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Studio: New Journey Pictures Classics

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Genre: Sports/Biography

Release Date: August 30th, Y8

Theater Count: 2,350

MPAA Rating: PG for Thematic Elements

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 43 min



Laura Harrier as Flo Hyman

Unknowns/C-listers in other roles




Flo Hyman is a volleyball player who played for national leagues and the United States Olympic team during the 70s and 80s. She has many siblings and is the tallest sibling, but ironically struggles to fit in at school. However, a coach notices her athletic ability in the gymnasium and encourages her to take up volleyball. She excels at the sport, and she becomes the University of Houston's first female scholarship athlete. The coaches of the national women's indoor volleyball team are all clamoring to get her on the team, and she decides to play for the national team rather than complete her final year at Houston. She gets to know her teammates and gains a camaraderie with them.


We see volleyball games at the '76 Olympics (where they lose in qualifying) and the '77 World Championships (where they finish fifth) that are presented with intense, energetic editing. Flo and her teammates train and play matches to prepare themselves for the '80 Olympics, but are devastated when the United States decides to boycott that Olympics. Nonetheless, Flo and her teammates pick up the pieces and continue training and playing world championship matches. Crowds begin chanting "Hy-man, Hy-man!" when Flo is seen on the court. The climactic sequence is Flo's experience at the '84 Olympics, where the United States team plays a championship match against China and loses--but they take the loss with good sportsmanship and celebrate earning their silver medals.


She goes back to visit her hometown and is embraced with a hero's welcome, and her family and siblings embrace her as well. She then moves to Japan to play professional volleyball, but during a match in 1986, the coach notices that Flo is uncharacteristically weak and sends her to the bench. On the bench, Flo watches the players spike the ball back and forth, and she tells her teammates to keep fighting. After a quick and fleeting jolt of pain, she slumps over. Aids rush over as the players and spectators notice that she's unconscious. She's carried out on a stretcher... We fade from that scene to her family waiting in a hospital for an autopsy report. The doctor comes back and explains to the parents that she had undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, which created a weak spot in her aorta. The parents thank the doctor and walk away, holding each other close. The funeral has five hundred attendees, and people walk up to the parents to tell them how much Flo Hyman meant to them. Meanwhile, a group of kids run outside of the memorial service building, one of them carrying a volleyball. Outside of the building, they spike the ball to each other, and the credits roll as the crane shot dollies out.







Edited by SLAM!
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Gunman Clive

Studio: New Journey Pictures

Director: Shane Black

based on the video game series

Genre: Comedy/Western

Release Date: January 12th, Y8

Theater Count: 3,100

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Crude Humor, Violence and Peril

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 37 min



James Badge Dale as Gunman Clive

Haley Bennet as Ms. Johnson

Adam Beach as Chieftain Bob


Plot Summary

Gunman Clive, Ms. Johnson, and Chieftain Bob enjoy an idyllic life in a classic western town--like, with the saloon and everything--and all of a sudden, a flock of ducks kidnap citizens with their fantastical steampunk mechanisms, so the three heroes band together to go on an adventure through the wild west. They save the citizens, and after defeating the final duck (who's operating a steampunk mech and comes close to trampling the town), Gunman Clive and the ducks form a truce, and everyone lives happily ever after. And yeah, that's the film.

Edited by SLAM!
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Wet Willy

Studio: New Journey Pictures

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Genre: Horror/Comedy

Release Date: May 10th, Y8

Cast: Christian Serratos, Steve Zahn, and some unknowns

Theater Count: 2,745

MPAA Rating: R for Violence, Blood/Gore, and Language

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 15 min




The plot of this film revolves around a water park called Splash Zone. A kid named William wants to go into the wavepool, and the mom wants to relax in a beach chair but tells William to go alone. So William goes to swim in the wave pool--it's packed with guests. William wades toward the deep end, and he dives below the surface, but his swim trunks get caught on a pump (or something like that idk), and he can't reach the surface to catch a breath. Nobody notices because everybody's too busy having fun--not even the lifeguard notices. By the time someone in the wave pool sees him, William has already drowned. They bring him out and lay him down, and the mom mourns the loss.


