Slender Man, the creepy folkloric creature who was born on the internet less than a decade ago, is soon set to make his feature film debut, and Sony has just released the first trailer for the upcoming horror movie.
The first Slender Man trailer doesn’t explain much of anything plot-wise, nor does it even show much of the Slender Man himself save for a quick glance. The trailer instead shows a number of teens and kids saying cryptic things like “he gets in your head like a virus,” imagery focused on the woods or ritualistic trinkets and drawings, and seemingly possessed kids committing acts of self-mutilation. In other words, you have to already be familiar with stories about Slender Man to have any idea as to what this film is about, because the trailer doesn’t do a very good job of setting it up as something on its own rather than an extension of the online legend.
Despite Slender Man’s very clear origins — the character was created in an online forum in 2009 by a man named Eric Knudsen — there are a number of people, particularly young people, who believe he is a real supernatural creature. This was tragically evident in 2014 when two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin stabbed their classmate 19 times and left her in the woods to die (she survived), claiming that they had been influenced to do so by the Slender Man. The fact that this new movie seems to prominently feature Slender Man possessing and influencing kids, at least based on the trailer, makes it safe to assume that it is likely to ignite loads of controversy.
Slender Man hits theaters on May 18.