This is why you don't wait right until the day before The Purge to visit the costume shop.


This is why you don't wait right until the day before The Purge to visit the costume shop.

HAPPY DEATH DAY

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. DORM ROOM, AND YEAH, BETTER GET USED TO THIS PLACE BUDDY

JESSICA ROTHE wakes up in a STRANGE DORM ROOM with STRANGER ISRAEL BROUSSARD.

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Morning! You clearly have no recollection of last night, so now would be the appropriate time to let you know that I just let you crash here, and did NOT take advantage of you in your drunken state.

(mentions nothing)

JESSICA ROTHE

Wait, who are you? Actually I don’t care FUCK YOU

(leaves)

She stomps out through a main square where there’s a PETITION GIRL and some SPRINKLERS GO OFF and a CAR ALARM GOES OFF and a DUDE COLLAPSES and CALEB SPILLYARDS jumps out from behind a pillar.

CALEB SPILLYARDS

Boy, weird how many memorable minor events there are happening all at the same time, huh? Anyway Jessica, you haven’t been answering my kinda stalkery texts and I was wondering-

JESSICA ROTHE

FUCK YOU

(leaves)

JESSICA stomps back to her SORORITY HOUSE, kicking pigeons and spitting on children as she goes. Her DAD tries to call her about her BIRTHDAY LUNCH.

JESSICA ROTHE

FUCK YOU

(ignores)

She heads inside. Sorority president RACHEL MATTHEWS sees her come in.

RACHEL MATTHEWS

Morning, Skankenstein! Just how many dicks were in you last night?

JESSICA ROTHE

FUCK YOU

(heads upstairs)

RUBY MODINE

Hey there, roomie! I made you a birthday cupcake!

JESSICA ROTHE

FUCK YOU

(leaves)

She goes to see her married neurology professor, CHARLES AITKEN, in his office at the local hospital.

JESSICA ROTHE

FUCK ME

But then his WIFE comes in, uh-oh!

LAURA CLIFTON

Hi honey I - uhhh, what’s this?

JESSICA ROTHE

FUCK YOU

(leaves)

Okay then, I’d say the First Act Ebenezer Scrooge characterization has been firmly accomplished, not to mention the colossal grab-bag of red herrings who may potentially want to murder me. Let the watered-down PG-13 violence begin!

EXT. DARK, ISOLATED PART OF THE CAMPUS WHICH HONESTLY MIGHT AS WELL ALREADY HAVE SEVERAL DEAD BODIES LYING AROUND

That night, JESSICA heads off towards a HOUSE PARTY.

JESSICA ROTHE

I’m sure glad nothing bad has ever happened to an attractive, scantily-clad young woman wandering alone at night through a university campus. Oh look, a deserted tunnel with broken lighting, that’s definitely my optimal route! Is that creepy music coming from it? Even better!

She enters the TUNNEL, when suddenly a FIGURE comes up behind her.

JESSICA ROTHE

Okay, what am I dealing with here? Sullen little girl with stringy hair, or looming dude in a mask? I’m thinking... stringy-hair girl.

(turns)

AW MAN, MASK DUDE. I had a fifty-fifty chance and I blew it.

(stabbed)

And now THIS is happening! This is the worst birthday ever!

(dies)

INT. THE DORM ROOM AGAIN

JESSICA ROTHE wakes up in a SLIGHTLY-LESS STRANGE DORM ROOM with NO LONGER ENTIRELY A STRANGER ISRAEL BROUSSARD.

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Morning! You clearly have no recollection of last night, so now would be the appropriate time to let you know that I just let you crash here, and did NOT take advantage of you in your drunken state.

(mentions nothing)

JESSICA ROTHE

Wait. What? I’m having the weirdest sense of deja vu...

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Oh come on, really? The first rerun and we’re not even letting you figure out that the day is replaying itself yet? It’s gonna take forever to get you properly up to speed at this rate.

JESSICA heads out into the SQUARE and encounters all those minor events again.

JESSICA ROTHE

Seriously, this all seems so naggingly familiar.

(goes back to sorority house)

I feel like... something is supposed to happen? After this stuff?

(is an asshole to everybody)

Like there’s something really important I should be remembering right now.

(gets murdered)

Ohhhh, right right right, that was it.

INT. BACK TO THE DORM ROOM

JESSICA ROTHE wakes up in a-

JESSICA ROTHE

OKAY YES I GET IT NOW.

(flips out)

Fuuuuuck I’m in a time loop of death! Somebody’s murdered me twice already, and they’re gonna do it again!

