Ok, I’m going to cut the crap. This script is actually terrible. I don’t know how long it took Bob and me to realize it, but really is – laughably so. The dialogue is trite, and as I mentioned in the preceding blog post, the plot is weak at best. Nevertheless, we poured a great deal of time and energy into this script. We agonized over those lines, stale as they may seem now. We were so proud of our finished product, and even though it’s awfully corny, I’m still proud if it – mostly for the sheer effort behind it.
So this is the script. Minus my brand-new snarky comments (which will be easily recognizable in their parentheses and light grey text – consider this the director’s cut!), I have left it totally unaltered: what you’re about to read is the original version that Bob and I completed in summer 2005.
Our cast was as follows (in order of appearance). I
have abbreviated the last names to protect the innocent.
|Here's a creepy picture of the house to get you in|
the horror movie mood. See Bob in the upstairs window?
Rayne: Sarah C
April: Tiffany N
Garrett: Tyler B
Harper: Calla B
Paige: Kristi J
Braydn: Bob W
mysterious stranger: Meagan K
(I can’t even make it to the actual script without a sassy remark. Where on earth did we get the names for these characters? Rayne, Harper, and Braydn?! This was perhaps our attempt at being trendy.)
Read on, my friends. Mockery is encouraged. Kudos to you if you can make it to the end.
camera: follows characters in their homes
Rayne is in bed and her alarm goes off. She smacks it, sighs, throws back the sheet and gets out of bed. On the bed sheets: Borky-Wendy Productions presents. Rayne walks down her hallway. In a picture frame: written and directed by Calla B and Bob W. She goes into a room and shuts the door. On the door: GRAVEL.
· song: “You Ain’t No Picasso”
April is sitting at the table, eating a bowl of cereal. On the cereal box: set design by Bob W.
· song: “Share the Land”
Garrett is in his bathroom, brushing his teeth. On the toothpaste tube: soundtrack engineer – Calla B. Behind him on the shower curtain: casting directors – Bob W and Calla B.
· song: “Eye of the Tiger”
Harper is putting on makeup. In her mirror (written in lipstick): costuming by Bob W.
· song: “In This Life”
Paige is in her room, packing. Her suitcase is shut on her bed, and she comes over with an armload of clothes. She sets them on her bed and opens the suitcase. On the top of the suitcase: special thanks to Bryce and Brad O, Tim and Brenda B, and our cleaning crew.
· song: “Iko Iko”
Braydn is in his room, listening to a CD. He picks up his bookbag, goes over to his CD player, and opens it. On the CD: executive producer – Calla B.
· song: “One of Us”
camera: on that little shelf thing behind the seats in the back
Rayne turns onto an exit ramp; awkward pause. “Let’s Go Crazy” plays in the background.
(The inclusion of a Prince song was an inside joke between Sarah, Bob, and me. We had once discovered that, when surprised by an image of Prince, one makes a distinctive facial expression that we dubbed “the Prince Face.” The Prince Face had to be honored in our movie.)
Paige: …so where are we going?
Rayne: Well, if you’d take your tongue off Braydn’s face…
Garrett: Actually, I don’t think I know either. And my tongue is not on Braydn’s face!
“thank God” etc in the background
Rayne: (slightly flustered) Well, I need directions.
Paige: (ditzy) For what?
Harper: (sarcastically) For cooking a chicken, dumbass!
Braydn: (to Harper, friendly-mean) PMS much? (to Paige) She’s lost.
Paige: (finally getting it) Oh.
ad-lib until arrival at the rest area
note: the rest of this scene is silent except for “Freefallin”
(I am not sure what we meant by this. Were our characters silently ad-libbing? Were they staring straight ahead while listening to Tom Petty? Who knows.)
Everyone piles out of the car. Rayne sits down on a bench and opens up her map. Harper and Garrett flank her, and they all look at the map, pointing, etc. April hovers over them. Paige and Braydn go inside the building. There is a stranger reading a newspaper on the next bench, but no one pays any attention to her. After a few minutes, Paige and Braydn come back, walk past everyone else, and back to the car. Rayne, Harper, and Garrett continue to discuss the map. April says something, causing Rayne to get angry and jab her finger at the map. April storms back to the car. Rayne turns back to the map, and a few moments later, the stranger approaches, kindly asking if they need help. Rayne nods, the stranger points at the map, takes out a pen, and writes directions on the back. The stranger leaves, and everyone thanks her. The five all get up and head back to the car. When everyone is inside – and April refuses to look at Rayne – they take off.
(Our stage directions are by far my favorite part of the script.)
camera: in the car
“Love and Affection” plays in the background, followed by “Shambala.”
Paige: Uh, Rayne? I gotta go to the bathroom.
Rayne: I thought you went at the rest stop.
Paige: It was gross inside. But look – there’s a gas station right there!
Rayne pulls into the gas station; the camera watches Paige get out and go inside. The camera goes back inside the car.
Garrett: (nervously) Um, I’m kinda hungry. Rayne, did you get food?
Rayne: Garrett, do you think I’m an idiot? We’re going to Canada; of course I got the damn food. It’s in the trunk.
Garrett: (rolls eyes) Sorry. (nervous again) Uh, Braydn, wanna help me get some food?
Braydn: Do it yourself, Garrett.
April: Are you sure he even knows how to open the trunk?
Braydn: (sighs) Fine, I’m coming.
Braydn and Garrett exit the car; cut to the back of the car.
Braydn: (at the trunk; demonstrating) Ok, watch carefully. You take this key, turn it to the right, and (the trunk opens) the trunk is open. Will you remember next time? (starts going back to the car door)
Garrett: Braydn, I know how to open the damn trunk.
Braydn: (irritated) Then why are we out here?
Garrett: Um, well…I kinda wanted to talk to you about something.
Braydn: (warily) So what’s up?
