Genre: Horror
Premise: (from IMDB) An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After violating a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.
About: In a Dark Place was retitled “The Inhabitant” which has subsequently been retitled “The Boy,” and it already has one of the creepiest trailers I’ve seen all year. It stars Lauren Cohan, who Walking Dead fans will recognize as Maggie Greene. The script is written by Stacey Menear, who wrote one of my favorite scripts (it’s over to the right in my Top 25) five years ago. This is his first produced credit. The film hits theaters in January.
Writer: Stacey Menear
Details: 115 pages

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Halloween Week continues here on Scriptshadow and today makes me soooooo happy! Stacey Menear, whose script, Mixtape, I reviewed five years ago and who gave an interview to us around that time, has finally broken through with his first produced credit! It kills me when super-talented writers give up amongst the hard knox of Hollywood and I’m so happy to see that Stacey pushed through the tough times and got a film made.

It’s important to remember that one of the most underrated components to making it in this business is sticking it out. Getting better and better with each draft, meeting more and more people who become fans of your work, until finally, one day, talent, skill, experience, and all that networking come together for a film opportunity. Stick with it folks. Don’t give up before it all comes together for you!

20-something Gerti Evans is running from something. Why else would you leave your country to come be a nanny for people you’ve never met? As we’ll find out later, Gerti just got out of an abusive relationship with some crazy psycho and moving halfway across the world was the only way to escape him.

But Gerti is about to learn that she hopped out of the oven and into the frying pan (or however the saying goes). She arrives at a mysterious mansion in the English countryside and is introduced to the Heelshires, an older couple with a son. Well, sort of a son. The Heelshires, you see, kind of maybe possibly take care of a porcelain male doll who they believe is their boy. His name is Brahms.

Gertie assumes this has to be a joke, but quickly realizes that the Heelshires are anything but jokers. They go on to explain that taking care of Brahms requires following a strict set of rules that involves never leaving him alone, giving him a bath, reading to him, playing music really loud for him.

As soon as Mrs. Heelshire determines Gertie can handle the job, she and the hubby head out for a three-month vacation, leaving Gertie all alone. In this giant house. With a doll. Who they believe is a real boy. Yeah, cue the Exorcist soundtrack.

At first Gertie treats this situation like you’d expect it to be treated. She throws a blanket over the creepy doll and goes about her day. It helps that the cute local grocery boy (or man), Malcom, comes by every once in awhile to deliver some food. And periodic calls with her sister back home, which include updates about her evil ex-boyfriend, Cole, help pass the time.

But then strange things start to happen. Gertie’s clothes are moved. Brahm isn’t always where she left him. She even finds her favorite meal made for her in the dining room one evening. Could it be a joke? Malcom maybe? Eventually, Gertie finds that following the rules laid out by the Heelshires stop these mysterious events. And before Gertie knows it, she’s treating Brahms, gasp, like a real boy. Might Gertie be falling into the same trap as the Heelshires? Or is there some real otherworldly shit going on here?

Uh, this script was fucking awesome. I was thoroughly creeped out. But not just that. Stacey has proven once again why he’s such an awesome screenwriter. There is so much here to celebrate, starting with the structure.

I’ve read tons of these scripts before. And all of them work for exactly one act. The setup . Because these scripts are easy to set up. You have a creepy doll. You have the main character. We know that that doll is going to do creepy shit later. So we want to read on.

But they always fall apart once they hit the second act because instead of the writer actually building a story, they try to fill up space between cliché doll-movie scares. The doll not being in the room they left them in. Some old record player playing old music. Who turned it on?? The sound of laughing or crying in the other room but when our hero goes to check the sound, it stops.

The thing is, In a Dark Place does include some of these tropes, but because it’s also building a story, they work. That’s what screenwriters forget. A trope or cliché by itself is empty. But if it’s something that’s carefully and organically worked up towards via good storytelling, it will kill.

So here, Stacey makes a couple of smart decisions that ensure the script extends past the first act. First, there’s Cole, the evil ex-boyfriend. His presence lingers throughout the script, conveyed mainly through Gerti’s phone conversations with her sister. We know this guy is going to show up at some point, and that leaves a LINE OF SUSPENSE open for some later dramatic shenanigans.

