Entertainment

The First Creepy 'Slender Man' Movie Trailer Plays Into Real-Life Crimes

"Where's my daughter? People don't just disappear." 

Come this spring, they will. That's when Slender Man, the spooky internet urban legend that's inspired real-life horror stories, gets the movie treatment. Based on this first trailer, Slender Man 2018 promises the misfortunes of jumpy children, trippy shadow scares, and just... the loudest marker you've ever heard.

Created as part of a Photoshop contest in 2009, Slender Man has enjoyed a near decade of frights, appearing in kooky fan fiction entries, addictive creepypasta memes, and a handful of bigger, more mainstream projects. Many will remember Marble Hornetsthe ambitious web series that took a page out of the ghoul's lore, and last year's Beware the Slenderman, Irene Taylor Brodsky's HBO doc that detailed the character's evolution online and its role in a shocking 2014 Milwaukee stabbing. (Those familiar with the case might be surprised by the images in Slender Man, which include one seemingly possessed young girl and another, bloodied, found near the edge of the woods by police -- both echoes of the real-life crime.)

This next arty iteration of the Slender Man mythos, directed by Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard), looks like a determined attempt at pleasing current fans and introducing the titular nightmare to a wider audience. Starring Javier Botet, Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, and Annalise Basso, it arrives May 18.

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