Film Review: ‘Slender Man’

In “Slender Man,” the title demon is one of those spectral showbiz creeps from another dimension who’s coming to get you. He’s like Freddy Krueger, in that he targets teenagers and spirits them away the moment they let their defenses down. He’s like the force from “Ringu,” in that the trouble all starts when you watch an evil black-and-white digital file full of flickering imagery that looks like “Un Chien Andalou” crossed with a Tool video. He’s like Candy Man, in that he’s a historical ghost with a two-word name ending in “Man,” or Pennywise from “It,” in that he targets a close-knit group of friends, knocking them off one by one.

In this case, though, when you glimpse the character of Slender Man (Javier Botet) in the background of photographs or amateur videos, or even when you see him up close, he remains an oblique phantom: tall and spindly, like Ichabod Crane, in a black suit and parson’s tie, with long arms like tree branches and a blank blob of a face. He’s coming to get you, but who he is remains a mystery. He’s the walking-dead spirit of formula teen horror — the monster who, no matter how many times you kill him, never goes away.