Fade to a car on the interstate road as "One Year Later" appears on the screen. In the car is Susan (played by Christian Serratos), who is a nanny, as well as her clients' three middle-school-aged sons, Mike (who brought his lacrosse stick), Tom (who's solving sudoku), and Paul (who's picking his nose). Susan asks them if they're excited to go to Splash Zone, getting various responses. Tom then recounts the story of the kid who drowned in the wave pool and how he was given the nickname Wet Willy. Susan tells him not tell stories like that and Mike jabs Tom with the lacrosse stick to reinforce that, and then Paul threatens to poke Mike with his booger finger, and they all engage in playful banter.


They arrive at Splash Zone, and Susan puts sunscreen on the boys--they complain, but she won't take no for an answer--and they go to a big ride called The Whirlpool first. Three annoying teenage girls get in line behind them. The girls are like The Plastics ×10. Ugh! Annoying! They talk about gossip all the way through the line, and it's a pretty long line, too.


They reach the line, and they all have their own tubes to go down the slide with. They go one by one, and there's a open bowl part of the ride where the tube goes around in circle before slipping down the hole in the middle. Susan and the boys swirl around the Whirlpool and slide into the Lazy River safe and sound.


The teenage girls aren't so lucky. The lifeguard lets them go down one at a time, but the water currents run differently, and when all three girls are in the bowl part of the ride, the water causes their tubes to clog the hole. They decide to walk onto the bowl and shout at the lifeguard at the top of the ride for help. The lifeguard prevents anyone else in line from going down the slide, but a boy's tube--one that happens to have a skull and bones design on it--wiggles out of the boy's hands and bounces down the slide as if it's sentient.


The teenage girls argue about whether they need a helicopter ladder, and one of them says "no dummy, we can just squeeze through the middle of one of the tubes." One of them tries to go through a tube head first but gets stuck by the waist. Then the skull tube enters the Whirlpool, alerting the girls... and spikes come out of the tube! The girls scream and try to dodge the tube, which is now like a life-sized Beyblade, and it chops the two girls who are running around on the Whirlpool into pieces. Then it gets to the girl who's stuck in one of the tubes clogging the hole, and it chops her in half. Her upper body tumbles down the slide and floats into the lazy river. The lifeguard at the top of the ride sees the carnage as the guests gasp in shock, and the lifeguard speaks into a walkie-talkie, saying, "hey boss we got a situation."


The water park manager Bobby (Steve Zahn) is in his office listening to songs by Wham! and eating a bag of bugles (the snack food) when he finally notices the walkie talkie and picks it up, being told about the carnage and about how the customers who saw it will be leaving the park and/or asking for refunds. Bobby plans on giving refunds but will by no means close the water park, as closing it would damage the park's reputation of never having closed in the middle of an operation day, not even when Wet Willy drowned--and besides, people just wanna have a good time right? Bobby signs off and continues eating his bugles, remarking about how they're really tasty.


In the lazy river, Susan and the boys float down in their tubes, and Tom talks about how he overheard rumors about three girls dying on the Whirlpool just then, but they don't believe him because he also talks about how Wet Willy might be haunting the park. Well, Paul thinks about it for a bit... Then he notices two park staff members walking underneath the rides carrying a black trash bag... And dangling out of the bag is a hand with hot pink fingernails. Susan tells the boys she'll treat them to ice cream, so Mike and Tom follow her to the staircase, and by the time Paul noticing they're getting out of the lazy river, he's already sliding down an invisible pipeline slide that takes him underneath the lazy river...


Susan asks wants Mike wants--he wants an ice cream sandwich. She asks what Tom wants--he wants an orange creamsicle. She asks what Paul wants--but Paul isn't there. He's missing. And she just now realized it. She looks around for Paul as the cashier asks in a monotone voice, "anything else?"


On a picnic table, Mike and Tom eat their ice cream while Susan asks them about where Paul might be. They don't know, but also say it's not out of the norm for Paul to wander off on his own. Susan resolves to find Paul, but grants Mike and Tom permission to explore the park on their own if they promise to stick together--she convinces them to get a two-person tube even though they both prefer the single tube.


Mike and Tom take their tubes and walk through the water park, and they find that they're standing below the Water Walls, which is the tallest and steepest ride in the park, and one that drops the rider down, and they sashay back toward the drop, and then go back and forth until their tube comes to a stop. They get in line, but a group of bullies bully Mike and Tom into letting them cut in front of them.


