VOTE | 32 fans

#207 : Prisonnier

Titre VO : Misbegotten

Johnny est enlevé et séquestré dans une vieille maison où une famille a été assassinée des années auparavant. Ses ravisseurs (trois femmes) sont bien différentes, l'une exige un enfant de lui, l'autre semble traumatisée par la mort des anciens propriétaires de la maison et, la dernière compte réaliser un film façon "Blair Witch".

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[INT. JOHNNY'S KITCHEN – NIGHT]

(Johnny has a visitor, Penny Barton. She's mid-20s, definitely attractive and completely at home as she shuttles around Johnny's kitchen, fixing a meal. The table in the b.g. is set for two, candles burning. A classic song plays on the stereo.)

 

PENNY: I'm so glad we're finally able to do this, you know? I can't tell you how long I've been wanting to cook for you. (Looks around) Frying pan… big one?

 

JOHNNY: Oh, uh… down there.

 

(Johnny points to a cabinet, looking on from a seat at the counter. He's oddly dressed considering the occasion: pajamas, hair mussed. Penny doesn't seem to mind. She finds the pan, puts it on the heat, tosses in a slab of butter…)

 

PENNY: Your house is amazing. I've been sort of picturing it in my mind, but it's even nicer than I expected. Comfy, you know?

 

(She goes to a grocery bag on the counter, reaches in, then stops, hesitant to reveal what's inside.)

 

PENNY: Okay. I don't know if you're a seafood guy, but you have to trust me on this. (Takes out a bag of shrimp) You'll love it, I promise. It's sort of my specialty. Olive oil?

 

JOHNNY: (points to cabinet) Uh, in there… Next one over.

 

(She finds it, starts measuring… Stops, smiles, honest…)

 

PENNY: All right, confession… I've been practicing this recipe all week. Probably made it six times. (Barks a laugh) If my cats never see another shrimp again, they'll be happy.

 

JOHNNY: So you've got cats.

 

PENNY: Yeah.

 

JOHNNY: A whole bunch, I bet.

 

PENNY: (smiles, touched) I do. How'd you know?

 

(Johnny shrugs, waves it away with a smile. The shrimp hit the frying pan with a sudden sizzle.)

 

PENNY: Okay, the key is, three minutes a side. Any more, they go rubbery.

 

(She sips her wine, eyes Johnny, smiling, so happy to be here. Then her hand finds a large knife in the knife block. Shing! Johnny's eyes go wide.)

 

PENNY: Geez, look at you. A little jumpy tonight or what?

 

(As she starts slicing a lemon, a noise comes from the hall, the door opening.)

 

DEPUTY'S VOICE: Mr. Smith?

 

JOHNNY: In here!

 

PENNY: (confused, pouting) Johnny, I thought it was just gonna be us tonight.

 

(Two deputies enter. One sees the knife, goes for his gun. Johnny raises a hand…)

 

JOHNNY: It's all right. She's pretty much harmless… I think.

 

(Penny sets the knife aside, hurt.)

 

PENNY: Johnny, what's going on?

 

DEPUTY: C'mon, sweetie. Time to go.

 

JOHNNY: She said she rowed a boat across the lake…

 

DEPUTY: (to Penny) You scaled that rock wall out back?

 

(He shakes his head in disbelief. She smiles, shrugs…)

 

PENNY: I knew he'd like me if he got to know me.

 

(As she's cuffed and led out, she calls back to Johnny…)

 

PENNY: Remember, three minutes a side. Anymore and they're rubber.

 

(Off Johnny…)

 

 

[SUPER: A WEEK LATER]

 

BRUCE (V.O.): You have a public profile now, man. People are out there, aware of you, watching you, thinking about you…

 

 

[TIGHT ON A POWER SCREWDRIVER]

(Whirrrr. It spins a screw into the face of a shiny new home security panel. Widen to reveal we're…)

 

 

[INT. JOHNNY'S LIVING ROOM – DAY]

(Purdy and Bruce look on as a pair of security techs work on Johnny's system. Holes in the plaster, ladders, bundles of Cat 5 cable suggest a major upgrade in progress. Johnny looks on ruefully… unhappy that his life's been disrupted…)

 

BRUCE (CONT'D): I know you don't like to think about it but you've got to now. Before someone decides to shoot you to impress Jodi Foster. People do these things.

 

JOHNNY: (shakes his head) Why don't we just dig a moat while we're at it, fill it with sharks?

 

BRUCE: Hey, don't knock it. It worked for Rob Roy.

 

JOHNNY: Rob Roy.

 

BRUCE: Scottish dude. Kilts and castles.

 

JOHNNY: Every new lock on the door doesn't just lock the crazies out… it locks me in, Bruce… I feel isolated enough as it is… I used to have a life once…

 

(Purdy enters with a contractor… holding a set of plans… moves to Johnny… hands him the plans…)

 

PURDY: Safe room. Reinforced walls, steel door, separate communication system… Impenetrable.

 

JOHNNY: No.

 

PURDY: All the best homes have them nowadays. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

 

JOHNNY: I'm not embarrassed. I'm speechless. Thanks anyway.

 

(Purdy accepts the verdict, moves off with the contractor…)

 

PURDY: (to contractor) Can we talk about the buffer zone around the perimeter… are you sure 200 feet is enough…?

 

(He's gone. Johnny shakes his head…)

 

JOHNNY: I gotta get out of here. I have a lunch date with Dana…

 

(Moving with them toward the front door…)

 

BRUCE: How's that going?

 

JOHNNY: (sighs, tension) I don't know. Didn't call her for awhile, then called and canceled once…

 

BRUCE: So, you're screwing up.

 

JOHNNY: (knows very well that's true, dry) You could say that. (Beat) And of course, she thinks it's because of me and Sarah.

 

BRUCE: There is no 'you and Sarah'. Gotta get beyond that, man. It was a one night mistake…

 

JOHNNY: …that changed everything.

 

BRUCE: That's how we learn, my brother. Except with your powers you should learn from your mistakes before you ever make them.

 

(They move past a workman testing a new alarm sensor at the front door… it blasts a shrieking alert… startling Johnny and Bruce as they exit…)

 

BRUCE: How about a moat with koi instead of sharks? Man-eating koi…

 

(They're out.)

 

 

[INT. JOHNNY'S CAR – DAY]

(Johnny drives, piloting the Jeep down a tree-lined stretch of country road, no other cars in sight. He's lost in thought, the Dana/Sarah dilemma heavy on his mind. Suddenly, Johnny sees something, snaps from his trance…)

 

 

[JOHNNY'S P.O.V. - UP AHEAD]

(An accident… an old Chevy, veered from the road, nose against a tree. Steam rises from the hood. A single passenger, slumped behind the wheel. Johnny brakes hard, pulls off the road…)

 

 

[EXT. ROADSIDE – DAY]

(Johnny hops from the Jeep, approaches the Chevy. And we may notice California plates, some industrial band bumper stickers, but Johnny's eyes are on the driver: a very attractive woman in her early thirties, Anita… she seems dazed and disoriented…)

 

JOHNNY: Are you hurt?

 

(Anita has to think about it for a second.)

 

ANITA: I… I don't think so. God, I don't know what happened. I only looked down for a second…

 

JOHNNY: (pulling his phone) I'm gonna call for help.

