The 13th Floor

Virtual Reality Gets Too Close for Comfort in the Chilling Short “NightmARes!”

The three-dimensional, 360-degree virtual experience opens up all kinds of opportunities for immersive thrills. But every new form of technology comes with its own unique set of problems… and some are a bit more hazardous than others.

This is the scenario of NightmARes — a short horror film directed by James Mansell. It involves a jaded gamer couple who acquire a strange alternate-reality game that actually allows them see into an alternate dimension populated by horrific creatures… which, as they soon discover, can see them as well.


NightmARes is just one installment of an ongoing collection of horror projects by Mansell, whose short film UNDER THE BED screened recently at The British Horror Film Festival ’16. It’s written by Seth Sherwood, who scripted the upcoming TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE prequel LEATHERFACE, and produced by Kailey Marsh, who hinted to us that the short may soon be expanded into a feature film — described as “IT FOLLOWS meets THEY LIVE.”

Check it out here!

“The short film was a super simple way of showing what might happen if augmented reality went horribly wrong, but only scratched the surface of what a concept like this could do,” Mansell told “The idea to flesh it out and expand the short film is full to the brim of terrifying situations and ideas… imagine a horror version of Pokemon GO that becomes way more than real than anyone wants!”

The concept also dips a toe into H.P. Lovecraft’s FROM BEYOND; while Sherwood says the idea can be seen as a cautionary tale of “just how much trust and personal info we hand over to technology,” he also notes “there could be some mysterious other hiding inside this technology.” If that happens, there’s nowhere to hide…