They make it to the top of the ride, and before Mike and Tom or any of the bullies can go, we see a single mom convincing a little girl (like, second or third grade) that they can do it and that it'll be fun. The girl's whiny and doesn't want to do it, but the single mom convinces her by saying she'll be right behind her. The top lifeguard pushes the little girl down the slide, and the single mom claps for the daughter as the tube falls back and forth on the walls until it gently stops. A lifeguard at the bottom helps the girl and points to the single mom as she goes down the slide right after. The single mom picks up the girl and says she's proud of her, and the girl tells the mom she wants to go again.


At the top, one of the bullies is visibly shaking, but the others tell him that if a girl can do it, he can too. The bully snaps out of his shaking and gets in the lane, but before the lifeguard can even touch the tube, the water jets spray way too much, catapulting the bully off of the platform and into the other Water Wall. The bully breaks a bunch of bones and dies on impact. The bottom lifeguard rushes to the bully while the single mom shields her daughter's eyes and gets her away from the ride.


The water jets go back to normal, seemingly teasing them. "Nope," the lifeguard at the top says, sprinting down the staircase and abandoning Mike, Tom, and the group of bullies. The bullies are stunned, but they convince one of their own to go next, reminding the bully that since he regularly gets Victory Royales in Fortnite, a water park slide ain't got nothin' on him. The bully shouts "yeah" and puts his tube in the lane and sits in it; the water pumps go fast again, launching the bully in the air, and he screams "Victory Royale" before he smashes into the Water Wall, breaks his neck, and dies. The bullies at the top hoot and holler while Mike and Tom exchange nervous glances.


Susan does some independent investigation work to find Paul and decides to retrace her steps by going back to where they were in the lazy river when she saw him last. She watches as the single mom floats in a single tube with her distraught daughter in her lap, having decided to calm both of them down with a trip down the lazy river. Susan watches and gasps as the mom and daughter slide down the invisible pipe and disappear below the river. Susan tells herself that has to be where Paul is, and she runs further up the river, jumps in near a group of tweenagers singing "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry. She flips one of the girl's tubes over and steals the tube; then she mounts the tube, paddles to the invisible pipe, and slides down.


Cut to a bird's eye view of the water wall, where dead bodies of the bullies are starting to pile up, and the second-to-last bully slams into the wall, breaks bones, and dies. At the top, the last remaining bully turns to the others with a creepy look on his face.


Bully: You're next!

Tom: No thanks. We have to use the bathroom.

Bully: No, you guys are goin'!

Mike: To the bathroom, yes.

Bully: You guys are goin' DOWN THE SLIDE!


The bully tries to force one of them down the slide, but the bully ends up falling down the slide himself; he doesn't even land on the slide, falling to the concrete pavement and splattering on impact. Mike and Tom try to run to the staircase, but the entire unit starts shaking and threatening to collapses, meaning that the fastest way off of the structure is down the slide. They get into their two-person tube, and the water jet sprays them off--but their tube stays nesr the slide, and they sashay back and forth (albeit past dead bodies) as the park designers intended. Mike asks Tom how he thinks they survived, and Tom guesses that the density and weight of the two-person tube caused it to stay closer to the slide, thus keeping them on the slide rather than launching them in the air. "Huh," Mike says. Then they hurry off the slide right before the Water Walls begin to collapse--and go figure, the structure collapses toward the Whirlpool since they're right next to each other.


Meanwhile, Susan goes down the slide and starts floating down an underground tunnel. She makes it to the exit platform (set up like how the rollercoaster comes back and people step onto the platform), and she sees a group of people huddles in the far corner. The single mom instructs her to throw her tube in the pile of tubes, so Susan does this, joins the huddle, and asks what everyone's so afraid of. "It's the ghost of Wet Willy," says Paul, who's among the people trapped in the tunnel. The single mom explains that they'd take the stairs to get out of the basement and into one of the indoor locker rooms, but they can't because Wet Willy guards the door.