Garrett: Has… has Harper said anything about me?
Braydn: Harper? (thinks) No, I don’t think so…why?...what’d you do?
Garrett: Nothing! It’s just that…(fidgets, messes with hair, etc) I think I kinda…maybe…(fades out)
(We tend to go a little ellipsis-crazy. It’s because the story is SUPER DRAMATIC.)
Braydn: Garrett, do you want Harper?
Garrett shrugs and looks at the ground.
Braydn: (small smile) You do.
Garrett: (suddenly) Are you sure she hasn’t mentioned me?
Braydn: Garrett, seriously. Why would Harper talk to me about her love life?
Garrett: You two are pretty good friends, you know, and I thought maybe –
Braydn: Well…I’ll tell you what. I’ll see if I can maybe bring you up in conversation, and that way, I can see what she thinks.
Garrett: You would? (pause) Thanks, Braydn…really.
Braydn: No problem. (shoulder pat)
(Male bonding at its best.)
They head back to the car. Harper is sitting by the window, so Garrett gets in first, followed by Braydn.
April: Did you get lost?
Garrett: No, April, we did not get lost.
Braydn: We just had a hard time deciding which bag of chips to open.
Harper: If they’re those salt and vinegar ones, I want the bag. (sees chips) Oh, score!
(This was just an excuse for me to buy salt and vinegar chips.)
Harper grabs them out of Garrett’s lap; Garrett gives Braydn a sideways glance. Paige comes back and climbs in on Braydn’s side.
Paige: That bathroom was gross, too.
complaining, ‘are you serious,’ etc
Paige: I went anyway, though, it’s ok.
Rayne: Let’s get out of here.
camera: random shots of the road and country scenery, and the dashboard facing them. This is the “On the Road Again” sequence, but without that damn song. “Seasons of Love” is playing.
(Everyone was really into Rent at the time. And by “everyone,” I mean Bob and me.)
Chatter; “Shine” in the background, followed by “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” They eventually pull into the driveway and stop the car. By this time, it is dark outside.
Rayne: (turns map over and looks at it) Well, according to this thing, this is our place.
Braydn: Are you sure you got the right directions?
Rayne: (frustrated) Yes! I followed every single direction on this damn thing.
Braydn: (quietly, more to himself than Rayne) Sorry, but it doesn’t look like a hotel to me.
Rayne: It’s supposed to be a bed and breakfast. That’s what the lady said.
Harper: Yeah, her cousin owns it or something.
April: We can’t afford a bed and breakfast, and we don’t even know if this is it.
Harper: Maybe it’s just got a really long driveway…why don’t we drive up a little more?
April: I guess. It’s really late, and I need some sleep –
Garrett: (annoyed) So sleep in the car, April.
April: (also annoyed) – in a bed.
Garrett shrugs and stares out the window. Paige is asleep, with her head on Braydn’s shoulder.
Rayne: Ok, well, we’re obviously not getting anywhere by sitting here and bitching at each other, so I’m just going to do what Harper said and drive up some more.
Rayne continues driving, quite a bit faster than she should be, considering the condition of the driveway. Suddenly, she hits a large bump; everyone is thrown about and Paige is awakened.
Paige: (sleepily) What was that?
April: Rayne, are you trying to kill us?
Braydn: Shut up, April.
Rayne: Look, I don’t know what that was. That stupid lady probably led us to some cow pasture with a driveway.
(We added this line just in case any cows happened to stray in the yard as we were filming: a very real possibility.)
Rayne leans her forehead on the steering wheel. All is quiet for a few moments.
Harper: Maybe it’s in those trees up there.
Garrett: Should we get out and walk up there?
Rayne: (sighs) Yeah, we should. If we wreck the car on this damn driveway, then where would we be?
Braydn: Let’s bring all our crap, just in case it is our place.
They all pile out of the car, yawning and stretching. Rayne unlocks the trunk, and everyone grabs bookbags, snacks, and – most importantly – the beer. The camera stays with them as they are doing this, but remains at the car and films their backs as they begin walking toward the house. Paige, of course, has too much luggage and is dragging it along. After a while, the camera switches and films them from the front and sides as they walk. They’re closer to the house, but they look confused. Ad-lib chatter, etc. They arrive at the front door, and April stops dead.
April: This is obviously not a hotel…and it’s so dark.
Rayne: April, think about it. They’re probably asleep by now. Let’s just go up to the house, explain that we’re lost, and ask for a place to sleep for the night. And who knows, maybe these people will know where that bed and breakfast is.
Rayne approaches the front door, but jumps back suddenly and drops whatever she was carrying.
ad-lib “what happened what’s the matter” etc
Rayne: I just got zapped by something. Dammit, that hurt.
Braydn inches forward to check it out; he squats down to inspect.
Braydn: It’s an electric fence.
(There was a real electric fence surrounding the house, presumably to prevent the cows from getting in. We would have to army-crawl underneath it to get in and out of the house. I don’t know how everyone else faired, but Bob and I got zapped on more than one occasion.)
Rayne: Who the hell puts an electric fence around their house?
Paige: Guys, I don’t like this…let’s go back to the car and find somewhere else.
Harper: Paige, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. None of us want to drive any more, and since we’ve made it this far, we might as well go ahead and knock.
Braydn: Seriously, Paige, what’s the worst that could happen? They turn us away?
Garrett: It’s getting cold; let’s just go inside.
Everyone carefully climbs over/crawls under the electric fence. Garrett stumbles and people start to laugh; the mood lightens. All attention turns to the house.
Harper: I don’t think anyone’s home…there’s no car here or anything.
Paige: We can’t just walk in…can we?
April: Somebody knock.
pause; everyone just looks at each other
Braydn: I guess I’ll knock.
(Braydn approaches the door and knocks, pause, no answer. He knocks harder, pause, no answer.)