We also have Malcom, who serves as our love interest, and also as our gateway into the Heelshires’ past. In that sense, he pulls double-duty. We like this guy and we want Gertie to move past this terrible relationship she got out of, so we’re rooting for the two to get together. And also, Malcom is nervous about talking about the Heelshires’ past, so we get these sporadic spooky tidbits about their history, including how they got to this point with Brahms.

This leads us, of course, to the mystery of Brahms himself. Who was the real Brahms? How did he die? What are these rumors about him doing something horrible to a little girl? About a fire? How is he able to move? Is his soul really trapped inside this doll? There are so many questions when it comes to Brahms that I couldn’t wait to turn the pages to find out more. This isn’t fucking Annabelle where the extent of the doll’s history is: “Doll is possessed. The End.” There’s an entire mythology built into this weird doll-thing and it was awesome to keep learning about.

And then there were the story twists. One of my favorites was (spoiler) when we learn that the Heelshires aren’t coming back. That they freaking walked into an ocean to kill themselves. And that they left a will that makes Gertie the owner of Brahms. And then they left a separate letter for Brahms. Which said: “Now you have a new doll to take care of.” As in, yes, Gertie is HIS doll. Not the other way around.

I also loved that Gertie becomes a believer and starts taking care of Brahms as if he’s a real child. In every other doll-horror script I’ve read, from the mid-point on, it’s a series of scares with the doll being in other rooms and making noises and our hero getting more and more freaked out until there’s a final battle with the doll.

Gertie becoming a believer was, in many ways, a thousand times creepier. And by making that unexpected choice, it led to a better ending (spoiler) where Cole shows up, starts calling her crazy for thinking the doll is real, and we set up a situation where Brahms can now defend the girl who’s become his protector. You don’t get that story option if you go the traditional route, which is why I love Stacey’s writing so much.

And then on top of that, Stacey’s just a great word-for-word writer. Here’s him describing Gertie’s driver at the beginning of the script: “He’s an ancient looking guy, more hair coming out of his ears than on his head.” Or Gertie herself: “She’s blonde and pretty in that “Hi, I’ll be your waitress for today” kind of way.” And he just added these technically unnecessary but creepy atmospheric things, like the rat problem in the house, with Gertie being forced to clean up the bloody dead rats from the rat traps every week.

There’s not much more to say. I’m a fan! Check out In a Dark Place out if you can get your hands on it!

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[x] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: This is the perfect example of a great writer who struggled to get stuff through the system UNTIL he went with a genre script. The thing is though, he didn’t sell out. He found an idea that allowed him to still utilize his particular brand of writing, his voice. This still feels like a “Stacey Menear” screenplay. So don’t think you have to give up your soul to write a genre piece. Find a marketable genre that allows you to still be you as a writer and that way you can write something and actually have a chance of getting it made/sold.

  • carsonreeves1
    • Poe_Serling

      Hey-

      You just beat me to the punch. I was just about to post the link from The Hollywood Reporter.

      I’m curious to see if anyone associated with the SS community made it on the list this year.

    • ripleyy

      Out of them all, “The Shave” is by far the best sounding one. I actually got tense just thinking about it.

      • 3waystopsign

        I’ve read it, yours if you want it. It seems an odd inclusion on the list. I’d call it a crime drama. The Bloodlist site calls their lists “dark genre.” Not sure I would include this on that group. But it was not bad. Sure it will go through some rewrites. It has a pretty decent twist ending.

        • ripleyy

          I thought that many of them weren’t technically “horror”, but more thriller-horror. And hit me up at “ellisrhsunday(at)gmail(dot)com”!

          • 3waystopsign

            There you go

          • ripleyy

            Thank you, good sir.

          • masteryas

            Hey man, could I get a copy as well please.

            Yassirmalik@hotmail. Com

          • masteryas

            The Shave would be awesome too thanks

          • 3waystopsign

            OK

        • Orange Pop

          Yeah, it’s definitely a crime drama.

