A meme will frighten audiences this May.
There are some memes that reach outside of the tiny circles of the internet. Whether it be questions about the color of a dress, a bus blocking a demolition, or a white guy blinking in disbelief, some memes stick around and reach further than others. Slenderman is one of those that while big during its time, has not aged so well. That won’t stop Sony from releasing Slender Man to theaters this May.
The film will be released four years after two incidents of preteens committing crazy acts of violence and saying that a meme made them do it. In one instance, two 12-year-old girls stabbed a friend and left her for dead, while another 13-year-old-girl in Ohio stabbed her mother with a knife. According to The Verge, the conversation was how the internet can affect still-developing brains and create urges to do violence that would otherwise not exist.
Sony’s film isn’t the first to look at the bizarre phenomenon behind Slenderman. There was an HBO documentary called Beware the Slenderman, that tried to show how a digital monster could affect a young child’s mind. SyFy and NBC also had TV episodes of their series Channel Zero and Law & Order: SVU attempt to tackle the story but with varied results.
From the video above it doesn’t look like Sony’s film is going to take a very subtle approach to the story either. This is being played straight for scares with traditional low-budget horror roots including screaming, bugs crawling out of months, body horror, and other delightful imagery. The only synopsis we have to go by is, “Terror strikes when unsuspecting victims cross paths with a tall, thin, horrifying figure known as the Slender Man.” Stomp the Yard director Sylvain White has the chair for this one and given the source he most likely won’t have to do much to get people in the seats.