The traumatizing story of the so-called Slenderman has been circulating around the internet for more than five years, terrorizing children, scaring even hardened Redditors and creating an overwhelming sense of unease in anyone who runs across the tales of the supernatural figure. Born out of a 2009 meme, the chilling individual has been the source of folk tales, video games, and now, documentaries.
Award-winning director Irene Taylor Brodsky has set her sights on exploring the lore surrounding the Internet’s most well-known Creepypasta character, one that inspired a minor moral panic in early 2014 after two 12-year-old girls blamed the supposed boogeyman for inspiring them to stab a classmate nearly 20 times in little Waukesha, Wisconsin. Her new film, "Beware the Slenderman," comes to us from HBO Documentary Films.
Brodsky uses the (fictional) disturbing figure to explore not only the effect that Internet lore has on real-life actions, but also how the digital age is saturating the imagination and actions of children. The director reportedly got exclusive access to the families of both girls charged with the crime, and her documentary will likely stir up fierce debate (and perhaps even a touch more terror).
"Beware the Slenderman" is set to premiere at SXSW this Friday, March 11, at 9pm at the Topfer Theatre. The film has also inspired a SXSW panel, featuring both Brodsky and Bill Weier, the father of one of the accused girls. That panel, entitled "Down the Rabbit Hole: Slenderman, Children & The Internet," will take place on Sunday, March 13 at 3:30pm at the Austin Convention Center.
Check out our exclusive (and very creepy) poster from the film above.