The Momo Challenge was many things. It was freaky as hell, it was a sign that I’m woefully out-of-touch and too old for today’s internet culture and it was all completely fake. But that didn’t stop the press and internet from running with the urban legend and transforming it into something it’s not. And now that urban legend is getting its own movie.
But let’s backtrack. What was the Momo Challenge? It was started with the picture above, an image of a real-life sculpture made by artist Keisuke Aiso. Creepy, right? Somehow internet pranksters convinced people of all ages that the picture was tied to a disturbing online game. Kids would be visited by the image above and would be challenged to do increasingly dangerous things including hurting themselves and others. There were reports that kids were attempting suicide because of Momo, the character seen in the picture. She’d pop up on various social media sites and instruct children to off themselves! And your uncle’s stepsister’s husband’s co-worker knew a kid who actually did it!
News reports started warning parents to look out for their kids because this Momo was popping up all over the web.
In the end it was all bunk. No kids were really hurting themselves. No one was actually spreading the image of Momo with life-threatening challenges. Someone just took a disturbing image and started a rumor that eventually turned from a spark into a raging forest fire.
And now Orion Picture and Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment are turning Momo into a feature film. Deadline doesn’t say much about the proposed film’s plot, just that it will “widen the story beyond the contemporary digital age.“ That leads me to believe we will be getting a backstory on Momo and how she came to be. Even though she has no backstory and never truly came to be. But, hey, you have to admit that statue is creepy and would work well in a horror movie. I hope Aiso is getting paid handsomely for everything this sculpture has become.
The Momo Challenge was such a bizarre event and so totally 2018-2019. Urban legends have the ability to transform and metastasize so rapidly now because of the internet. Things like Momo can grow out of control in just days. In the end, the Momo Challenge was just a silly thing that we can all look back and laugh at but what happens when one of these hoaxes seems so real that people really do start hurting others? Will we feel comfortable turning that into a horror movie when it should really be a documentary?