Kane Parsons, a 17-year-old YouTuber who has become a viral sensation with a series of Creepypasta videos called The Backrooms has been tapped to adapt it into an A24 movie. Dan Erickson, who created critically-acclaimed Apple TV series Severance named it as one of the influences on the sci-fi series.
Creepypasta is a series of horror stories that have gone viral on the internet since the the 2000s, the most famous of which is Slender Man. Other notable characters or stories include Jeff the Killer, Ben Drowned, Sonic.exe, Herobrine, and Siren Head – although whether some of these count as Creepypasta is up for debate.
There has been surprisingly few direct film adaptations of Creepypastas so far, although there was a Slender Man movie in 2018. Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair was influenced by them, as was ultra low-budget horror hit Skinamarink. The found-footage sub-genre can be closely intertwined with Creepypastas.
Kane Parsons (AKA Kane Pixels) will reportedly direct The Backrooms movie while on summer vacation from high school. The first Backrooms video that he uploaded to YouTube has been viewed 44 million times, so it’s safe to say that there’s a built-in audience there. It taps into our inherent fear of empty liminal spaces – which The Blair Witch Project and most recently Skinamarink exploited.
Teenaged movie directors are obviously extremely rare, but Parsons is not the first. Notably, Netflix movie Burning Cane was made by Phillip Youmans when he was 17 years old. Youmans wrote, shot, directed and edited the feature-length film when he was still a senior in high school. He won the Founders Prize and the award for best cinematography at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019, when he was still only 19 years old.
In February 2022, Severance’s Dan Erickson told Inverse about the various influences on the show’s premise of a workplace keeping dark secrets – films like The Truman Show and Brazil, as well as comedy movie Office Space. “Then there’s stuff like The Backrooms, which is a weird online urban legend,” he says. “There were a lot of disparate influences.”
Check out our guide to the best horror movies.