Talented filmmaker and Animal Crossing player Julian Terry incorporates the game into a horror short about a sinister character who wants out.
Skittish fans of Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t be playing the game late at night anymore after watching Julian Terry’s short horror film Don’t Peek. This thrilling short showcases a young woman who discovers something evil in her Animal Crossing game – something that wants to come out. The creepy film debuted just before Halloween, but it’s recently been making the rounds on social media once more as fans experience the horror all over again.
The latest installment in the Animal Crossing franchise arrived one year ago in the midst of worldwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gamers everywhere hunkered down with their Nintendo Switches to fly to a deserted island filled with anthropomorphic animals. Hours and hours went into building the perfect towns out of practically nothing, and people really let their creativity shine. In Julian Terry’s case, he used Animal Crossing and filmmaking to help others release lockdown tension through a good scare.
Terry‘s short film shows a young woman (Katie C’etta) playing Animal Crossing in her dimly-lit bedroom late at night. She discovers that anything she does with her in-game bedroom translates to her IRL bedroom — her own drawers open, and her own lights turn off. It’s all fun and games until a shadow appears in the dark doorway in-game. The sinister character wants to be let out. Frightened, she releases him from Animal Crossing, but things only get worse. She can’t see him, but he’s there. Just don’t peek under the bed covers.
According to Film Shortage, Terry made Don’t Peek with his girlfriend and roommate in their apartment during the lockdown. “I was playing Animal Crossing late one night and happened to freak myself out by a shape at the foot of my bed. I wanted to capture that feeling,” Terry said, adding that the creepy character was inspired by a “glitchy Pokemon named MissingNo” in Pokemon Red. When asked why he chose to make a horror film in the frightening times of a pandemic, Terry said that everyone had “energy” built up from lockdown, and getting scared can release that energy.
The film took a lot of work from all three team members, and it seriously paid off. A lot of behind-the-scenes action went into the drawers opening on their own, the lights switching on and off, and the creature traveling without being seen. The final result looked so real. Terry’s short took Animal Crossing creativity to an entirely new level by incorporating both in-game and IRL scenes. If you liked the spooky vibes from this film, you can see how another creative player turned Animal Crossing: New Horizons into a horror game.
Next: Animal Crossing: New Horizons: 10 Rudest Villagers Who Need To Get Off Of Our Islands ASAP
Source: Julian Terry, Film Shortage
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