves fold into and out of one another; she sees Slender Man and runs, the lights go out, and the monster chases her into a wall where she begins to crawl and in close-up the monster's faceless head closes on hers and a black claw caresses her cheek, making her face disappear as she emits muffled screams and runs; the lights come on, she has a face again and she hyperventilates and runs out of the building, she rambles hysterically about the monster to a friend, becomes angry, and rushes away. A teen girl says that her dad died and another says her grandmother died; they each break keepsakes from these people and place them in a pile on the ground in a forest at night, they cover the pile with a photo of a missing girl, put on blindfolds, and wait for Slender Man to arrive; when a bell gongs three times the girls remove the blindfolds and one girl sees Slender Man and screams as its wooden arms creak and it chases her into a tree where she falls, and the monster reaches toward her in close-up, where we see that it has no face; the scene cuts to the victim returning to the other two girls, who are screaming and she looks dazed.
 A girl sees a figure in a high-walled tub, with black hair six feet long and reaching out into a hallway; the girl walks into her sister's room and finds her dead under a sheet and when she pulls back the sheet she sees the girl's face twitching; the girl under the sheet grabs the other girl's arms, causing hallucinations that show a teen girl being dismembered in the woods (without blood) as tree branches grow out of her mouth and the other girl awakens, crying and convulsing. A teen girl at home alone at night hears a missing friend's voice calling her name several times; she walks outside and sees the friend in the woods, still calling her name and Slender Man appears causing the girl to freeze as the monster approaches and the girl wakes from a nightmare, gasping. After a nightmare a teen girl sees that her abdomen (her navel shows) is huge and several tree branches shoot out of it as she wakes up screaming and the scene cuts to the next room, where her teen sister is crying and convulsing and we see her unconscious in a hospital room later (we hear she had a panic attack). A teen girl home alone at night hears creaking sounds and looks at her phone screen where she sees a creature enter her home and climb her stairs so she opens her door and sees nothing, but hears footsteps and dogs barking off-screen; two large black claws grab her and choke her, she screams, and the scene ends; she later stands in her window and looks hypnotized. A teen girl sees a faceless tree-man standing in a field, but he disappears quickly.
 A teen girl pounds on the front door of a friend's house, enters, hears groaning, and finds the other girl upstairs, where the walls of the room are covered with drawings and articles of Slender Man; the other girl stands on a ledge outside, crying and contemplating suicide, and the first girl pulls her back in. Two teen girls home alone at night hear a door slam and heavy footsteps as a man stomps up their stairs and rattles their bedroom door; we hear creaking wood sounds off-screen and the girls open the door and the man barges in, berating one of the girls and grabbing her, shouting and we then see the father of the attacked girl telling the other man to stay away and a police officer arrests him and puts him in a cruiser with flashing lights as one of the girls says that the man's teen daughter was kidnapped. High school students visit a cemetery where one of the girls begins to look dazed, and she disappears into nearby woods; two police cruisers show up and officers search the woods, but find no one.
 A flashback memory shows a teen girl shouting, "He has no face!" A teen boy and a teen girl on a couch become fuzzy, indicating the girl is having a hallucination; the boy moves in slow motion, grimaces, screams, and grimaces again, the girl screams, the boy jumps back, curses, and the hallucination is over. Four teenage girls use a laptop to learn about an evil creature and access a site called "Summon Him" where static erupts, and a forest scene appears with a bell gonging three times, a video of fast flashing lights and pulsating, bright fractal patterns plays and the laptop screen goes to black; the girls all look dazed and one of the girls dreams later of the forest in the video with branches snapping and creaking and she awakens with a startled gasp. A teen girl speaks with a man in his home as two other teen girls steal a laptop from his daughter's room; we see the room's walls covered with drawings of Slender Man and articles about teens and children who disappeared; the scene cuts to the girls looking at internet videos of very young children approaching Slender Man and a young boy screaming, running, and being grabbed into a tall bush by something unseen. A teen girl sees doctors and nurses moving in slow motion and staring at her. A teen girl finds a video on her sister's laptop that shows a friend taking a younger girl into the woods to meet Slender Man. Several close-ups include one of several teen girl's faces crying and screaming. A teen girl who had been texting information about Slender Man ends up in a mental hospital. Three teen girls argue loudly several times.
 Trays in a biology class contain parts of an animal head and an eye; a student cuts into an eye and transparent gel oozes out as one male student's hands are shaking.
 A headline reads that the Slender Man creature is bio-electric energy. During closing credits, we hear that the Slender Man seduces and hypnotizes teens and kidnaps them. We hear that many of teens self-mutilate and commit suicide.

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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 1 obscene hand gesture, 6 scatological terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, dumb, occult, messed-up people, Abercrombie), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Jesus, Bless you). | profanity glossary |

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SUBSTANCE USE - Two glasses of wine are in seen in front of two adults who do not drink from them, a man sleeps on a couch hugging an empty whiskey bottle, a man is asleep in a recliner with an empty whiskey bottle on a side table, a teen girl tells friends that her father is always looking for a bottle, and a teen girl jokes that a female classmate is pregnant and the two of them are going to drink vodka.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Urban legends, folklore, paranormal events, Internet memes, urban legends, alcoholism, fear, threat, danger, shared hysteria, mental illness, self-mutilation, suicide, kidnapping, murder, loss, grief, friendship, loyalty, doing the right thing.
MESSAGE - Frightening urban legends can be deadly as people embellish them and post them on social media to make them go viral.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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