(I love that we felt the need to include “pause” in the stage directions, like he wouldn’t wait in between knocks to see if anyone came to the door.)
Rayne: (yells) Hello? Is there anybody home?
Garrett: Guess not.
Paige: What if they’re just really deep sleepers?
April: Well, let’s find out.
April pushes the door open, which sticks a little. They file in, with April and Rayne in the lead, followed by Harper. Not far behind her is Garrett, and after him come Paige and Braydn – Paige is clinging to Braydn. Braydn is the last one in, and he slams the door shut, making everyone jump.
Rayne: Will somebody try the lights?
Garrett, who is nearest the light switch, flicks it a few times, but to no avail.
Harper: We’ll just have to find some candles later.
Paige: …so what are we going to do?
Rayne: Look, I really don’t think anybody’s home.
Paige: But do we know that they’re not just going to come bursting in?
Rayne: (sigh) Paige, just give me a second. I’m gonna go to the kitchen and see if these people have a big flashlight or something.
Rayne pulls a lighter out of her pocket, flicks it on, and heads to the kitchen. She stops at the table, seeing a note lying there. She picks it up and reads it.
Rayne: Guys, this note says that they’re gone.
ad-lib ‘huh? really?’ etc
Rayne: Yeah, this note is for some lady named Cindy who’s watering the plants.
(I don’t remember ever buying plants for the mythical Cindy to water. Good one, prop master.)
Braydn: Well, that explains it.
Garrett: But won’t she come in to water the plants and find us instead?
Rayne: Nope. She’s only supposed to water the plants on Friday and Monday. The people who live here won’t be back until Tuesday.
Paige: Hey, isn’t today Saturday? That means they’ll be back in three days!
Harper: That doesn’t even dignify a response.
Rayne: And here’s something else: “Don’t mind the mess; renovation is a pain!”
Braydn: Yeah, I was wondering why their floor was so nasty-looking.
Rayne: Nasty as it may be, it does look like we’ve found our lodging for the night.
Garrett: So what are we waiting for? Let’s break out the beer!
(I have to tell you, I laughed out loud at this line just now. Who says that? No one.)
camera: around the house
The booze is out, and several are borderline drunk by now; much ad-libbing.
(Bob and I asked our parents to save us their empty beer cans so we could use them as props during this scene. Our parents aren’t big drinkers, so in the three months we’d been saving their beer cans, we barely had enough for a respectable-looking teenage party.)
Garrett: (out of nowhere) I’m hungry.
Harper: Why don’t you eat what we have?
Garrett: I want some real food. McDonald’s three hours ago doesn’t cut it, and besides, all the good chips are gone.
April: Well, you ate ‘em, you pig.
Braydn: I’ll go see what they’ve got in the kitchen. April, give me that stupid flashlight keyring of yours.
April: It’s not stupid…you never know when you’ll need one!
(Why this exchange was necessary, I’ll never know. All our characters seem to be unnecessarily mean to each other. Maybe we were trying to make our imaginary audience believe that they’d eventually be mad enough to start killing each other off? Or maybe we were just feeling sarcastic when we wrote this entire script, which is a much more likely explanation.)
April throws the flashlight at Braydn, and he catches it. Braydn gets up, and Garrett gives him a pointed look.
Braydn: (confused at first, but then he gets it) Oh…uh, Harper, why don’t you come with me? Maybe you could help me find some candles.
Harper: (confused) Ok…?
(These characters are in a constant state of confusion.)
Paige is not too happy about this. Harper and Braydn exit to the kitchen, and the camera follows them. There is a long, awkward pause whilst rummagist. (I swear to you, we actually wrote “whilst rummagist” as real stage directions.) We see empty cereal boxes, dishes in the sink, etc.
Harper: So…(awkwardness) What kind of slobs would go on vacation without doing their dishes first?
(Our characters also seem to be painfully awkward individuals when separated from the group in any way. Why this motley band would ever decide to take a road trip together, I’ll never know.)
Harper spots a bag of tealights and a matchbook, and a candle and candlestick. She removes them from the cupboard.
Braydn: (completely ignoring what Harper just said) So what do you think about Garrett?
Harper: (pause) What?...what do you mean?
Harper lights the candle and sets it on the table.
Braydn: Ok, here’s what he told me.
Braydn walks to the table and sits down, totally giving up on the whole ‘looking for food’ façade. Harper follows him and sits down, too.
Harper: (sarcastically) Oh God…what?
Braydn: Basically…he wants in your pants.
Harper: (sighs) Shut up, Braydn. Like I haven’t heard that one before.
Harper stands up and starts to go back to the cupboards.
Braydn: (whiney and urgent) I’m serious!
Braydn grabs Harper’s arm and pulls her back into her seat.
Braydn: Now sit down and listen to me!
Harper: (annoyed) Braydn, what the hell is wrong?
Braydn: Do I have to say it again? Garrett wants you!
Harper: (humoring him; still annoyed) Well, how do you know this?
Braydn: He told me.
Harper: What did he say? He was probably just joking.
Braydn: He asked me if you ever talk about him. Then I asked him how he felt about you, and he got all nervous and crap.
Harper: (stands) Braydn, Garrett and I are no different than you and me…we’re friends, and that’s all.
(Looking back, this exchange is one-hundred-percent pointless. Did we feel the need for a little extra teenage drama before the murders begin?)
She takes the candles and goes to the other room. Braydn sits at the table alone for a second.
Braydn: (quietly) Crap.
He stands and rummages some more. In one of the cupboards, he finds a big knife. (How conveeenient!) He picks that sucker up and looks at it.
Braydn: Holy crap.
He walks to the living room area, keeping the hand with the knife in it behind the wall. By this time, the candles are a-glowin’.
Braydn: Hey guys, there’s not really anything in here…but I did find this.
