Directed by: Sylvain White
Run time: 93 minutes
The Lowdown: Trust me when I tell you this, but no one is more surprised than me that I am actually recommending Slender Man as a must-watch release.
But, despite every possible obstacle that typically renders such PG-13 horror fare obsolete and wholly avoidable, Slender Man deftly sidesteps each pitfall, circumvents every plot hole and – holy shite – sticks the landing when it counts most.
From director Sylvain White (2010’s underrated The Losers) to his capable cast, including dependable scream queen Joey King (Wish Upon), Slender Man does everything right. It delivers a solid story – four high school girls in Massachusetts, on a dare, watch a creepy internet video about an urban legend, the Slender Man, and then realize too late the nightmarish mistake they’ve made. The acting is above average. The creature effects are very good. And, best of all, White has fun creating a psychedelic netherworld where the Slender Man stalks and toys with his victims.
And, then, there’s the ending, which is perfectly pitch-black.
If you saw the trailers and immediately dismissed Slender Man when it was released briefly in theaters, do yourself a favor and seek this one out. It’s definitely worth your time.
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Yes
Nudity – No.
Gore – Minimal.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Take a wild guess.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.
Dragnet: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory, 106 minutes, PG-13, Blu-Ray): Of all the misguided attempts to resurrect a beloved television show for the big-screen, there are literally dozens of turkeys with very few genuinely good feature films.
However, 1987’s Dragnet, which starred Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, is one of the better efforts, and it remains just as funny today.
All you have to do is watch the film to realize how many clever catchphrases were spawned from the movie, the best of which, the virgin Connie Swail, I still repeat at least several times a year.
Believer (Well Go USA, 124 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray): The latest South Korean crime thriller, Believer, isn’t as good as you want it to be. Sure, it’s well-made but its story is wholly predictable with a determined cop breaking all his personal morals to join forces with a hardened criminal to bring down a bigger, badder evil.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Now in Limited Release:
London Fields (GVN Releasing, 118 minutes, R, Limited Theatrical Engagement): What do you get when you combine Amber Heard as a smoking-hot femme fatale, Billy Bob Thornton as a frustrated writer, Jim Sturgess over-acting to the Nth degree as a scuzzy would-be gangster, Theo James as a pretty meat-suit who does little but stand around looking pretty and an uncredited cameo by Heard’s then-husband Johnny Depp as a peculiar mobster?
You get London Fields, another haphazard attempt to craft a modern-day pulp noir that randomly cherry-picks plot points from other, better movies and strands good actors like Thornton looking befuddled and perplexed.
For a pretty remarkable expose on just how troubled the film’s production was, check out this story in The Hollywood Reporter.
Not to be Overlooked:
The Unnamable (Unearthed Films, 87 minutes, R, Blu-Ray): Some movies arrive with a title tailor-made for critics to riff on while savaging the film. This oft-overlooked adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story from 1988 is one such movie.
Yes, Virginia, it’s true: The Unnamable is unwatchable.
The Big Lebowski 20th Anniversary Limited Edition (Universal, 117 minutes, R, 4K Ultra HD): There’s no better time to revisit Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 cult classic noir, The Big Lebowski, than in glorious 4K Ultra HD.
This one should be on every fan’s holiday present shortlist.