It’s a choice day for fans of the Slender Man character. It been revealed that the long awaited documentary Beware the Slenderman will finally air on HBO on the 23rd of January, following its debut at 2016’s SXSW. Also Sony have picked director Sylvain White to direct their big screen horrorshow featuring the internet-famous ghoul.
White has been directing TV shows since his 2010 adaptation of Andy Diggle’s The Losers and a full on horror movie sees White return to the heady days of I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer from 2006. The character of Slender Man has already featured in numerous low-to-no budget films, the best of which are to be found in the 87 part web series Marble Hornets as well as the ongoing Everyman Hybrid and Tribe Twelve. The interest surrounding Marble Hornets gave rise to Always Watching, one of the most hyped Slender Man centric films.
The documentary coming our way towards the end of January is from filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky, whose heartfelt documentary Hear and Now won a Peabody Award in 2009. Beware the Slenderman tells the story of the tragic stabbing of a 12 year-old girl by two school friends in May of 2014. When questioned why they carried out the attack Slenderman was spoken of as inspiration for the stabbing, or rather fear of the fictional monster.
Brodsky’s documentary will no doubt reignite the debate about a relatively censorship-free internet. Growing up we had Video Nasties to be shielded from, thirty years before that it was Catcher in the Rye. The rise of the Creepypasta phenomenon goes to show that once an idea, or a new variation on an oft-told cautionary tale based on our most primal of fears, is realised there’s no stopping it. A studio basing a horror movie around it, and a respected broadcaster showing a documentary on its dangerous effects is proof that the Slender Man is one of this century’s most feared fictional monsters.