        • Thomas Anderson

          Sorry to add on to the requests, but I’d really love a copy of the script too. If you could e-mail it to “misformabuse@gmail.com” I’d really appreciate it.

          • 3waystopsign

            OK

        • Frankie Hollywood

          Hey 3way, if you have any of the Bloodlist pilots I’d actually enjoy reading them.

          THANKS

          lanzoweyn@live.com

          • 3waystopsign

            Not yet but will send when I do

      • Orange Pop

        I wasn’t crazy about “The Shave.” I thought there was gonna be more to it.

      • Magga

        Shit, there goes my suspense movie of the psychotically jealous barber :(

        • ripleyy

          Does he have the catchphrase “THAT was what they call in the highly competitive hair cutting industry as a CLOSE SHAVE”? Because if so, you still have hope ;)

      • klmn

        Has anyone here read it?
        Does the shave last the whole screenplay – say 90 to 115 pages? That would be cheap to film, but it would be the longest shave in history. I mean, you could shave a woolly mammoth if you had that much time.

        • 3waystopsign

          Lasts most of the movie but it’s intercut with flashbacks of the barber’s son’s life.

    • NajlaAnn

      One of my screenwriting friends made the list:

      4. The Accursed

      Writer: Barbara Marshall
      Genre: Gothic horror
      Logline: Doomed to a life of depraved immorality, a woman finds herself
      targeted by a vengeful assassin hell bent on wiping out her kind forever, but
      neither knows that something far more sinister is hunting them both.

      I’ve read some of her work in the past and she’s truly talented.

    • Paul Schellens

      Maybe I’m a bit cynical, but the list now seems to be more of a marketing tool for ‘soon to be made’ films rather than the best unproduced scripts in the genre.

  • johnny_ironjacket

    Desperately want to read this … Please send a link to
    Johngmlee@me.com
    Thank you

  • Midnight Luck

    I have to say, every truly freaky movie I have seen, where something stays with me, has always involved some sort of doll. Some sort of vacant stare, where it almost feels like something might move. Something might happen. Someone is watching you.
    So this taps into all that, it looks, on every level.

    I am sure many other people also get creeped out by dolls.
    And people with beds full of dolls.

    One of my favorites was a TWILIGHT ZONE episode where a Ventriloquist and his doll were unnaturally close. And over time in the episode he and the doll begin turning into each other. The doll was incredibly jealous of the man, and well, somehow made it happen.

    Also, of course, there is the freaky clown doll in POLTERGEIST.
    That thing was so freaky. And why would anyone have it in their bedroom? especially a little kid? and have it staring straight at you in bed?

    So, anyway, this actually looks like it could be freaky / creepy / good.
    However, not sure I will watch it, specifically because it is about a disturbing doll.

    But, we shall see. I might give it a go anyhow.

    • brenkilco

      The old is the ventriloquist schizo or is the dummy actually possessed plot goes back a long, long way. There’s a creaky old thirties picture with Eric Von Stroheim called The Great Gabbo. There’s the most famous version in the horror anthology Dead of Night. And there’s Anthony Hopkins as the ventriloquist in the fairly lame thriller Magic.

      • Levres de Sang

        I’d not heard of the Von Stroheim pic, but according to Maltin it’s “padded out by lots of big and unintentionally hilarious musical numbers”…!?

    • Poe_Serling

      Hey Midnight-

      You should definitely check out the Twilight Zone called Living Doll. It is one of the best episodes of the series.

      “”Dolls are nothing more than plastic, nylon and pretty painted smiles.

      Or so Erich Streator thinks until his wife brings home an expensive chatting doll for his stepdaughter. His annoyance at the high price tag turns to horror when … he becomes convinced that “Talky Tina” is out to get him.”

      It stars Telly Telly Savalas.

      • Greg

        Also the Twilight Zone episode The Dummy

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      The thing about dolls is that their eyes, like eyes in a painting, follow you everywhere you move in a room.

      Doesn’t matter how far to the right or to the left you go, their eyes stare at you, following every step you take… sometimes it feels like they’re staring right into you lol

  • scriptfeels

    Great Trailer! Love the concept. What starts off as a ridiculous joke to the nanny turns into a horrifying reality.

