Film Review: Beware the Slenderman – 7/10

Creepy pasta indeed…

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The internet is a dark place, that much is clear. The web makes it possible to experience the most sickening and bizarre oddities from all walks of life in an instant. We have the X-Files at our fingertips. This can have overreaching and sometimes tragic consequences. The story of the Slenderman is one such case.

If you haven’t heard of Creepy Pasta, it is a wiki page that is devoted to bringing together the most frightening stories that the web has to offer. Unlike stuff like 4chan or Tumblr, there is seemingly nothing more sinister going on under the surface with Creepy Pasta, it is the modern day equivalent of ghost stories around the camp fire. For two 12 year old girls in America however, it became an obsession.

The Slenderman is one of Creepy Pasta’s most enduring myths. There are pages and pages of lore, artwork and fan fiction devoted to this particular apocryphal legend, but nothing to suggest that it would lead to a young girl being stabbed 19 times by two of her friends.

The HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman aims to make sense of this strange tale with extensive interviews with the parents of the two girls who committed the crime. The background is interesting and the interviews are heart wrenching but at nearly two hours there isn’t enough on the lore of the Slenderman myth itself. As with The Nightmare, the recent docu-horror about sleep paralysis, Beware the Slenderman seems unsure as to what it wants to be. What starts off as a straight forward documentary, eventually tries to become a courtroom drama, seemingly to capitalize on the runaway success of Making A Murderer and the like. This meandering approach sometimes sucks the life out of an intriguing story but on the whole Beware the Slenderman is a compelling documentation of a true tale of the unexpected.

The inevitable Slenderman feature length film should be interesting…


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