So There's Going To Be A Slender Man Movie

So There's Going To Be A Slender Man Movie

It's 2018, and they're coming out with a Slender Man movie - like five years too late.
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Okay, so I'm not that big a fan of the horror genre. I liked both versions of It, though I do prefer the 2017 one. I liked The Blair Witch Project and like to pretend they never made a sequel. Psycho is one of the great classic horror, and I've got a soft spot for the old Universal Monsters movies. However, about six years ago, I found a horror genre online, titled "creepypasta." These were the typical Internet horror stories, but anybody could write them any way they want. Which of course led to people making characters, and others running with them - specifically, Slender Man. After a pretty good freeware game (the next good freeware horror wouldn't be until Doki Doki Literature Club), the popularity soared, coming to a head when two girls attempted to murder another in his name. And of course Hollywood decided yeah, let's make a Slender Man movie. In 2018. Why exactly?

Slender Man first appeared in a Photoshop contest on SomethingAwful in 2009, the contest being to create the creepiest image. Eric Knudsen, under the screen name of "Victor Surge," made two images showing children at play, with a long-limbed, inhuman, faceless man in a suit and tie, refered to as "the slender man." This was an instant hit on the website, and spread across the Internet like wildfire. However, due to uncertainty over copyright status on a meme character, Knudsen was unable to control every story people would write about his monster. Acclaimed YouTube series Marble Hornets did their own take on the story, dubbing their incarnation "the Operator." In 2012, the first video game based on Slender Man was created, titled Slender: The Eight Pages, and was made available as a free download by the developers. The game featured no weapons, and just put the player alone in the woods, trying to gather eight papers with images pertaining to the monster - all while trying to avoid being caught by him. It seemed the Internet had their own Dracula, a monster they could work with and develop how they saw fit.

But of course, this is the Internet, and impressionable children can just get right on and do a Google search. In 2014, two girls became so enthralled with the character that they believed he was real, likely due to their own mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Believing them to be the "proxies" of Slender Man, they felt they had to kill in order to please him. They lured a classmate into the woods one night, and stabbed her nineteen times, nearly killing her - missing vital arteries by fractions of an inch. She survived, and the two assaliants have been sentenced to a mental institution, as they were "not guitly by reason of insanity" according to lawyers. Practically overnight, Slender Man went from just being a scary image on a computer to being the subject of media attention, with many asking whether or not the Internet can go too far. Knudsen expressed sympathy for the victim, and the creepypasta website communities raised money to help her medical costs. In a rational world, this would be the end of the Slender Man icon, and we'd find something else to make scary. We do not live in a rational world.


Sometime between the attempted murder and 2017, executives at Sony Pictures decided that they better get to making that Slender Man movie now to keep those rights they bought from Knudsen. The premise is a group of teenage girls try to disprove the existence of Slender Man by doing some occult ritual or something, and all of a sudden, one goes missing. Yeah, that's the actual story of the movie. It was slated to come out this May, a couple of weeks after Avengers: Infinity War, a week before Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the same day as Deadpool 2. For some reason, it got pushed back to August. Hey, maybe it will be good. The trailer looked decent, and at least it will be better than the Marble Hornets movie from a few years back (though that did star Doug Jones, which makes it at least slightly watchable). But if we're being honest here, there's a reason they're releasing it in a busy month - it's not going to be a big hit, much less will it be a horror staple of the next few years. It's future is likely to be a Netflix and chill movie, if that. But hey, I'll probably see it down the road.

We must wonder why exactly is this movie happening. Maybe it's a rights issue, and they have to make the movie or they lose the film rights, like 20th Century Fox and Fantastic Four. Or maybe they want to expand the horror characters for the modern era, and give us a modern monster movie. Or Sony Pictures is exploiting a near tragedy for some extra cash to try and capture the market. I think the movie is being made for the first two, the latter reason being an accidental coincidence. It is a little too close to reality, but let's be real, there's only so many plots one can do for a Slender Man movie - either you're gonna get teens doing stuff they shouldn't or The Blair Witch Project, and Marble Hornets already did that. It is what it is, maybe we'll see movies about haunted video games next if this works.

Do I want to see the movie? Eh, if it's on Netflix and there's nothing else to watch after binging the rest of Stranger Things. It probably will be at least passable, something for middle schoolers to put on during slumber parties. The time passed a long time ago for the movie to even get the audience's attention beyond "oh yeah that was a thing." Maybe like 2013 or 2012, before the stabbing happened. Hollywood doesn't really understand time though, and well, here we are. Besides, it comes out in August. It's not like there's anything else people are going to want to see then anyway - late August/September is like the January/February film schedule. Like I said, we'll see what happens, but it's just been too long and with too much real-world violence to really be with the times now. And if we're being honest, at least a creepypasta shared universe is a better idea than the rebooted Universal Monsters project.


Cover Image Credit: HBO

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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