After accidentally shooting a girl in the mysterious Ozark mountains, five hunting buddies must battle for their lives and their souls when a backwoods hillbilly taxidermist invokes ancient supernatural powers to bring his monstrous patchwork creations to life to exact his revenge.
Horror – a genre both beloved… and maligned. Those who love it, know what it can accomplish at its best. Churning out metaphysical creeps that last far into the night – long after final credits roll. The genre’s created true classics: The Shining. Jacob’s Ladder. The lesser known Changeling.
But not everything horror need be sublime. There’s more than a little to be said for fun, gore. Pure mayhem. Gremlins. Tremors. Reanimator. Child’s Play. These films may lack intellectual cache… but they’re classics all the same. And what happened to those rockin’ times? Horror these days is so… mundane. Possessions. Slashers. Tons of jump-screams. But – sadly – little else.
Which is why scripts like Hunted are so DAMNED fun.
The script starts as many horrors do. A bunch of buddies head into the woods, bound for a hunting/camping trip. Some are jerks. Others good guys. Already, you know most won’t survive. Though in this case, the victims to-be are Iraqi veterans. At least that means they’ll fight back. The most respectable of the bunch: Zion Edwards. African American, battle scarred, weary… and (thanks to an IED) – missing one of his legs. Along with comrades Will, Sean, Craig and Bo, Zion’s looking to commune with nature, and enjoy some long-overdue peace. Too bad he won’t be getting either.
Losing their way*, the team pit-stops at a decrepit mobile home. The owner – Hillbilly Earl – intercepts them at his door. The place looks like Frankstein’s castle – Animal Planet style. Earl’s into taxidermy. The weird, backwoods variety. The lawn’s littered with his creations: strange amalgams of multiple species, sewn together crudely. Jackalopes. A two headed dog. Badgers with Hawk Wings, and Frog Legs spliced everywhere. Needless to say, the meeting doesn’t go well. Especially after Craig swears in front of Earl’s wretched daughter, Sesame… and gets a punch in the mouth as a lesson.
Dodging the inevitable confrontation, our buddies head on their way. But before you can mutter Deliverance, things take a turn towards something far worse. You see, Earl’s been dabbling in Olde Magick. The creatures on his lawn are alive. And Sesame’s not his daughter. She’s his soon-to-be sacrifice.
You see, Earl’s been preparing for a big event. The reanimation of his ultimate creation – kept in his living room, under a tarp. But before Earl can sharpen his hooks and knives, Sesame escapes into the forest, wearing a mud-drenched fur coat. And gets accidentally shot by Craig…
Things go to Hell from there. Bo and Will race with a critically injured Sesame into town, leaving the others to clean up the mess. And that’s when Earl’s mixed up minions descend. After all, good ‘ole Earl needs a replacement for Sesame. Not to mention revenge…
How to explain what happens next? Well picture the chaos (and humor) of Gremlins, mixed with Jim Hensen… on acid. Fur and feathers fly – and blood rains. You want a horror with a large body count, that stands heads and furry shoulders above the pack? Then consider Hunted for your next feature. It’s a script that serves up more than its share of craziness. The wild, gory, memorable kind.
Budget: Hunted can be done two ways: Animatronic or CGI. Either way, you’d want to be sure you do them critters up ‘jus right. ‘Cause a beaver with Hawk wings? That’s something we just have to see!
About the writers:
Rod Thompson: Rod Thompson is an award winning, produced screenwriter of both shorts and features. His tally includes one produced feature length film, four produced short films, a Table Read My Screenplay genre win for Best Drama, a BlueCat Quarter-finalist placing, two NAFF Quarter-finalists and one Semi-finalist placing. Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 “AT” gmail.com.
Tim Westland: co-writer of the acclaimed graphic novel Chasing the Dead, Tim received first place for Balls Out in the NNYM 15 page contest. A moderator at Moviepoet, he’s an outstanding writer with an eye for the details. His IMDB page can be found here.
* What is it with horrors, and losing one’s ability to read a map?
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