Wherever a mystery lurks on the Internet, there’s someone else hoping to demystify it. The meme turned Internet folklore, Slender Man, will be taking up a lot of the oxygen over the next year. Next season’s American Horror Story, for instance, will be tackling the subject; the television news magazines have already covered it; and there’s undoubtedly a feature film in development somewhere, likely waiting to see how the upcoming Slender Man documentary fares before it is greenlit.
SXSW attendees — of which I include myself — will get the first opportunity to watch HBO’s Slender Man documentary, Beware the Slender Man, which will cover the crime that turned a meme into real-life crime. In 2014, two 12-year-old girls stabbed a friend 19 times with a knife as a blood sacrifice to Slender Man, and this documentary — shot over 18 months with heartbreaking access to the families of the would-be murderers — will explore how “the entrance to the internet can quickly lead us to its dark basement” and ponder whether the children should be held accountable.
The film premieres in Austin on Friday. Its HBO release date has not yet been announced, but here is the first poster for it.