Beware the Slenderman, a documentary about an urban myth that nearly claimed a young life, debuts on HBO Monday, Jan. 23, at 10 pm. ET/PT. Irene Taylor Brodsky directed the film, about two Wisconsin 12-year-old girls who stabbed a friend and left her for dead out of deference for the fictional Slenderman.
The aggressors, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, came to believe Slenderman, an internet creation, would harm their families unless they sacrificed their friend Payton Leutner. Leutner survived the attack while Geyser and Weier were tried as adults.
Beware the Slenderman features interviews with experts who help put the girls’ mental state and the Slenderman myth in context. According to HBO, the film reveals “how adolescent isolation, mental health issues and the nebulous reality of the Internet created a chilling mandate for two young girls, with life-altering consequences.”