Is fledgling director Kane Parsons poised to follow in the footsteps of other first-time found footage directors like Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), or Patrick Brice (Creep, Creep 2)? Time will tell, but he’s already made a huge stride. He’s about to take his viral YouTube short horror film The Backrooms to the big screen with the help of A24.
Not that YouTube isn’t big, mind you. His short film has already racked up 44 million views on the platform, and that’s why a production company like A24 took notice.
IGN reported A24 is combining its production power with Atomic Monster, Chernin Entertainment and 21 Laps Entertainment. That allows Parsons the opportunity to direct a more expanded and well-financed version of The Backrooms.
But where will it end up? Released in theaters or on a streaming service like Netflix? With the horror powerhouses attached to the project, it could go either way.
Before we get into all of that, let’s take a quick peek at the short horror film that could be what launches Parsons’ directing career.
About The Backrooms
While his video The Backrooms (Found Footage) has racked up 44 million views alone, it’s just one of 16 videos (so far) in his evolving Backrooms horror universe. (The other videos all have at least a million views on their own too, with the exception of the newest that was released a month ago. But it’s only less than 50,000 views shy of the million mark, which it’ll also likely hit.)
The 44 million views video finds a filmmaker suddenly transported from the 1990s to someplace else. Where? He doesn’t know, but he finds himself navigating a labyrinth of yellow hallways that lead to various rooms, some with openings to other rooms, or that have ladders leading to small openings higher up on the wall.
It’s bizarre, surreal, and disconcerting because the place is devoid of any furnishings or other people. Until it’s not. It goes from abnormally quiet to jarringly loud —and scary!— when a creature suddenly appears.
The Backrooms’ production partners
With titles like Midsommar, Hereditary, X and Pearl among its titles, A24 is increasingly becoming known for its avant-garde horror movies. From what I’ve seen of The Backrooms on YouTube, a production company like that is a good fit.
But as mentioned above, A24 is also teaming up with others to produce it. Under the Atomic Monster umbrella, horror legend James Wan‘s name will be attached to the project, along with Michael Clear.
But then there’s also Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Dan Levine from 21 Laps Entertainment, all of whom have Arrival and Stranger Things production credits to their credits.
So, yeah. Parsons will be working with some horror heavy-hitters indeed on his very first feature.
Filming will commence during Parsons’ summer break because, get this…he’s only 17 years old! But he is set to direct it, while Roberto Patino (Westworld) will write it.
Which again leaves me wondering where it might end up. Because A24 is involved, I’m inclined to think it’ll be released in theaters. But since there are also people involved who have ties with Netflix and HBO Max, maybe it’ll be available via a streaming service.
The answer to that is the same as where Parsons’s career will go from here. Only time will tell. But it’s sure off to a great start.
The Backrooms YouTube short film
What’s the scariest found footage film you have ever seen? Use the comments section to let us know!