Beware the Slenderman

HBO aired a new documentary last night called Beware the Slenderman… it’s about the internet meme/creepypasta Slenderman but, more specifically, about the two early teen girls who stabbed their friend 17 times in order to please the fictional character.

It’s an interesting doc in that they show a ton of footage of the cops interviewing both girls and just as much court footage. I’m surprised they had such official footage but the parents were very cooperative with the film makers so that no doubt smoothed it over. The interesting thing about the movie is that the girls come across both normal and eerie… they fully fess up to the crime in these interviews and don’t seem that broken up… often they have no noticeable emotions or awareness that what they did was actually wrong. Yet at other times, they seem like normal teen girls.

Turns out one – surprise – is apparently schizophrenic. Just like her dad who has a scary line in his interview: “You know the devil is not actually in the back seat… but that doesn’t matter because you know the devil is in the back seat”. When her parents asked what she’ll watch on tv that night in her cell, she apparently says it’s not up to her. It’s not her turn to choose. She’s alone in her cell.

I knew a lot about the Slenderman meme… he/it was created in a 2009 challenge to see if people could doctor photos to include paranormal elements. It took off from there with people adding to the legend and creating videos of encounters (many of which are in this movie). What I didn’t know is that there’s a certain level of adoration – not fear – of the character. That some people want Slender to come take them away – that he’s a surrogate friend for lonely or bullied kids.

Which is apparently what these girls thought… if they sacrificed their friend, Slender would take them about to be his “proxies” and they could live in his Slender Mansion in a national park.

The doc covers the court hearings over whether the girls will be charged as adults or not. The actual trial hasn’t happened yet – apparently its due to start some time in 2017.

It’s not the best doc I’ve ever seen but it’s still pretty interesting. I’d actually have liked to see more about creepypasta in general and maybe less the actual case… but that’s not the movie they made.

Score: 83

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