Back in 2017, illustrator and former BuzzFeed employee Adam Ellis penned a truly terrifying multi-month Twitter thread about his home potentially being haunted by a tiny ghost child. I reread the thread just before writing this article, and I’d like to confirm that even six years later, it is supremely creepy. It felt like a new form of storytelling with its blend of audio, video, photos, and microblogs posted over a long series of months. So I do definitely understand the desire to adapt it all into a more easy-to-track format like a film.
At the time, plenty of people responded to the viral thread with “Oh my god, that should be a movie,” and while we might have acknowledged it was a good yarn, we did laugh. (Largely because we were ignoring that by 2017, there were two adaptations of the Twitter account “Shit My Dad Says” and that Twitter had become a source of Hollywood adaptations.) But we’re in a post-Zola world now. We know a Twitter thread can not only be turned into content — it can be turned into actually good content.
But this new movie still feels like it could be... too late. It’s coming from BuzzFeed Studios, part of the deeply troubled BuzzFeed brand. It’s adapted from a thread of posts from Twitter, another deeply troubled brand. That’s a lot of baggage for the film to carry around.
But it’s also being directed by John McPhail, who directed the super zombie musical Anna and the Apocalypse. As much baggage as this film is carrying around, there’s a glimmer of potential in there, too.
While the trailer feels a little too rote, if it gets to at least 80 percent of the creep factor of Ellis’s thread, it could still be a very good time. But we won’t know until we actually see the film, which is currently slated to premiere on October 13th, 2023. I’ll be seeing it in theaters and, ideally, as far away from all rocking chairs as possible.