INT. CARL'S HOUSE - SAME TIME
JEFF stands just inside the door, his RAINCOAT dripping buckets. He CLOSES THE DOOR behind him. The house is QUIET, except for the SOUND OF RAINDROPS ON THE ROOF of the sparsely furnished house. He confidently explores, safe in the knowledge that the owner is gone.
A DESK. He approaches it. A DESK CHAIR. He sits down. A LAMP. He turns the LAMP ON.
Come out, come out, wherever you are, Hard
He sorts through the array of objects on top of the desk, including a HUGE JACKKNIFE. He OPENS THE KNIFE in amazement, brandishes it, but can't close it. He sets it and the OTHER THINGS he pulls from the drawers on top of the desk. Eventually, he tires of this "game", sighs and leans back in his seat.
PEAKING OUT FROM UNDER THE BLOTTER IS...A NOTE! He holds it to the light. Jeff's eyes light up. He fumbles through his pockets and pulls out the SMALL CRUMPLED NOT PAPER [his father gave him]. He looks at it, snatches the PHONE'S RECEIVER and dials. He waits.
It's Jeff, Mali. Can I speak to my dad?
Jeff removes his hot raincoat and fans himself as he swerves triumphantly around in Carl's chair.
Jeff? Are you all right?
I have it!
The hard evidence that proves Carl planned
Jeff, you're too old to be playing on the phone
This isn't play. I'm in Carl's house and----.
"In" Carl's house? I told you not to go out.
Where is he?
It's not B&E. [Breaking & Entering] He left the
door open. There's a note here about the chemical
Jeff, go to Mrs. Lawson's, right now.
You don't understand, Dad.
Have you seen Lou around there?
No, of course not. PLEASE, just listen. "50,000.
Bad weather forecast. Your responsibility as
Jeffrey, I want you to leave. NOW. Go straight
to Mrs. Lawson's. I'll be there as soon as I can.
Jeff distractedly fusses with the rubble on the desk.
I...I don't underst---.
He suddenly sits at full attention, terror frozen on his face, as he gropes the desktop.
Where...? Where is it?
WHAT?! JEFF?! Leave the note, it's not "hard
Jeff stiffly lowers the phone as he stares deep into the VAST DARKNESS SURROUNDING THE LAMP'S SMALL SPOTLIGHT. There! A LARGE, SHADOWED FIGURE.
Jeff takes a breath to shout---THE SHADOW LUNGES AND SENDS THE LAMP AND THE CHILD FLYING. Jeff hits the floor thrashing for the phone but his hopes are dashed as he sees it DRAGGED OUT OF HIS REACH INTO THE SHADOWS.
Out of sight, the PHONE IS QUIETLY HUNG UP.
CARL steps from the shadows, pulls the cord from the phone, and tosses the dead phone at the boy's feet. He pulls the jackknife out, OPENS IT, and CUTS THE CONNECTOR OFF THE CORD, then CLOSES THE KNIFE.
He regards Jeff a long while, then REOPENS THE KNIFE as he slowly approaches the boy. The KNIFE GLEAMS BRIGHTLY while Jeff scampers back into a wall.
CARLThe boy jumps to his fee and runs as fast as he can past Carl and out of the room. Carl is in no hurry to chase him, yet.
(almost a whisper)
I told you what to do, kid, you didn't do it. You
should listen sometime. It's a useful skill. One
that...could've saved your life.
Jeff hits the front door flying; but, it's LOCKED AND BOLTED above his reach. Carl's voice makes the boy flinch.
CARL (continues) The woman I bought this house from had little ones. A homeowner can't be too careful, even with a cop across the street.
Jeff slinks away from the door and runs deep into the house. Carl follows at his own good pace.
INT. CARL'S HALLWAY - SECONDS LATER
JEFF glances around for a place to hide. There's a LITTLE DOOR along the side of the staircase. He runs to it, hesitates, looks around frightened. ANOTHER DOOR to another room looms directly in front of him.
He smiles confidently and noisily runs to it. He OPENS AND SHUTS THE DOOR, then stealthily hustles back to the staircase door, mistakenly stepping on a SQUEAKY FLOORBOARD.
Easing his weight off the board, he gingerly tries to open the door. It doesn't budge. He tries again. It still doesn't budge! Looking frantically over his shoulder, then at the door he just closed, he tries the little door again. IT OPENS and he quickly, cautiously squeezes into the tiny, crowded closet space.
Jeff holds his breath as he SHUTS HIMSELF IN DARKNESS while Carl's FOOTSTEPS APPROACH.
INT. CARL'S HALLWAY - SECONDS LATER
CARL stalks down the hallway, his eyes darting into every space and shadow. He sees the door ahead and hurries to it, OPENS IT and stops. He turns slowly, a little perverse smile on his lips.
He SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT and tips carefully back towards the little door under the staircase. He pauses as he avoids the squeaky board. At the door, his hand approaches....
INSERT - CARL'S CLOSET
THE CLOSET DOOR FLINGS OPEN and a hand grabs JEFF by the ankle, dragging him OUT.
INT. CARL'S HALLWAY - RESUME
CARL'S HAND flings JEFF across the hall. Before the boy can recover, the hand grabs him again and crashes him into an END TABLE. A LAMP atop it crashes to bits on the floor.
Jeff recoils and looks down to see his BLOOD ooze from his arm and trickle onto the floor. He moves without direction, wiggling out of Carl's path as the man closes in again with the BLOODY WEAPON in hand.
The boy gets to his fee and lurches blindly, painfully to the stairs. He trips clumsily upward INTO THE DARKNESS.
INT. CARL'S BATHROOM - SECONDS LATER
JEFF ENTERS THE DARK ROOM, LIGHTED ONLY BY EXTERIOR STREET LAMPS. He SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT against the SOUND OF CARL'S RUSHING FOOTSTEPS.
He LOCKS it just as Carl's BODY HEAVILY HITS THE DOOR which GROANS AND CRACKS UNDER THE FORCE.
LIGHTS. Jeff's arm drops wearily from the lightswitch above his head as he slumps to the floor with his back against the bucking door.
COME OUT OF THERE! NOW!
Jeff whimpers in pain and fear while his eyes search the room. He stumbles up to the CABINET, fumbles IT OPEN, and knocks about inside it to the accompanying pounding.
INSERT - BOTTLES OF PEROXIDE and ALCOHOL. ONLY SMALL BANDAIDS.
Jeff grabs one of the NEATLY FOLDED MATCHED TOWELS and wraps it around his arm. He plops himself down onto the tub's edge as the pressure of the towel makes him swoon.
He forces himself upright and alert as he stares at the quaking door. He turns the SHOWER ON and smiles a little as the STEAM builds and OBSCURES HIS REFLECTION ON THE FIXTURES.
THE POUNDING STOPS.
INSERT - CARL'S UPPER HALLWAY - SAME TIME
CARL LISTENS TO THE WATER RUNNING and looks down at the STEAM OOZING OUT FROM UNDER THE DOOR.
If you think I won't see you through the steam,
kid, you're wrong.
At the bottom of the door, the LIGHT GOES OUT.
INT. CARL'S BATHROOM - RESUME
The HEAVY POUNDING RESUMES as Carl's weight wears on the doorjamb. THE DOOR FLIES OPEN.
CARL relaxes against the doorjamb of the STEAM-FILLED BATHROOM. He waits; quiet, patient. Nothing is visible inside as the MIST POURS OUT, escaping into the hall.
Finally, a SMALLY SILHOUETTE in the corner becomes JEFF.
You never listen. You never do what you're told.
Carl's hard gaze fixes on the odious child, in his expert hand, the JACKKNIFE OPENS AND CLOSES as if breathing in and out.
Jeff remains still. The man pauses slightly at the boy's fearless stare, but continues his approach, growing larger and larger as he towers over the smaller target.
Jeff splashes the peroxide and alcohol into Carl's eyes.
The knife clatters to the linoleum as Jeff frantically flees; however, he turns abruptly and creeps back toward the weapon.
While Carl feverishly rinses his eyes, he pauses, instinctively placing his large foot upon the blade, almost on the boy's tiny fingertips. Carl resumes flushing his eyes and pauses one more time to listen as FOOTSTEPS RECEDE, STUMBLING DOWN the stairs.
INT. FRONT DOOR, CARL'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
JEFF pushes a HUGE OTTOMAN to the front door with his good arm and his legs. He pants heavily as he stands precariously on the soft cushion to reach for the BOLT at the top.
INSERT - JEFF'S FINGERS FREE THE BOLT.
CARL'S FOOT KICKS THE OTTOMAN and Jeff collapses, an exhausted, drained heap at the edge of freedom.
CAR LIGHTS break Carl's concentration as Jeff rises and butts his head into the man's groin. Carl goes down but GRABS THE BOY'S COLLAR.
There is FRANTIC BANGING ON THE DOOR.
With the jackknife in his face commanding his full attention, Jeff obeys, while TWO BODIES ALTERNATE POUNDING ON THE DOOR.
Carl drags Jeff into the sterile DARKNESS BEYOND THE REACH OF THE LIGHTS FROM OUTSIDE.
The DOOR BREAKS OPEN as FRANK falls inside. He catches a FLASHLIGHT tossed to him through the shattered door frame. In his tense hand, the BEAM CAREENS around until finally he sees his son's frightened face; a knife; and an old friend.
What's new, Frank?
(end of script excerpt)