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Sinister

SINISTER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. BACKYARD OF A BORING HOUSE

A FAMILY OF FOUR have dressed up as THE SCARECROW for HALLOWEEN and are hung from a tree by an elaborate PULLEY SYSTEM copied from MOUSE TRAP®.

EXT. A BORING HOUSE

Has-been crime writer ETHAN HAWKE and his family are moving into the house.

JULIET RYLANCE

Honey, this house looks creepy and foreboding. I don't see why you moved us across the country to live here just to write your new book.

ETHAN HAWKE

You mean I didn't tell you a family was hanged here except for a little girl who was never found? I'm sure that won't come back to bite me in the ass.

(pause)

Not at all.

ETHAN goes into the attic and finds cans of SUPER 8 film.

ETHAN HAWKE

Jackpot! Oh wait, this isn't the J.J. Abrams flick, it's actual Super 8 film rolls. Darn.

That night, ETHAN and his family eat dinner IN THE DARK except for ONE DIM OVERHEAD LIGHT.

MICHAEL HALL D'ADDARIO

Dad, did you not pay the light bill or something? Why do we have to eat in this spooky lighting?

ETHAN HAWKE

The movie's budget is only $3 million so we had to make cuts somewhere. Just eat your dinner, boy. You are a boy and not an androgynous girl, right?

MICHAEL HALL D'ADDARIO

I'm topless in one of the promotional photos so I had better not be.

ETHAN retreats to his MAN CAVE to watch the SUPER 8 FILM, which turns out to be footage of various DISTURBING MURDERS of other FAMILIES, including the TREE HANGING.

ETHAN HAWKE

Cool! Just like Faces of Death! But this is clearly evidence and I should hand it over to the police!

(pause)

Or selfishly keep it to myself and use it to write my book with!

He DOES THAT because he is a FIRST CLASS DOUCHEBAG and WEIRD SHIT happens.

MICHAEL HALL D'ADDARIO

(popping out of a box upside down with arms outstretched)

Weeeeeeee!!!!!!! Rollercoaster! Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

JULIET RYLANCE

Ethan, what the fuck is going on with Michael?!

ETHAN HAWKE

Nothing. He's just sleepwalking... Er, sleep boxing... Or box sleeping... He's fine.

JULIET RYLANCE

Why are you so calm? If there was something freaky going on with this house you'd tell me and move us out of here, right?

ETHAN HAWKE

Maybe.

JULIET RYLANCE

I mean you wouldn't endanger your wife and children just for a fucking book and the money and fame that would come with it, right?

ETHAN HAWKE

Of course not sweetheart. Would I lie?

JULIET RYLANCE

Are words coming out of your mouth? Then yes.

ETHAN settles in for some ATHLETIC DRINKING and some HARD CORE SITTING DOWN and some intense STARING AT COMPUTER SCREENS for 20 MINUTES.

ETHAN watches the MURDER TAPES for the FIFTIETH TIME and eventually notices a CRISS ANGEL REJECT in them.

CRISS ANGEL REJECT

(turns head slightly)

(stares)

ETHAN HAWKE

I am startled, but not enough to stop watching these films!

CRISS ANGEL REJECT

(turns head slightly)

(stares)

ETHAN HAWKE

Nope, still not going to stop watching them.

JUMP SCARE

Boo.

ETHAN HAWKE

Okay now that's just not fair.

ETHAN finally decides to TELL THE POLICE about his findings and MOVES HIS FAMILY out of THE HOUSE.

Actually, NO, he doesn't do ANY OF THAT because ETHAN is a real SHITBIRD.

DEPUTY JAMES RANSONE

Ethan, I am a huge fan of your books and I would like to help you.

ETHAN HAWKE

I think the murders that happened in this house are connected to a series of similar murders of families in other houses over the last few decades in which a child family member went missing. Also, I think the Criss Angel Reject is involved.

DEPUTY JAMES RANSONE

Instead of asking you how you know so many details about these murders I think I'll just get you in touch with Weirdologist Vincent D'Onofrio.

ETHAN and VINCENT talk on SKYPE.

ETHAN HAWKE

Fucking Skype? Is this what the state of horror has sunk to?

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO

Plus it allows me to film my part of the conversation from my house instead of actually appearing on set because lazy.

ETHAN HAWKE

So what the hell am I dealing with, Vince?

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO

The Criss Angel Reject is actually called Bughuul, a demon that lives in videos.

ETHAN HAWKE

So like The Ring?

DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER SCOTT DERRICKSON

No, not like The Ring. It's totally different.

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO

Anyone who sees Bughuul's videos are instantly cursed.

ETHAN HAWKE

So like The Ring?

DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER SCOTT DERRICKSON

NO! NOT LIKE THE FUCKING RING! TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO

Bughuul's M.O. is he films a family as he kills them, except for one child that he takes back to his ancient video realm known as "Blockbuster".

ETHAN HAWKE

So what did Bughuul do before there were cameras? And where was he living before the invention of film? On people's teeth?

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO

Congratulations, you just put more thought into this monster than the writers did.

ETHAN HAWKE

Well I'm going to make a copy of these videos.

VINCENT D'ONOFRIO

Hey, if you show your copy to another person maybe that will destroy the curse, like in The Rin--

(SKYPE signal lost)

DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER SCOTT DERRICKSON

(holding unplugged Ethernet cord)

Wasn't me.

