“The palest man, the blackest suit, quicker than the tallest brute…The Slender Man, for he can do what no one can.” So begins the first trailer for a new HBO documentary on the Internet boogeyman, the Slender Man. There used to be rumors that Season 6 of American Horror Story would focus on this horrific phenomenon, but even this preview is a lot scarier than what the Ryan Murphy anthology could ever churn out.
The opening line is a nod to one of the many poems written about Slender Man, which got its start as a meme posted to the website Something Awful. Eric Knudsen would post images of the Slender Man, a tall and gangly monstrosity with a white and faceless head, Photoshopped into the background with children. The character soon gained a life of its own as urban legends started weaving tales of disappearing children and terrifying acts.
HBO’s documentary, Beware the Slenderman, focuses on the creature as it pertains to the true events of Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, two 12-year-old girls who were accused of stabbing their friend 19 times in 2014. After the incident, the girls were found miles away from the body wandering the woods in search of Slender Man’s mansion. Director Irene Taylor Brodsky told BuzzFeed, “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.”
Watch the trailer for the documentary below:
Beware the Slender Man will debut on HBO this January 23rd, and Hollywood is also working on a more fictionalized take on the legend through Screen Gems. Tim Burton channeled Slender Man with the hollowgasts in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and the Crooked Man from The Conjuring 2 was no doubt inspired by the creature. Slender Man has been lurking in the shadows of the horror genre for some time, while people dressed as him for Halloween for years. Now, he’s getting his due.
Editor’s Note: If you like Slender Man and similar creepypasta stories, be sure to catch up with Syfy’s Channel Zero, Tuesday nights at 9pm.