He slowly pulls out the knife and runs toward them. There is screaming and scattering and general freaking out because they are drunk and Braydn is crazy.
(Bob wanted to use this opportunity to show off his crazy person face.)
Braydn: (laughing uncontrollably) You guys are idiots!
He leans back and tosses the knife on the counter in the kitchen. He grabs a beer and goes over to sit by Paige, who is looking all sad and puppy-dog faced.
Paige: (pause) So what was that all about?
Braydn: Huh? (he takes a “drink” of beer)
(Notice how “drink” appears in quotation marks in the directions above. As Bob and I were goody two-shoes, we weren’t about to engage in underage drinking! Especially ON CAMERA! GASP!!)
Paige: You…and Harper…in the kitchen.
Braydn: Oh, that. It’s nothing; just something between Harper and me.
Paige: What’s between you and Harper?
Braydn: (now he’s pissed) God, Paige, can’t you drop it?
Paige: I just want to know.
Braydn: If I wanted you to know, I’d tell you…so get off my back!
(We wrote the best comebacks, didn’t we?)
Braydn leaves and goes elsewhere. Paige looks shocked, but there is no crying because that’s just annoying. (Also, no one wants to watch fake crying on camera.) But this whole exchange has annoyed April, who has begun to gather up her stuff.
April: There’s too much drama down here…I’m gonna sleep upstairs.
Harper: Suit yourself, Crabby.
April leaves, and the camera focuses on Harper, who is lying on her back, staring at the ceiling. Garrett saunters over and leans up against the wall next to her.
Garrett: Want a beer?
Harper: No thanks. I’m not really thirsty.
Garrett: So…what’d you find in the kitchen?
Harper: Just some old dishes and a lot of dust…nothing wonderful.
Garrett: (disappointed) Oh…well, that’s cool.
Harper: (sits up) Uh, yeah. Um, I’m gonna go talk to Paige. She looks kind of…I don’t know, I just should go talk to her.
Garrett: (disappointed some more) Oh, ok. Here, let me help you up.
Garrett un-leans and offers his hand to Harper. She takes it, smiling uncomfortably.
She makes her way over to Paige.
Harper: Hey…I saw Braydn storm off. What’s wrong?
Paige glares at Harper.
Paige: I don’t want to talk about it.
Paige gets up and leaves, and Harper is confused.
Rayne: Hey, guys, I’m going outside for a cigarette.
Rayne heads outside. Outside, it is silent except for a few crickets. Rayne lights up her cigarette, takes a drag, and looks around. Suddenly, there is a rustling noise from the grass.
Rayne: (quietly) Who’s there?
more rustling; louder this time
Rayne: (yells) Oh my God!
Back in the house, April pokes her head down the stairs.
April: What was that?
Garrett: I think it was Rayne.
pause; everyone gets up at the same time and runs for the door. (I’m so glad they all took the time to pause before they leapt up to save their friend.) They find Rayne outside, laughing.
Harper: We heard you scream!
Rayne: (still laughing) Guys, I’m sorry. I heard something in the grass, and I screamed. Turns out that it was just a damn rabbit!
(An homage to Tiffany and her scary bunny!)
collective sigh of relief; laughter, “Rayne you idiot” etc ad-libbing
Rayne: Hey, April, you wanna grab me another beer?
April reluctantly goes inside, gets the beer, and brings it back out.
April: Rayne, don’t you think you should take it easy? I mean, you are driving in the morning.
Rayne takes the beer from April, even though April has not held it out to her.
Rayne: Don’t worry about it.
April: I’m just saying –
Rayne: (irritated) And I’m saying don’t worry about it!
April says nothing, but goes back inside and up the stairs.
Rayne: (sighs) I’m gonna stay out here for a little longer, ok?
Harper: Watch out for those bunnies!
Scattered laughter; everyone but Rayne goes back inside. Garrett has his hand on Harper’s elbow as they walk, but she pretends not to notice. (As we get further along in this weird Garrett/Harper subplot, it starts to make sense to me: when you’ve got four girls and two guys in a horror movie, it’s an unwritten rule that the members of the opposite sex be paired up. In this case, uncomfortably so.) Braydn and Paige are the last ones in; Paige grabs Braydn’s arm.
Paige: (whiney) Don’t be mad…this is supposed to be fun.
Braydn: (urgently) Look, you know that there’s nothing between Harper and me. Stop being so suspicious. If I ask her to come into the kitchen with me, it’s sure as hell not because I want to rip her clothes off.
Paige: (relieved) Like she’d take them off for you!
Braydn: (suggestively) Well, I guess I’ll just have to find someone who will.
(BAHAHAHAHA!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE WE ACTUALLY WROTE THIS!!!!!!!!)
They retire to one of the bedrooms…wink wink. Harper and Garrett look at each other and smile knowingly.
Garrett: (yawns) What time is it?
Harper: (uncomfortably) I dunno, but we should probably get some sleep.
She starts to clear the empty beer cans off the floor.
Garrett: Here, let me do that.
He takes over.
Harper: No, it’s ok, I can do it.
Garrett: (smiles) So can I.
Harper sits there for a moment, then gives in and beings to unroll sleeping bags and such. Cut to outside where Rayne is drinking and smoking. She is pretty relaxed, and she just looks around, taking in the scenery. (What scenery? It’s pitch black outside!) There is another rustling noise from the grass, and she jumps. She catches herself and shakes her head.
Rayne: (quietly, to herself) Stupid bunnies.
She takes another drag on her cigarette and exhales. The camera stays on her face, and we see two black-gloved hands come from behind her – seemingly out of nowhere – and wrap themselves around Rayne’s neck. (You’ve got to watch out for anyone wearing black gloves.) She drops her beer and starts to choke and gasp. Cut to inside of the house, where Harper and Garrett are getting all settled in.
Garrett: Do you hear that?
