Afraid Of The Dark by Paul Clarke
In a world over-run by electricity-consuming monsters, only one source of power remains…
The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The War Of The Worlds, Cloverfield, The Thing…
Notice a common theme? That’s right – monsters. In all their slimy, shape-shifting, slamming, shrieking, marauding glory. A few other films with monsters that leave a lasting impression: Alien, The Day of The Triffids, The Fly, and that granddaddy of all monster flicks (recently remade) – the 1954 classic, Godzilla.
The creation of the monster/creature feature has long held our attention. As a genre, Science Fiction and in particular ‘end of the world’ scenarios gained renewed popularity following World War II and the advent of the Cold War, when the combined fears of foreign occupation and the threat of global annihilation by nuclear weapons entered the public consciousness.
In Afraid Of The Dark Paul Clarke creates a unique monster of his own imagination. Cleverly combining elements of sci-fi, horror, and heart-pumping action, with a cursory nod to The Matrix and sub-genre cyberpunk, the story is set against that perennial crowd-pleasing backdrop of a post-apocalyptic ruin – burning waste, burned out cars, weeds, no electricity…
We open on a darkened room in the dead of winter. A conversation takes place between a young woman and a child, both of them huddled over their only source of light and heat, a solitary tungsten bulb. But this bulb is not connected to a cord and it’s not plugged into the wall. Instead we’re given a rather startling and surreal image. The bulb is connected to a writhing and pulsating black blob. And that blob is locked inside a cage.
The bulb is just about to go out. And for the remaining survivors now forced to live in lockdown, it appears time is running out.
Cue our protagonist and the female narrator of the tale and her retelling of how the beast came to be:
No one knows where they came from.
Some say a meteorite. Some say from
deep under the Earth. Others even
believe they’re something we cooked
up in a lab.
Whatever this monster is, and wherever it came from, there’s no doubt it is nightmare inducing… a formidable monster with a selective appetite. Appetite for what? Well, you’ll just have crack this one open to find out.
Let’s just say the hunter is about to become the hunted. The remaining survivors are going to have to use the one element in the beast’s arsenal that they now need to survive – the beast himself.
Afraid Of The Dark is a richly layered and allegorical tale with a specific cautionary message about our reliance on energy and technology.
Filmmakers: Want to jumpstart your sci-fi/horror short-film career? Well, this one has the spark and surge you’ve been waiting for, and the power to leave audiences with a long lasting impression.
Budget: Mid-range. You want a decent budget to do this right. But trust us – this one’s worth it!
About the writer: Paul Clarke is an Australian based screenwriter who works as a cinema manager by day and paid coverage writer by night. His success so far has included a top 10 place in the Writer’s Store Industry Insider competition. And is currently working on a selection of short, feature, and pilot scripts. He can be reached at paul.clarke.scripts “AT” gmail
About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.
Read Afraid Of The Dark – (13 pages in PDF format)
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.