ETHAN puts the MURDER FILMS away, but they keep setting themselves BACK UP and playing the MURDER VIDEOS, which includes a VICTIM receiving a HAIRCUT via LAWNMOWER.

JUMP SCARE

(waving)

Miss me?

ETHAN HAWKE

Nope. And I'm still not going to leave this house, or get my family to a hotel. I'm also not going to turn on a single fucking light in this house as I search for ghost squatters.

GHOST GIRL

(with finger pressed between lips)

Shhhhhhh!!!

(pause)

I'm talking to you, teenager girls who snuck into this movie. I mean it. Quiet the fuck down.

ETHAN's daughter CLARE FOLEY begins to do STRANGE THINGS like seek the ATTENTION of her FATHER.

CLARE FOLEY

Daddy, would you look at my drawing? I made it just for you--

ETHAN HAWKE

Fuck off, daddy's working.

CLARE FOLEY

But daddy, I love you and I wish you would pay attention to me and spend time with me instead of working on your book--

ETHAN HAWKE

DADDY SAID FUUUUUCK!!!!! OFF!!!!!

CLARE draws pictures of BUGHUUL.

ETHAN HAWKE

I'm interested in you again. And no, I still don't see any of this as a threat to my family's well-being.

CLARE FOLEY

Daddy, I've been talking to the dead girl who used to live here. You know, the one you're writing about?

JULIET RYLANCE

The fuck? Ethan! How could you?!

ETHAN HAWKE

I can explain! I selfishly moved my entire family into a haunted house for my book instead of just coming here alone and renting a room nearby because writers are dicks!

JULIET RYLANCE

Then I must really like dicks because I am not going to pressure you into moving!

ETHAN HAWKE

Then you are a moron!

JULIET RYLANCE

I'm not the only one!

That night ETHAN hears strange noises and investigates them BY HIMSELF and without turning on ANY LIGHTS. He finds the GHOSTS of all the MISSING KIDS from all the past MURDERED FAMILIES watching a SUPER 8 film in his attic.

ETHAN HAWKE

What the hell are you goddamn ghost kids doing in my attic?! I would threaten to call the cops on you but clearly I'm not that smart!

GHOST KIDS

(with finger pressed to their lips)

Shhhhh!

ETHAN HAWKE

Uh-oh, everything's suddenly quiet. That can only mean...

JUMP SCARE

(shattering the AUDIENCE's eardrums while giving them THE FINGER)

ETHAN HAWKE

That's it we're leaving.

ETHAN burns the SUPER 8 film and PROJECTOR and gets his family THE FUCK out of the house. FINALLY.

INT. ETHAN'S NEW HOUSE (WHICH IS A MANSION OR SOMETHING)

ETHAN and his family move in and unpack.

ETHAN HAWKE

Ah. Now that I'm safe I can finish this stupid book and get right back to neglecting my family full-time.

DEPUTY JAMES RANSONE

(on phone)

Actually, you're fucked. Turns out all the other families were murdered just after they moved to a new house. If the pattern fits, that means your family is next!

ETHAN HAWKE

Why the hell didn't you tell me this earlier?

DEPUTY JAMES RANSONE

(on phone)

T-Mobile doesn't work in horror movies (because T-Mobile sucks)! Everybody knows that!

ETHAN HAWKE

No matter! I shall use this new information to fight Bughuul and destroy him once and for--

(is knocked unconscious)

ETHAN awakens with his HANDS and FEET TIED.

CLARE FOLEY

(holding axe and video camera)

Hello daddy.

ETHAN HAWKE

Sweetheart? What's going on? Help untie daddy.

CLARE FOLEY

Bughuul is my daddy now. He actually pays attention to me and doesn't yell at me or talk down to me. Well he doesn't say much of anything at all because he doesn't have a mouth, but that's okay because he's a really good listener, which is more than I can say for you, you dipshit!

ETHAN HAWKE

But daddy loves you! Sure I was major dickwad, but so are most fathers! Besides it's up to me to break the curse and save my family from Bughuul!

CLARE FOLEY

No way dude. Bughuul's going to whisk me away to his magical celluloid realm after I chop my family up into little pieces. And he promised me a new Hello Kitty backpack. Can you make me a better offer?

ETHAN HAWKE

Actually that sounds like a pretty good deal, you should take it. Besides I think I've earned the chop to the neck I'm about to get.

CLARE FOLEY

I couldn't agree more!

CLARE relieves ETHAN, JULIET and MICHAEL of their HEADS and FILMS IT. Then she goes with BUGHUUL to his FILM WORLD to hang out with all the other GHOST KIDS who killed their families in exchange for living inside a SNUFF FILM. FOREVER.

GHOST KIDS

For real? Clearly we didn't think this thing through.

ETHAN HAWKE'S SEVERED HEAD

Wait, so I was screwed as soon as the movie started and had no chance at all to stop Bughuul? But what if I didn't have any kids? Or what if I was lazy and didn't watch the Super 8 films? Or what if I had actually shown the films to the police instead of being a total assclown? Come on, even you have to agree this plot is pretty stupid, right Bughuul?

BUGHUUL

(turns head slightly)

(stares)

(nods)

END