Harper: Yeah, I bet Rayne is just gagging on her cigarette.
Sure enough, all is quiet after a moment or two. It’s now really uncomfortable.
Harper: Well…I’m going to sleep.
Garrett: Yeah…me too.
Harper and Garrett crawl into their sleeping bags. When they are situated, Harper, who is nearest the candle, blows it out. Blackness ensues! Now follows a series of crazy pictures…some totally random, some not quite, some that will make sense later.
1 Braydn pulling shirt over head
2 Rayne lying on the ground
3 scattered clothing
4 an ugly decoration in the house
5 large view of the bedroom with two figures in bed
6 Harper and Garrett asleep
7 the gloved hand picking up Rayne’s cigarette and holding it in front of face
8 the ugly wallpaper
9 April asleep
10 Rayne sitting straight up, smoking on the stoop
(Are you impressed at how artistic and deep we were? I know I am.)
camera: around the house
Morning has broken. The sun shines through the window and wakes up Harper and Garrett. Hangovers and complaining ensue.
Garrett: (groggily) Morning, Sunshine.
Harper: Um…yeah. Morning.
Garrett: Ugh…I’ve got such a headache.
Garrett: So…you hungry? I could go make us something.
Harper: All we have left is half a bag of Skittles and some cold pizza.
She untangles herself from her sleeping bag and walks over to where all the grocery bags are. She rifles around in them and pulls out a box of condoms.
(These are totally pointless, except that condoms + teenage brain = automatic comic relief. You should’ve seen Bob and me at WalMart when we went to buy them. I specifically remember us getting the Her Pleasure variety – they came in a purple box. The Brookings WalMart didn’t have self-checkout then, so we had to go through a regular cashier, and we were petrified. All through the check-out process, we talked loudly about how we were getting them for “our friend” and wouldn’t “our friend” be glad! The truth – we need these for props in a movie – sounded a whole lot more suspicious.)
Harper: And these.
She tosses them back in the bag and goes over to sit on her sleeping bag.
Garrett: What about all those bags of chips?
Harper: I’m so tired of chips…that’s all I’ve been eating for this entire trip.
April comes trudging down the stairs.
April: (looking at the bedroom) Are they still in there?
Harper: (sarcastic in a sort-of friendly way) Well, they’re not out here!
(“Sort-of friendly” sarcasm, I’m sure, sounds WAY different than regular sarcasm. The sarcasm in this editor’s note is the regular variety, not the sort-of friendly variety.)
Garrett: I’ll go wake them up, I guess.
He makes his way to the bedroom and flings the door open.
Garrett: (yells) Eww! Put your clothes back on!
Paige: (from inside) Very funny, asshole.
(I think this is the most serious curse word in the script. We were edgy, I tell you.)
Braydn: Leave us alone.
Garrett: (serious now) Come on…we’ve got to get ready if we want to make Winnipeg before dark.
(Who wouldn’t want to road trip to Winnipeg?)
Garrett leaves to roll sleeping bags with Harper. April gets up and heads to the bathroom. (The bathroom in this house was positively horrifying. We didn’t even attempt to clean it – I’m pretty sure we would’ve contracted some sort of flesh-eating bacteria if we had. Our solution? Just don’t film in there!) Braydn and Paige come out of the bedroom. They are tired, stretching, and ruffled. April comes out of the bathroom with a toothbrush in hand.
April: (deliberately) There’s…no…water in this dump!
Paige: Eww…how am I gonna take a shower?
April: How am I gonna brush my teeth?!
Harper: Well…we’ve still got some beer.
April: (crabbily) Better than nothing.
She takes a bottle of beer and goes back to the bathroom. Everyone else continues packing. People are going in and out of rooms to change clothes because you definitely can’t wear the same clothes two days in a row. That’s gross. (Again, actual stage directions.) People also go in and out of the bathroom hall. Harper comes around the corner into the kitchen and runs right into Garrett, dropping her stuff.
Garrett: Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t –
Harper: No, it’s ok, you’re fine.
She quickly gathers up her crap and makes a hasty exit. Garrett just sort of watches her go away. Back in the living room…
Braydn: Hey…did Rayne come in last night?
April: (crabby) She’s probably passed out on the front steps.
Paige: You mean she slept outside?
The old familiar ‘wow, she’s dumb’ look follows. Garrett comes back from the bathroom.
Harper: I’ll go outside and check.
Garrett: (even though he has no idea what’s going on) I’ll help you.
He follows her to the front door, and they do not see Rayne. It takes a minute, but Garrett finally sees her lying the grass with her back to them. He grabs Harper’s shoulder.
Garrett: Harper, there she is.
Harper goes over to Rayne.
Harper: (loudly) Rayne! (pause) How many did she have last night? (louder) Rayne!
Braydn comes outside.
Braydn: Did you find her?
Garrett: Yeah, but it’s kinda like trying to wake up a rock.
(Have you ever tried to wake up a rock? Me either.)
Braydn: Hey, I have an idea.
He goes inside, and Harper and Garrett are confused. Braydn returns shortly with a camera.
Braydn: She’s gonna kill us when she wakes up, but it’ll be worth it!
He begins to take pictures of the ‘sleeping’ Rayne; laughter; others come out to see what’s going on. April goes to turn Rayne from her side to her back for more pictures. April stops laughing.
April: She’s cold…
Paige: What’s on her neck? She didn’t have hickeys yesterday!
Braydn: (slowly) Those look like finger marks.
Harper: She’s dead!
chaos! screaming crying ‘who could’ve done this’ – general horror movie confusion. After a little bit…
Paige: (yells) April!
All is quiet; everyone looks at Paige.
Paige: April. It had to be April. When Rayne went outside, Braydn and I were together, and Garrett and Harper were in the living room. (turns to April) You were the only one who wasn’t around!
April: (incredulous) I was upstairs!
Paige: Do we know that?
