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16th Aug 2018

Slender Man movie reportedly major scenes over backlash fears

Wil Jones

A 12-year-old girl was stabbed in 2014 by two classmates who were influenced by the internet legend

The ‘slender man’ was a myth for the internet age – a creepy legend passed through message boards and social media in the early 2010s.

In 2016, it was announced that Sony were making a movie based on the slender man, having obtained the rights from by Eric Knudsen, the creator of the character. With memes spreading throughout the internet, it seemed like the film would be an easy smash hit with teens when it arrived.

However, Slender Man finally released in US cinemas last week, and it has not been well received. IndieWire called it “tasteless and inedibly undercooked”, Newsweek said it was “a decade late”, and it currently has 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The release of the film has hardly been smooth sailing. Originally it was due to come out in May, but it was bumped back to August, and there has been relatively little advanced marketing for a film of this size.

Now horror site Bloody Disgusting is reporting that the film that was released in cinemas “is not a complete movie”. They state that their sources confirm that “several major scenes from the film were completely removed by the studio”. There are multiple scenes in the trailer that are not in the final movie, including shots of a character stabbing their own eyes, and another ripping their own tongue out after confronting the slender man.

The reported reason for the cuts is Sony fearing a backlash over the film. The slender man myth became notorious in 2014 after a 12-year-old girl was stabbed 19 times by two classmates who believed they would become ‘proxies’ for the creature. Thankfully, the girl survived the attack, and the two perpetrators were sentenced to be hospitalised for 25 years and 40 years.

The film criticised by the father of the victim for exploiting the tragedy. “It’s absurd they want to make a movie like this,” Bill Weier said in January. “It’s popularizing a tragedy is what it’s doing. I’m not surprised but in my opinion it’s extremely distasteful. All we’re doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through.”

Bloody Disgusting say that Sony were worried about a potential backlash following the negative publicity the movie was receiving, and made the changes to the film and the marketing in light of this. But with both reviews and box office for Slender Man being a massive disappointment, they may come to regret the decision.

Slender Man is due to hit UK cinemas on August 24th