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September 04, 2018 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily

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The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Tuesday, September 4, 2018— 7A

“Slender Man” is a horror
movie released in 2018 based
on the popular “creepypasta”
that debuted in 2009. It is
approximately 93 minutes long.
Kissing Booth”). I can tell you all
of this because the information
is available on the Internet, yet
despite having just seen the movie
earlier today, I’m having trouble
remembering a single thing that
actually happens over its runtime.
I’ve gone into a dissociative state
once in my life, and honestly, this
doesn’t feel dissimilar to that.
It’s not just that “Slender Man”
fails at the things we expect from
a horror movie or a movie in
general, it’s that those things are
completely absent. There’s no plot
or story, there’s just one sequence
of scares stuck to another with
duct tape and spit. Four girls
decide to summon “Slender Man,”
as young girls in 2018 are wont
to do. Uh oh, Slender Man shows
up and does some ill-defined evil
mumbo-jumbo with no apparent
end goal. Then the movie ends.

Over the 93 minutes, nothing
anybody does makes any sense.
The girls all just sort of accept at a
certain point that Slender Man is
haunting them and wait to die, and
that’s the movie. They don’t fight
back, because that would mean the
writers would have to make them

active, interesting characters, and
who wants that?
For all the sins of the “story,” the
characters fare somehow worse.
None of the girls go through a
change beyond moving from
“not haunted” to “haunted,” but
more than that, nobody is given
a character to begin with. From
beginning to end, they’re just
featureless mannequins meant
to carry us to the next hackneyed
scare. Of the four girls that we
begin the movie with, one of them
disappears almost immediately,

forgotten by the script. The last
two are saddled with two of the
most laughable fates in recent
horror history in a sequence that
prompted one of the high-school
aged “Slender” fans in front of
me to stand up and declare to the
theater and his friends, “Fuck it.
I’m out.”
What horror there is can easily
be divided into three camps: the
classic jump scare, the creepy
imagery without rhyme or reason
and the stupid. If you’re not a fan
of loud noises trying to tell you
when to be scared, just wait and
there will be a scene where a girl
dreams she gives birth to Slender
Man or where Slender Man uses
FaceTime, both of which are things
that actually happen. Perhaps the
best thing that can be said about
“Slender Man” is that there’s a
variety of bad horror instead of
just one kind. Cinematographer
Luca del Puppo (“Mercy”) shoots
it all in the most monotonous,
ugly low light possible — the kind
of darkness that will have you
pleading for someone, anyone
to turn on a damn light — but
the movie is unpredictable in its
awfulness nonetheless.
Perhaps most disappointingly,

‘Slender Man’ falls short

Daily Arts Writer



Aug. 3rd with his fifth studio
album, Swimming, in the wake
of his heavily media-scrutinized
breakup with Ariana Grande.
Given that breakup and his recent
DUI, expectations were that this
album would be a depressed and
chaotic work in the vein of his
2014 mixtape Faces — however,
what we’ve received instead is a
phlegmatic piece of protracted
contemplation, more thoughtful
than despondent.
companion piece to his most recent
album The Divine Feminine, a
continuation of the jazz-influenced
sound but with a polar opposite
thematic message. The Divine
Feminine was a record of love and
optimism; Swimming is lonesome
(but not lonely) and reflective — a
world-weary expression of self-
acceptance. For better or for worse,
the album tends to blur together
due to instrumental sameness.
Some would call this cohesiveness,
some would call it a lack of variety;
lean toward the latter. The addition
of “Programs” could have lessened
this sense of repetition, different
enough to provide a change of
pace but similar enough to not be a
jarring inclusion.
It wasn’t much of a challenge

to improve upon the lyricism
of The Divine Feminine, which
was a concept album about Mac
eating out his girlfriend. To be
fair, if I were having sex with
Ariana Grande, I’d probably never
stop bragging about it either. He

managed to step it up on Swimming,
and now that the two are no longer
together, Mac is forced to explore
themes more varied than Ariana
Grande’s vagina, including issues
such as isolation, helplessness
and the long-term impact of fame.
However, despite discussing more
serious topics, the album never
sinks into darkness or pessimism.
“It ain’t perfect but I don’t mind”
“Perfecto,” a line which sums up
his overarching philosophy on
Swimming pretty well: The way
to deal with life’s problems is to go
with the flow, the lyrical equivalent
of shrugging one’s shoulders.
The standouts on the album are
“Self-Care,” “Ladders,” “What’s
the Use?” and “2009.” “Self-Care”
is full of airy ambience and a well-
executed beat switch. “Ladders”
and “What’s the Use?” are bouncy
funk jams that are solidly in the
beautiful orchestration (courtesy

of Jon Brion) as well as some of
Mac’s more thoughtful lyrics as he
reflects on his past.
One of the weaker cuts is
“Conversation Pt. 1,” a worse
version of “I Am Who I Am (Killing
Time),” the vocals and instrumental
both dreadfully boring (surprising,
given that Flying Lotus is credited
with production on the track). The
only moment of dynamism on the
track is a lame trumpet part tacked
on the end that sounds like a Miles
Davis impersonator on a high dose
of lithium.
Given both how long Mac
has been around and how many
projects he has released, it’s hard
to believe that he’s only 26 years
old (younger than Kanye West
was when he released The College
Dropout!). In spite of his young age,
Swimming feels like the reflective
conclusion to a lengthy career.
Because Mac started so young,
his late-game coincides with an
age at which he begins to ripen on
the vine (in direct contrast with
Kanye, whose denouncement thus
far has consisted of becoming
a sundowning Boomer whose
Twitter is one step removed from
shit like “live, laugh, love” and
Minion memes). While Swimming
isn’t a perfect record, and will likely
be considered inconsequential in
relation to Mac’s other post-Blue
Slide Park discography, it’s a good,
if not incredible, album with some
standout cuts.

Mac Miller’s ‘Swimming’

Daily Arts Writer


there was a scenario where
a purpose. Since its creation,
something of a dark mascot for
lonely young people, climaxing
in 2014 when two young girls
stabbed their friend 19 times in
order to become servants of the
creature, as chronicled in HBO’s
the Slenderman.” There was an
opportunity for this interpretation

of the “Slender Man” mythos to
engage with the same topics that
doc covered — loneliness and how
the internet can be used to spread
a story — but from a different
perspective. While there are brief,
brief moments where these things
are touched upon, they play almost
no part in the story at large and no
statement is made; it’s as pointless
as anything else.
With a movie lacking completely
in story, character development,

horror and purpose, what is there
to bring audiences to the theater?
comedy to be sure — there’s a
supposedly “scary” moment so
soul-crushingly stupid that it sent
the entire theater into hysterics —
but more than anything, “Slender
Man” is just dull. It’s an absolute
chore to sit through in a way few
movies are, and each successive
scene of nothing happening just
makes it worse.

“Slender Man”

Ann Arbor 20 +
IMAX, Goodrich
Quality 16

Sony Pictures


Mac Miller

Rostrum Records

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