EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Entertainment and The Picture Company have secured the rights to first time filmmaker Julian Terry’s horror short They Hear It. Created by Terry as a proof of concept short, the film will be turned into a feature by Legendary and The Picture Company on which Terry will make his directing debut. The premise: there is a mysterious and terrifying noise called The Sound that attracts children when they hear it. Full plot details of the feature version are being kept under wraps, but sources compare the story to It and A Nightmare On Elm Street, films that explore an ominous presence that stalks the youthful inhabitants of a small community.

The Picture Company’s Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona will produce the film, and Jacob Chase will be executive producer. Chase is the writer/director behind another high-concept horror short turned movie project – Larry, which Amblin Partners picked up earlier this year to shoot in the fall. The Picture Company is also producing that one. The group shopped the short film and a pitch document and Legendary’s Jon Silk moved quickly to secure it. The deal was closed over the holiday. Silk and Blake Avery will oversee for Legendary.

This is a big step for Terry, who won New Line’s short film contest to promote Annabelle Creation. Terry won for a two-minute short he created for the contest about a horror character called The Nurse. His short film Whisper also got a lot of attention in the genre community.

The goal is for They Hear It to follow the successful lower budget model of horror shorts turned hits like Lights Out and Mama.

Terry and Chase are repped by Paradigm; Terry is also repped by Good Fear Film + Management and attorney Jeff Hynick.