Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Beware the Slenderman 2016

Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky

An alarming look at the power of the internet: a meme inspires two girls to murder their friend. This doco explores the real-life horrors of the digital age.

USA In English
114 minutes DCP


Irene Taylor Brodsky
Sophie Harris


Nick Midwig


Gladys Mae Murphy


Lance Limbocker


Benoit Charest


Angie Geyser
Matt Geyser
Bill Weier
Kristi Weier
Trevor J. Blank
Brad Kim
Richard Dawkins
Jack Zipes
Tom Haynes
Abigail Baird
Jacqueline Woolley


Hot Docs 2016


In the digital age, the evocative power of urban legends has become tragically real for some. Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky chronicles the horrifying crime that saw a pair of 12-year-old girls stab their best friend and leave her to die in the woods. The girls explained to authorities that the Slenderman forced them to do it. When everyone else in the world expressed a collective ‘WTF is Slenderman?’, those who frequented online open-source network ‘Creepypasta’ knew exactly who and what the girls were referring to.

This harrowing investigative documentary covers the rise of the Slenderman and how seemingly innocuous spooky fan tales ended up creating the world’s first internet boogeyman. It reveals how the effective mythology expanded rapidly and organically with the help of thousands of online myth-builders. The character traversed all forms of modern pop culture, creepily invading video games, viral videos, fan art, fan fiction and more until reality and fiction became very blurred for obsessive fans. Brodsky’s access to those affected by the crime is truly startling and adds emotional heft and honesty to the whole affair. — AT