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The big picture: When it comes to horror, Animal Crossing is probably not the first thing you think of—or the last for that matter. However, an independent filmmaker put out a scary short film based on the cutesy game. Now Hollywood wants to make it a feature film.
During the pandemic lockdowns last year, filmmaker Julian Terry made a six-minute horror movie called Don't Peek. This week his short was screened at SXSW Online, where it caught the attention of Wanted series director Timur Bekmambetov who wants to make it into a feature film.
Don't Peek is a grand scare because it captures what millions of people were doing during the coronavirus outbreak and twists it into something sinister. Actress Katie Cetta plays an unnamed protagonist whiling away her time playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on her Nintendo Switch. Things get creepy when actions in the game start playing out in real life.
Julian Terry has been making horror shorts and posting them on YouTube since 2014, starting with his spooky two-minute film The Nurse. Don't let his shoestring budget fool you. IMDB estimates that Don't Peek only cost Terry around $60 to make, but the cinematography and SFX are top-notch.
Don't Peek is not the first short Terry has sold to studios looking to make a feature film. Deadline notes that Amblin picked up Whisper (2017), and Legendary is working on a They Hear It (2018) adaptation.