We're in a bit of a horror renaissance at the moment. The past two years have seen a bevy of original and exciting additions to the franchise. In particular, plenty of flicks produced by Blumhouse have done well critically and financially, but they're not the only ones in on the game. The upcoming horror movie Slender Man is coming courtesy of Screen Gems, and will use the internet-created horror icon to strike terror into audience's hearts. But there is also a real life tragedy associated with Slender Man, as two 12 year old girls stabbed their classmate in an attempt to lure the fictional character to them. Bill Weier, one of the 2014 attacker's fathers, has condemned the idea of adapting the story into a movie, saying:
It's absurd they want to make a movie like this. It's popularizing a tragedy is what it's doing. I'm not surprised, but in my opinion it's extremely distasteful. All we're doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through.
Bill Weier's comments to The Associated Press (via THR), seems to admonish the idea of Slender Man hitting theaters in a few months. While the film isn't an adaptation of the events involving his daughter Anissa back in 2014, Weier still finds it distasteful. After all, the three families involved are still very much dealing with the horrifying events that captured the nation's attention.
In May 2014, 12 years olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser attacked their classmate Payton Leutner, stabbing her 19 times in the woods. This was an attempt to impress the fictional character Slender Man, who originated on the internet a few years earlier. Luckily, Leutner would end up surviving her injuries, but Bill Weier's daughter Anissa was ultimately sentenced to 25 years in a mental institution.
Slender Man ended up becoming fairly viral around this time due to fan fiction and a popular online game expanding the mythos. Because Anissa and Morgan were so young at the time, they found the stories online and apparently took them as fact. This is what inspired the violent incident, which also went similarly viral by making national news.
This isn't the first time that a movie has been made about Slender Man. While the upcoming horror movie looks like it will be mostly fictionalized, HBO actually released a documentary about the stabbing in 2016. Beware the Slenderman focused on the inception of the character, and how and why Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were inspired to stab their classmates to please it. Both families were actually included in the documentary through interviews, while it looks like the new Slender Man will be mostly original content.
Slender Man will focus on four high school girls who attempt to debunk the Slender Man myth, only to find the supernatural villain stalking them in real life. The film will be released May 18, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your other trips to the movies in the New Year.