Last night I watched one of the latest in the long line of terrific HBO documentaries — this one covering a horrific case involving the internet sensation known as the “Slender Man.” 

Beware the Slenderman is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky about the Slender Man stabbing. The film premiered at South by Southwest in March 2016 and was originally broadcast on HBO on January 23, 2017. 

The documentary examines the May 31st, 2014, incident that occurred in the woods outside of Waukesha, Wisconsin, where two 12-year-old girls stabbed their classmate 19 times, supposedly to appease the mythical Slender Man. Slender Man is a faceless modern-day bogeyman, who lurks in the shadows of the internet and who has attracted the attention and fear of a young generation. As the filmmakers state on IMDb, “Slender Man lives on the dark pages of the web, where impressionable youth create and cultivate his mythos in message boards, YouTube clips and various other digital incantations.”

Tragically, the online myth, which began simply as a story on the Creepypasta literary internet site, resulted in a shocking real-life horror as “two 12-year-old girls, guided by their devotion to Slender Man, lured their friend into the woods to attempt a seemingly inexplicable, brutal murder.”

The film examines the Slender Man phenomenon, the criminal investigation and the aftermath of the case. The film also considers the impact of technology and how the internet works it’s way into the minds of children, especially troubled ones. This is a really good film, especially for parents. Now, more than ever, parents need to see what children are viewing online and understand the potential impact.

As a result of Beware the Slenderman’s eye-opening look at internet content, the film prompts viewers, of an older generation, to consider just how different our lives would be if we had the same internet access as children do today.

To be honest, I’m sorta glad I didn’t…


About the Author

Chad Spar
Chad Spar
Charles (known as "Chad" to his friends) Spar is an all-around "renaissance man", having worked in the psychology profession, the publishing industry, and is also an occasional actor. He majored in creative writing at Bowling Green State University, and also studied theater and acting at Ohio State University and Ohio Northern University. He has attended "Actors Creative Training", studying under Richard Brander (who coached such actors as Kevin Costner and Chuck Norris). He currently resides in Ada, Ohio.