This Quarantine-Made, Animal Crossing-Themed Horror Short Will Soon Become a Feature Film

The line between video game and reality begins to blur in Don’t Peek.
The line between video game and reality begins to blur in Don’t Peek.
Screenshot: YouTube

South by Southwest is currently (virtually) underway, and amid all the film premieres—stay tuned to io9 for upcoming reviews—came this bit of news: a horror short made during quarantine has just been picked up by director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Hardcore Harry) to get the feature-film treatment.

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This news comes from Deadline; the short, Don’t Peek, draws on Animal Crossing as well as the familiar horror notion that things are way, way scarier when they happen while you’re alone in the dark. Creator Julian Terry made the short last year, and it’s still available to watch on YouTube now following its SXSW bow. Feast your eyes!

SXSW continues through March 20.


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DISCUSSION

sqarak
AmarthSqarak

First of, Timur Bekmambetov produced Hardcore Henry. It was directed by Ilya Naishuller.

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“the feature-film treatment”

I’m weary about the quality of this. Things that make horror-shorts tik, usually don’t translate well to feature length without being overly convoluted and repetitive.
What worries me the most is the integrated part of “videogame”. I am doubtful Nintendo will license Animal Crossing for a horror film. Which means, the studio will cook up their own fictional videogame, to integrate. I don’t recall many films in the last 30 years that integrated horror and video-games properly. I can only remeber Stay Alive tbh and maybe the film could be called fun, but not necessarily good.

Even smaller productions or tv productions tend to portray videogames bizarelly, assign outdate tropes to it or don’t show understanding of how games work. Whether it is unironically implying schlocky titles like “Super Killmonger 3000" or showing a game with rendered graphics that would have looked outdated in the early 2000's.
Also, in my opinion Timur has had a better track record as a producer than a director.