or


[01/03/17 - 11:41 AM]
"Beware the Slenderman," A Chilling Look at the Infamous Case of Two 12-Year-Old Wisconsin Girls Who Stabbed Their Best Friend to Pay Tribute to the Fictional Internet Legend Slenderman, Debuts Jan. 23 on HBO
The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

[via press release from HBO]

"BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN," A CHILLING LOOK AT THE INFAMOUS CASE OF TWO 12-YEAR-OLD WISCONSIN GIRLS WHO STABBED THEIR BEST FRIEND TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THE FICTIONAL INTERNET LEGEND SLENDERMAN, DEBUTS JAN. 23 ON HBO

The news horrified the world: Two 12-year-old American girls lured a friend into the Wisconsin woods and stabbed her 19 times in an effort to appease a faceless mythical entity known online as Slenderman. But there's more to the story than the dark headlines it generated.

Delving deep into this shocking crime, the sobering documentary BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN examines how an urban myth could take root in impressionable young minds, leading to an unspeakable act, when it debuts MONDAY, JAN. 23 (10:00 p.m.-midnight ET/PT) on HBO.

The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky (HBO's Oscar(R)-nominated "The Final Inch"), BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN covers all sides of this unusual ongoing case, drawing on an eerie array of Slenderman-inspired art, games and self-produced video, all culled from the Internet, along with heart-wrenching, unprecedented access to the two girls' families, courtroom testimony and interrogation-room footage.

On May 31, 2014, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a 911 call reported a chilling crime. A girl had been stabbed and was found by the side of the road near the woods. The national news media quickly picked up on the story: Victim Payton ("Bella") Leutner had been brutally stabbed and left for dead. The suspects were her friends Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier. All three were 12 years old.

In separate interrogation rooms, Morgan and Anissa both explained to detectives that they were compelled to kill their friend in order to become proxies of Slenderman, a fictional Internet character they believed was real.

Bella recovered from her injuries, and Morgan and Anissa were charged with attempted first-degree murder. By Wisconsin law, they would be tried as adults, though their lawyers appealed to have the case moved to juvenile court. While the girls awaited the judge's ruling in a juvenile detention center, their baffled parents struggled to understand what happened.

Morgan and Anissa discovered Slenderman on the Internet and came to believe he would hurt their families unless they killed Bella to appease him. Usually depicted as a tall man in a black suit with a featureless white face, Slenderman first appeared on the Internet as part of a 2009 Photoshop contest, lurking behind children in two black-and-white photos. Seen as both a malevolent figure and a guardian angel, Slenderman soon spread to all platforms of the Internet, spawning fan fiction, artwork, games and videos around the world.

Eventually, conspiracy theories about the origins of Slenderman multiplied, and he became a viral meme, with a historic mythology. His character tapped into universal fears, with roots going back to stories by The Brothers Grimm and legends like The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Anissa and Morgan were particularly susceptible to believing in Slenderman, in part because of their isolation. Anissa's teacher, Tom Haynes, says she was a social outlier who often cried because she didn't have friends. Without a peer group of other girls, the pair became more and more obsessed.

Critically, experts testified during a hearing that Anissa has characteristics of a delusional disorder (the inability to distinguish real from not real). This diminished ability can be found in many people to varying degrees. Psychologist Dr. Michael Caldwell, Psy.D. states, "Adults may have simply eccentric religious or spiritual beliefs or conspiratorial beliefs or things like that, and live out their life with no problems at all."

Additionally, psychiatrists diagnosed Morgan with early childhood schizophrenia, a mental illness also afflicting Morgan's father. Morgan's mother comments that she knew one of their children might also develop schizophrenia, and admits there were signs with Morgan. Yet she never imagined something like this could happen.

A year later, citing the premeditated nature of the crime, the judge ruled the girls were to be tried as adults. Having spent more than two years incarcerated and with their trial date still pending, Morgan and Anissa's saga has now become part of the Slenderman Internet myth.

BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN features interviews with experts who help put the girls' mental state and the Slenderman myth in context, including: digital folklorist Trevor J. Blank, Ph.D.; Brad Kim, editor-in-chief, KnowYourMeme.com; evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, Ph.D.; literary critic Jack Zipes, Ph.D.; neurodevelopmental psychologist Abigail Baird, Ph.D.; and psychologist Jacqueline Woolley, Ph.D.

Ultimately, the film reveals how adolescent isolation, mental health issues and the nebulous reality of the Internet created a chilling mandate for two young girls, with life-altering consequences.

BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN was directed and produced by Irene Taylor Brodsky; produced by Sophie Harris; director of photography, Nick Midwig; edited by Gladys Mae Murphy; original score, Benoit Charest. For HBO: senior producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.





  [january 2017]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[12/16/18 - 08:24 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: UFC Sparks Demo Victory for FOX
The network wins the night among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched broadcaster.

[12/15/18 - 08:39 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Continues Demo Win Streak
The network has won the night among adults 18-49 for 12 straight weeks.

[12/14/18 - 11:23 PM]
Development Update: Friday, December 14
Updates include: Netflix renews "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman"; NBC developing small screen take on podcast "The Black Tapes"; and DHX Media to bring the Peanuts characters to Apple.

[12/14/18 - 02:23 PM]
Bravo Media's "Married to Medicine" Season 6 Three-Part Reunion Hits a Fever Pitch on Friday, December 21 at 9PM ET/PT
The subsequent installments will air Sunday, January 6 and 13 at 9:00/8:00c.

[12/14/18 - 01:42 PM]
Superstar Recording Artists Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Dierks Bentley, Halsey, Marshmello and Bastille, Panic! At the Disco, Brynn Cartelli and More to Perform on "Voice" Finale
The season finale will also feature special musical collaborations with the Top 4 finalists, which will be announced soon.

[12/14/18 - 12:01 PM]
Netflix Picks Up "Bonding" from Rightor Doyle
The dark comedy centers on the relationship between former high-school BFFs, Pete, a recently out gay man, and Tiff, a grad student and secretly one of New York City's top dominatrixes, who reconnect in an unexpected way years later.

[12/14/18 - 10:03 AM]
HBO Films' "Brexit," Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Debuts Jan. 19
This provocative feature-length drama goes behind the scenes, revealing the personalities, strategies and feuds of the Leave and Remain campaigns.

[12/14/18 - 10:00 AM]
ABC Television Network Orders Additional Episodes of Comedies "black-ish," "The Goldbergs," "The Kids Are Alright" and "Single Parents" for the 2018-2019 Season
"Black-ish" has received two additional episodes while the others have been extended by one episode.

[12/14/18 - 09:06 AM]
Video: Showtime(R) Releases Official Poster and New Teaser for "Black Monday"
The 10-episode series will premiere on Sunday, January 20 at 10:00/9:00c.

[12/14/18 - 09:05 AM]
"Strike Back" Begins Season Six Jan. 25 on Cinemax
The show follows the explosive escapades of Section 20, an elite, multinational, covert special ops team, as it spans the globe fighting a vast web of interconnected criminal and terrorist activity.

[12/14/18 - 08:23 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Thursday Night Football" Powers FOX Victory
The network's last Thursday game of the season delivers top honors in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[12/14/18 - 08:03 AM]
Video: "Russian Doll" Season 1 - Date Announcement - Netflix
From Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland comes "Russian Doll," February 1 on Netflix.

[12/14/18 - 08:01 AM]
DC Universe: The Ultimate Holiday Binge-Watching Destination Anchored with the Season Finale of Original Series "Titans" on December 21
97% of members have watched the exclusive original "Titans."

[12/13/18 - 11:22 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, December 13
Updates include: CBS revealed to have settled sexual harassment case with Eliza Dushku; Logan Lerman in talks to lead Amazon's "The Hunt"; and Jennifer Garner, J.J. Abrams to re-team for Apple's "My Glory Was I Had Such Friends."

[12/13/18 - 03:14 PM]
Red Nose Day Returns to NBC for Fifth Year with a Special Night of Programming on Thursday May 23, 2019
In 2019, the multi-week fundraising campaign will culminate on Red Nose Day, Thursday, May 23 with a three-hour block of Red Nose Day-themed programming on NBC.