Bill Weier, the father of one of the two girls charged in the 2014 Slenderman stabbing, has spoken out against Sony Pictures's new Slenderman-inspired horror film, calling the movie "extremely distasteful," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"It's absurd they want to make a movie like this," Weier told the Associated Press Wednesday. "It's popularizing a tragedy is what it's doing."
Weier's daughter Anissa recently pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide after she and a friend, Morgan Geyser, stabbed Payton Leutner 19 times in May 2014. When police arrested the girls, both 12 at the time, they explained that they attempted the murder to appease Slenderman—a fictional horror character that first appeared on the Something Awful forum.
Anissa Weier has since been sentenced to 25 years in a mental institution for the attempted Slenderman murder. Geyser, whose sentencing is scheduled for February, could be institutionalized for 40 years. The case has already been the subject of an HBO true-crime documentary, Beware the Slenderman, but now the urban legend has inspired its own horror flick.
Sony Pictures released the first trailer for Slender Man on Wednesday, based on the same internet boogyman—complete with screaming teens, a girl stabbing herself in the face with a scalpel, and voiceover describing how Slenderman "gets in your head like a virus."
It's unclear whether the film's plot will borrow any specifics from the 2014 attempted murder, but Weier told the AP he hopes his local theaters in Wisconsin choose not to screen the movie regardless.
"I'm not surprised [this film exists]," Bill Weier said, "but in my opinion, it's extremely distasteful. All we're doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through."
Slender Man is set to open in theaters this coming May. It's directed by Sylvain White—who previously directed Stomp the Yard and a direct-to-video I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel—and stars IT's Javier Botet as the lanky, faceless figure himself.