STURTEVANT — “Slender Man” won’t be coming to Marcus Renaissance Cinema in Sturtevant.
Earlier this week, Marcus Theatres announced that it will not be showing the internet phenomenon-turned horror film “Slender Man” in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.
Marcus cited their proximity to the location of a 2014 stabbing in Waukesha that the Slender Man character purportedly inspired. Marcus Theatres also decided not to show the movie in Sturtevant, a theater employee confirmed.
Other media outlets have reported that Marcus also won’t be showing the movie in Sun Prairie or Madison.
“Like many people across the United States, Marcus Theatres was deeply concerned and saddened when the Slender Man phenomenon touched southeastern Wisconsin in such a profound way, changing the lives of many families forever,” the company said in a written statement.
Other Marcus locations, including in Gurnee, Ill., still plan to screen the film. So will Tinseltown USA in Kenosha, which is operated by Cinemark Theatres. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that only one theater in Madison, Flix Brewhouse at East Towne Mall, would be showing the movie.
The film, which is being released internationally Friday and is distributed by Sony Pictures, is inspired by the Slender Man character, a faceless specter that originated on online forums. It gained popularity after an online game was released in 2012 using Slender Man as the main antagonist.
The character allegedly inspired two 12-year-old girls in Waukesha to stab a classmate 19 times. The victim survived, and the two suspects were sentenced to spend time — 25 years and 40 years, respectively — in a mental hospital, ostensibly having come to believe that the monster was real.
After the film was announced, the father of one of the two assailants said that he found the film “extremely distasteful.”
“It’s absurd they want to make a movie like this,” the man told The Associated Press in January. “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.”
A documentary film, “Beware the Slenderman,” (sic) recounting the stabbing was released by HBO Films in March 2016.