  • Dan B

    Sounds cool. If anyone’s got it: dblixbreen at gmail.com

    • Scott Crawford

      sent!

      • brenkilco

        Scott, if you’d be so kind brenkilco@gmail.com

        • Scott Crawford

          Sent!!

          • Erica

            I would love a copy of this script too, thanks. kittiekatsflying at hotmail.com

          • 3waystopsign

            Done

          • Erica

            Thank you

      • gonzorama

        I’d like one too, please! gonzorama@hotmail.com

        • Scott Crawford

          Sent!

      • Mike

        Would you mind sending a copy my way? at bb6634@hotmail.com Thank you.

        • 3waystopsign

          done

      • romer6

        Dear Scott, thanks as always.

        romer6 at gmail dot com

        • 3waystopsign

          OK

      • ximan

        Can you send to me? itsronhollis at yahoo dot com

  • Dan B

    Congrats to Carver who got Unlawful on the Bloodlist. I remember reading Unlawful, I think it got a WTR… Looks like it’s getting produced.

  • Poe_Serling

    In a Dark Place…

    Based just on the logline and seeing the impressive rating, this sounds like a real scarefest. I skipped over the review so as not to ruin my future movie watching experience with too many plot details.

    Creepy dolls have been a mainstay of horror films forever (that is if you include the ventriloquist dummy in the mix).

    • klmn

      You think that’s scary?

      Here’s something that’s scary.

      • Poe_Serling

        Yeah, that is a real mountain monster.

        • klmn

          Check out the PBS show Secrets of the Dead, episode Vampire Legend. I watched it last night, it shows the background of vampire mythology and connects it to some archaeological finds, as well as a 2004 vampire slaying.

          Check your local listings, or watch it online.

          http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/vampire-legend-preview/2325/

    • Levres de Sang

      “Creepy dolls have been a staple of horror films forever…”

      Just wondered if you have any recommendations in this sub-genre? And whether anything ranks alongside the Dead of Night installment?

      • brenkilco

        Dead of Night is the gold standard. There’s a well regarded made for TV movie from the seventies called Trilogy of Terror. It’s most talked about episode involves an African tribal doll that comes to life and gives Karen Black a hard time

      • Poe_Serling

        Though it might not be a popular pick among critics and other horror fans, I recommend:

        DEAD SILENCE (2007)

        A widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife’s untimely death, which may be linked to the ghost of deceased ventriloquist.

        I think you would enjoy the overall creepy atmosphere, high production values, and compelling backstory of the film. Plus, I think it’s better to just watch it without knowing too much abput the plot – it makes the twists and turns at the end more satisfying.

        Directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring).

        • Levres de Sang

          Thanks Poe! Much appreciated. I’ll definitely add this one to my list.

      • wrymartini

        This: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092906/

        DOLLS (1987): A group of people stop by a mansion during a storm and discover two magical toy makers, and their haunted collection of dolls.

        Haven’t watched it since I was a kid but it freaked me the f*ck out for days.

  • BMCHB

    I want see this. Happy for Stacy Menear’s endurance paying off.

    Great trailer. Looks like the art/production designers played their part too. Would love to know how much of their designs were on the page?

    I predict that ‘doll’ causing many a nightmare.

  • carsonreeves1

    This is the foreign film they’re remaking right? I think I saw that when it came out and was a little confused about the hype. Anyone else see this? Thoughts?

    • Magga

      I saw it. It was absolutely mind-blowing, then I forgot everything about it. Strange

    • cecetwo

      It’s about a writer using events surrounding a murder case he worked on 25 years ago as the basis for his new novel. Time jumps, POV jumps, unreliability of memory and how we as people lie to ourselves, all that good stuff.

      A big part of the original narrative was the romance storyline. Itll be interesting to see how that changes now with two female leads.

      Also in my opinion probably the only film with a train station goodbye scene – complete with a ‘oh no how could I be foolish enough to let them leave, time to run after the train and reach my hand out to touch theirs through the glass’ moment – that actually WORKS. And is damn touching at that!

