“But wait,” you say, “wasn’t there already a Slender Man movie in 2016?” Well, yes and no: You’re probably thinking of the terrible horror flick The Bye-Bye Man, or maybe you’re remembering the HBO documentary Beware the Slender Man, which examined the internet phenomenon that inspired two 12-year-old girls to attempt murder. Slender Man is the first official — or as official as you can be when based on a creepypasta meme — film about the sinister internet boogeyman, although if you didn’t know the title of the movie, you might think this trailer is actually for a fan-made sequel to The Ring.
We’ve seen an odd spike recently in the entertainment industry’s mining of popular online creepypastas — strange, scary stories shared on sites like Reddit where young people congregate to try to frighten each other out of their wits. Syfy’s show Channel Zero is currently running its first season based on the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, which features, among other things, a monster made entirely from human teeth. Slender Man is probably the most popular of these stories: it’s gotten a video game, an HBO documentary series, and now a movie, which will be directed by Sylvain White.
Honestly, it’s surprising it took this long for a studio to begin developing a horror movie based on Slender Man, the creepy meme that took on a prolific life of its own, inspiring countless photoshopped images, fan art, fan fiction and eventually a video game and a documentary. As rumored yesterday and confirmed today, Screen Gems is the studio that will finally put Slender Man on the big screen, though given how quickly things tend to age in internet years, you have to wonder if this horror movie will still feel relevant by the time it hits theaters.