Hollywood Fantasy Draft II – Pitch Your Movie: Tormented Souls
by Nicholas Robinson
This is the second time that Anomalous Material has held their Hollywood Fantasy Draft and this time I actually participated. Unlike a lot of people I was lucky enough to get most of the people I originally wanted, with only one replacement. It was a fun event and now it is time for me to pitch my movie.
So, according to Anomalous Material’s rules my pitch should include the following:
· A title and a logline: The 1 or 2 sentences that captures the concept of your film
· A quick 2 or 3-sentence description that gives some background about the movie you are pitching: The genre, the premise and the scope of your film.
· What makes your story unique and why should it be made into a movie?
· A presentation of the cast and characters they play
· A summary: the theme, the plot, the main characters, their goals, the conflict, what’s at risk and why should we care, any pivotal events or emotional turning points, and the conclusion.
So here I go again.
From the mind of Darren Aronofsky, comes a thrilling tale set in Boston about a washed-up ex-cop turned private investigator, Colin Murphy, who is still obsessed with the one who got away, Steven Williams, a serial rapist who got off on a technicality. Five years later, a new victim, Amanda Jones, has been taken and Brian plans to catch Steven once and for all, using any means necessary.
This movie is a suspense, thriller and drama all rolled up into one. It’s premise is pretty simple and basically described in the logline above. It is set in modern day Boston with the prologue happening five years before the current story.
Why My Story Should Be Made?
There are not that many original screenplays out there that are being made into movies and I think that my pitch will be unique in the way the story is told and the story that is in fact being told. I would love for it to be made into a movie not just because I have always wanted to make movies but because I think it deserves to be made, but that’s just me. I’ll let you decide the quality of my pitch.
Stephen McHattie plays Frank Murphy, Colin’s father. Frank is also the Chief of Police for the city of Boston and is the person who fired Colin when his obsession with Steven completely embarrassed the department.
Prologue (this will be told via flashbacks throughout the story): It’s 2006, Boston. Three women have been raped and murdered. Detective Colin Murphy and his partner, Billy Dunne are the lead investigators on the case of the serial rapist known as the Co-Ed Carver who rapes his victims and then proceeds to carve up their faces before slashing their throats and putting their bodies on public display. Throughout the flashbacks we see the case progress as Colin and Billy follow up on leads that lead them to Steven Williams, a college professor at MIT, the college that all three victims either attended or worked. Colin has a gut feeling that Steven is the rapist but cannot prove it. Eventually a new victim, Molly O’Hara – the criminology professor at MIT, is taken and this pushes Colin’s obsession toward Steven even more fiercely. Molly ends up getting away and identifies Steven as her kidnapper, but due to a screw-up in evidence handling, other evidence tying Steven to the case is deemed inadmissible and he is exonerated.
We see Colin’s obsession with Steven lead to drinking and late nights at the precinct. Colin frequently spends his time following Steven as he goes about his daily life. He is never home, almost always drunk and his wife cannot take it anymore. Eventually, his wife divorces him and in an act of desperation he attacks Steven, forcing him to confess. Steven threatens to press charges against Colin and the police force, but Colin’s father, Frank, fires him to save the force the embarrassment and the lawsuit.
Act One: It is five years later, and we see Colin sitting in a car looking at a case file with Steven’s picture in it. Beside him are empty bottles of scotch. He is a shadow of his former self. All of a sudden there is a knock on the window. It is his son, Brian. As it turns out, he is picking Brian up from school. They go to Colin’s apartment (which doubles as his P.I. office) and while Brian is doing his homework, watching TV and sleeping, Colin is in his office which is basically wallpapered with case files, newspaper clippings and police reports involving The Co-Ed Carver. He spends the entire night going over the case trying to figure out where he went wrong. He hears on the news that a student from MIT, Amanda Jones, has gone missing. He immediately calls Billy and asks if he wants to go for a drink. He leaves Brian in bed and goes to his favourite bar, O’Flannigan’s, to meet Billy.
He meets Billy, at first talking about old times, and then Colin stops beating around the bush and asks him about the missing girl, Amanda and tells him how he thinks that the Carver is back. Billy dismisses the claim, tells Colin to stop obsessing over the case gets up and leaves. Colin then decides that it is time to do things on his own. He goes and questions Amanda’s friends and family and follows a trail that leads him to believe that she is the new victim of the Co-Ed Carver but something seems wrong. The crime scene is a bit sloppy, there’s evidence left behind, something seems wrong. All throughout this following of evidence, we see flashes of Amanda in captivity being raped and tortured and held in a cellar. After he is more certain, he brings what he has found to Billy and he is finally on board. Now that the police are aware that this is a Co-Ed Carver case, the investigation gets rough.
