Although this upcoming HBO and Warner Brothers documentary is inspired in large part by the Blair Witch style of filmmaking, there is a creepy realization that 2017's Beware the Slenderman does portray real life horrors. Back in 2014 and seemingly coming from nowhere, two Wisconsin pre-teens stabbed and almost killed one of their classmates as they led her to the woods.
They would later explain that they were trying to prove the theory or existence of the Slender Man. With the character being born out of a Creepypasta meme. The narrative around the freak occurrence involving the fictional monster took eighteen months to create, as they spoke with the family of the two girls in question.
Story Illustrates The Power of Influence
The two in question are Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier. Both young women who were so obsessed with the meme that they thought committing murder was their only way to prove he was real. With the tall, lanky and faceless villain of the piece popping up in the documentary sporadically to keep the audience on their toes, the story does point to a deeper issue that underlines the near-tragedy for the victim. All while touching upon the ending of a normal life for two vulnerable girls.
While the overwhelming majority of adults (at least those who don't suffer from an obvious mental disease) can decipher between truth and reality, the power of fictional ghouls can override the logic for children. 11-year-old Payton Leutner managed to survive the blows when she crawled to a nearby bike path.
New Meme Phenomenon Created Slender Man
When broken down to their essence, Creepypasta is nothing more than a series of cartoons and text. All hoping to try and scare the living pants off people. Geyser was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, having taken a series of memes that tell stories of gruesome deaths and suicide as fact.
The phenomenon peaked in 2010, but clearly had an influence beyond that time frame. The 2014 stabbing brought this dark culture to light and will be back in the public conscious once more when Beware the Slenderman is released on HBO January 23rd, 2017.
Source: Rolling Stone