In a rather disconcerting case of serendipity a friend of mine posted on Facebook something about his friend introducing him to the Slender Man mythos, and then tonight another friend mentioned it in a completely unrelated manner. We (there were a few of us gathered round for drinks) then proceeded to watch a series of youtube videos about a filmmaker who'd started to shoot a film called Marble Hornets, only to inexplicably pack it all in then promptly disappear. His friend decided to finish it and here're the results. You may wish to watch it first before I talk about it for a bit, but you don't have to (a lot of the 'episodes' are very short, when they could easily bleed into following parts, so it gets a bit annoying sifting through them)...
Right. Some of it's painfully obvious and naff, and completely ignores common sense (considering it's supposed to be 'real', characters act in service to the plot rather than realistically). For instance: J, the protagonist, goes to a guys house AT NIGHT, finds the place unlocked and abandoned and utterly creepy, but decides to keep exploring. As you would. He finds some odd stuff, and ends up going back on ANOTHER NIGHT, where he finds things have been altered. Then, a guy in a slightly daft mask appears from nowhere and apparently beats him up. J then goes back YET AGAIN and once again ON HIS OWN, where he finds more weird things. I'm sorry, but what? A weirdo jumped out the shadows and beat you up! No one in their right mind would ever go back there! Certainly not on their own! And after viewing footage depicting creepy stuff, like the masked guy appearing in his room and a Slender Man standing outside his house at night, he continues to go places on his own and at night, like some sort of maniac. Honestly.
However, all that aside, it IS creepy, and despite watching it after a few beers and in a room full of friends, certain aspects worked to create tension and we were all eager to keep watching (despite protestations from certain folks that the whole thing was "balls"). That's nothing to be sniffed at. What works for it isn't the filmmaking technique itself (comparisons with Blair Witch are both blindingly obvious and disgustingly apt) but the central/core myth of the Slender Man - a tall, thin guy in a black suit with no discernible facial features, and tentacle-like spindly limbs. That's a freaky image right there but put him on a lonely country road at night as you drive past and I for one am ready to shit my pants.
So I started looking into his origins and found stuff more disturbing than the Marble Hornets videos. Here're some creepy pictures:
[hmm these pics might not show up, but no matter - you can still see them on the forum linked to below]
Seriously, this stuff gives me the willies. Maybe it's the fear of opening your curtains at night to see a face waiting for you, or walking down a street on your own in the dark and passing an alleyway with something in it, but the Slender Man idea has got MAJOR creep factor. It's also got legs, in that since its inception a little over a year ago, it's spread as a "real" myth (well, more accurately a "real" urban legend) and has evidently struck a chord with most people who find out about it (many, no doubt, firmly believing it's real, or at least based on a real thing).
It all started on this forum HERE. And here's a pretty good infodump on the 'phenomenon'. Interestingly - for me, anyways - the forum that it all kicked off on also mentions Dionaea House, something I literally stumbled upon back in 2004 when it first appeared. Basically, the house in question has A LOT of seriously fkkked-up stuff happening in it, that affects everyone involved with the place. In a masterful stroke that put it in the realm of 'is it real or not?' the main site [http://www.dionaea-house.com/] documents weird things but MORE IMPORTANTLY links to associated stuff, such as a brilliant LIVEJOURNAL of a babysitter who worked in the place (which then in turn links to another associated site, and so on). Very, very clever and creepy. I'd also pay attention to the mentions of The Rake on the aforementioned forum, because that sounds equally scary. Which then in turn lead me HERE. A veritable goldmine of creepy ideas, I'm providing you with! Oy vey!