 

ANITA: No. I-I think I'm all right…

 

(She starts to get out. As Johnny grabs the door handle…)

 

 

[FLASH - JOHNNY'S POV PANS FROM ANITA BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE SLOWLY MOVING CHEVY… TO PENNY STANDING IN FRONT, DIRECTING HER TOWARD A GENTLE COLLISION WITH THE TREE]

[RESUME]

(Thunk! The door slams, snapping Johnny out of the vision. As he reacts, confused, we see Penny suddenly appear behind him. Before he knows what's happening, she slaps a rag over his face. Chloroform… Johnny struggles but… His world is already spinning. The last thing he sees is a third woman, Maddy, 20, moving in, documenting the scene with a video camera. What on God's earth is going on? Then darkness overtakes him.)

 

 

END OF TEASER

 

 

ACT ONE

 

 

[INT. BRUCE'S APARTMENT – DAY]

(Bruce on the phone…)

 

BRUCE: He left to meet you an hour ago. You try his cell?

 

 

[EXT. UPSCALE RESTAURANT – DAY]

(Dana on her cell as she waits for her car at a valet stand.)

 

DANA: About twenty times. Do you have any idea where he could be?

 

BRUCE'S VOICE (PHONE): Sorry. I really don't.

 

(A sudden suspicion shadows Dana's eyes.)

 

DANA: Sarah didn't call him, did she?

 

BRUCE'S VOICE (PHONE)! Dana, if Johnny had a date with you, he wouldn't…

 

DANA: If he checks in, ask him to give me a call. That is, if it isn't too much trouble.

 

(She clicks off, thinks for a beat. Then grabs her bag and goes.)

 

 

[INT. /EXT. BANNERMAN HOUSE - FOYER - DAY – LATER]

(The doorbell rings. Footsteps, then Sarah appears. Upbeat, smiling, she opens the door. The smile fades…)

 

SARAH: Walt's not here.

 

DANA: (evenly) I know. I'm looking for Johnny.

 

(Sarah's eyes narrow. A beat.)

 

DANA: Is he here?

 

SARAH: No.

 

DANA: (beat, evenly) Mind if I look for myself?

 

(Sarah laughs incredulously.)

 

SARAH: You've got a helluva lot of nerve.

 

DANA: (dry) My secret of success.

 

SARAH: Excuse me, I'm very busy.

 

(Closing the door in her face… Dana sticks her foot in the door… the door jams against it…)

 

DANA: Ow.

 

SARAH: Well, get your foot out of the…

 

(Dana pushes the door open and enters…)

 

 

[INT. BANNERMAN HOUSE - FOYER – CONTINUOUS]

(Dana's trying to move past Sarah, peering into the house.)

 

SARAH: Hey!

 

DANA: Call a cop.

 

(Sarah grabs Dana's arm hard, spinning her around.)

 

SARAH: What is your problem?

 

(Dana is looking at the problem -- Sarah… her cell phone rings…)

 

DANA: Time. (As in 'time out')

 

SARAH: 'Time'? What is this the playground?

 

DANA: This might be him. (Answering) Dana Bright.

 

 

[INTERCUT: EXT. ROADSIDE – DAY]

(Two police cruisers parked near Johnny's Jeep. Deputy Roscoe hunts for clues in the b.g. while Walt talks on his phone.)

 

WALT: Dana, you seen Johnny?

 

DANA: No, but that seems to be the question of the day… I was just asking your wife the same thing…

 

(Walt's a little thrown by this.)

 

WALT: You're with Sarah now?

 

DANA: We were just sitting down to tea.

 

WALT: Has she heard from him?

 

DANA: (holding the phone so both can hear) He wants to know if you've heard from him.

 

SARAH: No. Walt, what's going on?

 

WALT: I'm out on Cypress Hill Road. One of my guys found Johnny's car on the shoulder…

 

(Both women react with equal concern…)

 

SARAH: He had an accident?

 

WALT: No. The car's fine. Engine runs, it's got gas…

 

WALT (CONT'D): (looking around) There's just no sign of Johnny.

 

(In the b.g., Roscoe spies something on the ground.)

 

ROSCOE: Walt… over here.

 

(But Roscoe's waving for Walt to join him.)

 

WALT: Look, I gotta go. I'll call you if I find out anything… (Pause, then) I'll call both of you.

 

 

[INT. BANNERMAN HOUSE - DANA AND SARAH]

(The two girls look at each other… a long beat…)

 

SARAH: I'm not sitting around here and waiting for a call…

 

(She moves out and Dana follows…)

 

 

[WITH WALT AND ROSCOE]

 

ROSCOE: Check out these tracks.

 

(He points out two ruts gouged an inch or so deep in the dirt, running parallel, roughly eight inches apart.)

 

WALT: Heel marks…?

 

ROSCOE: (nods) Looks like someone was dragged. (Following their path) They start there, come around here, then boom, they stop.

 

(Walt crouches to examine some tire marks where the heel ruts end. Then he turns to eye a tree with a broken branch and some missing bark (where the nose of the girls' car was previously jammed). He stands, eyes narrowing, and we sense his cop's mind putting the pieces together.)

 

 

[EXT. FARMHOUSE - DAY – ESTABLISHING]

(A old rambling structure that juts starkly from the surrounding weedy fields like something out of a Wyeth painting. An aged Realtor's sign on a rusty post creaks in the wind. 'No sale' for many years, apparently. The windows shuttered and boarded, adding to the sense of abandonment. Camera finds the girls' car parked by a utility shed.)

 

 

[INT. SHED - DAY - CLOSE ANGLE]

(An electrical cable runs from a cobwebby breaker box to a portable generator. Anita leans into frame, punches the start button and the machine hums to life.)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS]

(Dusty wall sconces flicker to life.)

 

 

[INT. OTHER ROOMS - VARIOUS ANGLES]

(Including a playroom and a living room as more lights flicker on. Just enough to illuminate, but the place remains shadowy and spooky, a dusty time capsule of old furniture and knickknacks, faint rays of daylight slanting in through gaps in the boarded windows.)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS]

(Penny unpacks grocery bags as an overhead fluorescent fixture buzzes to life.)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - STUDY – CONTINUOUS]

(Panning across several dusty stuffed and mounted game animals, coming to rest on an eight-point Buck's head mounted above an empty gun rack, the animal's lips bared in a grim rictus. Maddy works at an old desk, where she's hooked a laptop to a satellite phone and a big flat panel monitor. She's deftly editing a raw, fast-paced video sequence of the kidnapping: Johnny being drugged, dragged to the back of the Chevy and dumped in the trunk. Industrial rock music seeps from her headphones. She smiles as she admires her work.)

 

MADDY: Oliver Stone is a pussy.

 

(Anita comes up behind her, starts massaging her shoulders.)

 

ANITA: How's it going?

 

(Maddy slips off her headphones, smiles up at Anita…)

 

MADDY: If the rest of it rocks this hard, we're in business. Da movie business, baby.

 

(Anita meanwhile begins massaging more seductively.)

 

MADDY: (re: massage) Don't…

 

ANITA: (playing innocent) Don't what…?

 

MADDY: Tease.

 

ANITA: Who says I'm teasing?

 

MADDY: It's always a tease with you.

