UPDATE: Bill Weier, the father of Anissa Weier who was one of the two girls at the center of the Slender Man trial, said that making the movie was in “extreme poor taste” and has asked theatres not to show it, per Associated Press.
An unnerving dread permeates the first trailer for Slender Man, a horror film adaptation of the infamous creepypasta meme that inspired an actual attempted murder. Javier Botet stars as Slender Man in the Screen Gems film, which hits theaters May 18th.
Director Sylvain White (The Losers) cycles through a series of disturbing images: young girls standing in a cemetery, distraught parents, flashlights scanning a forest at night and crawling maggots. “Where is my daughter?” a man’s voice intones. “People don’t just disappear,” another adds.
The clip builds toward a disturbing climax as the titular supernatural villain appears to possess several characters. One girl screams while restrained to a hospital bed; another stabs herself in the face with a scalpel during anatomy class. “He gets in your head, like a virus,” one of them explains.
The “Slender Man” (or “Slenderman”) character – a lanky, faceless, suit-clad man – developed on the Something Awful forums in 2009 and developed a devoted online following. However, the story took a frightening turn into real life when, in 2014, two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls attempted to murder their classmate as a sacrifice to the fictional monster.