Then Wet Willy appears from behind the staircase wall. The trapped people shudder, and the single mom's daughter starts whining. Wet Willy's body is pale, and he's soaking wet, and he's wearing nothing but swim trunks. Then it's revealed that Wet Willy's holding a cone of pink cotton candy, and he silently offers it to the people. The single mom instructs Susan and the others not to take the cotton candy, but a middle-aged man (surprise cameo by YouTube comedian Gus Johnson) gives in at the sight of the cotton candy, and he grabs it and starts eating it despite the single mom's pleas for him to refrain. The cotton candy poisons the middle-aged man, and he falls down, convulsing and foaming at the mouth, and dies. Wet Willy glares at the people huddled together, and they all wince in fear. Susan holds Paul protectively and glares back at Wet Willy.


In his office, Bobby looks inside of his bag of bugles--having finished them, he crumples it into a ball and tosses it into the trash can. On the walkie-talkie, a lifeguard tells Bobby to come outside of his office. Bobby walks outside and stands in front of the exit as a crowd of people are gathered to yell at him, either because some of them have died or because some of them have disappeared. Bobby says that they're correct in saying that some of them have died and that some of them have disappeared--but that doesn't mean any of them are allowed to leave. Then a woman walks out from inside and stands next to Bobby--it's William's mom from the beginning of the movie, revealing that Bobby is Wet Willy's father. The mom, holding two machine guns, hands one to Bobby, and the couple point their guns at the crowd. Bobby goes into a monologue about how he's realized that his son's ghost had manifested within the machinations of Splash Zone, and that he must help him avenge his wrongful death by giving a group of customers a similar fate--and he orders the crowd to walk into the wavepool.


The crowd marches toward the wavepool. Mike and Tom peek their heads from behind the ice cream booth--the worker's still standing there, bored and dazed out of his mind--and Mike and Tom discuss a plan to save all of the guests--because they can't just leave them to die, and they certainly can't abandon Paul and Susan. They hide back behind the booth while the worker continues to stand motionless.


The people are herded into the wavepool, and Bobby yells for Wet Willy to start the waves. In the tunnel, Wet Willy pulls a lever as Susan and the huddled group watches, and the waves start causing the people to bob up and down. Then Bobby yells for Wet Willy to turn on the sauna. So Willy pokes the temperature button over and over so that the temperature of the water gets warmer and warmer until it threatens to get too hot for the people to bare.


In the tunnel, Susan and the single mother exchange a look, and Susan successfully convinces the ghost of Wet Willy not to kill the people in the wavepool because there's probably little boys just like him who want to play and have fun like he always wanted to. Willy turns down the temperature and turns off the waves, effectively saving everyone in the wavepool. The people in the tunnel thank Wet Willy and wave goodbye as Willy falls backward into the water and disappears with a smile on his face.


At the front of the wavepool, Bobby and his wife start arguing about how they forgot to put ammo in their machine guns, and Mike and Tom take the opportunity sneak over to the wavepool. Tom unwraps a Snickers ice cream bar, and Mike grabs it and says "asta la vista baby" as he tosses it into the wavepool as if it's a stick of dynamite. Someone in the wavepool screams that someone pooped in the pool, and everyone rushes out to get away from the "poop." Bobby and his wife are too busy screaming in fear to get out of the way, so the crowd tramples them to death in their effort to get away from the pool.


Susan, Paul, Mike, and Tom reunite in the locker room. "What do you say we head home?" she asks the boys. They nod in agreement. So they head home. The end!



Edited by SLAM!
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Title: The Three Caballeros Ride Again

Director: Matt Danner (director of The Legend of the Three Caballeros)

Genre: animation/adventure/drama

Release Date: November 1, year 8

Major Cast: Whoever Disney thinks should voice the Three Caballeros

Theater Count: 3,000

MPA Rating: R for sexuality and nudity

Runtime: 80 minutes

Production Budget: $70 million


the animation is as close to 1940s era cel animation as you can economically get to with today's technology.


