Where everything comes back to life

Supernatural Horror Feature Film

After the death of her unborn child, Jessica escapes her traumatic past by starting over in a remote, rural home. But as she settles in, a sinister presence grows bringing the dead back to life, forcing her to confront her demons to survive.

Short Synopsis:
A small coffin is presented as a woman with red hair (seen from behind) weeps. Months later, the same woman Jessica Samuels (40s) drives through rural roads. On her passenger seat are signed property documents for her new chapter of her life. She explores the only village on the way where she last gets reception. She calls her best-friend and art dealer Claire Baxter (40s) whose not being convinced being in the middle of nowhere is the best way to heal from the trauma Jess has been through with her fiance Michael cheating on her and losing a baby.

Each day grows stranger with the House slowly coming alive. A handsome man named Jack says he used to look after the garden and makes an offer she can’t refuse to help. At night she sees visions of the boy she thinks she could have if she never lost him. But she knows they are just visions. She starts a love affair with Jack and asks Claire to visit as the visions get worse and more frequent.

When Claire arrives the home is filled with paintings but Jess has been drinking and can’t remember how she completed the work. Claire wants Jess to paint and so encourages her to drink and admits she slept with Michael amongst many women. Jess kicks Claire out and passes out. Claire has to return, forgetting her phone and the House leads her to the forest. Jess the next day discovers Claire returned, the visions of the boy grow more intense and Jack is no longer sweet. Finding Claire in the shed in the forest, her body is dissected and the forest feeds on her remains. As Jess tries to escape, Jack fights her, she looks again and it’s herself. She finally escapes but crashes at the end of the drive to kill Jack for good. The morning the cops arrive and it turns out Jess is expecting. She grabs the cops gun, lifts it to her head and fires.

© 2022 Lauren Porteous NZWG REF: #2438

To receive Treatment and Screenplay contact lauren.m.porteous@gmail.com
Black List Response:

Reader 1 
The premise is original, imaginative, and plunges the audience into a psychologically thrilling, visceral nightmare, which many viewers can relate to. Jess' having lost a child and her trauma over fertility woes makes her very sympathetic, and gets us to care for her nightmare, and not just merely spectate at its horror. The script is tightly structured and flashes back to the past with effective timing that constantly builds momentum. The rural "bumpkin country" setting amplifies the horror and makes the premise production friendly, and also cinematic. The visual storytelling is potent, laying a clear cinematic foundation on the page to entice prospective directors.

Reader 2 
This is a captivating and psychologically thrilling story, and there are some great instincts in the character development for Jess, the world building in this new home she moves into, and the twists in the finale. The script doles out the details from Jess' dark past in a clear and intriguing way. We don't learn about what she is leaving behind all at once, and instead see the clues and hints come together over the course of the second act. The finale brings about some shocking and revealing moments (as we learn, alongside Jess, more about the truth to her time in the house -- despite what we've been seeing). That subplot with Claire is headed in the right direction. It's effective to have Claire's character in the world to represent someone from Jess' past, and then see the shocking way her role ends up being implemented into the present day. The chemistry between Jack and Jess is well developed in the dialogue (and their interactions make for some of the most organic and well written conversational moments throughout). The strength of Jack's role and voice make the twist in the psychologically thrilling twists in the end all the more impactful. The ways that the growing plants/trees are utilized are outstanding. They're a perfect example for where the world building in this script can be so vivid and unique.​​​​​​​
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