Act Two: We see a slight flashback of Molly’s time in captivity of the Co-Ed Carver. Molly then wakes up in her bed sweating and screaming. She then goes in the bathroom and vomits, still disgusted by that time. She then gets in the shower and sits down under the cold water, holding herself and crying. The next day, Colin goes to visit Molly as the case seems to start to dead end. He sits down and apologises but says that the Co-Ed Carver has taken a new victim and he needs her help. He asks her to recount her time in captivity with him. She gets angry and upset and kicks him out of her house. That night, Colin gets a call from Molly and she says that she will tell him.
We see Colin sitting down in her house again, drinking a glass of lemonade as he asks her to recount the story. As she describes the horrors that she went through, the rape, the beating, the knife running across her face, we see it happen on screen. As she describes her escape and what she saw around her as she escaped, we see it vividly on screen and after she finishes, she breaks down crying in front of Colin. He comforts her and when she feels better he leaves, thanking her and she thanking him.
Colin goes and sees Billy and tells him what Molly told him. They work out where she was kept while she was in captivity based on what she saw and where she was found. The police put together a team to go in and catch the Carver red-handed. Colin argues with Billy and Frank as to why he can’t come along as he is the one who broke the case in the first place. They leave him in the station as they go to capture the Co-Ed Carver. As they prepare to breach we see three simultaneous events (occurring at the same time but different on screen). We constantly switch between the team breaching the location, Molly coming home from work and Colin looking over the files at the station. Molly puts down her keys and walks into her bedroom. Colin looks at the evidence left behind at the newest crime scene and compares them with evidence on Steven. The team breaks into the old house. Evidence between the two crimes don’t seem to match up. Shoe sizes, hair fibres, almost everything. The team moves through the house and starts to move into the basement. Colin realizes something is wrong and picks up his car keys and drives off. The team finds Amanda in the basement along with another man, not Steven. Molly is attacked from behind, a man covering her mouth with a handkerchief. She passes out. Colin arrives at Molly’s house too late. Molly is gone.
Act Three: Colin goes back to the station to find Billy back with the man found with Amanda, now identified as Mike O’Brien. He informs Billy what happened at the house and tells him his theory. He somehow convinces them to let him interview the suspect. He goes in there and plays the mind game with Mike and basically proves that Amanda was a distraction so that Steven could get “the one that got away”. Colin then starts beating on Mike, who just keeps laughing and laughing until Billy gets in there and takes him out of there.
While Colin is sitting down, he realizes where Steven has gone. He goes home, gets his revolver and handcuffs and goes after him. He picks the lock and makes his way through the house until he sees Molly tied up, naked on a table, Steven standing over her with a knife dripping with blood. Molly is dead. He points his gun at Steven shouts at him to drop the knife. Steven does so and draws his gun very quickly. Now it’s a Mexican standoff between the two. A gun goes off, but it is neither of the two. Colin feels a sharp pain in his back, the shockwave of which forces him to shoot killing Steven where he stands.
Colin turns around and sees Frank. Frank starts monologuing about how the technicality that got Steven off in the first place was because of him (Of course there will be clues to this throughout the movie). Steven is Frank’s son, i.e. Colin’s half-brother. After the monologue, Frank raises his gun to fire again, but before he can, Colin shoots him twice in the chest, killing him. He then walks over to the table, closes Molly’s eyes, falls on the ground bleeding out on the floor.
Epilogue: Two weeks later, Molly, Colin and Frank are all still missing. Billy Dunne is at his desk doing all that he can to find them. The phone rings. A female voice gives a tip saying that two weeks before, she saw the man on the news (i.e. Colin) going into an abandoned house soon followed by the other man from the news (i.e. Frank) and neither of them came out. Billy goes there to find the scene (as described before) as the bodies start decomposing. He finds a tape recorder in Colin’s pocket that had run out of tape. He rewinds it and presses play. He hears the story and closes the case on the Co-Ed Carver. The movie ends with Colin’s funeral, Billy giving the eulogy and ordering a 21-gun salute. Cut to black.