Slender Man Documentary Announced for SXSW

With the case still approaching trial, a new film could open a window onto the defendants’ families.

The first of what could be a handful of feature-length documentaries on the Slender Man case is set to debut at South by Southwest in March. Taylor Brodsky’s “Beware the Slenderman” draws on about 18 months of “heartbreaking access to the families of the would-be murderers,” according to the festival, and will plunge “deep down the rabbit hole of their crime, a Boogeyman and our society’s most impressionable consumers of media.” Cases for both girls remain in limbo as the Wisconsin Court of Appeals hears emergency appeals seeking a transfer from adult court to juvenile before they’re put to trial in the former.

Brodsky has directed past films on her parents’ decision to seek cochlear implants, a bird’s recovery from an oil spill (“Saving Pelican 895”) and the complicated lives of three ex-cons. A handful of film companies have followed the case, and some have penned letters to Judge Michael Bohren with complaints or requests to speak with him (which he denied as improper “ex parte” communication). A small dust-up arose over one outfit’s access to the footage provided by the single “pool” camera allowed in the courtroom – and a court official instructed the company to obtain whatever hardware necessary to plug into the same video source as the TV stations.

Also see this 20/20 report from 2014 on victim Payton Leutner’s recovery and our January cover story covering how the crime occurred.



Matt has written for Milwaukee Magazine since 2006, when he was a lowly intern. Since then, he’s held the posts of assistant news editor and, most recently, senior editor. He’s lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, and Indiana but mostly in Wisconsin. He wants to do more fishing but has a hard time finding worms. For the magazine, Matt has written about city government, schools, religion, coffee roasters and Congress.