One of the internet’s most beloved urban legends is making its way to primetime horror moviedom. But the first trailer for Slender Man doesn’t actually have a lot of the Slender Man himself in it—it does, however, make his impact known among a group of rightfully petrified teens.
Debuted through IGN this morning, Sylvain White’s Slender Man is not so much an examination of Slender Man’s reputation as a 21st century online legend—one that’s gone on to inspire everything from video games to actual attempted murder—so much as it is a thoroughly serious treatment of the Slender Man as an actual, tangible icon of horror... which makes the decision to release this movie now, well after Slender Man’s popularity has peaked, all the stranger. Check out the trailer below, which has a minor NSFW warning attached for your typical horror movie violence, gore and ghouls and whatnot.
But still, it’s got some suitably messed up situations for these poor teens to fight their way out of. Even if, in 2018, Slender Man lacks the bite it once had—it’s been nearly a decade after the original creepypasta that started it all hit the Something Awful forums—maybe there’s still promise for a good scary movie if, like this trailer, the focus is more on the victims than it is the titular spooker.
Slender Man hits theaters May 18.