Entertainment

What to Watch if You Liked HBO's Slender Man Documentary

Published On 01/24/2017 Published On 01/24/2017
beware the slenderman on hbo
HBO

While it was appropriately fascinating and chilling, HBO's Beware the Slenderman is just one of the many urban legend- and true crime-inspired titles available for your viewing pleasure. What's a good chaser for Irene Taylor Brodsky's doc about the internet's worst nightmare? Try these other surreal and accessible options next.

Television Promos/YouTube

Channel Zero: Candle Cove

Nick Antosca's Syfy anthology series is going to be a little bit like American Horror Story, just with more internet-based horror: Season 1, based on Kris Straub's Candle Cove forum thread, turned a local children's TV show into a nefarious force that exercised control over its viewers. Season 2, set for sometime this year, will tackle Brian Russell's "NoEnd House."
Where to watch: Stream on Syfy.com

OfficialBGP/YouTube

Cropsey

Directors Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman grew up terrified of an enduring Staten Island legend: an escaped mental patient said to kidnap careless kids and teens. In 1987, when a homeless man named Andre Rand (born Frank Rushan), who had worked as a janitor at the borough's infamous Willowbrook State School, was seized for the abduction of a 12-year-old girl with Down syndrome, the duo's bogeyman had apparently sprung to life. Join the filmmakers as they unravel the truth about "Cropsey" in this impressive -- yet unnerving -- venture to the past. 
Where to watch: Netflix

EyesoftheMothman/YouTube

Eyes of the Mothman

"Glowing red eyes." "Tremendously big wingspan." "Some thought it might be the devil." This is how Matthew J. Pellowski's subjects describe the Mothman, a birdlike creature said to have been spotted throughout the 20th century in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The doc clocks in at 155 minutes, cut into segments that include the curse of Chief Cornstalk, UFOs, Indrid Cold, and the collapse of the Silver Bridge -- in addition to the titular beast. Sounds like a lot, but Eyes earns its length with an admirable dedication to thoroughness, historical accuracy, and what the film critic Dan Schneider praised as "real investigative journalism."
Where to watch: Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes

trailershdefinitions/YouTube

The Imposter

Nicholas Barclay disappeared from his Texas home when he was 13 years old. Three years later, he resurfaced in Spain -- with a new eye color and accent to boot. Bart Layton's dramatized doc, a truly bizarre and haunting concoction, paints the portrait of an unbelievable con artist who nearly duped the world.
Where to watch: Netflix

chiller digital/YouTube

Killer Legends

Urban legends "are really just warnings for something much more dangerous: the reality that may have started it all." So says Zeman in this Cropsey follow-up, a collection of enlightening vignettes that pull back the curtains mystifying "The Hookman," "The Candyman," "The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs," and "The Killer Clown."
Where to watch: Netflix

ClubeDoMedo/YouTube

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

In 1892, Abby and Andrew Borden were slain in the comfort of their Massachusetts home. Some think the couple's killer was never accurately identified; others believe Andrew's daughter, Lizzie, was to blame. In 2014, Lifetime took creative liberty with the unsolved case, enlisting Christina Ricci as the title character, who's tried and acquitted of murder. If you enjoy the actress' twisted turn, Lifetime followed the movie up with one season of The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, delivering eight more episodes of deliciously wicked speculative fiction. If not, Chloë Sevigny next takes a swing at the enduring mystery in Craig William Macneill's forthcoming Lizzie.
Where to watch: Netflix

marble hornets/YouTube

Marble Hornets

Created by Troy Wagner and Joseph DeLage in 2009, this Slender Man-inspired web series boasts 446,370 subscribers and spans 92 snackable episodes. The saga begins with the found footage of a film student -- who abandoned a feature project three years earlier after encountering a mysterious humanoid dubbed "The Operator" -- but quickly morphs into an immersive marathon of paranoia. If you're a fan, a bigger-screen iteration is available to rent on Amazon and YouTube as well.
Where to watch: Stream on YouTube 

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films/YouTube

The Nightmare

Rodney Ascher's most recent essay documentary follows eight people, all coping with sleep paralysis. Their interviews seek to shed light on the very common and very freaky phenomenon, which immobilizes victims and causes some to have visual and auditory hallucinations, but shit gets beyond freaky when different subjects start describing similar visions: shadows with glowing red eyes, invading their bedrooms.
Where to watch: Netflix

Zero Media/YouTube

Rats

Don't let the seemingly innocuous title fool you. Complete with larger-than-life interviewees, jaw-dropping close-ups, and facts you just don't want to hear, this Morgan Spurlock doc is as unsettling as any of the other entries on this list -- really, you'll never look at trash bags the same way again.
Where to watch: Netflix

Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube

Talhotblond

Not to be confused with Courteney Cox's TV movie of the same name, Barbara Schroeder's film recounts the true story of a 2000s-era cyber affair-turned-love triangle. It's a classic catfish doc, one whose tale gets grisly when the users behind the screen names "marinesniper" and "talhotblond" reveal their true identities.
Where to watch: Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes

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Sean Fitz-Gerald is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. Find him on Twitter @srkfitzgerald.

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