17-year-old who directed an A24 horror film during his summer vacation
Summer jobs for high school students are becoming more and more popular.
Kane Parsons, the 17-year-old creator of the YouTube series “The Backrooms,” has been approached by A24, Chernin Entertainment, 21 Laps Entertainment and Atomic Monster to direct a feature film adaptation of the series, IndieWire has confirmed. The film is written by “DMZ” creator Roberto Patino, who will also serve as an executive producer on the project. Production will take place during Parson’s summer vacation.
“The Backrooms” became a viral phenomenon in 2022 when a YouTube user named Kane Pixels (turned out to be Parsons’ pseudonym) uploaded a nine-minute found footage clip. video people exploring creepy empty rooms. The video tapped into the Internet’s fascination with liminal spaces, otherwise known as spaces that exist alongside our reality without being part of it. The first video received an overwhelmingly positive response, with viewers praising the suspenseful atmosphere and creative special effects. To date, the first “Backrooms” video has been viewed over 44 million times on YouTube.
Parsons followed that up with 15 other “Backrooms” videos uploaded to his YouTube channel over the past year. The YouTube series gradually expanded on the “Backrooms” mythology and created a more linear narrative story to accompany the initial found footage videos. The series has amassed more than 100 million views in total, while gradually building a cult following among Internet users who like to speculate about the history of the franchise.
“The Backrooms” will be the latest in the rapidly growing niche of movie adaptations of scary viral internet stories. Director Sylvain White’s “Slender Man” was similarly based on the Internet’s original viral creepypasta before finally being released in theaters in 2018. Considering how many horror careers have been launched with found footage designed to look real, it’s no surprise to see Hollywood. I continue to mine the creepy corners of the Internet for material.
No plot details or release date have been announced — though it’s probably safe to assume the director’s school schedule will prevent extensive reshoots. Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Dan Levine of 21 Laps Entertainment produce alongside James Wan, Michael Clear, Judson Scott and Alayna Glasthal of Atomic Monster.
Additional reporting by Brian Welk.