'The Backrooms' Is the Viral Horror Short Shaking the Internet Up

Kane Parsons, the 17 year old filmmaker behind 'The Backrooms' teams up with A24.
'The Backrooms'Credit: Kane Parsons
Imagine being 16 years old and directing the best horror short film in years.

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.      

Your Comment


I watched to see if he nailed the ending.

February 1, 2022 at 1:52PM


Why? Yes, it's a genre specific. It looks more like a gameplay of a survival horror game rather than a film.
Why people like it?

February 2, 2022 at 12:11AM


Very creepy thing, do not watch before bed.

February 2, 2022 at 8:15AM

Aaron Reed
Editor, writer

Overstag, overhyped, click bait article

February 2, 2022 at 9:38AM


The structure of this is quite well-executed. There are a few other ones in the series that world build a bit. Pretty cool

February 3, 2022 at 1:08PM

Michael Winters
Director / Writer

Reminds me of the old Windows maze screensaver, but creepy.

February 3, 2022 at 2:29PM

Matthew Carnes
All Trades that Pay

That was one of the scariest short films I've ever seen. Well done.

February 6, 2022 at 7:07PM

Stu Mannion

The Film was really scary...Amazing work

February 6, 2022 at 10:46PM


I love the backrooms and Kane's work, but I gotta say he didn't create the backrooms. It's a huge infuriating peeve of mine, because the backrooms as a concept have been around since 2019 and has only gotten super popular recently because of Kane's video blowing up on youtube. Not trying to hate or anything, but when you search "who made the backrooms" on google, this is the top post with Kane's name in big letters right up front and its completely untrue. Nobody knows who created the backrooms, as it was posted anonymously on 4chan years ago. Saying Kane created the backrooms completely undermines the work of others who came before him.

April 24, 2022 at 4:18PM