 

(Anita's hurt, awkwardly withdraws her hands.)

 

ANITA: Sorry I bothered you.

 

(Maddy regrets hurting her feelings…)

 

MADDY: Nita, look I… I didn't mean to…

 

ANITA: That's okay. We have work to do.

 

(She pats Maddy on the shoulder tentatively… Maddy takes the hand and squeezes it intimately, smiles an apology at the older and yet somehow more vulnerable woman.)

 

 

[INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS]

(As Anita and Maddy come out and encounter Penny…)

 

PENNY: There are spider webs everywhere. You're sure I can't tidy up…

 

MADDY: Don't you dare.

 

ANITA: What happens when Johnny Smith touches a spider, I wonder…

 

MADDY: Maybe he sees himself ingesting a fly…

 

PENNY: (disgusting) Oh, please…

 

MADDY (CONT'D): I could recreate the vision - it would be a great shot…

 

(As they enter the master bedroom, let's take a moment to talk a little about these three women - all of them are quite attractive in their own way but all quite different personalities. Anita, the oldest, is intense in a Sigourney Weaver 'Alien' sort of way, quite dedicated to solving the mystery at hand… Penny, the middle one is soft and affectionate and needy… Maddy is a bundle of auteur creative energy with youthful enthusiasm and ambition… as Penny enters…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM – JOHNNY]

(Gagged… staring straight ahead which is the only direction he can see because as we pull back, we reveal that he's duct-taped to an old office chair… in a grotesquely overkill manner a la King of Comedy… In the background, the women enter. Maddy lifts a proquality digital video camera off a tripod, and begins filming… swooping in with 'steady cam' shots when the spirit moves her. (And she may be wearing a light-weight steadicam rig.))

 

PENNY: Good morning, Sleeping Beauty. We thought you'd never wake up.

 

(A chilling comment in this context.)

 

MADDY: His eyes are still glassy. You used too much chloroform.

 

PENNY: I used exactly what it said to use on the website.

 

(Johnny's eyes stare and blink… a kidnapping website?, he's thinking… is nothing sacred in this world?)

 

PENNY: (distorted) He's going to be okay, isn't he?

 

(Anita crouches in front of Johnny, peers into his eyes.)

 

ANITA: Mr. Smith, nod if you can understand me.

 

(Johnny can't nod from his bonds.)

 

MADDY: I don't think he can nod.

 

ANITA: Okay, blink if you can understand me.

 

(He blinks.)

 

ANITA: Good.

 

PENNY: Johnny, this is not how I wanted it to be; if we'd had the chance to talk the other night…

 

MADDY: She did that entirely on her own. If we had known…

 

PENNY: I was hoping, once we got to know each other, you might agree to do this for us because I know that's the kind of man you are… always reaching out to people with a helping hand. That's why I… I… (Adore) …respect you so much, Johnny. (Johnny stares at her) Oh and thank-you for not pressing charges. That was sweet of you.

 

ANITA: Mr. Smith, rest assured we are not professional kidnappers.

 

(Johnny just stares at them… which is all he can do.)

 

ANITA: Had your representatives responded adequately to Maddy's formal proposal, none of this would have been necessary… but all she got back was a form letter…

 

MADDY: From the Faith Heritage Alliance. "Thanks you for your interest in Johnny Smith. Have a great future and God bless."

 

ANITA! So here we are.

 

(Johnny blinks.)

 

ANITA (CONT'D): As you can see, Maddy is a filmmaker. My name is Anita, well, we don't need last names here… and I'm a, what would you call me…

 

MADDY: Technical consultant… historian…

 

ANITA: I've had an interest in this house and others like it for some time… we're from L.A…

 

PENNY: And I'm the local Smithophile and caterer. (Beat smiles) We met in a chatroom. Isn't that amazing?

 

ANITA: We're just across the state line in New Hampshire. In an abandoned farmhouse. Twenty years ago, tonight, some terrible murders occurred here.

 

PENNY: They say it's haunted.

 

MADDY: We thought if we put you together… the psychic and the abandoned farmhouse and the camera… there'd be sparks… instant chemistry.

 

PENNY: Like "Blair Witch"…

 

MADDY: "Blair Witch" was crap! Commercialism masquerading as verite. What we're doing is real.

 

PENNY: You're sweating… it must be hot inside the duct-tape… good thing I stopped by picnic headquarters and picked up some supplies… including, ta-dah… (She pulls out a wipey) Wipeys!

 

(But as she rips open the pack and dabs his forehead with the wipey…)

 

 

[A JOHNNY FLASH - A BLOODY SICKLE SWINGS DOWN]

[RESUME JOHNNY REACTING AS SHE DABS HIS FACE]

[A JOHNNY FLASH - JOHNNY IS CUT BY THE BLADE… HANDS AND FACE ARE BLOODY…]

[RESUME JOHNNY CLOSER - EYES WIDE WITH FEAR]

[A JOHNNY FLASH - HE FALLS NEXT TO MADDY ON THE FLOOR WHOSE NECK IS CUT WITH A DEEP GASH, HER EYES OPEN IN DEATH]

[RESUME JOHNNY]

(As he grunts his alarm…)

 

PENNY: Yes, darling, I know, but I'm going to take good care of you… and this will give us a little time to get to know one another…

 

(And as Johnny reacts…)

 

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

 

ACT TWO

 

 

[INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE – DAY]

(Walt addressing Roscoe and his other deputies, along with Sarah, Dana and Bruce. Mid-scene as he answers a question.)

 

WALT: We don't know for sure that this is an abduction, but we're gonna treat it as one to be safe. Roscoe, we need to be ready if the kidnappers call. Take Rudy and Alice, get set up on the phones at Reverend Purdy's office, Johnny's house and here as well, just to cover our bases…

 

BRUCE: What about the girl who broke into Johnny's house last week…?

 

WALT: First call I made was to the Sheriff up in Braxton. They're trying to locate her now. (To Dana) I want an embargo on this story for 48 hours… I don't want every looney tune coming out of the woodwork…

 

DANA: (shrugs) He's been missing for less than a day… no paper would run with it yet…

 

WALT: Good. Bruce and I are going to retrace Johnny's movements over the last 24 hours. Rest of you, you've got your assignments, so get to it.

 

(As people move into action…)

 

SARAH: What's my assignment…?

 

WALT: Sarah…

 

SARAH: Don't tell me to go home.

 

WALT: This is police business…

 

SARAH: You're taking Bruce along on police business…

 

WALT: Bruce and Johnny have been together during the last twenty-four hours… he's a… a… material witness…

 

SARAH: And he's not the sheriff's wife.

 

WALT: That too.

 

DANA: She can come with me…

 

WALT: No she can't.

 

(He said that a little too quickly and realizes it as soon as the words come out. Off Sarah's glare…)

 

WALT (CONT'D): (to Dana) Where are you going?

 

DANA: Faith Heritage mailroom. Fan mail might yield a clue…

 

WALT: Good idea. (To Sarah, giving permission) You can go with her. (Off Sarah's look that says I don't need your permission) …if… that works for you. Honey.

 

(Sarah doesn't give him a reply, exits with Dana…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY - VIDEOCAM POV]

(On Johnny gagged full screen close-up…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): Cross your heart and hope to die?

 

(Johnny blinks.)

 

ANITA (O.S.): We're miles away from civilization. He can scream all he wants.

 

MADDY (O.S.): Okay, go ahead, I'm rolling sound.

 

(Anita's hand comes in and rips the tape off his mouth… it hurts…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): How do you feel, Johnny?

 

JOHNNY: We have to get out of here.

 

MADDY (O.S.): Great opening line.

 

JOHNNY: No, I'm serious. It isn't safe here.

 

MADDY (O.S.): If it were safe here, we wouldn't have a movie.

 

JOHNNY: Listen to me. I saw a sickle. There was blood everywhere.

 

ANITA (O.S.): A sickle. Like this one?

 

(She shows him a dated photograph of a sickle. We don't need to see it.)

 

JOHNNY: Yes… but what I saw wasn't in the past…

 

ANITA (O.S.): This was the kind of sickle used in the murders, Mr. Smith… they never recovered the actual murder weapon…

 

JOHNNY: No, the sickle I saw… someone was attacking us with it… in the future, the near future… people were dying…

 

PENNY (O.S.): (arriving) Hot toll house cookies everyone.

 

(The plate enters frame… Penny's hand holds one out for Johnny to bite…)

 

JOHNNY: (shaking off the cookie) Penny, you know me better than they do. Tell them they have to believe me…

 

PENNY (O.S.): About what?

 

ANITA (O.S.): He said he had a vision that we're all going to be killed by ghosts…

 

JOHNNY: I didn't say ghosts, I…

 

PENNY (O.S.): What if he did see something?

 

ANITA (O.S.): Come on, we expected this -- he's trying to scare us into letting him go.

 

MADDY (O.S.): Nice try, Johnny.

 

JOHNNY: Will you please listen to me…

 

PENNY (O.S.): Eat now… I used real chocolate chips… the bittersweet chocolate…

 

(Off Johnny's frustration…)

 

 

[EXT. FAITH HERITAGE ALLIANCE - ESTABLISHING – DAY]

[INT. FAITH HERITAGE ALLIANCE HALLWAY – DAY]

(Sarah and Dana walk with Purdy…)

 

PURDY: It's our job, our part of the bargain, to screen his mail, identify individuals who might pose a threat… (Beat) But it's been an even greater challenge than I anticipated…

 

(Purdy opens a door, they enter…)

 

 

[INT. FAITH HERITAGE SORTING ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(Two staffers are busy opening, reading and sorting mail.)

 

DANA: You've gotta be kidding.

 

SARAH: This is all for Johnny?

 

PURDY: They're not all kooks. Most are just requests for autographs or "thank-you"s from people he's inspired.

 

(Sarah's drawn to a side table - small plastic sorting bins, each with an object or knickknack of some kind…)

 

SARAH: And these?

 

PURDY: We get some people who are hoping for a "reading." They send these things in, wanting Johnny Smith to touch them…

 

(He tips a couple of bins for them to see…)

 

PURDY: A baseball, a necklace… (Pulls out and holds up a bra)

 

SARAH: (re: bra, to Dana, a dig, yes, but more benign than before) Yours?

 

DANA: (takes it in stride) I don't need to mail him mine. (Re: the mail, to Purdy) How many weeks does this represent?

 

(The staffers laugh.)

 

DANA: What's so funny?

 

PURDY: This is just today's delivery. We get six of these a week.

 

(During which, he's crossed toward a set of double doors. As he now gestures to the women to follow…)

 

PURDY: We do our best to file everything, of course.

 

(Purdy throws the doors open to reveal a storage room… rows and rows of shelves, boxes and boxes... all of it, mail for Johnny Smith…)

 

PURDY: Where do you want to start?

 

(Off the women's reactions…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - (FILM NOT VIDEO)]

 

JOHNNY: Look, whether you believe me or not, this is just a bad idea… you don't want to go to prison, do you?

 

MADDY (O.S.): No one's going to prison.

 

JOHNNY: The last time I checked, kidnapping was still a felony...

 

ANITA: Can we stop wasting time…

 

(Anita holds a large file of historical material…)

 

ANITA: This house has a story to tell and you're here to tell it. The sooner you do, the sooner you get out of here.

 

(Johnny understands it's the only thing he can do in this situation… is there an opportunity to escape here…?)

 

JOHNNY: I… I need to touch things… I can't very well do it while I'm…

 

ANITA: Use your feet… (To Penny) Push him…

 

(Maddy starts the camera rolling again as Penny begins to push Johnny…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): Penny, stop looking at the camera.

 

PENNY: Sorry… it's not like I've ever done this before, you know…?

 

(The shot pans down to Johnny's shoes sticking out from under the tape… as they touch the bed… the leg of the nightstand…)

 

ANITA: Well…?

 

JOHNNY: I'm sorry… I'm not…

 

(But as Penny moves him to a closet door… as his toes touch… A radio is playing "A Fire I Can't Put Out" by George Strait… the room is transformed… by a vision :)

 

 

[INT. MASTER BEDROOM - DAY (TWENTY YEARS AGO)]

(Cheryl Connor is slipping on a plain farm-type dress… she has a weathered but proud look… dark hair in a bun, simple…)

 

MRS. CONNOR: I thought I'd buy a roast…

 

(Daniel Connor, bushy moustache, silver hair, walks in from the bathroom, buttoning his checkered shirt, a genuine farmer who works with his hands… Johnny is standing there observing the most routine of conversations…)

 

MR. CONNOR: I can pick one up on the way back from town.

 

MRS. CONNOR: If you want, I'll bake a pie. There were nice peaches yesterday…

 

JOHNNY: A man and wife… the radio is playing an old country song...

 

(He turns to…)

 

 

[REVEALING ANITA]

(Who is standing there in a split reality. (Lighting on her is different) with her file… her eyes narrow… (the other women are not visible)…)

 

ANITA: He has a moustache… Silver hair…?

 

JOHNNY: Yes.

 

MR. CONNOR: You want to invite the Petersons?

 

MRS. CONNOR: He drinks too much. And he gets mean when he's drunk.

 

ANITA: She has dark hair… probably tied in a bun…

 

JOHNNY: Yes. In a bun.

 

(She walks incongruously into this vision, shows him a photograph… the moment he looks, the Connors freeze in mid-action…)

 

ANITA: Daniel and Cheryl Connor.

 

 

[INSERT - THE PHOTOGRAPH]

(A B&W shot of the same couple lying dead at the base of a stairwell, their clothes slashed and bloodstained… quick, more of an impression than a good look… Johnny reacts to the horrid photo…)

 

A GIRL'S VOICE: (sing-song) "Big house, little house, back house, barn…"

 

JOHNNY: Someone's singing. A girl. In a near-by room.

 

(Johnny follows the sound of the voice, moving past the frozen Connors…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - PLAYROOM - DAY - PAST – VISION]

(A twelve-year-old girl (Tina) is swinging a jump rope… as Johnny walks in… a beat later, Anita follows…)

 

ANITA: This was a playroom for the children…

 

JOHNNY: She's jumping rope…

 

TINA: Big house, little house, back house, barn…

 

TINA & JOHNNY (CONT'D): Big house, little house, back house, barn…

 

ANITA: Long red hair…?

 

JOHNNY: Halfway down her back.

