Beware the Slenderman
In this horrifyingly modern fairytale lurks an online Boogeyman and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. The entrance to the internet quickly leads to its darkest basement. How responsible are our children for what they find there?
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★★★★ review by Leticia Fernandes on Letterboxd
I'm the person who wrote the slenderman fanfic
★★★½ review by Gazelle Garcia on Letterboxd
The most enthralling documentaries are the ones we can identify with. Now, I hope anyone reading this isn't prone to killing in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or even the beloved Companion Cube (who died for our sins). Without a doubt, we are the viral generation. I witnessed and participated in the budding Slenderman legend, just as some may have grown up listening to Marilyn Manson and idolizing The Joker. And while we moved past those fixations like the fads their intended to be this is the true story of two young girls who were willing to kill their best friend because of their obsession with an Internet sensation.
I was very familiar with Slenderman during the run of Marble Hornets on YouTube around 2009, but had grown beyond it before the popular PC game was created. So how fascinating it was, and horrifying, to see the fictional creature's name in headlines years later attached to the stabbing of a child. This documentary delivers a well balanced look at the tragedy from the perspective of the parents who never suspected that this Jack Skellington looking character decorating their 12-year-old's room was worth any worry. This film goes back and forth between the court hearings, the lives of the families, and the history of the Creepypasta legend. With sources ranging from psychologists to majors of viral folklore to the creator of KnowYourMeme, Beware the Slenderman provides an interesting look into the dangerous impact of modern culture sensations.
★★★★ review by Nathan Rabin on Letterboxd
★★★★½ review by Jason Alley on Letterboxd
A deeply troubling, disturbing, and unbearably sad documentary about the two 12-year-old girls who attempted to murder another little girl in the Wisconsin woods in 2014, as an offering to Slenderman. For those who don't know, Slenderman is an internet-born modern-day boogeyman who began life as a Photoshop gag, popping up eerily in the backgrounds of photos, and through the suggestive strength of the internet and the imaginations of children, morphed into something very "real."
This HBO documentary explores both the murder case and the Slenderman phenomenon itself, in detail. It's tough to watch at times, but fascinating and very worthwhile.
★★★★ review by Russell Holley on Letterboxd
The time spent with the dismayed parents of the girls involved makes this well-rounded combination of a true-crime story and an analysis of an internet folktale, a real riveting watch.
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