Apocalypses aren’t over when a cure is found….
Want a short screenplay that’s inexpensive to make, but will have a spine-tingling impact on the film festival crowd? Then give “Recovered” a read… if you dare.
Anyone familiar with horrors knows that certain formulas abound. Does Recovered feature a monster? Yes. How ‘bout blood and gore? Yep, that as well. What about innocent victims? Check. In fact, maybe more than one.
But what makes Recovered unique is what it doesn’t have – the standard in-your-face jumps and screams. What takes its place is a quiet, emotional tension; best summed up in one simple question: What’s the matter with Amy?
The story opens in suburbia (already a chilling place to be.) Friends and family have arrived at Jim and Amy’s house for dinner – celebrating Amy’s recent hospital release. Jim greets guests cordially at the door. But a reluctant Amy remains upstairs.
She’s staring at herself in a mirror. Clearly not in a party frame of mind. Her once pretty face seems devoid of life, as she scratches at blotchy skin on her forearm.
What is it? An allergy? Is that why Amy refuses to leave her room?
As dinner conversation flows downstairs, the situation becomes more puzzling. Jim prattles on about Amy’s love of key lime pie. Which leads Uncle Frank to question: “She can eat? Regular food?” And the comments quickly get more pointed: “If your wife is so ‘cured’, why hasn’t she joined us?” Good question, Frank. We (the audience) were wondering the exact same thing.
Upstairs, Amy examines a framed photo on the nightstand. A picture of Her. Jim. And a little girl. Rummaging through the closet, she discovers a Raggedy Ann doll. Old. Faded. And blood stained.
So: what’s wrong with Amy? And is it something that can truly be cured? Read this script to find out. A fresh twist on a proven genre, Recovered probes into some deep questions. Can all sins be forgiven by society? And is redemption even possible, when the monster and the innocent victim are the same?
Budget: Very low. Easy locations. A few actors. Maybe a touch of FX.
About the writer: Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has placed QF and SF for feature lengths in Page, and has two feature length films optioned for 2015/2016: limited location horror “Containment.” and SF feature “Stream of Consciousness.” More of Ms. Clarke’s work can be read at www.philclarkejr.com/jec.html. She can be reached at janetgoodman “AT” yahoo.
About the guest reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.
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