Plot Summary: 



Edited by cannastop
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Studio: New Journey Pictures

Director: Roar Uthaug

based on the video game franchise of the same name

Genre: Action/Adventure

Release Date: September 6th, Y8 (IMAX release)

Theater Count: 3,561

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Violence and Peril

Budget: $175 Million

Runtime: 1 hr 55 min


Major Cast (in order of appearance)

Mena Massoud as Kyle

Saïd Taghmaoui as Seth

Chiwetel Ejiofor as [the voice of] Wisp

Rami Malek as Enoch

Geraldine Viswanathan as Floy

Yasmine Aker as Rachel


Plot Summary (just shy of 4.7k words)


Long, long ago,

in the most ancient of eras,

gigantic, living behemoths

were as plentiful as human beings.

And among the behemoths,

none were more adaptable,

more intelligent, more cunning,

more impartial, or more formidable

than that of the dragon.




Fade in on a low-angle shot inside a vast desert canyon. Slowly tilt down—Kyle, a young man in a flappy desert hat (Mena Massoud), plants a row of desert seeds. He pours water, but only has enough water in his can for half of the seeds. “Just my luck,” he says. He goes into a tightly packed hut, where there’s two sling beds above and below each other, as well as organized clusters of items placed everywhere possible. He opens a chest labeled ‘drinking water’ and considers taking one of the flasks. But he decides not to. After a moment, he shuts the chest.


Cut to Kyle walking alone on a canyon ridge with his watering can. He notices his boot is untied and stoops down to tie it. Unbeknownst to him, crawling on the ridge’s rock wall beneath him is a beige lizard-like creature with beady eyes and a long, drooling tongue. The creature leaps onto the ridge and charges. Kyle looks behind him, draws a bone-textured laser gun, and shoots. Headshot. The creature stumbles off the ridge and falls to its death. “Should’ve known better than that,” Kyle says; he finishes the knot and walks off.


Down in a valley with lots of spring water, Kyle fills up his can. Seth (Saïd Taghmaoui), Kyle’s mentor, is standing up on a ridge high above the valley. He crosses his arms and smiles proudly. Kyle looks up at the ridge, but by the time he does, Seth is gone. Kyle goes back to where his plants are and pours the water. Incredibly, the plants that had already received water have not only grown tall while Kyle was gone, but have produced small red fruits akin to strawberries. He plucks one, lifts it up into the sunlight, pulls it down, and consumes it, savoring the flavor. Firm footsteps—Kyle looks and sees Seth standing in front of a path.


Kyle: Master!

Seth: Come, Kyle. It is time.


Cut from a shocked Kyle to the two of them traveling along another canyon ridge. They slip through a crevasse. It’s barely wide enough to be passable. As they shimmy, Seth turns to Kyle.


Seth: Establish the bond. This may be your only chance.


They find the exit, and Kyle stares in awe at the nest of resting dragons in his view. The nest overlooks the rocks, rivers, vegetation, wildlife, and overall beauty of the canyon. Alerted by the presence of humans, the dragons wake up and dive off the cliff as if uninterested in small talk.


One blue and skinny dragon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) remains. It stands and steps in for a closer look.


???: What have we here…

Seth: This is Kyle. He is my protégé.


The dragon grins. Kyle shudders—years of preparation has led to this moment. He extends his arm out to the dragon, closes his eyes, and embraces his fate. The dragon sniffs his hand, thinks for a moment, and allows Kyle’s hand to touch its forehead.


???: I am Wisp. And you, Kyle, are my rider. From now until forevermore.


Kyle, amazed and elated, turns to Seth in joy. Seth smiles at him. They’re both glad it worked. Seth takes off his hat and nods to Wisp.


Seth: If Cosmo were alive, I would share with him my utmost gratitude.

Wisp: Ha! And in Cosmo’s honor, your protégé will ride the most exceptional offspring. Truly I tell you, I’ve surpassed him tenfold.


Wisp plunges off the cliff and soars away as Seth and Kyle gaze.


As they walk back to their hut, Seth congratulates Kyle for bonding with Wisp and continuing the dragon-riding lineage. Kyle talks about how excited he is to be able to soar the skies, but Seth reminds him to remember the true purpose of the dragon rider—to protect the balance of their world, so that both humans and dragons can continue to coexist in harmony. Kyle raises an eyebrow and says he doubts there’ll be anything the world needs to be protected from, as it seems pretty balanced already. Seth sighs and takes off a necklace—but it’s not just a necklace. Seth explains that it’s the Sky Amulet—and if placed within the Sacred Stone in the Tower of Babylon, it will cease the winds, disallowing any creature from soaring the skies. Seth offers the amulet to Kyle so that he can be its protector, but Kyle rejects the necklace, stating that if those in the Tower of Babylon haven’t tried to cease it for 50 years, then they simply aren’t tenacious enough to pursue it—and again, why protect something that doesn’t need protecting. “Kyle,” Seth shouts—but Kyle’s storming out, leaving Seth alone.