Braydn: April, you’ve always hated Rayne. You two were always fighting for control, and Rayne always won…and you couldn’t stand it.
April: Sure, Braydn, just because Paige says something means you have to agree with her!
Braydn: (yelling) Paige makes sense!
Harper: Can’t we worry about this later? One of our friends is dead, and we don’t know why. We need to get out of here so we can find some help.
Garrett: The car.
They make a mad dash to the car. Garrett is in the driver’s seat, and next to him are Harper and April. Paige, and Braydn are in the back. Garrett tries to start the car, but nothing doing…this is, after all, a horror movie. (At least we knew that the old “oh no the car is dead how did that happen” trick was not the least bit original.)
Garrett: It won’t start. (louder) It won’t start!
Paige: Go and fix it, Garrett!
Garrett: (hysterical) Me?! I don’t know anything about cars! Just because I’m a guy doesn’t mean I can fix a car!
April: I took a semester of auto-mechanics…let me check.
April gets out and pokes around inside the hood. No one really pays attention to what she’s up to; they’re crying, etc. After a while…
Braydn: It shouldn’t take this long.
Braydn: I’m gonna go see what’s wrong.
He gets out of the car and walks around to where April is.
Braydn: (before he reaches the car) April? Can I help?
He comes to the hood and sees April lying facedown on the engine – she is dead.
(You never know when a semester of auto-mechanics will be your demise.)
Braydn: (whispered disbelief) …no.
camera: follows characters
(Isn’t that what cameras usually do?)
Braydn walks slowly back to the car and opens Paige’s door.
Braydn: (quietly, calmly) Get out.
Paige, since she is the ditz, starts to get out, but Garrett holds his arm out to stop her.
Garrett: What’s wrong?
Braydn: April’s dead.
chaos! (An awful lot of time is spent in “chaos.”) Then, after the chaos has died down a little…
Garrett: Braydn…you were the only one out there with her. You killed April.
Braydn: You can’t be serious.
Garrett: You were at her throat two minutes ago! How obvious can it get?
Paige gets out of the car and stands by Braydn.
Paige: I can’t believe you. How could you ever think that? You’re his best friend!
Garrett: (urgently) It only makes sense, Paige. Maybe you’re just too dumb to see it! (pause) What are we gonna do, Harper?
Harper: I don’t know…(thinking, then – epiphany!) Wait…the phone!
Harper: They’ve got to have a phone; we should call somebody!
Paige: Yeah, there was one in that bedroom!
Braydn: I’ll go call the police.
Garrett: How do we know you’re gonna call the police?
(He’s got to be THAT guy.)
Paige: I’m going with him.
Harper: And I’m not staying here with a dead body.
She gets out of the car, and they all look at Garrett.
Braydn: So…are you coming?
Garrett says nothing, but he reluctantly gets out. They run back to the house, and April is still sprawled out on the engine. Paige is hysteric and crying. Braydn and Harper show no emotion. Garrett is ‘fearless’ and has his hand on Harper’s back as they run. The camera cuts off after a while and is inside when they open the door. They open the door and go to the phone. Braydn picks it up and hits that little thing (I still don’t know what that little thing is called); there is no dial tone.
Braydn: The phone’s dead.
Paige looks down and picks up the telephone wire, which is cut.
(SURPRISE SURPRISE again.)
Paige: (still holding the cord) Now what?
Garrett: April brought her cell phone along…it’s upstairs with the rest of her stuff.
(This was 2005 – why did no one else have a cell phone?)
He runs up the stairs to get the phone. Everyone else stands there in stunned silence.
Harper: Somebody should’ve gone with him.
Garrett yells from upstairs. Harper starts up the stairs by herself and turns back to her remaining compatriots.
Harper: Aren’t you guys coming?
Paige: Harper, are you crazy?
Harper: We’ve got to see what’s wrong!
Braydn: (to Paige) We’ll be safer if we stick together.
They follow Harper up the stairs.
camera: upstairs – films others running up the stairs
Upon reaching the top, they look around aimlessly for a moment. Paige looks down and sees a trail of blood. The camera follows the blood trail to the closet door, where Garrett is just standing. The camera films Garrett’s face as he opens the door. Slowly, everyone else comes over to look inside. The camera moves to show April inside – still dead. (No zombies here.) Everyone is absolutely silent. The camera cuts off and films the sides of their heads looking in. The camera zooms in between two heads and goes to the window. Down in the yard, we see a black-clad figure just standing. The figure walks behind a tree. Suddenly, everyone runs down the stairs at the same time – the camera stays at the window and watches them come out. The camera cuts to the backside of the house and watches them run around the corner.
(These camera directions make no sense. Good thing we didn’t actually try to film.)
Paige is behind, but not by much. She sees the door to the basement and stops.
(The basement is actually a super-creepy root cellar.)
Paige: Guys, look!
Paige: Let’s hide in here until we figure things out!
Braydn: We don’t know what’s down there!
Harper: It’s better than standing out here in the open.
Harper leads the way, and they all scurry down into the basement. At the bottom of the stairs, Harper trips on something.
Garrett: (concerned) You alright?
Harper: (distracted) Yeah…yeah, I’m fine. (to herself) What did I trip on?
She looks around and sees a flashlight. She picks it up and turns it on – eureka, it works.
Paige: Gimme that!
She grabs the flashlight and shines it around; exploring.
(Because everyone wants to explore after two of their friends have been killed off.)
Braydn: What the hell is happening?
Harper: I don’t know, but we’ve gotta get out of here.
Garrett: (with difficulty) Braydn, I’m sorry for accusing you. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t, I guess.
Braydn: Don’t worry about it.
pause; Braydn begins to wander around.
Harper: (sigh) Some vacation…
Garrett: (sadly) …and we’re not even in Canada yet.
(Did he still want to go to Canada? What would he do with the dead friends? Tie them to the roof like Aunt Edna in Vacation?)
Paige: I guess I would’ve been better off just getting a job this summer.
Braydn: Stop that, all of you. We’re going to be fine, we just –
He kicks something, but it’s dark, so we cannot see what it is.
Braydn: (apprehensive) Paige, bring me that flashlight.
She comes over.
Paige: What for?
She shines the light at Braydn, then down to the ground to reveal that Braydn has kicked the body of Rayne. (Still no zombies, just mysterious moving bodies. Bob and I wanted to add a sense of “the murder is still here and moving the bodies to make his/her presence known,” but I think we could’ve done better than “surprise! The body moved!) She screams, drops the flashlight, and runs to the chicken coop. Everyone must follow.
camera: around the chicken coop
(Yes, a real chicken coop. The chickens had long since moved out.)
By the time the others get out of the basement, Paige has disappeared. They run to the coop and turn inside. They stop suddenly when they see Paige staring at a wall with her back to them. There is silence.
Paige: Someone is here.
Harper and Garrett freak out and look around frantically.
Braydn: She doesn’t mean here… (points at ground) She means here. (broad gesture)
(Not in the ground, but in the air?)
There is relief – sort of. Harper gets adventurous and walks away, but nobody notices. The camera stays in one place and watches Harper leave – camera films in the space between Garrett and Braydn; Paige is not visible. Cut to Paige, who turns around, seemingly ‘normal’ again.
(This group is remarkably dim-witted. If there is a murderer about, I think the last thing you want to do is split up. Silly, silly characters. When will they learn?)
Paige: Where’s Harper?
Everyone looks around, but Harper is nowhere to be found. They run out of the coop, stop, and look around some more. Braydn sees Harper standing by the tin thing.
(There were many “tin things” on the property.)
Braydn: (points) Over there!
Garrett leads the way with Braydn and Paige close behind. They approach Harper, who is staring under the tin thing. Everyone looks underneath, but the only thing the camera sees is an arm.
(An arm? What?) Braydn and Paige take off. Garrett starts to leave, but Harper stays and stares. Garrett pulls her away, and they run to the silo with the others.
Everyone climbs into the silo: Paige, then Braydn, then Harper, then Garrett. (Would you climb into an enclosed space – like a silo – if you were being pursued by a killer? Fish in a barrel, my friends.) Peek thing occurs – in and out, in and not out. (Peek thing? What do these camera directions even mean? Motion sickness, most likely.) The camera snaps up to the sky and snaps back down to find the black-clad character inside the silo with them. (See what we did there? What a clever diversionary tactic.) The four inch around the silo, away from the black thing. The black thing stands still. About halfway around…
Garrett: (eerily calm) Run.
They do. Paige is out first, followed by Harper and Braydn. Garrett starts to climb out, but we see the black figure standing behind him. An all-black arm reaches up, but does not touch him. The camera cuts to Paige, Harper, and Braydn running away from the silo. They hear the loud sound of a bone snapping and stop dead. (What terrible friends. It takes the sound of snapping bones to make them stop and check to see if everyone was ok.)
camera: in the junkpile; sees Harper, Braydn, and Paige in the foreground
They reach the junkpile and hide behind it. Harper sits in stunned silence.
Paige: What are we going to do?
Braydn: We’re going to run.
(Nah, don’t bother to see if your friend in the silo is alright.)
He stands and pulls Paige up. Harper remains on the ground.
Braydn: C’mon, Harper, let’s go.
Harper says nothing and expresses no emotion. Braydn kneels down in front of her, grabs her shoulders, and makes her look at him.
Braydn: We’re gonna run down this driveway and never look back. You have to, Harper.
He helps Harper up, and the three of them start running. The camera goes back to reveal Garrett lying in the silo.
camera: follows them running
Braydn, Paige, and Harper are running like hell, and the camera follows the three of them. Paige and Braydn pull ahead, and the camera is on them – not Harper. The camera pulls out to show that only Braydn and Paige are running. (Once again, it’s every man for himself. Where’s yoru sense of teamwork, people?!) There is a thump and a scrabbling sound. Braydn and Paige skid to a halt and turn around to see Harper on the ground.
Braydn: (yells) Harper!
They run back to Harper, who starts to get up.
Harper: (shakily) I’m ok…I just tripped.
(We totally tricked you into thinking the killer got Harper! No? You didn’t fall for it? Well, ok.)
Braydn: Are you sure you’re ok?
Harper: I’m fine.
Paige and Braydn help Harper up, and she winces. They run slowly; Harper starts off limping but gets better. The camera switches to their point-of-view. They run past the car and go over a hill. When they reach the top of the hill, they see the black figure standing at the top of the next hill. They stop, and the figure begins walking toward them. The camera switches back to the characters.
Braydn: (yells) Run!
camera: follows characters
The three of them run into the Stabbin’ Cabin; (fact: that was the name painted on the side of the broken down ice cream truck) the camera sees their backs as they get in. The camera zooms in on “don’t laugh” etc. (There was some creepy saying painted on the ice cream truck. I can’t remember what it said, but it tied in nicely with our horror movie.) The camera switches to the characters, who are out of breath and sweaty.
Paige: (verge of tears) Who the hell was that?
Braydn: I don’t know, but we have to leave.
(Our characters love to state the obvious.)
Braydn reaches for the keys, but there are none to be found. He slowly withdraws his hand.
Braydn: No keys.
(Why would there be keys in a broken-down ice cream truck?)
The camera switches to film them through the windshield, all three of them just sitting in disbelief. The camera sees a dark figure sitting behind them, but they do not. The figure leans forward and puts its hands on the backs of their seats. The three look back, see the figure, freak out, and run to the barn.
