Not since the days of Slenderman and Marble Hornets has a filmmaker so captured an internet creepypasta phenomenon and turned it into a work of art. In the past few years, liminal spaces, or photos of eerily familiar, yet uncannily empty areas, have become some of the internet’s favorite weird stuff. That gave way to a specific brand of liminal space, the so-called “Backrooms,” or a series of seemingly endless hallways and corridors. This blended with another internet fave, Analog Horror, and many creatives have made shorts and lore for these Backrooms, but the young filmmaker Kane Parsons has turned it into a terrifying and fascinating webseries.
It all started on January 6 with the upload of the nine-minute found-footage short film The Backrooms.
This is easily one of the most effective and chilling shorts the internet has produced in a while. Somehow, while making a student film in the ’90s, a cameraperson falls between realities. He ends up in, go figure, the Backrooms. Monstrous creatures lurk behind the endless walls, and there’s seemingly no way out. We do see, however, evidence that other humans had been there which raises several more questions.
All produced on his own, Parsons, through his YouTube channel KanePixels, made the Backrooms feel like a real place. A place we definitely would not like to visit, mind you. It’s really a brilliant work, and has already wracked up more than 20 million views.
But Parsons was not content to merely showcase his talents for found footage horror; he also proved he could create a saga that would keep people entranced. Parsons began uploading a series of shorter videos, describing how a clandestine research facility made contact with another plane of existence in the late 1980s. The tapes show the research teams who’ve gone through the void into the Backrooms and the strange and upsetting things they’ve found. Each time a new video goes up, Kane adds it to the playlist in story chronology. Very helpful of him.
The Backrooms has something of the cosmic about it that I find incredibly disturbing but undoubtedly compelling. It feels akin to works like Jeff van der Meer’s Area X trilogy and the video game Control, all of which have ties to Lovecraft. It’s a tangled web of weirdness and we can’t wait to unravel it.