An interrogator employs questionable methods to extract information from a suspect.
There’s something about a good torture scene that just… stays with you. You know what we’re talking’ about: the dentist scene from Marathon Man. The ear removal in Reservoir Dogs.
Yet, there’s a fine line between an exquisitely painful scene and gratuitous torture porn. Make no mistake – there is a difference. One is an example of high writerly art; admittedly of the squeamish kind. The other is pure sadism… the visual rendering of unpleasant corners of the human psyche that are best left unexpressed (or crushed by energetic bouts of electroshock.)
Ah, but when a scene is of that first variety? Cinematic stuff like that scars you for life – in a good way. And it’s impossible to forget. The visuals burrow into one’s mind like memory maggots, and take up permanent residence in one’s bleeding brain.
And that’s certainly the case with Interrogation, by Zach Jensen. A vicious little short, Interrogation takes place in – you guessed it – an interrogation room populated by two charming gentlemen: Agent Dawes and Simon – an unfortunate soul whose hand is strapped to the table. ‘Cause, you see, Agent Dawes has a hammer. And pliers. And an orange (don’t ask.) And really, really sharp paper. And he knows how to use them. Not surprisingly, things get ugly.
Needless to say, the torture depicted is quite brutal. If that’s all this script had going for it, it’d still be memorable – and imaginative. But Interrogation does have more. The banter between Dawes and Simon is surprisingly witty. And mystery lingers in the air. Why is Simon there? And exactly what is Agent Dawes fishing for? Then there’s that twist. But never mind. I’ve said too much already…
If you’re a director with dark and twisted sensibilities, then you’d better open Interrogation quick. ‘Cause perps like Simon eventually crack. And scripts like this get optioned – causing delicious suffering along the way…
About the writer: Zach Jansen is an award-winning and produced screenwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He enjoys spending time with his kids, anything movies, and sitting at his desk pounding out his next script. If for some reason you want to learn more about him, you can check out his IMDb page or quasi-frequently updated blog.
Budget: Pretty low. But be sure not to skimp on a few solid practical FX. No need to show everything (subtlety can be a good thing.) But a touch of blood here and there will enhance your audience’s heebie-jeebies even more.
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