Life is often stranger and scarier than fiction. That proved especially true in 2014, when two pre-teen girls nearly killed one of their classmates because of their obsession with a creepy Internet character. Now, their true crime-Hollywood’s current obsession-has been explored at length for an upcoming HBO documentary, Beware the Slenderman.
HBO released a new trailer for the film on Thursday. The doc examines the 2014 case of two 12-year-old girls, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, who lured their classmate Payton Leutner into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. The girls claimed they were driven to commit their crime because of the Slender Man, a scary, fictional Internet character that supposedly stalks and hurts children. The crime drew national attention and was chronicled in a detailed New York magazine piece in 2015.
Directed by Oscar nominee Irene Taylor Brodsky, the documentary takes a deep dive into the case, teasing video of Weier’s and Geyser’s confessions to police officers about their Slender Man obsession. “Anissa said that we had to,” Geyser is seen saying. “She said that he’d kill our families.”
“He can be anywhere from 6 feet to 14 feet tall,” Weier says, describing the Slender Man in obtained footage. “He doesn’t have a face. His skin is white.”
Earlier this summer, it was reported that a Wisconsin state appeals court would try Weier and Geyser as adults. Both girls are charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and have entered insanity pleas as of early September. Beware the Slenderman, which airs on HBO on January 23, 2017, will show us how it all happened.