– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The internet is home to all kinds of stupid stuff. We have cat videos, conspiracy theory sites, and online urban myths. Among many of these urban myths is that of the Slenderman — a tall, slender humanoid figure dressed in a suit that supposedly preys on children. First created for a photoshop contest, the character became the center of many online pranks and myths — a monster for a new age of children who have no idea who or what to trust online.

More often than not, these types of legends are all in good fun. It’s a way for us to disappear down an internet hole for hours at a time when we have it to spare. It’s something to look to for creative inspiration, or just to get a good scare, for humans have always loved to get a good scare, as is evidenced by the horror genre.

However, sometimes things are taken a little bit too far. Back in 2014, a twelve-year-old girl named Payton Leutner was stabbed 19 times by her two friends after they lured her into the woods during a slumber party. The reason? Slenderman told them to do it. It’s a horrifying story, but one that was, of course, primed for a film or documentary. HBO has taken to producing the latter, and has now released a trailer online (via Deadline).

Check out the trailer for Beware the Slenderman below:

Luckily for all parties involved, Leutner lived after the near-fatal stabbings, otherwise this would be a much sadder story. Regardless, this is an interesting insight into the human imagination and the fragility of adolescent minds. When all said and done, it begs the question of how dangerous online myths can actually be. It’s a cool subject to document, and I look forward to checking out the full film on HBO this coming January 23, 2017.

What did you think of the trailer? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: HBO Docs (via Deadline)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.