HBO, routine provider of quality content, excited fans of things that are terrifying Thursday with a new trailer for Beware the Slenderman. The new documentary from director Irene Taylor Brodsky premiered at South by Southwest earlier this year and centers on the true story of two young women who tried to murder one of their friends, all in the name of the fictional Slenderman.
In 2014, Wisconsin teens Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier were accused of stabbing Payton Leutner, a friend, 19 times. The two were later found searching the woods for Slenderman's purported mansion. "The narrative does not revolve around guilt or innocence," Brodsky told BuzzFeed Thursday, "but instead the court's deliberation whether the girls should be tried as adults or children. Above all, it is the anguish and astonishing honesty of the girls' parents that anchors the film's narrative to its tragic core."
Our own Kristen Yoonsoo Kim caught the film well ahead of its January 2017 HBO debut, connecting with Brodsky for a wide-ranging discussion on the process of bringing this bizarre true story to the screen. "I think it’s so easy to want to have a villain, it's totally human," Brodsky said of audiences' need to find someone to blame. "You want to know there's a villain. But I really don’t think there's one single villain. I think it's more of a perfect storm of the media, the age, the social isolation these girls were feeling, and also it's important to remember that Slenderman is a good idea. He's an idea. He's a character that somebody thought of."
The Eric Knudsen meme is also being flipped into a horror film by Screen Gems and Mythology Entertainment, as confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter in May. David Birke, who's previously done horror stuff on Elle and 13 Sins, is penning the script.
Not into any of this due to the unshakeable creep factor? That's cool. Try this instead: