The first trailer for Slender Man has been released and it looks as frightening as the internet meme it was based on.
Sony’s new horror film, directed by The Losers’ Sylvain White, was inspired by the fictional character that first appeared on the Something Awful forums in 2009.
The supernatural child stalker was developed by forum members who were asked to edit the Slender Man into real photos to make them seem paranormal and uploaded them to the site.
The entry provided by Victor Surge -showing a tall, faceless man holding a child’s hand – went viral, subsequently becoming a creepypasta (horror images or legends share profusely around the Internet) which led to the shocking 2014 attempted murder case, in Milwaukie, Wisconsin, where two 12-year-olds stabbed another girl 19 times to appease the Slender Man.
Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, now 16, wanted to prove the existence of the fictional character and thought murdering Payton Leutner would adhere them to him and let them become his servants.
Thankfully, Payton survived after crawling out of the woods where she was attacked and being spotted by a cyclist, though her attackers did not receive jail time.
Weier was sentenced to 25 years in a psychiatric hospital after being found not guilty of second-degree homicide due to mental illness or defect, because she was mentally ill at the time of the attack.
Similarly, Geyser was found not guilty despite pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder, by reason of mental disease or defect, and her sentencing will conclude in February. Prosecutors are asking for 40 years of confinement.
The Slender Man movie will come out afterwards, on May 18, though it’s not the first movie to be inspired by the fictional legend; both 2013’s Entity and 2015’s Always Watching featured a similar character.
Javiet Botet plays the titular character in the new movie with Jaz Sinclair, Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles and Annalise Basso playing a group of high school girls, in a small town in Massachusetts, who perform a ritual in an attempt to debunk the legend.
When one of the girls goes mysteriously missing, they begin to suspect that she is his latest victim.
Slender Man is released on May 18.