On May 31, 2014, 12-year-old Wisconsin residents Morgan E. Geyser and Anissa E. Weier allegedly stabbed a classmate 19 times with a knife in order to impress Slender Man, an unusually tall, faceless internet monster created by a Something Awful forum user. The victim survived the attack (which was planned months in advance), and the now-14-year-old perpetrators, one of whom “filed a plea of not guilty due to mental illness,” are being tried for first-degree attempted murder as adults. “Many people do not believe Slender Man is real,” one of the girls said, according to the criminal complaint. “[We] wanted to prove the skeptics wrong.” Geyser and Weier, who are seeking separate trials, are currently being held in at a juvenile detention facility.
The Slender Man mythology, including his creation and the trial, will be covered in the HBO documentary, Beware the Slender Man. According to director Irene Taylor Brodsky, “The narrative does not revolve around guilt or innocence, 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.” It looks terrifying because even though it’s about a fictional creature, it feels real.
Here’s the official synopsis.
Shot over 18 months with heartbreaking access to the families of the would-be murderers, the film plunges deep down the rabbit hole of their crime, a Boogeyman and our society’s most impressionable consumers of media. The entrance to the internet can quickly lead us to its dark basement, within just a matter of clicks. How much do we hold children responsible for what they find there? (Via)
Beware the Slender Man premieres on HBO on Jan. 23, 2017.