HBO has released a trailer for the acclaimed documentary "Beware the Slenderman," which premieres Jan. 27 on the cable network.
Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, the film examines the case of two 12-year-old girls who allegedly lured their friend into the woods in 2014 and stabbed her 19 times, in an attempt to appease the fictional Slender Man.
Created in 2009 by Something Awful forum user Eric Knudsen, the unnaturally tall and thin figure with a featureless face and black suit quickly took on a life of his own, moving swiftly from internet meme to urban myth of sorts, with many stories centering on his efforts to stalk and abduct children. However, in 2014, Slender Man became national news when his stories became linked to several real-life acts of violence -- most notably in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both 12, had discovered Slender Man on the Creepypasta Wiki, and claim they believed him to real. What's more, they said, he wanted them to become his followers, and prove their loyalty -- and prevent him from harming their families. They believed the only way they could do that was to murder someone, so on March 31, 2014, they allegedly lured their 12-year-old friend Payton Leutner into the forest, where they stabbed her 19 times with a 5-inch kitchen knife. Leutner survived the attack and recovered from her injuries.
"Beware the Slenderman" combines home video, interviews with family members and footage from Geyser and Weier's taped confessions to to tell the story, with Brodsky saying, "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.”
Defense attorneys have filed motions for separate trials and to suppress evidence. They're expected back in court today.