Reality is much scarier than fiction right now, but the trailer for HBO’s upcoming doc Beware the Slender Man proves fiction can be pretty terrifying too.
In 2014 two Wisconsin 12-year-olds—Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser—stabbed classmate Payton Leutner 19 times in an attempt to materialize the internet myth known as Slender Man. In 2015 it was announced that the two would be tried as adults.
Leutner survived, but the popularity of Slender Man only increased. The case was the subject of a Law and Order episode and there were other films in the works based on the character, which originated on an online Creepypasta forum.
This film, which screened at SXSW, focuses more on how the internet influenced the girls and what our search history really says about us. As the synopsis explains: “The entrance to the internet can quickly lead us to its dark basement, within just a matter of clicks. How much do we hold children responsible for what they find there?”
The film is set to be released Jan. 23.