SXSW Movie Review: Beware The Slenderman

Published on March 20th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Documentaries, Film Festivals, Movie Reviews, SXSW, True Crime |

By Brad Henderson

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Beware The Slenderman is one of the most intense, chilling, and scary documentaries ever to exist.

If anyone has surfed any Internet forums, then they most likely they know about Slenderman. What started as a Photoshopped picture on SomethingAwful spawned a urban legend that has made its way into stories, video games, and even movies. Slenderman has only existed for a little over a decade, but it didn’t really get popular until videos started appearing on the Internet.

YouTube has a plethora of videos of Slenderman. These videos range from kids with iPhones to adults with home movies and even clever, well-made entries such as the Marble Hornets, which are probably the scariest of all. Stories about this creature were being written over at Creepypasta and any social media site that you could on which you could write about your experiences. Any urban legends and stories about ghosts, demons, or aliens are still up for grabs, for the most part. People still believe in these things because they haven’t been disproved by any means. At least with Slenderman, people know there isn’t any truth behind it. Or do they?

With Slenderman, it’s a little different because it was not real from the beginning. However, that wasn’t what two little girls from Wisconsin thought a couple of years ago. The news made headlines across the world: these kids lured their friend out in the woods and stabbed her 19 times, intending to sacrifice her to Slenderman. People around the world are still scratching their heads over the idea that something like this could actually happen.

Beware The Slenderman is an invasive documentary. It gets up close and personal with the parents of the girls that committed the crime. We even get to see the footage of the girls being interrogated by detectives, hours after they stabbed their friend in the middle of the woods and left her for dead. This is by far some of the most chilling footage that exists because these little girls honestly believed that if they didn’t sacrifice their friend, Slenderman would come after them and harm them and their families.

It’s hard to believe that anyone, even kids, could think that this is anything but a bogus legend. That’s what’s so mind blowing about this story. These girls truly believed that it existed. Sure, these 11 and 12-year-old girls are impressionable, but they are also highly intelligent. Just listening to them speak, you can tell they are educated. They even state that they would spend hours upon hours on the Internet, searching for stories and videos of Slenderman. Not once did they stumble across the origins? They never questioned that? Of course, some of these questions are answered later in the documentary, but it surfaces again and again while watching Beware The Slenderman.

Beware The Slenderman is well-made and considers both sides of the story. It doesn’t point fingers or play the blame game. The only issue with the documentary is that it isn’t organized. It jumps back and forth between the story of the girls and the urban legends around Slenderman. They should’ve had an info dump at the beginning of the documentary explaining the origins and pop culture that Slenderman resides in, and then ventured into the details of that horrific day in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Not too many documentaries can send chills down your spine but Beware The Slenderman is scarier than most current horror films.

2 Responses to “SXSW Movie Review: Beware The Slenderman”


  1. Paul G:
    March 21st, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Nice to see Brad is back. I remember his VHS visions segments on here and loved them.

  2. Popshifter:
    March 21st, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Paul! We have kept up the VHS Visions flame with another Popshifter writer, Tim Murr, so check it out when you get the chance.

    LLM

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