If you’re like me, modern horror movies provide a bit of a conundrum for you. Back in the good old days before I was born, horror movies relied on suspense and that excellent sense of rising dread.
God, I love old horror movies.
Nowadays, it’s jump scare this and jump scare that. My poor little caffeinated heart can’t take it.
Unfortunately for me, the curiosity center of my brain hungers for those horror movie plots. I don’t know what it is, but I adore crappy horror movie plots. I’m addicted to them.
With older horror movies, I can just watch the thing and be satisfied. With present-day horror movies, I either have to suffer through roughly an hour of bleh acting and heart-jolting scares in order to get my horror movie plot fix, or I have to read the synopsis online like a craven loser.
Which brings us to today!
I went to go see Slender Man in theaters.
It’s been ages since I’ve gone to see a horror movie in a theater. If I decide to risk watching a current horror movie, I usually Redbox it or something. But my friends, The Twins (everyone calls them that, with capital letters too), are leaving to go to school in Sacramento, and I wanted to hang out with them one last time.
And since we had once played Slender: The Arrival together, seeing the Slender Man movie seemed apropos.
The good thing about this is that I can now tell you the plot à la Below Average so that you don’t have to subject yourself to the movie like I did.
Note: The movie is not good. Surprise.
Okay, so it starts with four friends hanging out in high school. (How original.) There’s Katie, the red-haired, soft-spoken one, Chloe, the normal one who has lost her father, Wren, the sarcastic biting one who wears a lot of black, and Hallie, the main character one.
These four girls want to have a fun hang-out night at Katie’s house. While at school, they invite some boys they know to come along too, but the boys decline, because apparently they have some super secret cool thing to do amongst themselves instead. Oh, and Hallie has a crush on one of these boys.
Fudge, what’s his name?
Let me Google this real quick.
Tom! His name is Tom. Okay, so Hallie has a crush on Tom.
Fast forward to that night at Hallie’s house. Hallie is having dinner with her bland parents who we don’t see much of throughout the rest of the film. We also get to meet Lizzie, Hallie’s younger sister. Apparently, the two sisters have a close relationship, and the movie tries to hammer this home by showing some “banter” between them, but given how Lizzie is not invited to hang at Katie’s as well, I’m calling bull-turkey.
Wren comes over to pick Hallie up, except she doesn’t have a car, so I guess by “pick up,” they mean “walk together to Katie’s house because we obviously all live within walking distance of each other even though we live in what looks like a wooded suburbia with vast distances between each house.”
At Katie’s house, we find out that Katie’s dad is a drunk. He’s passed out on the couch when Wren and Hallie show up. Katie leads them up to…huh. Was it a basement or an attic? Can’t remember. Anyways, Katie takes them to a private room where Chloe is already waiting, and of course the girls start giggling and drinking vodka because that’s what all high school girls do.
Chloe then reveals that she knows what the boys were so busy doing that they couldn’t hang out with them. Tonight, the boys are planning to do this ritual to summon the Slender Man. Cue spooky music.
Side note: What high school boys would forego hanging out with some girls in order to try and summon a fictional horror monster? I mean, Tom clearly had a thing for Hallie, given how ardently they stared at each other in the hallway and how sweetly the music played just then. And I’m pretty sure Chloe had a thing for another one of the boys.
Wren then decides that they should do the same thing. (Because why not.) She searches online for steps on how to summon the Slender Man. And here they are (don’t be alarmed, they’re pretty stupid):
- Find a specific Slender Man Summoning Video.
- Close your eyes while the video plays until you hear three bells chime.
- Open your eyes after the third bell and watch as some random-ass images of forests and white symbols flash on the screen.
You know, the theater I went to actually had warnings out front about how this part might not be good for people who experience vertigo or epileptic seizures.
After the four girls do this, they’re all noticeably shaken for some reason. If it had been me, I would have thought, “What the fuck? That’s it? Why is Slender Man able to be summoned from an online video when he’s always been portrayed as this woodsy kind of monster? Is Bigfoot now available through Skype? Can I contact Dracula through a YouTube video?”
Actually, scratch that, I wouldn’t have even watched that video because I’m a skeptical scaredy-cat. I mean, why risk something scary happening?
Katie more than any of the other girls was affected by the video. She’s clearly out of it right after.
