Slender Man

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Slender Man Movie Poster Image
Cheap-looking movie squanders spooky internet monster.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 26 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Main message is "curiosity killed the cat." Characters go poking around where they're not supposed to and pay a terrible price.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No role models here, only victims -- although at times these characters do show kindness and caring toward one another.

Violence

Unsettling images quickly pass by in nightmares/video montages. Jump scares. A teen girl is grabbed, choked by a monster. A teen girl's belly swells; black claws burst out of it. An angry, upset man grabs a teen girl. Teen girls frightened, screaming. Arguing. Dissecting eyes in science class. Suicide attempts. A fast-paced, strobe-like sequence could be difficult for those with photosensitivity.

Sex

Teens kiss passionately on a couch and are then interrupted. Mentions of porn, suggestion of teens watching porn. Brief mention of teen pregnancy.

Language

One use of "f--k." Occasional uses of "s--t" and "damn." Two middle-finger gestures. Uses of "frickin'," "hell," and "Jesus" as an exclamation.

Consumerism

Sony smartphones shown, logo clearly in view. Twitter mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A secondary adult character is shown to be an alcoholic: passed out, sleeping, with an empty bottle nearby.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Slender Man is a horror movie based on a popular internet meme (a "creepypasta") about a faceless monster that steals kids. It has unsettling, nightmare-like imagery that flashes by quickly, as well as jump scares, teens in peril, and teen girls being grabbed and choked. Black claws also burst out of a teen girl's swollen belly, and there are suicide attempts. A fast-paced, strobe-like sequence could be difficult for those with photosensitivity and has prompted some theaters to post warnings. Language includes uses of "s--t" and "damn" and one use of "f--k." Teens kiss briefly on a couch but are interrupted. There's a suggestion of teens watching porn and a mention of teen pregnancy. A secondary adult character is shown to be an alcoholic, falling asleep on the couch with an empty bottle nearby. While die-hard teen horror hounds may be interested, ultimately the movie is dull and filled with creaky scary-movie devices/clichés. Joey KingJulia Goldani TellesJaz Sinclair, and Annalise Basso star.

Wondering if Slender Man is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byOity123 August 12, 2018

Bad Acting, The movie was too much

The movie was too much every second something was happening it never gave you a chance to breathe and let what something previous just happened. The movie had t... Continue reading
Adult Written byBatman321 August 12, 2018

the worst movie i have seen in theaters

this film is somehow even worse than fant4stic, its so boring, the acting is terrible, the visuals are bleh, it's not even scary outside of a phone jumpsca... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMrAnonymous July 3, 2020

For older kids as some scary scenes

Genre(s): Horror thriller

Moderate/strong violence, language, moderate sex moderate sex references along with profanity.
Teen, 13 years old Written byFilmaniac1234 May 26, 2020

Not that scary but quite a bit of swearing

Just watched this film and was hoping it would be scary but it isn’t that scary at all there’s only a tiny bit of gore but if your kid watches this then I think... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SLENDER MAN, four best friends -- Wren (Joey King), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair), and Katie (Annalise Basso) -- spend another Friday night together and are intrigued to learn that some boys they know are going to try to summon the Slender Man. The girls get on the internet and decide to do the same. They watch a video and are unsettled by some of the images they see, as well as the chiming of distant bells. Soon, the girls suffer from nightmares, and Katie simply disappears during a class field trip. The other girls try to placate the monster to get their friend back, but things just seem to get worse, including dark visions, possible insanity, and suicide attempts. When Hallie's younger sister also becomes afflicted, Hallie decides to do something drastic.

Is it any good?

Based on a viral 2009 internet meme that gave plenty of people the creeps, this lazy horror movie is filled with stale, worn-out scares, crude effects and jump scares, and poor storytelling. Despite the opportunity to feature a genuinely scary central figure, Slender Man feels like a hundred other horror movies -- basically anything that involves people's curiosity getting them into trouble. Its other problem is that it was deliberately edited to earn a PG-13 rating, so it doesn't really have any scares beyond the usual loud percussion noise whenever the monster appears.

Director Sylvain White films everything in dimly lit rooms, especially a library and a hospital; maybe he was trying to use the smeary grayness to cover up the movie's shoddy digital effects. The rhythms are off, too, with every attempt at a spooky reveal occurring either too fast or too slow. The one thing Slender Man does right is that it actually conveys a sense of loss among the characters. They actually care about one another, and they're deeply affected by the disappearances and other troubles. King, specifically, is a spunky, feisty standout; she's the only one who seems to feel real fear, and she gives a little extra in her performance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Slender Man's violence. How does it compare to other horror movies you've seen? Does the fact that much of the violence is aimed at teen girls affect the impact of the violence?

  • How is sex portrayed? What messages are conveyed? Are the characters mature enough to make the right decisions?

  • How is drinking portrayed? Does it seem glamorous? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • How does the actual Slender Man meme compare to the movie? What was scary about the original idea? Is the movie scary in the same way?

  • What's the appeal of horror movies? Why do people like to be scared?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate