"But the real problem of the film isn’t insensitivity to the horrific violence in Waukesha. The plot of Slenderman itself doesn’t bear any resemblance to the events in Wisconsin. And furthermore, an appropriate amount of time has passed since the crime to justify a reexamination of the character himself. The real problem with the film, beyond its perceived insensitivity and fumbling incoherence, is that it’s a kind of cultural theft, selling the stories we’ve collectively created for ourselves back to us as a product. Utah State University folklorist Lynne S. McNeil writes, “The emergence of traditional expressive forms on the Internet, and the observation and re-creation of them by other people in new contexts, has not gone unnoticed by the Internet community itself, which has adopted the concept of memes to identify what folklorists would call folklore.” Slenderman is a character in a narrative that we, the folk, have created among ourselves as part of an elaborate textual and visual conversation. It’s no wonder that a single film struggles to compete with that complexity. It’s almost cynical of them to even try."
(image: Slender Man/Sony Pictures/YouTube Screenshot)