      • carsonreeves1

        Okay, that actually sounds pretty good. Maybe I should give it another shot.

  • Scott Crawford

    Sent!!!

  • Scott Crawford

    It’s a script a lot of people have requested from me, but I don’t have it, which is strange given that PRESUMABLY they’re hoping for Oscar noms.

  • klmn

    Haven’t read it, but what would stop Gertie from just hitting the road and leaving Brahms to take care of himself? Or tossing him in a Goodwill donations box? Leaving him on someone’s doorstep?

    It doesn’t sound scary to me. But none of these doll/ventriloquist dummy films ever creeped me out. Horror is something you can’t get away from.

    • carsonreeves1

      Stacy does a good job keeping the “why does she stay” issue believable. At first it’s because she needs the money, and the doll hasn’t gotten too scary yet. When it’s (spoiler) finally confirmed that the doll is “real,” she starts to become attached to it and WANTS to take care of it. So she stays because she wants to.

      • Greg

        To be fair, if I had a magic doll that turned real, id take care of it too. Not many of those out there.

        • klmn

          Take it on stage and make money. Even a porcelain doll could out act Vin Diesel.

          • Greg

            How dare you sir.

  • ripleyy

    So it’s a horror version of “The Truth about Emanuel”? Sounds great and Stacy is already a first-class guy.

    “Mixtape” may have been like swimming through molasses at times with his 30-word paragraphs but I definitely like his style.

  • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

    Your review makes it sound really good, but I have to admit that when my girl and I saw the trailer a few weeks back, with both groaned at the premise. Another evil puppet movie? Chuckie refined? And then we laughed for a few minutes thinking about the little kid murderer at the end of Pet Cemetery and how silly he looked.

    Hopefully more reviews like yours will push it towards a wider audience, but I have to wonder if most people won’t turn away the second they see the puppet.

    • BMCHB

      In fairness, Evil Puppet Movie is usually good.

      It’s Evil Puppet Movie 2/3/4/Returns/Revenge/3D where things go wrong.

      NEVER Jump the puppet.

  • Eddie Panta

    anyone have UNLAWFUL from AOW back in JULY?
    let me know theodorefremd at g mail

    • 3waystopsign

      On its way

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

    I still have to get through the 5th season of The Walking Dead… once they killed my friend Larry off (and they were just starting to give him a more interesting storyline, too!), I was like, eh. At least he lasted 2 seasons. But now that it’s on Netflix, I’ll have to finish it. I do like that they brought Morgan Jones back, though.

    And Scott, can you send me the script ;) thanks.

    • carsonreeves1

      I’m halfway through the first episode of Season 6, which starts with a set-piece that could easily be in a Hollywood movie. I think I’ve finally figured this show out. They do one season super-low budget, then save up all their money so they can make the following season big-budget. Then they go back to low-budget for the next season, then big-budget, etc. etc.

      • Greg

        Cowboys leading a herd of undead cattle through an expensive set piece.

      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

        Huh… now I’m trying to go through the seasons in my head: First season – yup, big budget. Second season: Ranch – not so big budget. Third season: Prison and Woodbury. – if they had to build the town just for this show – big budget. Fourth season: Almost all on the road after they have to leave the prison. And Terminus. – half budget I would say. Fifth season: in a church and on the road (up until where I left off) – pretty low budget. I’ll ask Larry and see if there’s any truth to that lol

        And why only half an episode in? I personally like to wait until the whole season is over and binge watch. Which I would have done with season 5, but I had I find out if they killed Bob. And they did. Did you like the 5th season?

  • 3waystopsign

    Sure

    • craigfeag

      I would also love to read the script, 3 Way… My email is: cfeagins@gmail.com.

  • Levres de Sang

    This is definitely one of those “Ah, I wish I’d thought of that!” premises — despite the familiarity of the creepy doll trope.

    Interesting, then, that Stacy espoused the importance of the Strange Attractor back in 2010 (just follow Carson’s links to the classic Terry Rossio article).

    ** Wish they’d kept the original title. It just feels more evocative / less generic. Indeed, there’s another script entitled The Boy on today’s Blood List.

  • BMCHB

    Okay, I’ve read it. Thank you Scott.

    It’s a great read. I can see why this is now a movie that, I think, will show a huge ROI.

    It appeals on every level. By that I mean with the opening images a Director thinks ‘I can make that look great’. The art/production designers are thinking that they can really enjoy working on this.

    The sound designer’s thinking that s/he could use this SFX here or that SFX there.

    Every acting part IS a part that an actor can act and play. Show their skills.

    I clap my hands to this script. It’s given me a lot to think about.

    Marketeers talk about ‘Four Quadrant’ films…Where’s the film’s demographic, etc.

    As scriptwriters we should not think like that.

    Four quadrants, for sure, but four quadrants of production, not viewing/audience.

    Writers should not concern themselves with who might watch their film. Writers should concern themselves with who might make their film…

    Just a thought.

    • Greg

      I disagree with the thought that writers shouldnt think about quadrants. In my experience one of the first thing that gets brought up is demographics. A writer who wants to be successful should put their producer hat on early in the process so things dont have to be revisited later. The best way to find someone to make your film is by making something as marketable as possible.

      • BMCHB

        Good point too.

        I only think that a script should attract a director and an actor/ress. The rest of the production crew too…preferably.

  • Caivu

    ***HORROR MOVIE MARATHON 2015 DAY 28:
    DOCTOR X (1932)***

    From the sound of it, this is a pre-Code Silence of the Lambs. Plus, it’s in color.
    ¡La reseña de la película se publicará dentro de poco!

    • brenkilco

      More like murder mystery than a horror picture though the suspects are mostly mad scientists, and my dim recollection is that things do turn gruesome at at the end. A word about the color. Three strip technicolor, the kind we know, that afforded a full spectrum of hues wasn’t developed until the mid thirties. And the older two strip system, which rendered everything either greenish blue or dingy brown is just plain ugly. You may be better of watching this in black and white

      • Levres de Sang

        I don’t know too much about these early color experiments, but I have just recently bought a cheap (public domain?) dvd of Mystery of the Wax Museum from 1933. I’m saving it for Halloween, but tested out the first 10 minutes or so and was impressed; although strangely enough — considering the Vincent Price remake — there’s an almost 3D / filmed-on-video effect to the scenes? It’s really quite odd, but Time Out’s review does refer to “pale, shimmering images [that] linger in the mind”.

        • brenkilco

          Both X and Wax are old Michael Curtiz movies so worth catching. Dr. X features actor Lee Tracy as a wisecracking, fast talking, newspaper guy. A character he sort of held the patent on in the thirties. He fell into obscurity but came roaring back in the sixties with his fantastic performance as the dying ex-president in the play and film The Best Man

          • Levres de Sang

            I’d never heard of The Best Man, but it sounds great. Even Halliwell raves about it!

            In fact, it’s finally dawned upon me that pretty much anything from this period with a script by Vidal or Capote is a must watch.

          • brenkilco

            After The Candidate and Advise and Consent the best movie about politics. And by far the wittiest of the three. When old school pol Tracy discovers that candidate Fonda is an atheist he observes “In my day we had to pour God over everything, like ketchup.” The more things change…..

  • 3waystopsign

    Sure

  • 3waystopsign

    Alrighty

  • carsonreeves1

    Don’t tell me the twist but remind me what the movie was about. I can’t remember.

  • NajlaAnn

    Anybody have a copy of “In a Dark Place’ -> “The Inhabitant” -> “The Boy?” I’d love to read it. NajlaAnn@hotmail.com

    • 3waystopsign

      OK

      • NajlaAnn

        Thank you!

      • Altius

        Would you send a copy my way, please? ParkerJamisonFilm@gmail.

        Thank you!

        • 3waystopsign

          there you go

  • Citizen M

    Read it, thanks to Scott. I’m not a horror fan but this had a creepy psychological vibe that got to me. I didn’t think that adults treating a life-size doll as their son was something I could ever accept, but the writer pulled it off. He managed to make it entirely believable, and delivered a good old-fashioned creepy haunted house story with enough developments to make it interesting, and a big finish. I fully agree with Carson’s “impressive” rating.