We zoom in on the amulet, which fades to a sweeping show of the ocean, which tilts up to face a massive stone tower built on a seaside cliff. Monstrous beings and dark-scaled dragons face and listen to a leader—Enoch (Rami Malek), who has many scars on his face. Floy (Geraldine Viswanathan) stands next to him, but hangs her head. Enoch tells his troops that after building up their militia for 50 years, it’s finally time for them to retrieve the sky amulet and ground the dragons for good. The militia shouts in glee.


Cut to rapid-fire shots of the militia boarding dragons, and giant monsters being prepared for the flight. Enoch and Floy stand next to his dragon, which is black and red in color. Enoch tells Floy that once he returns and grounds the dragon, he will marry her. Floy retorts that she doesn’t want to marry him. “Oh, but you must,” Enoch says—“I’m your master, after all.” Floy hangs her head, but Enoch caresses her cheek. “Oh, Floy… You’ll grow to love your power soon enough.”


Enoch mounts his dragon and takes off as Floy watches. Servants push a massive door open, allowing light to cascade into the building. Enoch shouts a battle-cry and exits the tower, and his militia follows him. Floy watches as the militia flies over the ocean.


Fade back to the hut in the canyon; inside, Seth uses red ore to manufacture ammo for laser guns while Kyle stoops to the dirt, drawing something with a stick. Kyle laments that he’s frustrated because it’s been a whole week and Wisp hasn’t shown up to train him for dragon riding. Seth reassures him that dragons initiate riding when the time is right. Kyle groans, saying that having been selected to be the rider should be enough.


Seth watches Kyle draw in the dirt and sighs. He stares at the amulet—a shimmering blue crystal in his hand—and looks back at Kyle. He lays a hand on Kyle’s shoulder and says he wants him to go into the ruins to gather more red ore—but he wants Kyle to go alone.


Cut to the entrance of an abandoned temple built in the side of a canyon wall. Kyle approaches it and hesitates at the sight of its darkness, but proceeds anyway. He proceeds through the ruins and down staircases until he finds a hanging rope he uses to propel down an abyss; the red ore is crested in the rock, and while dangling, he puts as much red ore as he can into a sack and propels up. He reenters the ruins and unhooks the rope from his body, but he stops and stares at the hieroglyphs on the wall. This is the first time he’s really noticed those hieroglyphs, and he realizes that they tell the history of a war between humans and behemoths.


Meanwhile, Seth tends the garden near the hut when he notices that a cluster of dragons are flying past the canyon entrance. Seth stares in horror as Enoch and his legion of behemoths are headed for the canyon. We cut to the dragons as they attempt to launch an attack on the legion, but Enoch snaps his finger, and the soldiers on the back of a gigantic flying turtle monster—a makeshift airship—launches flaming cannonballs at the dragons, killing many in seconds. Seth sees this, clutches the sky amulet, and hurries to find somewhere to hide it. He rushes to the hut, but a cannonball crashes into it, demolishing it. Seth runs deeper into the canyon.


Kyle feels rumblings within the ruins. He knows that something is amiss, so he rushes to get out of the ruins, leaving the ore behind. He ascends the stairs as the ruins threaten to crumble around him. He makes it to the main floor just as a cannonball smashes through the ruins, triggering the building’s collapse. Kyle rushes to the exit, and he realizes he’s not going to make it, so he gets down on his knees and covers his head—and an avalanche of stone falls around him.


Cut to Seth running through the canyon, glancing up at Enoch and his soldiers, who are skydiving toward him. With his laser gun, he shoots some of them while they’re in the air, and he attempts to run, but the soldiers land and ambush him. The soldiers demand they give him the amulet. Seth breathes in, and then shoots as many soldiers as he can. But Enoch shoots Seth in the back, and Seth falls to the ground. