Most of the time, internet memes are little more than aggravations. Sometimes they can be a lot of fun or even amusing. Rarely do they turn out to be deadly. The Slenderman meme, about a tall, lanky figure that preys on children, grew from simple meme to something resembling an urban myth. The dangerous thing about myths is that sometimes they are accepted as fact, and that led to the Slenderman attempted murder case documented in HBO's documentary, Beware the Slenderman, which has debuted a shocking trailer.
If you don't know the particulars of the case, it was back in 2014 when two 12-year-old girls lured 11-year-old Payton Leutner into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. Why? Because Slenderman wanted them to, and they needed to prove he was real. Guh. The trailer is cut like a horror film, appropriately enough, and is pretty creepy for showing how easily the line between fiction and reality can be blurred, especially for kids.
Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, Beware the Slenderman hits HBO on January 23rd.