    • brenkilco

      Entirely believable? SPOILER ALERT. The big reveal made no sense to me at all. If the parents are caring for their homicidal son whom everyone presumes dead(wasn’t anyone concerned by the lack of a body) then what is all this nonsense with the doll? It isn’t simply an act for the nanny’s benefit. This routine has been going on for years. Why do the crazy, but devoted parents kill themselves? What do they think is going to become of the nanny who has only been hired for three months? What do they think is going to become of junior? Why does the nanny leaving send Brahms into a murderous frenzy while the site of his parents bugging out fails to elicit a peep? What does Junior intend to do with the nanny? At the end it’s clear he has nasty physical designs. But he spends a month and half just messing with her laundry.

      The script is superior to most horror scripts in that it actually has a second act with new bits of info doled out on cue and weird events steadily escalating. But the mere fact that the nanny stays in this bizarre situation is tough to swallow and her convenient conversion to a Brahms believer is even more implausible. And there are other problems. Why does it take so long for the truth about the girl’s death to be revealed when this must surely be the most bizarre murder ever committed in this little burg and everyone would recall the details? The last twenty pages of the script are just the old, tired slasher one two right down to the killer popping back up for final scare.

      Impressive? Perhaps there’s a sliding scale for the horror genre. A genuine dramatic structure, even a rickety one, puts you ahead of the pack. I’m reminded of the old line about the dancing bear. He’s not impressive because he does it well but because he does it at all.

  • AVATAR

    It looks good. I saw the trailer in front of Crimson Peak a week ago.

    I want to say that this is based on an urban legend. In my high school there was a story similar to this circulating, and based upon some local mansion where there was some supposed spooky things going on. What probably happened is someone heard the story, or read it somewhere and injected it into the local lore of the town.

  • Lucid Walk

    If anyone can shoot me a copy, my email is seames120@gmail.com. Please and thanks

    • 3waystopsign

      Sure

      • Lucid Walk

        Thanks again

  • Greg

    Well itd be a tiny copout if hes dark side without having a ‘fall’ on screen. Dark Empire was a very satisfying comic series, so if Lukes a dark Jedi at least give us an Eclipse class Super Star Destroyer.

  • ChadStuart

    The thing about JJ and his little mystery box is that what’s inside is never that surprising. Even when he went out of his way to lie about Khan in the last Star Trek, it was painfully obvious Khan was in it.

    i don’t think the “secret” to Luke will be all the surprising or earth shattering.

  • charliesb

    What could the narrative be that turns Luke bad? He found excitement, his sister, saved his father and the galaxy. I supposed there is the idea of power, but that seems like a rather cheap reason to go bad. (Not that it hasn’t been used before)

    Anakin had the loss of his mother, his distrust of the Jedi Council and the impending and subsequent death of his wife to send him as far from the rules and doctrines of the Jedi as possible.

  • BMCHB

    STAR WARS SPOILER WARNING

    Luke is a ‘Cyborg’ in TFA, more man than machine. Not a Jedi/Not a Sith.

    Most of him is now technology/steel.

    My friend worked on quite a few scenes in London and Mark/Luke wore a greenscreen over half his face all the time..

  • gregthegreg

    Kylo Ren is featured in the newest trailer sans helmet. At the very end as he’s about to fight Finn. And he looks a lot like the back of Adam Driver’s head.

    • BMCHB

      It’s been 32 years. A lot has happened…

      • gregthegreg

        Including his voice changing… to Adam Driver’s voice.

        • BMCHB

          ???

          Hey, Greg, I still don’t know if Han Solo dies or not…

          • gregthegreg

            Huh?

            I”m just making the point: if Kylo Ren is Luke, then who is Adam Driver playing? Fake Kylo Ren?

          • BMCHB

            Cool.

            Are you referring to my spoiler below?

            Kylo Ren is NOT Luke.

            I’m sure you’ve been following the conceptual art for this…

          • gregthegreg

            Gotchya.

