EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners has acquired the rights to turn writer-director Jacob Chase’s horror short Larry into a feature-length film. Chase will write and direct the movie version, and The Picture Company partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce.

The short follows the story of Larry, a terrifying monster who manifests through high-tech devices like smartphones and other screen devices. The feature version will borrow this angle, fused to a story line about a troubled young boy who creates the monster from his own nightmares. The aim is to create a grounded horror film in the vein of The Ring and Poltergeist. The hope is to follow in the footsteps of Lights Out and Mama, two short films that were turned into genre feature hits.

The project was shopped based on a treatment by Chase and the short film. Paradigm and The Picture Company took it out, and several suitors jumped but Amblin moved quickest, got into an exclusive negotiation and closed the deal over the weekend. Amblin Partners’ Andrew Calof brought the project in and will oversee for the studio. The producers’ deals are being made now.

Chase separately wrote the TV project Harmony, which has a put pilot commitment at ABC. He has also directed other award winning short films and commercials and worked with the Jim Henson company on several writing projects.

Chase is repped by Paradigm, manager Nicholas Bogner of Affirmative Entertainment and attorney Eric Feig.