TOM CRUISE

Uh huh, so you keep resetting the day when you die, and must die again and again until you get it right, gee I wonder where you came up with THAT little-

BILL MURRAY

Don’t even fucking start, Tom.

JESSICA barricades herself in her room, hammering BOARDS over her windows and blocking the door with FURNITURE, which RACHEL apparently does not think to be COMPLETELY INSANE.

JESSICA ROTHE

There, now to just sit alone in the dark with nobody around, which is clearly a much safer option than hanging out at a party surrounded by friends and potential eyewitnesses!

(stabbed)

DAMNIT. I’m starting to get a sense of what a Dark Souls LARP would be like.

(dies)

INT. WELL WHAT DO YOU KNOW, IT’S THE DORM ROOM

JESSICA ROTHE wakes up yada yada yada.

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Morning! You clearly have no-

JESSICA ROTHE

HELP! Some asshole in Baby Herman cosplay keeps murdering me!

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Oh. Huh, that’s weird.

JESSICA ROTHE

...You’re actually taking that seriously? What the fuck is wrong with you?

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Let me point out the obvious fact that with infinite lives, you have infinite chances to identify and thwart your killer. Just in case anybody out there hadn’t realized yet that the premise of the film completely undermines any sense of tension or dread it might have had.

JESSICA ROTHE

Hey, you’re right! I can make a list of the fifty bajillion people who probably want me dead, then stalk them one at a time to see if they murder me!

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

I was thinking maybe just rip the guy’s mask off-

JESSICA ROTHE

(running off)

Thanks for the advice, a-stalking I will go!

(murdered)

EXT. OUTSIDE CALEB’S WINDOW

On her next life, JESSICA is peering into the bedroom of the STALKY TEXT GUY.

JESSICA ROTHE

All right, now to stalk my stalker and see if he’s also my stalker-slash-slasher! Wait a minute - he’s watching gay porn? Oh so his obsession with me just part of a desperate, neurotic self-deception and crisis of identity! So that proves he’s not a psychopath then.

(pause)

Hmmm, maybe I should hold out for more persuasive evidence-

(killed by mask dude)

Ah! That’s pretty conclusive.

EXT. STREET

On her next life, JESSICA is out walking with RACHEL when she sees that RACHEL is carrying an incriminating murder-themed birthday card which showed up in an earlier life!

JESSICA ROTHE

It’s YOU! I wrestle you into the road, bitch!

(both hit by bus)

Oh, she was hit by a vehicle? This clearly exonerates her of killing me. Yep, that's the kind of logic you'd expect from somebody whose brains just got smashed into paste.

EXT. BUSHES

Next time she puts on camouflage and watches LAURA through NIGHT VISION GOGGLES while concealed in a BUSH.

JESSICA ROTHE

Okay professor’s wife, let’s see what you-

(killed)

HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS JERK KEEP FINDING ME?!

INT. YOU KNOW WHAT WE HAVEN’T BEEN BACK IN THAT DORM ROOM FOR A BIT, LET’S SEE HOW THAT PLACE IS DOING

After another like TWENTY DEATHS, JESSICA gets up only to IMMEDIATELY COLLAPSE and be rushed to HOSPITAL.

CHARLES AITKEN

Well Jessica, it seems the screenwriters are trying to stuff some kind of stakes back into the movie by saying that each murder is actually leaving internal scars, slowly killing you. Although you have to admit, it is both odd and convenient that your deaths are leaving scars on every organ EXCEPT your skin.

JESSICA ROTHE

Oh no! How many times can I die before it becomes permanent?

CHARLES AITKEN

A limited number!

JESSICA ROTHE

Okay, but, do we have like a ballpark? Some actual sense of how thin a margin I’m working with?

CHARLES AITKEN

Nope. In fact, after this scene you basically stop showing any ill effects of your murders for the rest of the movie. So it’s still not exactly the nail-bitingest-

Suddenly CHARLES gets KILLED by the MASK GUY!

JESSICA ROTHE

Dude! Get your own thing!

(flees)

JESSICA swipes CHARLES’S CAR and SPEEDS OFF!

JESSICA ROTHE

HAHAHAHA, I DID IT! I survived this time! No way the murderer can catch up with me now, unless he’s got, I dunno, a CAR or something. But what are the odds of - oh crap, the fuzz!

JESSICA is pulled over by a POLICE OFFICER.

JESSICA ROTHE

Wait, you can put me in a nice safe jail cell until tomorrow, right? Well then you should know that I’m driving drunk, and on drugs, and I ran over a nun about a mile back whilst speeding on my way to go impersonate a lawyer!

