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Still from Backrooms – Informational Video, Kane Pixels
Still from Backrooms – Informational VideoKane Pixels

A24 is making a new ‘liminal space’ horror, directed by a 17-year-old

Kane Pixels, the director and VFX artist behind viral Backrooms shorts, is bringing his liminal horrors to the big screen

From internet creepypasta to A24 horror, the Backrooms are coming to the big screen. Earlier this week, it was announced that the production company has picked up the spooky sensation – which has grown from 4chan folklore to a YouTube series with tens of millions of views – to expand it into a full feature film.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Backrooms, the urban legend began in 2019, with a forum post that showed a carpeted room with yellow wallpaper and queasy, fluorescent lighting. “If you’re not careful and you noclip out of reality in the wrong areas, you’ll end up in the Backrooms, where it’s nothing but the stink of old moist carpet,” the post warned, adding that there are “approximately six hundred million square miles” of near-identical rooms to get trapped in.

Credited with triggering the internet’s obsession with ‘liminal spaces’, the Backrooms myth was expanded over the years, with the addition of new layers and creatures to encounter in the labyrinth. At the beginning of 2022, a filmmaker and VFX artist named Kane Pixels shared a video titled The Backrooms (Found Footage), which follows a young filmmaker after he falls into the Backrooms in the mid-90s, and is stalked by the creatures that lurk within.

Now, the 17-year-old filmmaker has been given the go-ahead by A24 to expand the surreal horror footage into The Backrooms, with a script by Robert Patino. Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Dan Levine will be on board as producers with 21 Laps (AKA the company behind the likes of Stranger Things and Arrival), alongside James Wan and Michael Clear for Atomic Monster.

Adapting internet folklore is a notoriously tricky topic, with 2018’s Slender Man adaptation serving as a perfect example of what can go wrong. The 16 instalments of Kane Pixels’ Backrooms series currently shared on YouTube, with the latest arriving just last week, should provide some reassurance though. More details on the feature-length expansion are still TBC, and filming will apparently have to wait until Pixels’ summer holidays.