Sony's Slender Man movie hit theaters last weekend and a teenager thought it would be fun to play a prank on fellow moviegoers by dressing as the creepy character. While the film didn't really set the box office ablaze, the prank did, sending a freaked out audience to the exits. The Slender Man movie had a decent opening weekend, but it has been torn apart by critics who say that the film suffered during the editing process, resulting in a movie that doesn't make sense in places.
A group of teenagers got to the theater early to see Slender Man in a Newburgh, New York theater. Instead of waiting outside, the group, which included one kid dressed as Slender Man, entered a screening of Mission: Impossible 6. The teen reportedly walked in slowly and just stared out at the crowd with the white faceless mask on, which sent a group of people running out of the theater, scared out of their minds. One woman even called the police. The movie theater staff was notified, but some of them were reportedly laughing about the incident, leading some to believe that the theater was in on the joke.
The teenagers were asked by staff to wait outside the theater until after Mission: Impossible 6 was finished screening. Obviously, the kids did not listen and scared the hell out of a theater full of people who probably had no idea what Slender Man is. Additionally, the theater prohibits masks of any kind, so some of the staff could be in some serious trouble if they were in on the prank. At a time when mass shootings happen often, the people complaining to staff were justifiably upset.
The Slender Man character has been a viral sensation since 2009, but it wasn't until 2014 when the supernatural character became huge news after two 12-year old girls stabbed a friend multiple times. The girls claimed that they were under the control of Slender Man, which is why they attempted to murder their friend after a sleepover. The two girls were later both remanded to a psychiatric care facility. When plans of a Slender Man movie were made public, there was a pretty large backlash from people believing that the studio was trying to capitalize on the recent tragedy to make a quick buck.
While the Slender Man movie might not be a huge hit, the character remains to be a big part of online horror culture for preteens. Popular games for smartphones are available and there's even a fan-made series about the supernatural character as well as a ton of crowdsourced independent short films. Between that and the HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman, a big studio movie isn't really needed at this time. However, the movie could turn into a cult film in the years to come. You can read more about the Slender Man movie theater prank at Westchester News.