Sony Cut Several Disturbing Scenes From 'Slender Man' Before Release

The delayed Slender Man movie finally hit theaters last week, and was met with mostly silence. The film wasn't screened for critics, and didn't scare up much box office. Before Slender Man arrived, rumor had it that Sony and the producers were clashing over the content of the fright flick. Now word comes that Sony snipped several scary scenes, mostly out of fear of backlash.

What happened to Slender Man? The horror film based on the internet boogeyman was initially set to spook audiences in May. But Sony pushed the movie back to August, which turned a few heads. Moving a movie to a new release date isn't always a bad sign – Marvel does it all the time. But with the move came rumors that the producers and the studio were at odds. Sony apparently saw Slender Man as a "low-budget, Blumhouse-style release", but the producers thought the movie could be more than that. The producers also wanted Sony to spend more money on marketing – something Sony balked out. It got to a point where the producers were hoping to shop Slender Man to a new studio, but that never came to pass.

Now that Slender Man is playing, some are noticing several spooky moments from the trailer aren't featured in the film. This isn't unheard of – trailers often contain footage not in the final film. But this missing footage is allegedly part of some deliberate, hasty cutting on Sony's part. Bloody Disgusting says their sources "confirm that several major scenes from the film were completely removed by the studio leading up to this past weekend's release. Slender Man, as presented to audiences, isn't a complete film."

Why would Sony and Screen Gems neuter their own horror film? The studio was apparently afraid of controversy. While Slender Man is a work of fiction, a real-life Slender Man-related crime tainted the film in Sony's eyes. In 2014, two 12-year-olds brutally stabbed one of their schoolmates 19 times, in an effort to sacrifice her to Slender Man. The victim survived the attack, and the two young attackers ended up on trial. Both were ultimately found "not guilty by mental disease or defect."

Sony and Screen Gems, who distributed the film, both ultimately got cold feet about the whole project. One of the fathers of the stabbing perpetrators voiced objections to the movie before release, stating:

"It's absurd they want to make a movie like this...It's popularizing a tragedy is what it's doing. I'm not surprised but in my opinion it's extremely distasteful. All we're doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through."

Fearing more heavy backlash, Sony and Screen Gems likely watered the film down as much as they could. Will we ever see these deleted scenes? Maybe. Sony might decide to put an unrated cut on Blu-ray. Or they could just let Slender Man drift into obscurity. All that said, there's no indication that including more horrific scenes would make Slender Man any better. Maybe...just was always a bad movie.