How did a creepy Internet meme lead two Wisconsin teenagers to try to murder a classmate?
That’s the question the HBO documentary “Beware the Slenderman” tries to answer, examining the headline-making 2014 case of two 12-year-olds who became so immersed in the online mythology of a made-up character known as Slenderman that they deluded themselves into believing the only way they could appease the monstrous creature was to stab a classmate and leave her for dead as a twisted sacrifice (luckily, the victim survived).
In a new trailer for the upcoming doc, which earned raves when it premiered at South By Southwest earlier this year, one of the girls is shown being questioned by police, describing the faceless ghoul who inspired their murderous act.
“Anissa said that we had to,” says the other girl. “She said that he’d kill our families,” describing that “he” is somewhere “between six and 14 feet tall. He doesn’t have a face. His skin is white.”
The girls’ horrific act baffled authorities and outraged parents in their Wisconsin community, and the film tries to make sense of how seemingly normal teenagers would do something so unthinkable.
“Beware the Slenderman” is slated to premiere on HBO in January 2017.