(pause)

Oh yeah and I am in fact driving a stolen car without a license, if that helps.

POLICE OFFICER

You do realize that sitting in a jail cell until tomorrow doesn’t actually solve all your problems, right? The crazed killer won’t just evaporate or anything. In fact as far as you know it’s only your magic birthday that’s making you respawn, so getting killed tomorrow could-

The COP is SQUISHED by the MASK GUY’S CAR! The MASK GUY then BLOWS UP JESSICA!

INT. THE PRISON SHIP PURGATORY IN THE HOURGLASS NEBULA - JUST KIDDING! IT’S THE DORM ROOM AGAIN

JESSICA ROTHE

Okay then, my body was just exploded and burned into a blackened skeleton, how does THAT fit in with our “internal scars” thing, hmm? Shouldn’t I be lying dead with insides made of charcoal?

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Uhhh - what?

JESSICA ROTHE

Oh right, you don’t remember my situation. Let me prove it to you by uncannily predicting all the minor events in the square, although why bother when last time I pretty much just told you and you seemed to buy it.

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

All right, now that I’m clued in I can try and help you solve this thing. Tentatively assuming that this movie isn’t being completely hacky and having me turn out to be the murderer, what characters haven’t been cleared of suspicion yet? There’s your roommate Ruby, and... and... huh, come to think of it I think she’s the ONLY possible-

JESSICA ROTHE

UM WAIT NO THERE IS ALSO ROB MELLO!

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

...Who?

JESSICA ROTHE

I just saw him on the news and he’s a serial killer who is in hospital, that’s it mystery solved it’s some random dude from the TV.

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Nobody is going to buy this, Jessica. Why is your character buying it? We already made it clear that the killer is somebody who knows your birthday, which anonymous news guy obviously wouldn’t.

JESSICA ROTHE

Shut up, it makes sense! Clearly he’s been escaping, then making a beeline directly to my exact location, wherever that happens to be at the time, even though he’s never heard of me! LET’S GO CONFRONT THIS MAN WHO IS CLEARLY THE ACTUAL BAD GUY!

INT. HOSPITAL

JESSICA and ISRAEL go to the HOSPITAL, only to discover they’re too late, MASK GUY is LOOSE and the COP who was guarding him is DEAD! He then also kills some NURSE and then takes off his MASK so as to confirm YES THE PERSON CURRENTLY DOING THESE MURDERS IS ROB MELLO.

JESSICA ROTHE

You took your mask off? You never take your mask off. Is that another thing that shouldn’t make me second-guess this whole solution to the mystery?

ROB MELLO

Yep. Same with the question of how the hell I even got the mask in the first place, when I’ve been chained to a hospital bed for the past few hours.

ROB snaps ISRAEL’S NECK!

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

Well I guess that clears me of any lingering suspicion at least!

(dies)

JESSICA ROTHE

Damn, I could kill Rob and win right now, but I have to reset the day otherwise Israel will stay dead!

ROB MELLO

Yeah, and so would that cop. And that nurse. Surely they’re contributing factors too.

JESSICA ROTHE

Pfft, no, they don’t count because I have no interest in boning them.

ROB MELLO

Well what about Charles last night? You seemed pretty content to just drive off and leave him without a pulse.

JESSICA ROTHE

I was already DONE with boning him! Try and keep up!

(hangs self)

INT. TAKE A WILD GUESS

JESSICA wakes up to greet an alive-again ISRAEL!

JESSICA ROTHE

Hooray, your head is on the right way around! I’m so glad my precious, precious Israel is safe and sound!

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

See, from my perspective I just let some drunk chick crash for the night, and now she’s suddenly head over heels in love with me. Clearly I have to assume that she’s completely insane, BUT she’s also hot so I’ll take it!

JESSICA ROTHE

And now that I finally know how to stop the killer, this is presumably going to be the official version of today, so I might as well make it the Pacifist Run, thus getting me all the way to the Third Act Ebenezer Scrooge characterization!

She goes around spreading JOY and CHEER to a grateful nation!

CALEB SPILLYARDS

Jessica, you haven’t been answering my kinda stalkery texts and-

JESSICA ROTHE

Embrace your gayness, my friend! Love is love! Be free!

(founds orphanage)

RUBY MODINE

Hey there, roomie! I made you a birthday cupcake!

JESSICA ROTHE

Thank you, I am moved by this gesture and appreciate you as a friend, roommate who totes is not a murderer!

(teaches homeless man how to read)

RACHEL MATTHEWS

Morning, Skankenstein! Just how many-

JESSICA ROTHE

FFFFUCK YOUUUUU

(dumps drink on Rachel’s head)

Finally she actually meets her DAD for that LUNCH.

