Everyone is talking about this new horror short! Have you seen it?

It's called The Backrooms. It was uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 7 and is a nine-minute film directed by Kane Parsons, who also goes by Kane Pixels. This kid is a talented VFX artist too and used his skills as a filmmaker to explore liminal spaces and cosmic horror, a world based on popular internet horror stories.

So what is this film about? The short follows a camera operator who falls over while shooting a film. He slips through a crack in reality and wakes up in an abandoned building on another plane. There's a horrible dial-up sound, a creepy message telling him to stay still, and long corridors that cast dark shadows. He's stuck in a maze of hallways with no way out. This is creepier than many recent big-budget horror films, and it's such a simple concept.

Watch the full film by Kane Pixels here, and let's talk after. 

How Was The Backrooms Made?

This has to be one of the most original horror pieces I've seen in years, and knowing it was done by a 16-year-old blew my mind. Kane obviously has a boatload of talent, and is a name to watch.

The film is a mix of live-action video clips and CGI, which we believe is done in Blender and Adobe After Effects, Kane's tools of choice on his other videos.

As fellow YouTuber Night Mind pointed out in their reaction video, the amount of render power needed to create a film this detailed would be massive. And Kane's ability to create that realistic handheld camera shake/VHS look in his animations is incredible.

What Are the Backrooms?

The heart of the film is the exploration of liminal spaces. There is actually a community on Reddit dedicated to exploring them. That's where I learned that liminal space is a physical representation of "the time between the 'what was' and the 'next.' It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing."

The Backrooms started as a "creepypasta" a few years ago when 4chan users created a story for a creepy photo of a yellow-tinged room. Since then, the idea of this strange, endless space has haunted horror fans.

In Kane's short, there's a new monster that reminded me of The Babadook or Slender Man—something you don't really need mythos for, it just is terrifying as hell to see. I swear it felt like my heart was beating out of my chest for the hour after I watched. 

What Kane has done with his short film, which has actually expanded into a series of shorts, has added a layer of worldbuilding as backstory for this internet legend. In his version of the Backrooms, the liminal space is explained as a government experiment gone awry. The fictional "Async Research Facility" was trying to create an infinite, liminal location to solve the problem of limited storage and living spaces in the 1980s, but something went horribly wrong.

This worldbuilding creates almost an interactive element as viewers are taken through strange clips and images that reveal bits and pieces of this imagined alternate history. The creation of the Backrooms, for instance, "caused" the real San Fransisco earthquake of 1989—an idea suggested in one of Kane's unlisted videos titled "collateral.mov."

It's clear that Kane is not only a talented director, but knows how to hook an audience with engaging storytelling, too.

This online series is being updated now, so you still have a chance to catch up and learn more alongside other viewers.

Did you watch? Was it the best horror short you've seen in years? 

Are you Kane Parsons? We love you, hit us up to be on the podcast! Reach out! 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.