            That’s an interesting spoiler. This is the first I’ve heard of it. But I’ve been trying to avoid most FA news.

          • BMCHB

            Just did some editing…still haven’t figured out spoilers…

            Be good. Enjoy.

            #HanBetterSurvive

          • charliesb

            I think Han will survive, but things aren’t looking good for Chewie.

  • BMCHB

    It is, I think, being disingenuous to Star Wars to disregard it as a youthful pursuit.

    I, and I’m willing to guess, others as men, see it for what it is…

    The ultimate fairy tale.

    Your father is the monster…

    Anyone else here have parents that separated? Divorced?

    Lucas and Spielberg captured something. Everything anyone else does is only going to be compared to what they’ve done…

    • Citizen M

      My parents divorced. I find Star Wars, apart from the first two, boring, stilted, lifeless posturing of cardboard characters who have no inner life but are merely there to serve the cliche plots.

      There is no way on earth I will willingly watch another Star Wars movie.

      • BMCHB

        What if I buy the ticket? And the popcorn?

        ‘Willingly’, CM says…I think it’s booked out until March 2016 anyway.

      • BMCHB

        Well, there goes my thesis.

        The adoption of external father figures in the films of Spielberg and Lucas.

        Anyway, back to the horror.

        Happy Halloween everybody.

  • Citizen M

    I saw it long ago but had to read the Wikipedia summary to remind myself what it was about. I remember it as being a bit hard to follow the story.

    What I most remember is the miscasting of the two male leads. One character is an alcoholic who goes off the reservation. The actor who plays him looks like an accountant who goes to gym and wears a cardigan and black-rimmed glasses. The other character is someone who does everything by the book. The actor who plays him looks like a self-destructive dissipated old boozer.

    The director should have swapped them around. It made for tough viewing, having to remind oneself that the guy who looked like an alcoholic was in fact the other guy who wasn’t an alcoholic, and vice versa.

    They say that half the director’s job is getting the cast right. Having seen an example where the director didn’t get it right, I can believe this.

  • HRV

    Would someone send me a copy as well websleuth@hotmail.com Thanks

    • Citizen M

      Sent.

  • 3waystopsign

    OK

  • ChadStuart

    It very well may be, but that would also be a boring, easy choice to me. From what I understand, the plot is to find Luke, which is the central mystery of the movie, and is why he’s hiding it. The solution to that mystery, I promise, will be dull and pedestrian. Just like the “mystery” to Cloverfield or Super 8.

  • Bifferspice

    malcolm is an awful character. so is the taxi driver. anything ‘british’ in it stands out a mile. it’s as british as dick van dyke in mary poppins.

    • Stephjones

      That’s funny.
      I’ve written a character in my PMS script who is meant to be British. Could I send to you for critique on his dialogue? just for a check on authenticity. For instance; do Brits really refer to a woman’s vagina as a ‘whisker biscuit?” Small stuff like that would be a big help. :)

      • Bifferspice

        well the number of brits who do has just gone up by one. i have never heard that phrase!

        yep, of course! :) send away

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      I love Mary Poppins!

      Is he supposed to be British in that show? I thought he was some sort of Yankee or something lol

  • 3waystopsign

    Sure

  • 3waystopsign

    Sure.

  • 3waystopsign

    done

  • 3waystopsign

    done.

  • 3waystopsign

    ok

  • 3waystopsign

    done.

  • 3waystopsign

    OK

  • 3waystopsign

    done

  • 3waystopsign

    done.

  • 3waystopsign

    ok

  • 3waystopsign

    done

  • 3waystopsign

    ok

  • brenkilco

    Well, whether you’re correct or not I’m sure the script will be ingeniously structured, brilliantly plotted, full of incisive characterizations, endlessly quotable dialogue and a subtle but profound mythic resonance. All piloted by a genius auteur at the top of his game. I mean millions of sane adults wouldn’t be lining up a months in advance for anything less. Right?

  • Craig Mack

    Can someone shoot me a copy? thecraigmackATgmail

    • Craig Mack

      Got it! Thanks guys.

      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

        Scott is slacking off lol can you send it my way?