(The barn: yet another enclosed space. Our characters must’ve had a death wish.)
camera: follows them to the barn; stops at the ladder
Braydn, Paige, and Harper stop at the ladder. Paige begins to climb up. The camera switches and films from the hayloft looking down. Paige is in the hayloft, and the camera films Braydn climbing up and Harper standing at the bottom. The camera switches to follow the characters; Paige helps Braydn up and they run to a corner. They are out of breath, so they sit down. There is silence.
Paige: (stunned) What’s happening?
Braydn: I don’t know…I don’t know what’s happening. (he puts his head in his hands) Our friends are dying, and I don’t know why.
(Probably because everyone is dumber than a box of rocks and completely lacking survival instinct.)
He leaves his head in his hands, and there is a moment of silence. Suddenly, Braydn looks up.
Braydn: (alarmed) Where’s Harper?
(Once again, our self-centered characters are totally oblivious when one of their own goes missing.)
There is a small pause, and he gets up and almost walks away. Paige reaches up and grabs Braydn’s shirt.
Paige: (pleading) No, stay here.
Braydn: (urgent) But we’ve gotta go look for her!
Paige: It’s safe up here.
Braydn: It’s not safe anywhere.
Braydn says nothing, but after a brief pause, he sits. There is another pause.
(Is there an echo in here?)
Paige: Why did we ever come here? Why does this…thing want to hurt us? Why…why couldn’t we have just stayed home? Braydn, why?
(Why... why couldn’t we have written a better script?)
Now there are tears. Braydn puts his hands on her shoulders.
Braydn: Paige, I know this is awful. I know you wish this was all a bad dream. I wish, too. But we’re still here. We can make it. And the only chance in hell we’ve got is if you’re brave for me. Be brave?
(I am LOVING these inspirational speeches.)
Paige wipes her tears away. Braydn gets up and holds out his hand for Paige, who takes it. They walk slowly across the hayloft, Braydn first. Walking, walking. The camera focuses on Braydn. Suddenly, there is a crunch and a scream – Paige has fallen through the floor. (While exploring the hayloft for script-writing purposes, Bob and I had to dodge the rotted floorboards and gaping holes – more than once, we almost did fall through the floor. Hence: inspiration for this scene!)
Braydn: (yells) Paige!
Braydn climbs down the ladder as fast as he possibly can. The camera goes the bottom of the ladder, filming him as he climbs down. When he is at the bottom, he leaps off the last rung, but falls. (Another rule of horror movies: everyone must be terribly clumsy.) He quickly scrambles to his feet and stops. Directly in front of him is the Harper…hanging upside-down from a rope.
(I’m glad we never had to figure out how to film this. There’s no way any rafter in that ancient barn would support the weight of an upside-down person.)
Braydn: (softly) No.
camera: follows Braydn
Braydn runs to Paige, who is lying on the ground…her neck is broken. He kneels beside her, not knowing what to do.
Braydn: (whispers) Paige…
He picks up the limp body of Paige and looks at her for a second. He then lays her down again. He slowly gets up and begins walking to the house. The camera follows his back at first; “Look What You’ve Done” plays in the background. (I forgot this song existed. Too bad; I liked it better that way.) One by one, his dead friends appear.
Rayne: in the barn doorway
April: on the fence
Garrett: by a tree
Harper: on the front steps
Paige: right inside the house
The dead friends just watch Braydn…no expressions. They look just as they appeared at the beginning of the movie: no blood, clean clothes, etc. Braydn walks slowly and continuously to the house. He doesn’t see the dead friends; he looks right past them with no expression. The camera switches from his back to his side, etc.
(You would not believe how excited Bob and I were about this scene. We thought we were so artistic and amazing.)
camera: with Braydn
Braydn walks into the kitchen; he’s in a daze. He looks around for a moment or two, seemingly confused. He sees the knife that he tossed on the counter way back in Scene 5. Saying nothing, he picks up the knife. Braydn taps his finger on the point, like he’s testing sharpness. He closes his eyes for a moment, a tear or two falls, and opens them again, still looking at the knife. Braydn takes a deep breath and tilts his head back. He brings the knife near his throat. Random picture sequence:
1 Paige looking at Braydn
2 Rayne and April walking toward the house
3 Paige’s sad face
4 Garrett and Harper walking toward the house
5 Paige’s eye with a tear falling
6 Rayne, April, Garrett, and Harper walking in the door
(Once again, artistic and amazing.)
The camera cuts to Braydn sinking to the ground, hand on throat, and the bloody knife nearby. Paige is on her hands and knees, crawling toward him. (Wait, what?) Braydn is now lying on the ground as Paige gets closer. The camera zooms out on Braydn and Paige and goes into the other room. There, the bodies of the other four are spread out on the floor. (Wait, WHAT?) The camera fades to black.
It’s all in the camera!
The camera exits the house and travels up the driveway. When the car comes into view, the camera begins to run. When it reaches the car, it comes to a dead stop, showing the black figure in the driver’s seat. A black gloved hand slowly reaches up to slowly pull of the hood, revealing – OMG – the stranger at the rest stop as the killer! (This was the dumbest idea ever. Why would the lady from the rest stop want to kill them? Who even remembers all the way back to that scene? Couldn’t we have come up with anything more surprising?) She gives the tiniest smile, then reaches down and starts the car. Black! (Let’s be honest, though: these last three scenes were most definitely the best scenes in the movie. Why? Because there’s almost no talking. FINALLY.)
You have successfully reached the end of Bob’s and my high school masterpiece. I can’t speak for you, but I know I enjoyed it – I haven’t read the script in its entirety since we completed it in 2005, and I’d forgotten just how glorious it was. And by “glorious,” of course, I mean abysmal. We used every cliché in the book without meaning to, which is actually kind of impressive. But I got some really good laughs out of it, and better still, it brought back some truly great memories. After all, not everyone has friends who are willing to be in a campy horror movie with you.