Fantasia Film Review: Beware the Slenderman

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

For the people whose lives are destroyed, Beware the Slenderman is very true. For parents, it’s a cautionary tale of the evils of the unsupervised internet. Is he real? Was any of it real past the confines of CreepyPasta? Doesn’t matter. The damage is very real. All folklore legends have a beginning. This might be one that proofs that ones can breed from the internet into the real world.

Director Irene Taylor Brodski takes us into the heart of the story of two young girls who plot and execute a plan to kill one of their friends. It’s all based on the belief that they will join the Slenderman. Instead, we hear the heart wrenching tale of their families as they struggle with their lives and try to find some reason to what has happened. The documentary never gets to talk to the girls directly, but it does provide chats with the parents and shows pictures of their lives both online and in real life.

It’s interesting from several points of view. Whether you’re tired of internet lore spawning in your social networks or you want to know more of it, this storyline picks one of such apart and shows you the ramifications of it coming out into the world of young teenage minds. It also shows how small towns with big open spaces are vulnerable. There are no solutions offered and the trials and appeals are still ongoing.

Breaking it down:

Highs: Go behind the news of a terrible tragedy involving young teens and find out how deep it was rooted on online lore. No judgement is ever done of the children, and you’ll definitely feel the enormous stress of the parents of the girls.

Lows: A little long. The victim of the attack is only seen in photos and videos, but her parents are not interviewed (they probably turned the producers down), so we don’t get to see their struggle. The case remains unsolved, so it leaves a bit of an unsatisfying conclusion.

Recommended for online folklore junkies and documentary lovers. Casual viewers will lose interest halfway through.

Coming up:

That will do for now.

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