JESSICA ROTHE

Dad, I know I’ve been removed and closed-off since Mom died, but I want that to change. I’ve been trying not to deal with it, but now I realize that if I keep running away from this frightening thing, I will be STUCK in this CYCLE which is slowly KILLING ME. Eh? Eh? Metaphors!

JESSICA’S DAD

But... you haven’t been running away from your killer. Almost from day one you’ve been trying to hunt him down and reduce him to his component atoms. In fact, if you HAD tried running away you probably WOULD have broken the loop, because if you just drove to a random motel five states over how would the guy even have found you?

JESSICA ROTHE

Okay FINE, the metaphor is completely broken, who cares, this isn’t Chekov for fuck’s sake. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go off a skeezy hobo dude.

(leaves)

INT. HOSPITAL

JESSICA goes and holds the COP guarding ROB at KNIFEPOINT and steals his GUN. She then heads in to find ROB lying still with his eyes closed.

JESSICA ROTHE

All right, I have the drop on him. Best make optimal use of this advantage.

(whips out megaphone)

ATTENTION ROB MELLO, I HAVE A GUN, I KNOW YOU’VE GOTTEN FREE OF YOUR RESTRAINTS AND I AM CURRENTLY POINTING A GUN AT YOU, PLEASE RESPOND.

ROB gets up to ATTACK HER and she PULLS THE TRIGGER only to realize the SAFETY IS ON! He knocks the gun from her hand and starts trying to KILL HER!

JESSICA ROTHE

OH SHIT! MUST REGAIN MY WEAPON! I mean it doesn’t really matter because if he does kill me I can just try again BUT MAN THAT’D BE SUCH A CHORE!

She successfully gets the GUN back and SHOOTS ROB DEAD.

JESSICA ROTHE

Hooray, I finally win! Let’s go back to your place to celebrate, Israel!

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

The cops are just gonna let you walk after you swiped a service revolver and murdered an unarmed hospital patient?

JESSICA ROTHE

Apparently! Now come on, let’s eat that cupcake that Ruby made with her own two non-murdering hands.

(eats cake)

(dies)

INT. YOU THOUGHT WE WERE FINALLY DONE WITH THE DORM ROOM, DIDN’T YOU? HA HA, GOTCHA!

JESSICA wakes up an it’s STILL THE LOOP.

JESSICA ROTHE

Oh that BITCH! She made me waste the Super Happy playthrough! Fuck if I’m doing that all over again.

She storms over to the SORORITY HOUSE and confronts RUBY.

JESSICA ROTHE

YOU’RE the mask dude! You tried to give me poisoned cake, but then each day I’d throw the cake away, so instead you set Rob free, knowing that then you could stab me and everyone would blame the serial killer! ...You even did it last time when I happily accepted the cake and you had no reason to imagine I wouldn’t eat it, which makes no sense!

RUBY MODINE

Curses! And here I thought I could throw you off the scent by having a noticeably different physique whenever I murdered you. Oh well, YOU BE DEAD NOW!

RUBY and JESSICA start BRAWLING. At one point RUBY winds up standing in front of the WINDOW, while JESSICA is underneath a THICK, STURDY, SWING-FROMMABLE LIGHT FIXTURE.

RUBY MODINE

Oh wait - we’re not, are we? Surely we aren’t gonna borrow the single worst idea from The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

JESSICA ROTHE

(gymnastics-kicks Ruby out window)

I REGRET NOTHING!

RUBY falls three stories and goes splat!

RUBY MODINE

Soooo... is Jessica the only one who gets do-overs?

(dies forever)

Aw bullshit.

INT. MIGHT AS WELL FINISH UP AT THE DORM ROOM, WE’VE STUCK WITH IT THIS FAR AFTER ALL

JESSICA and ISRAEL are CELEBRATING again, but this time with less cyanide.

JESSICA ROTHE

Finally, the next day is happening! I get to live my life, minus however many years I’ll lose due to the massive tissue damage to all my internal organs.

ISRAEL BROUSSARD

So the cops just let you go, AGAIN? They were convinced that the notorious surly bitch was the injured party, and the straight-laced medical student you kicked out a window was the bad guy?

JESSICA ROTHE

Whatever, dude, I don’t care if it makes sense or not. I’m just glad I don’t have to keep putting up with a slow and painful decline through endless repeats of the same basic sequence of events.

(realizes she’s in a low-budget horror movie which turned a profit on its first day of release)

...I spoke too soon.

END.

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