Beware The Slenderman Review
Why do children believe in Santa Claus? Usually through their environment and their families. How long do children believe in Santa Claus? Honestly, that depends on the child. We don't know how stories and legends and superstitions get stuck in the caw's of children. "Beware The Slenderman" doesn't give any easy answers as to the Slenderman phenomenon that started in 2009, and which led Morgan Geyer and Aniessa killed their friend Bella. They were taken to a Juvenile Detention Center, they said that The Slender Man asked them to kill their friend.
Part of the documentary focuses on Morgan and Aniessa discussing the moments that led to "The Slenderman asking the girls to kill their friend." The girls discuss through surveillance videos and through their parents stories about how the girls didn't have any friends, how they spent several moments by themselves with nobody to keep them company. The girls got a connection through each other, which was built on their fascination of the Slenderman. These girls were so isolated, and so abandoned by society that they spent unknown amounts of time on the internet learning about the Slenderman, which became an obsession. There are several moments in the show where we hearing the parents of the girls talk and they constantly asking their other kids to get off their IPads. It seems the movie wants to make a statement about not allowing children to use IPads. Thats mostly not true. What families really need to do is discuss the media their children are intaking, making sure they understand it, how they feel from it and what they take away from it. It makes no difference how long a child is on the internet, as long as your having those discussions with them.
The other part of the documentary was the most fascinating. How Slenderman, the modern boogeyman, rose in popularity. He was kind of a take on the Pied Piper, maybe even a dash or two of Bloody Mary. You can find "Slenderman sightings" on YouTube. There are stories that people change, stretch and expand upon over the years. There are games where you have to find several notes in the dark, with only a flashlight to guide you, and the Slenderman can pop out at any moment. Its amazing just how far and the impact the mythology has had on people. Its kind of sad, since it forced two girls to kill their friend.
I think the documentary would have worked better if it sprung itself into the mythos of Slenderman completely. It looses its steam when it focuses on the girls. Or maybe the documentary could have focused on the case itself. There is a constant shift in tone that makes the movie kind of weird. Like your watching two different documentaries. There is lots of fascinating material here, just with no guidance whatsoever.
FINAL GRADE: B-