Anyways, fast forward to a class field trip to a historic graveyard. (My high school never took me to a graveyard for a field trip, I can tell you that.) Wren tries to talk to the girls about nightmares she’s been having. Chloe appears to be fine, but Hallie has been having nightmares too.
We know Hallie’s been having nightmares because we’ve seen them. They’re basically artsy shots of the dark woods with a random gate placed in the middle of them. Also, the limbs of trees seem to move a lot.
Katie doesn’t even respond to Wren’s queries. I think she’s been acting weird since she saw the video, but her friends only vaguely seem to care. The graveyard is located near a woods (of course), and Katie keeps staring at it. Her friends try to usher her along with the rest of the school group, but Katie lags behind.
We then cut to the end of the field trip when everyone is standing by the bus while the teacher searches for Katie because she has gone missing.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
What the hell were her friends doing? They clearly noticed she was falling behind. Did they not stop to walk with her?!
So it’s official, Katie’s missing.
The girls are back at school, and they’re hanging up posters everywhere. Hallie is tacking up posters on a cork board when Tom approaches her. He asks her how she’s holding up, she says she’s okay, and he lets it drop that he and the guys ended up not trying to summon Slender Man. They chickened out.
Ugh, what assholes.
Wren is pretty disturbed by her nightmares, so she correctly assumes that Katie’s disappearance is connected to the Slender Man summoning thing they did.
It’s weird; it’s kind of all Wren’s fault that they did this, but she’s the first to pin their problems on the right factor. So you kind of side with her the whole time.
Meanwhile, Hallie spends the night home alone with her sister Lizzie. You know, if I had daughters, and one of their friends had recently gone missing, I would not leave the two of them alone in the house.
Anyways, while Hallie and Lizzie are home alone, someone breaks into their house. As a member of the audience, I didn’t even think for one second that it was Slender Man. It was way too early for that.
So who else could it be but Katie’s drunken father searching for his daughter.
Hallie tries to talk him down, but he gets pretty angry, blaming Hallie for introducing his daughter to a cult and that’s why she’s gone.
The scene then cuts away to the police leading Katie’s dad out of the house. Hallie and Lizzie’s parents are shouting at him as he’s escorted away, and Hallie watches from her bedroom window.
Side note: Everyone’s house in this movie is creaky and has two stories. That allows for everyone to walk up stairs in a noisy fashion.
Later at school, Hallie tells Chloe and Wren about what happened last night. She mentions how Katie’s dad blamed them for getting Katie into a cult. This is the evidence Wren needs to prove that something related to Slender Man was definitely bothering Katie. She convinces the other two girls to help her break into Katie’s house so that they can look for clues.
When they get there (Katie’s dad is distracted by Wren consoling him), Chloe and Hallie discover that Katie has taken up art. She’s drawn scritchy pencil sketches that depict the woods and Slender Man. They find her laptop and they take it away. (They steal it.)
Since all besties know each other’s passwords, the three girls are able to log onto Katie’s computer. Once they comb through her search history, they find out that Katie has been visiting Slender Man sites and forums. She has also had an ongoing chat with some stranger online. This stranger seems to have a lot of information about how to deal with the Slender Man. Wren takes it upon herself to talk more to this stranger. She tells the stranger that Katie is missing and that she believes the Slender Man took her. She also asks the stranger if it’s possible to get Katie back. The stranger says that in order to get Katie back, they have to offer something to Slender Man of great importance to them.
Insanely, Wren manages to convince Chloe and Hallie that this is something they need to do.
So the three girls go into the woods at night. They have to burn three things of value to them and then wait with blindfolds until the Slender Man takes their offerings. Wren warns them several times that under no circumstances are they to remove their blindfolds, no matter what. They are not supposed to look at the Slender Man.
Chloe, who has been the pretty solid-thinking one of the group, decides now is the time to stop using her noggin. (Though to be fair, if she had been using her noggin before, she wouldn’t be in this situation.) She takes off her blindfold.
She sees the Slender Man’s face, or lack thereof, panics, and runs off. Wren and Hallie then take off their blindfolds and try to run after her. When they eventually find her, she’s now kind of out of it. She has no recollection of seeing the Slender Man.
Basically, Chloe is now fucked.
