You may (or may not) recall that I made the first cut in the Blue Cat screenplay competition. One of the winners generated a lot of buzz because his script got picked up for production and had Hugh Jackman behind it. I’ve just finished the script, Prisoners, and it is fantastic.
I mean that. It is an amazing story. Completely drew me in. It was so well written that at one point I actually jumped. Just like I would have watching. I think I even made a noise because some of the people on the train looked at me. It’s that good.
I don’t know how good the movie is, but this is an amazing piece of writing. Sparse but seasoned. It’s paced well and even now, fifteen minutes later, my adrenaline is still flowing. It reminded a little of A Simple Plan in that the basic story line was very straightforward but just kept building with more twists and setbacks on every page.
I’m not sure that I’ve a read a script that built tension so well. It’s a gradual increase, no jumps, and there’s not let up. Like the fish in science class on the Bunsen burner, you get warmer and warmer without realizing that you’re about to boil and then – you boil.
The story is about the kidnapping of two young girls and what their parents (and the police) do to find them. It’s disturbing. It’s violent. It’s gory. There’s a bit of bad language. It’s… a nightmare. But through that darkness is a tale of people who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
I have children. I am terrified that one day one of them will be taken. I remember Sarah Woods. And when I think about how far I would go to get my child back I think about Sarah’s parents, their trust in God and forgiveness of the man who took her and I feel guilty because I know that I would not be able to do that.
This story looks at the other direction, at how far Everyman would fall to get back his little girl. Snakes and all. If you’re up for it, you can find the script here.