Dressing up as a favorite movie character is often encouraged at theaters, though some teens recently took the concept a bit too far when dressing up as the titular character from the horror film Slender Man. The minors dressed as the supernatural entity walked into a screening of Mission: Impossible - Fallout on Friday, Aug. 10, causing multiple audience members to contact authorities.
According to News 12 Westchester, a teenager entered the 7 p.m. screening of Mission: Impossible at a Newburgh, New York, movie theater dressed as Slender Man in a suit and a white, faceless mask. The teen reportedly stood in the darkness until two women became so frightened that they exited the theater and alerted management.
After alerting management, the patrons claimed that employees didn't take their complaint seriously or were possibly involved, as they reportedly "giggled" at the frightened customers. In a video captured by a patron, theater management can be seen admitting that they told the teens to wait outside the theater for their screening of Slender Man that was starting at 9:45, after the screening of the Tom Cruise film had concluded.
Theater chain National Amusements says it prohibits patrons from wearing masks or costumes that could possibly intimidate other customers or prevent them from enjoying the film in which they are seeing. If the costumed teens to have appeared solely during the screening of Slender Man, it's possible that patrons would have understood the significance of the costume and enjoyed the experience. But given the shooting incidents at movie theaters, viewers understandably felt unsafe.
The synopsis of Slender Man is as follows:
"In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of friends performs a ritual in an attempt to debunk the lore of Slender Man. When one of them goes mysteriously missing, they begin to suspect that she is, in fact, HIS latest victim."
The character was created in a Photoshop contest, with a tall, suited figure being inserted into a photo of children, with his face obscured by a mask and his limbs elongated to otherworldly proportions. The Internet immediately connected with the image, as more users begin to craft their own edited photos and concoct stories about the being's supernatural abilities.
Tragically, these stories became so widespread that two teens stabbed a friend as a sacrifice to the being, unable to discern fact from fiction. Luckily, their victim survived.
Slender Man is in theaters now.
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