Horror fans are familiar with Creepypasta, scary stories that are passed along on online forums, along with videos and photos. These tales are definitely horrifying and even people who don’t enjoy watching scary films will likely feel a chill down their spine when looking at some of the images.
While it makes sense that filmmakers would want to adapt some of these tales into movies, it’s not the best idea, which the 2018 film Slender Man proved. There’s one main reason why these stories don’t work in film form and why they should be left online where they belong.
The main reason why Creepypasta adaptations don’t work? Translating these online tales into films ruins them and something special and unique gets lost. Creepypasta stories are told like campfire stories and urban legends and they feel more terrifying because readers can use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks. When a Creepypasta story becomes a movie, it’s just not that scary, and too often, the resulting film is dull and nothing like the original tale.
There are many video games based on Creepypasta stories and the way that people began sharing these stories on the Internet is definitely interesting. according to Turbo Future, people started using the word “copypasta” because they were “copying” these stories on various websites. Creepypastas have text, videos, and photos, and it seems like the 4chan /x/ board is where people first posted these types of scary stories.
The Creepypasta Slender Man was adapted into a movie in 2018, which is one of the worst teen horror movies. Eric Knudsen created him and posted a story about him on the SomethingAwful forum. He doesn’t have a face, which is his most defining quality. This led to a real life tragedy, according to Tech Crunchwhich is one reason why many people were uncomfortable with this film adaptation.
In the movie, four best friends Katie (Annalise Basso), Chleo (Jaz Sinclair), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), and Wren (Joey King) are bored with their Massachusetts town and how there’s nothing to do. They decide to see if they can get the Slender Man to appear. While they’re just looking to have some fun, Katie goes missing and soon the others realize that this legend is real and that they won’t be able to escape.
While the film grossed over $50 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, it doesn’t have much going on. Slender Man proves the problem with turning Creepypasta stories into movies: the stories don’t feel scary and they become generic. In the 2018 film, this figure also becomes one of the worst horror movie monsters because, sure, he looks like he’s supposed to, but there’s nothing about him that grabs audiences. He also doesn’t really do that much except appear, take people, and kill them. That might sound horrifying, but it doesn’t give the movie anything to work with. The characters spend the whole movie walking around outside at night and looking freaked out, but that doesn’t make for a great viewing experience.
Slender Man also isn’t a horror movie with strong main characters and there are no great horror film supporting characters, either. Everyone is dull and generic and could be slotted into any scary movie. There are countless teen horror characters who hate where they live and want to have more excitement in their lives, so this isn’t that interesting since it has been done so many times before. The movie is plotted the way that horror fnas would expect: the girls want to see the Slender Man, they get scared of what they’ve discovered, and they spend the rest of the run time trying to escape him while knowing that they are powerless .
It’s possible to argue that the reason why Slender Man works as a Creepypasta story is because of his appearance. He’s skinny, has no face, and seems like he’s a shadow more than an actual figure. This image looks great online and seems to naturally lend itself to an Internet forum where people can let their imaginations run wild and think of what it would be like to see Slender Man IRL. The whole film is also very dark, which becomes tiresome after a while.
Not every Creepypasta story will make for a great horror movie. These tales are meant to be legends that are passed around, almost as if people were sitting around a smoky campfire and trying to stay warm in the chilly evening air. These stories feel scary because it’s almost like they could be true, even though readers know better. with the Slender Man film, that feeling is completely lost in translation, and it would be better to leave other stories alone for that reason.
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