 

(Anita shows him another picture... as soon as he sees it, Tina freezes in mid-jump…)

 

ANITA: Not after she was killed.

 

 

[INSERT - B&W PHOTO OF TINA VIRTUALLY SCALPED LYING ON THE FLOOR - BARELY A LOOK - JUST AN IMPRESSION…]

 

ANITA: Tina Connor. They never found her hair.

 

(Johnny reacts looks away… then notices… Another kid in the room that he hadn't noticed before… a boy this time, twelve… he's over in the corner… reading… and he's the sort of kid you might not notice, just beginning to fill out, gawky, pimply, glasses… he's frozen too…)

 

JOHNNY: There's a boy here too. Reading.

 

ANITA: Nicholas. He hid in a basement crawlspace during the killings. They didn't find him for three days. He couldn't speak for a year afterwards. He's spent most of his life in and out of mental institutions. No one's heard from him in two years… I've tried everything to find him…

 

(And as Johnny turns back to look at the frozen boy, there's a…)

 

 

[FLASH]

(And we pull out to find Johnny is still bound to his chair though he's been wheeled into the playroom while we've been in the vision… Anita holding the photograph for him to see… further revealing Penny and Maddy… the kids are gone and it's present day again…)

 

MADDY: Great stuff! I have to recharge the batteries. Johnny, if you'll give me the details, I'll dramatize the visions with actors later on. Wonderful work everyone. We'll break for dinner.

 

(She moves out… Johnny is tired…)

 

JOHNNY: I've done everything you've asked…

 

ANITA: Except tell us who did it, Mr. Smith… and that's why we're here -- to identify The Reaper…

 

JOHNNY: The Reaper.

 

ANITA: That's what they called the drifter who killed them all.

 

PENNY: Light pasta salad for dinner.

 

(Exits.)

 

JOHNNY: Please. I wasn't kidding before. We can't stay here.

 

ANITA: (sighs) You are persistent, aren't you.

 

(She starts to leave…)

 

JOHNNY: (angry but controlled) Obviously, so are you… to do something as crazy as this…

 

(Anita shrugs, but she tries to explain, in her own way.)

 

ANITA: I'm just trying to solve a mystery. A cold-blooded killer walked away from here Scott free and may still be alive for all we know. It's important to me that we find him.

 

JOHNNY: Why?

 

ANITA: Did you know you can buy famous murderer action figures on the net, Mr. Smith? Bundy, Manson, Gacey in his clown outfit. They're all in jail or dead. Which is why they don't frighten us any more, why they can be toys. I'd like to add The Reaper to my collection someday soon. Very soon with your help.

 

(Then she leaves him alone. A beat, then Johnny starts to struggle with his bonds…)

 

 

[EXT. FARMHOUSE – DUSK]

(Pushing toward a basement window…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE BASEMENT – DUSK]

(So dark we barely can see… but something is moving in the shadows… or someone… moving to a plank on the wall… whoever it is using some kind of tool to pull the plank away… it creaks a bit… and the entity pauses to make sure the sound isn't too loud… then gently opens a hole in the wall… The entity reaches in and a pulls out a box… and opens it, pulling out long red hair, stained with ancient dried blood. And on that disturbing image, we…)

 

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

 

ACT THREE

 

 

[38 38 INT. FAITH HERITAGE MAIL ROOM – NIGHT]

(Dana and Sarah sorting through mail… Sarah pausing on one…)

 

SARAH: Whups, think I've got another one…

 

DANA: Penny Barton?

 

SARAH: (acknowledges) Same handwriting as the others.

 

(Same return address. She opens it… nods…)

 

SARAH: 'Johnny, if you touch this letter, you'll be touching me…' Russell Crowe doesn't get letters like these.

 

DANA: Sure he does.

 

SARAH: That makes thirteen letters in three months from this Barton woman.

 

(She refolds it and puts it on a stack of maybe a dozen others that she's set aside from the bigger pile…)

 

DANA: I've still got you by two… with my pile from… Mrs. Hazel Glim of Butte, Montana who thinks Johnny's a sign from the Lord that the world is coming to an end…

 

(Sarah nods wearily. We sense this seemingly futile search has forged a fragile truce between the two.)

 

SARAH: All these people… complete strangers… and every one of them convinced that they know Johnny…

 

SARAH (CONT'D): (beat) Intimately.

 

(They continue sorting mail.)

 

DANA: They should talk to us. We'd tell him the skinny on the guy… how he wears the same clothes for two days in a row sometimes…

 

SARAH: Oh, I hate when he does that. And… and… sings off key with the radio in the car…

 

DANA: And when he eats, he talks with…

 

SARAH & DANA: …is mouth full… uh huh, uh huh…

 

DANA: And snores.

 

(Sarah avoids that one… with a 'does he, really?' look. More sentiment :)

 

SARAH: He's good at finding lost car keys though.

 

DANA: Yeah. And he doesn't watch a lot of sports on TV because he knows who's gonna win, poor guy.

 

SARAH: (sighs) You think he's okay?

 

DANA: What we need is a psychic to find our psychic. (Finding mail) Hey, I think I've got one for you. Penny redux. She's only one behind Hazel.

 

SARAH: Let me see that…

 

(This letter is not the same girlish stationery of the other Penny letters but instead bears the logo of the Travelodge motel chain (no return address, though). Sarah checks the postmark.)

 

SARAH: This one was just sent a few days ago… wonder what she was doing at a motel in Bangor…

 

(And off their curious looks…)

 

 

[INT. FAITH HERITAGE - PURDY'S OFFICE – NIGHT]

(As Purdy enters with in-house counsel Mike Kennedy. An artist's rendering of the new Faith Heritage Theology Building is on an easel.)

 

KENNEDY: Somehow they tracked down our IP address, breached the firewall, and shot their video stream down our T3 line.

 

PURDY: How much are they asking for?

 

KENNEDY: Actually, they want to pay us. (Off Purdy's reaction) Just promise me you'll watch the whole thing before you say no.

 

(Kennedy has already pressed a button on the computer and an animated presentation package unfolds on the screen. On the monitor animated Maddy strolls onto the screen -- smiles and waves…)

 

ANIMATED MADDY: Sorry I can't join you in person today, Reverend... but I'm on location on production of my new movie coming soon to a multiplex near you. Here's a sneak preview.

 

(A remote control appears in animated Maddy's hand and she aims it at camera. Video footage fills the screen. First, Johnny's abduction. Then in his chair. Reactions.

 

PURDY: My God, Johnny… have you called the Sheriff…

 

KENNEDY: (acknowledges) The deputies are downstairs…

 

(The footage continues as :)

 

ANIMATED MADDY (V.O.): Johnny's fine… there's nothing to worry about… he will be released shortly if you follow these instructions. Attached to this file is a seven minute trailer for our film that we'd like you to run on the Faith Heritage Network tonight at ten. We have already advised potential distributors of this broadcast schedule.

 

(The animated Maddy reappears.)

 

ANIMATED MADDY (CONT'D): In return, we're prepared to give Faith Heritage Charities five percent of the adjusted gross profits should distribution be secured as a result of your telecast. It's only reasonable… and we are reasonable people, Reverend… for Johnny's sake, I hope you are too. See you on the tube…

 

(The animation ends. Purdy is outraged, outraged.)

 

PURDY: They may think they're going to soothe their conscience or evade prison with this blood money, but I can assure you…

 

(Kennedy shrugs, hands Purdy a document…)

 

PURDY: What's this?

 

KENNEDY: They sent over the gross receipts for a movie called The Blair Witch Project.

 

PURDY: The only thing I care about is getting Johnny back unharmed. (What is that anyway?) Blair Witch?

 

KENNEDY: 150 million, domestic. Hundred million, foreign. Eight-five million, Video, DVD, cable and pay-per-view. Five percent would come to the neighborhood of seventeen million.

 

(Purdy sits, dazed at the numbers…)

 

KENNEDY: I know how disappointed you've been with the fund raising efforts for the new Theology Building…

 

(Purdy looks at him… looks at his lovely plans for the Theology Building… almost has to laugh at the ridiculous suggestion… almost laughs but not quite…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - PLAYROOM – NIGHT]

(Johnny is practicing using his toes to slowly move the chair… it's difficult but not impossible… it's hard to see how this might help but it's the human spirit of survival driving him on. He brushes up against a small dressing table with a mirror and…)

 

 

[INT. PLAYROOM - DAY - PAST – VISION]

(Starting ECU on long red hair being brushed out. The hair crackles with static as the brush passes along. The hair is luxurious, the brush's passage electric, charged. It feels almost sensuous… we should feel this too. Pulling back to find Nicholas standing behind his sister, Tina, as he brushes her hair, while Tina eyes her reflection in the mirror. The brush hits a knot.)

 

TINA: Ouch. Nicholas, be careful.

 

(Nicholas keeps brushing… he glances at the mirror, sees his own pimply reflection, then looks away unhappily… back at his sister's hair. Someone knocks at the door. As both children turn…

 

 

[RESUME – PRESENT]

(As Johnny looks up to see Penny knocking. She enters with a tray of food.)

 

PENNY: Ready for some dinner?

 

JOHNNY: I'm not hungry.

 

PENNY: You have to eat.

 

JOHNNY: No really, the toll house cookies were really filling.

 

(She puts the tray down on a child's round table… and sits in a child sized chair opposite Johnny.)

 

PENNY: You're angry with me.

 

JOHNNY: No, I'm not angry.

 

PENNY: Promise?

 

JOHNNY: (a plan forming) Penny, I like you. I'd really like to get to know you better.

 

PENNY: Well, I'm a leap year baby… I like to knit sweaters for everyone in my family… I'm the knitter… the rest of the family is in the canning industry… our house always smells like fresh tuna…

 

JOHNNY: (interrupting) I mean I'd like to spend more time with you…away from here…

 

(She studies him with some skepticism…wants to believe him…she stands and moves to him and looks him in the eyes with intimacy…)

 

PENNY: Patty Hearst.

 

JOHNNY: What?

 

PENNY: The website told me how the victim begins to identify with the abductors.

 

JOHNNY: It's not that. I really do… feel close to you…

 

PENNY: Really…?

 

(She shyly sits on his taped lap... tries to snuggle in but it's a difficult chore… Johnny tries not to show his fear of this crazy person… stays with his plan to turn her into an ally…)

 

PENNY: Oh, Johnny… if I could only believe that.

 

JOHNNY: Penny, I need your help to get out of here.

 

PENNY: (torn) I'm sorry, Johnny… I can't…

 

JOHNNY: You care about me, don't you?

 

PENNY: That's not fair. You know I do.

 

JOHNNY: Then help me.

 

PENNY: I'll never see you again. They'll lock me up this time.

 

JOHNNY: I won't let them. You and me… we'll be together…

 

(She stares at him, wanting so much to believe him… she overcomes her shyness and does what she's dreamed of doing - she kisses him…)

 

PENNY: Relax your lips.

 

JOHNNY: Penny…

 

PENNY: I can't get my tongue in… I want to taste you… I want you to taste me…

 

(She kisses him more deeply… he doesn't ever close his eyes…)

 

PENNY: It doesn't matter.

 

JOHNNY: Doesn't matter?

 

PENNY: If it is the Patty Hearst thing.

 

(And as she kisses him again and he's helpless…)

 

 

[INT. MOTEL RECEPTION – NIGHT]

(A young motel manager (Spicuzza) is checking his computer, talking to Dana and Sarah…)

 

MANAGER: I'm sorry, as I told you on the phone, no Barton has been registered here recently…

 

(Dana slides a photograph of Penny across the counter…)

 

DANA: Maybe you've seen her?

 

(The manager glances at the photo… recognizes her…)

 

MANAGER: Yes! She sang in our karaoke bar a few nights ago. "Summer Wind" I think it was.

 

(That seems like a dead end.)

 

DANA: (dry) Singing… karaoke.

 

SARAH: Might be a little premature to call Walt in on this.

 

MANAGER: I think she was here visiting some friends. (Checking the computer) Two young women from Los Angeles. They're still checked in but I haven't seen them around for the last couple of days.

 

(Dana and Sarah exchange a hopeful look…)

 

 

[INT. PLAYROOM - AS BEFORE]

(Penny is unbuttoning her blouse…)

 

JOHNNY: What… what are you doing?

 

(And as she eases out of her blouse…starts on her skirt.)

 

PENNY: Do you believe in destiny, Johnny? Because I do. I believe it's brought us together… brought us together on this night.

 

(And her skirt hits the floor, leaving her in just her bra and slip, Johnny staring at her in disbelief…)

 

PENNY: I'm ovulating. (Then) My temperature's up. I just did a test while the pasta was cooking…

 

(She straddles Johnny's lap…)

 

JOHNNY: You've got to be kidding.

 

PENNY: I want to have your baby, Johnny.

 

(Push in close as she starts to kiss his neck…)

 

 

[FLASH - THREE CATS TWINE AROUND PENNY'S LEGS... AS WE TILT UP TO REVEAL HER SITTING AND KNITTING, HUGELY PREGNANT…]

[RESUME - JOHNNY CLOSE-UP]

(As he reacts with horror…)

 

PENNY: Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. This is all I've ever wanted.

 

JOHNNY: Penny, we can't do this…

 

PENNY: (devlishly, whispering in his ear) Oh yes we can…!

 

(Off his curious fearful eyes…)

 

 

[INT. MOTEL ROOM – NIGHT]

(As the manager opens the door for them, stands there, watching them… Sarah and Dana start looking through the debris… and immediately react as they find the room is filled with photos and artwork for Maddy's film. A storyboard shows a few frames of Johnny's kidnapping, pretty close to the way it actually went down. Location survey photographs of the farmhouse from several angles… it is marked in typical production style: Connor Farm.)

 

DANA: The Connor farm… a family was murdered there twenty years ago… just over the state line…

 

(Sarah is already dialing her mobile phone…)

 

SARAH: Walt…?

 

(And before we hear Walt's answer…)

 

 

[INT. PLAYROOM - NIGHT - CLOSE ON A SERRATED STEAK KNIFE]

(Sawing its way through the tape toward his groin… Penny on her knees doing the sawing…)

 

PENNY: If it's a boy, we'll name him Johnny… (Johnny reacts) And if it's a girl… we'll still name her… (With a triumphant upward slash) …Johnny.

 

JOHNNY: Penny… not here… not like this…

 

PENNY: (driven, intense) Yes. Exactly like this.

 

(And as she stands and reaches behind her to unsnap her bra… she suddenly realizes they're not alone… turns to see… Angle: Maddy with the camera in the shadows… in the passion of the moment, they didn't see her sneak in…)

 

PENNY: What are you doing?!

 

(Penny covers herself…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): Keep going. I'm not even here…

 

PENNY: Go away. This is a special moment between me and Johnny…

 

MADDY (O.S.): Don't look at the camera…

 

(Suddenly Penny charges over, grabs at the camera…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): Hey. Let go!

 

(As the camera view jerks all over, a chilling scream from the other room ends it and we…)

 

 

[MADDY AND PENNY - ON FILM]

(They exchange a look, turn and run out, Penny grabbing her clothes as she leaves… leaving Johnny stuck there, fearing for his life. But at least now he's got some leverage to move his legs. As he starts struggling to work his ankles free…)

 

 

[INT. MASTER BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(As Maddy and Penny (whose blouse has gone back on en route) rush in to find Anita staring at what looks like a big red question mark that's scrawled on the wall…)

 

PENNY: A question mark…?

 

(Maddy shoots it with her camera…)

 

MADDY: That's no question mark.

 

ANITA: It's a sickle.

 

(Off their reactions…)

 

 

END OF ACT THREE

 

 

ACT FOUR

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - HALLWAY – NIGHT]

(Close on the wheels of Johnny's chair as they roll slowly over the worn floorboards. Johnny's shoes, now freed from the duct tape, push the chair along. Slowly, cautiously. Close on Johnny’s face as he hears the women's arguing voices coming from the doorway to the master bedroom that's looming up…)

 

PENNY (O.S.): Who put it there?

 

ANITA (O.S.): (accusing) Maddy?

 

MADDY (O.S.): Why would I?

 

ANITA (O.S.): To make your movie more exciting maybe?

 

MADDY (O.S.): I swear… it wasn't me…

 

(As Johnny reaches the door, he reacts as…)

 

 

[A VISION - MR. CONNOR AND NICHOLAS]

(They walk out of the bedroom in a split reality… both holding hunting rifles… the father is stern-faced… the boy is unhappy… they may have just had an argument… but it's quick, they pass by Johnny and are gone from view…)

 

 

[JOHNNY]

(He reacts curiously… sneaks a peek in the room, the women are out of eye-line, though he can see the sickle on the wall…)

 

ANITA (O.S.): Somebody's either lying…

 

PENNY (O.S.): Or there's somebody else in this house.

 

(He pushes himself quickly past the door… propels himself farther along. He rounds a corner… and finds himself at the top of a flight of stairs, a landing halfway down. Shit. No way he's getting out this way, not tied to the chair anyway. Suddenly…)

 

ANITA: What are you doing out here?

 

(She grabs his chair and as she does…)

 

 

[HIS POV - VISION - ANOTHER ANGLE - NICHOLAS CHARGING TOWARD HIM WITH A SICKLE - VERY QUICK SHOT]

[RESUME JOHNNY]

(And so shocking that he leans back out of Anita's grip… The chair wheels slip over the top step as the chair slips off the landing… Johnny’s chair lands on its back, skids like a sled… And with each impact against the stairs…)

 

 

[ANGLE AT BOTTOM: OOF! JOHNNY LANDS HARD ON THE LANDING, MORE OF THE TAPE TEARING, FREEING ONE ARM, WHICH FALLS TO THE SIDE... FINDING THE THREE MURDERED CONNORS LYING BESIDE HIM IN A SPLIT REALITY SHOT... AND NOW HE LOOKS UP TO SEE YOUNG NICHOLAS COMING SLOWLY DOWN THE STAIRS. HELD LOOSELY AT HIS SIDE, A BLOODY SICKLE…]

[JOHNNY - CLOSE UP]

(Coming down the stairs with the other two women following close behind (Penny hurriedly putting her clothes on)…)

 

PENNY: Johnny, are you okay…?

 

(Video POV coming down stairs moving toward Johnny on the floor…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): (muttering) I can't believe I didn't get this on film…

 

JOHNNY: (weak) Nicholas… Nicholas did it.

 

ANITA: What?

 

JOHNNY: There was no drifter. It was Nicholas. He killed them.

 

ANITA: His own family? That's ridiculous. Nicholas was just a young boy.

 

(Penny is helping him turn himself right side up… The chair is broken. No sense trying to put Johnny back in it, so Penny just tears at the remaining tape, freeing him… his legs are stiff and the circulation is weak after sitting for so long… it's hard to walk…)

 

JOHNNY: I saw the sickle in his hands…

 

ANITA: He's lying - he just wants to get out of here…

 

PENNY: He's not the only one…

 

(Johnny grabs her by the hand…)

 

JOHNNY: Come on…

 

(They move to the front door… as Johnny tries to open it… he sees a padlock has been attached to the door… touches it…)

 

 

[FLASH - YOUNG NICHOLAS USES A KEY TO LOCK AN INNER PADLOCK, THEN POCKETS IT]

[RESUME JOHNNY - VIDEO POV - PUSH IN TO HIM AS HE REALIZES]

 

JOHNNY: Nicholas is here. He's in the house.

 

ANITA: Don't you see what he's doing… (Camera swishes to show her) He's trying to scare you.

 

JOHNNY: (to Penny) Is there another exit?

 

MADDY (O.S.): There's a back door… but it's boarded up.

 

PENNY: For godsakes, turn off the camera already… what about the windows?

 

(Johnny limps to one, throws open the sash, pries at the boards.)

 

ANITA: I… I have the psychiatric reports right here… "Subject suffering a complete infantile regression consistent with severe emotional trauma." Maybe there is someone else in this house… but it's not Nicholas. The boards don't budge.

 

JOHNNY: These boards are an inch thick… and the nails have been in there for years.

 

ANITA: Listen to me!

 

(She grabs Johnny's arm, touching him for the first time in the show and initiating a startling vision as…)

 

 

[ANITA MORPHS INTO YOUNG NICHOLAS, HIS HAND STILL ON JOHNNY'S ARM…]

 

YOUNG NICHOLAS: (speaking Anita's words in his own voice) Nicholas isn't a killer; he's a victim. Whatever he saw or heard, it completely terrified him… it almost paralyzed him…

 

(Johnny looks down at the boy's hand on his arm, then the vision ends as…)

 

 

[ANITA]

(She follows his look and a horrified realization blooms on her face. And as she jerks her hand away and runs off up the stairs…)

 

MADDY (O.S.): Anita…?

 

(She starts to go after her, but Johnny blocks her.)

 

JOHNNY: Let her go.

 

(As both women turn to Johnny, wondering what the hell just happened…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE - BATHROOM – NIGHT]

(Anita has locked herself in, paces, like an animal…)

 

ANITA: He's lying, he's lying, he's lying, he's lying, he's lying, he's lying, he's lying, he's lying…

 

(She's coming unglued. Suddenly she stops, stares in the mirror.)

 

ANITA: I-It was a stranger… A drifter…

 

(Her voice drops a register, clearly the voice of a man…)

 

ANITA: You didn't kill them. You couldn't have. It wasn't you!

 

(Anita, hereafter Nicholas/Anita, struggles to find reality. She stands at the sink, hands gripping the sides of the mirror, softly, banging her head against the glass…)

 

NICHOLAS/ANITA: What did you do? What did you do?

 

(The banging grows more violent. The mirror is bound to break. Suddenly Nicholas/Anita stops, realizing that the mirror, the whole medicine cabinet, is loose. She tugs the cabinet, pulling it from the wall and opening a 12" x 20" hole. Unsure, driven by a faint memory, she reaches inside… and pulls out the blood-encrusted sickle, horrifieq but thrilled at the discovery. She holds the sickle, running her fingers over the encrusted blood, the still sharp edge. Even after twenty years, the metal retains enough polish to offer a rough reflection…)

 

 

[INSERT - THE SICKLE BLADE]

(As Anita sees her face reflected... then she spins the handle… and sees young Nicholas reflected on the blade's other side. Another spin: Anita; another spin: Nicholas.)

 

 

[EXT. HIGHWAY - A POLICE CARAVAN – NIGHT]]

(Rolling down a parkway… bubble lights flashing, sirens wailing… a sign says Welcome to New Hampshire… New Hampshire State police cars are waiting for them and join the caravan…)

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. FARMHOUSE - LIVING ROOM – NIGHT]

(Maddy and Penny reacting to what Johnny's just told them.)

 

PENNY: Johnny, they're a couple. Maddy would know if… if she weren't a, if she were a… (Turning) You'd know, right, Maddy?

 

(Maddy goes suddenly pale.)

 

MADDY: Oh my god… I'm so stupid…

 

(She numbly sets the camera on a tripod.)

 

MADDY: We never messed around that much… and when we did… she never wanted to…

 

(A beat as Johnny realizes what he must do, then…)

 

JOHNNY: Get in the den.

 

(He herds them toward it…)

 

JOHNNY: Lock the door. Stay in there until I come back or help comes.

 

(Before he shuts the door, he sees his cane leaning against a wall and grabs it. Then he heads toward the stairs…)

 

 

[INT. DEN – CONTINUOUS]

(Both women are terribly worried as Penny locks the door. Behind them on the TV monitor which is on, Purdy's image fades in… Maddy reacts as she sees it, runs over… Purdy looks uncomfortable as he addresses the camera from his desk… (Before the sound comes up, he's saying good evening and introducing himself as Reverend Gene Purdy of the Faith Heritage Alliance.) As Maddy turns up the sound…)

 

PURDY (TV): …"Journey to Bethlehem" will be delayed tonight so we may bring you… a special presentation of sorts… And I might caution you that it's not for children or the faint of heart…

 

MADDY: (overlapping) Oh my god! They're playing it!

 

 

[FOLLOWING JOHNNY]

(Moving up the stairs now recalling Martin Balsam in Psycho…)

 

JOHNNY: Anita… you said this house had a story to tell. Do you want to hear it?

 

(No answer. He moves cautiously toward the bathroom… the door is cracked open… he pushes it… Anita's not inside… but he can see the hole in the wall where the medicine cabinet used to be… his eyes narrow… he moves on through the extremely dark hallway…)

 

JOHNNY (CONT'D): It's about a boy… a troubled boy who couldn't deal with the things he was feeling… so he lashed out… violently… at his own family.

 

(He moves through the dark house… opening doors defensively… heading back toward the stairs…)

 

JOHNNY (CONT'D): He couldn't live with what he did… so he buried it… in himself… and eventually became a completely different person.

 

(At the top of the stairs, he turns back to look down the hallway. And in that moment, shooting over his shoulder, we see a figure flash by the base of the stairs. Johnny turns again, sensing the motion but missing it. As he starts back down the stairs…)

 

JOHNNY (CONT'D): But some part of him must've wanted the truth to come out… (Beat) That's why you brought us back here, isn't it? To tell yourself the truth… and get the help you must know you need…

 

(At the base of the stairs, he enters the kitchen… as a shadow moves into frame behind him… a hand with the sickle visible in silhouette… Johnny senses it just before it swings… there's a blur of a slashing sickle… And Johnny reels back, his shirt ripped by the blade… he runs out of the kitchen… the face of Nicholas/Anita moves past camera, sickle raised for another slashing attack.)

 

 

[INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS]

(Tight on the video camera, unmanned, propped on the tripod, recording… as Johnny stumbles in… As Nicholas/Anita follows, Johnny using his cane to block some more crazed slashes, ducking others, as furniture is sliced, lamps are smashed… and this all happens very fast :)

 

 

[RESUME FILM - FOLLOWING THE SICKLE]

(As it swings again, Johnny springs at her and they go down to the floor but she/he's deceptively strong… and has the brief advantage, raises the sickle up high for a final blow… and are caught by Johnny's hands, just in time… as camera now travels down the curving blade to find the point suspended just over one of Johnny's eyes. Nicholas/Anita puts all her strength and weight behind the blade, trying to force it into Johnny's skull, and Johnny resists. But she has a frenzied strength and he's battered and weakening… Suddenly, he rolls, manages to pin her wrists… her wig falls off, revealing a balding male pattern head… Johnny pulls the sickle from her hand. He holds her down, breathing hard. Sirens arriving outside.)

 

JOHNNY: It's over, Nicholas. It's over.

 

(And just as suddenly, the strength and madness ebbs out of her, and she begins to sob… like a child… Smash! The door busts in and Walt, his deputies and New Hampshire State police pour inside… Walt stopping as he and Johnny exchange relieved looks…)

 

 

[INT. FARMHOUSE LIVING ROOM – NIGHT]

(A short time later. The women are being led out in cuffs…)

 

MADDY: (to cops) That camera and all videotapes are my property. My entertainment attorney is in L.A… his card is in my back pocket…

 

WALT: I don't think an 'entertainment' attorney is exactly what you need right now…

 

(Penny moves by escorted by a state trooper…)

 

PENNY: You really would have, you know… (Off Johnny's look) Liked me… when you got to know me.

 

JOHNNY: Take care of yourself, Penny.

 

PENNY: (as she's moved away) Write me?

 

(For Johnny's benefit…)

 

DANA: What in the world does she see in him?

 

SARAH: Got me.

 

DANA: Come on. I'll give you a ride home.

 

(The two women smile at Johnny, go off together…)

 

JOHNNY: (to Bruce) When did those two start… (Buddying up)

 

BRUCE: I think when they saw the autographed bras and panties you've been getting…

 

JOHNNY: That reminds me. I've got to talk to Purdy about form letters.

 

(As Johnny prepares to go, camera swings to show the video camera on the tripod, its red recording light still blinking. Of the group leaving. Then Johnny looks back.)

 

JOHNNY: One second.

 

(He approaches, reaches toward the viewfinder, and the screen goes black…)

 

 

END OF ACT FOUR

 

 

THE END

 

 

(Well, almost… because after all the credits run and the logos do too… we fade in on a marquee on a city street… it says farmhouse, a Maddy powers film… A line wraps around the corner for the next show.)

 

 

[OMITTED]

(And now this really is…)

 

 

THE END

Kikavu ?

Au total, 19 membres ont visionné cet épisode ! Ci-dessous les derniers à l'avoir vu...

jujume80 
22.01.2018 vers 15h

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14.11.2016 vers 11h

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01.11.2016 vers 16h

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