'Slender Man' Reportedly Had Major Sequences Cut Before Release

After multiple release date delays and real-world controversies, Slender Man finally landed in [...]

After multiple release date delays and real-world controversies, Slender Man finally landed in theaters this weekend with an unremarkable opening. Not only did the film earn poor reviews, sitting at 12 percent positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, but it also failed to make a dent at the box office with only $11.5 million. A new report from Bloody Disgusting claims that in the lead-up to the film's release, Slender Man earned drastic cuts of its more gruesome sequences, ultimately delivering audiences a drastically different film from the one envisioned by director Sylvain White.

From the get-go, the film seemed to cater to a teen-aged audience that would be more familiar with the internet-born supernatural figure. This means the filmmaker and studio kept a PG-13 rating in mind, though the film could still have managed to incorporate disturbing content without earning an R. However, Bloody Disgusting notes, "Many of the striking scenes that were teased in the first trailer, like one of the characters stabbing her eyes out, or another ripping her tongue out after encountering Slender Man in the woods, are completely missing from the film."

The site notes that multiple sources confirmed these sequences were cut relatively close to the film's release date.

The implication of these reports isn't that the film would have benefitted financially or critically with the inclusion of these scenes, but that the film is far from a complete or coherent vision of an individual and merely a compilation of a variety of scenes.

The film is based on a character who was born in a Photoshop contest to alter seemingly mundane photos to be creepy, with one user inserting the image of a suited figure with elongated limbs and a faceless, white mask. Many users connected with the image, inspiring them to create their own compositions and lore surrounding the character.

These stories became so widespread that two young girls had difficulty separating fact from fiction, going on to stab one of their friends as a sacrifice to the entity. Luckily, the victim survived, with the attackers being committed to psychiatric facilities.

The character has inspired multiple stories, short films, and video games, though some perceived this film as an attempt to cash in on a real-world tragedy.

"It's absurd they want to make a movie like this," Bill Weier, the father of one of the attackers, said during a press telephone interview. "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."

Weier's opinion may have been the prevailing perspective on the endeavor, with the film likely to be soon forgotten.

Slender Man is in theaters now.

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[H/T Bloody Disgusting]