True enough, she’s back at her house playing on her smartphone when she gets a video call from an unknown number. She answers it (argh, why?) and it shows that someone is taking a video of her house from the outside. Whoever is doing this begins moving through her front door and up the stairs. When it reaches her bedroom, BAM! Jump scare, Chloe screams and we assume the Slender Man took her.
Side note: Slender Man rocks a smartphone now.
Back at school, Hallie and Wren have been plagued with hallucinations of their own. Hallie has gotten off pretty lightly. She sees the Slender Man in the distance when Tom tries asking her out. Wren got the short straw in that regard. Her hallucination happens in the library and involves a full-on chase sequence through rows of never-ending books. When Slender Man catches her, she momentarily gets no-face syndrome.
Understandably so, Wren is flipping out. Chloe has called in sick for days now, so Wren gets Hallie to go check up on her so that they can compare Slender Man notes. When they get there, they peer through the front window instead of just knocking on the door. Chloe jump scares them (and me) by just walking to the window. She looks awful. She looks aged. And she’s clearly not in a good state of mind. She’s just staring blankly out the window like she’s halfway comatose.
Side note: Where is Chloe’s mom?
Hallie and Wren just leave without even trying to talk to Chloe, and it’s right then that they have a fight. Wren is at the breaking point due to her library scare, and she begs Hallie to help her figure out what’s going on. Hallie is of the mindset that ignoring the problem will make it go away. Besides, she has a date with Tom.
Wren gets angry, understandably so, so the two friends part ways less than amicably.
Hallie gets ready for her date, and then walks over to Tom’s house.
That’s where the date is at.
And his parents aren’t at home.
Hallie and Tom start making out, but the festivities come to a halt when Hallie hallucinates that Tom’s face is all disfigured and distorted. She screams bloody murder, and this disturbs Tom so much so that he stops kissing her.
Hallie then explains everything that has been going on with her and the girls. Tom kind of treats it as a joke and begins searching for the video to summon Slender Man. Hallie makes him promise not to watch the video, but we all know that he’s going to.
Next day at school, Hallie is late to I’m guessing biology, where they are dissecting eyeballs. She tries to catch Wren’s eye, but Wren is petulantly not giving her the time of day. Tom is also late to class, and when he sits down with shadows under his eyes and strange marks on his arms, you just know that he was a dingus and watched the video.
At night, Hallie suffers some pretty awful tree-horror nightmares, and when she wakes up, she hears her sister screaming. She rushes to Lizzie’s bedroom. Her parents are there, and apparently Lizzie is suffering some kind of attack.
They take her to the hospital where Hallie continues to have weird waking hallucinations. At Lizzie’s bedside, Hallie hears her sister scream something about him not having a face. Hallie puts two and two together and figures out that her sister must have messed with Slender Man.
She rushes back home and goes to her sister’s computer. Lizzie’s search history is filled with all those things that were on Katie’s. There’s even a convenient video that shows Lizzie in the woods with someone attempting to contact Slender Man.
And that someone turns out to be Wren.
I honestly got a bit lost here. I’m guessing Wren took Lizzie into the woods with her to try and contact the Slender Man again, but why would she do that? The first time went over so well and all.
Anyways, Hallie storms over to Wren’s house (they all live so close by, remember), only to find Wren about to jump out of her bedroom window. Wren is sobbing about how there is no way to get Slender Man off your back. He doesn’t want something important to you. He just wants you.
Hallie gets Wren off the window sill, but it was all for nothing since Slender Man magically bursts some tree branches through the window and yanks Wren off to oblivion.
After seeing that shit, Hallie does not book it back to the hospital. Instead, she has an epiphany. She recalls/flashbacks to what Wren just said to her about Slender Man only wanting them.
She runs into the woods, finds Slender Man, and says, “Take me.”
Okay, so I got the gist of what happened. Hallie, wishing to save her poor sister Lizzie who she is oh so close to, decided to offer herself to Slender Man in Lizzie’s place.
But why does she run away from Slender Man after that?
Seriously, Hallie said “Take me” to Slendy, and then when he made the slightest motion toward her, she shrieked and ran away.
What happened to the noble sacrifice, eh?
Anywaysies, Hallie gets swallowed by a tree, Lizzie wakes up normal but distraught at the hospital, and then the story ends happily ever after.
I wonder what happened to Tom.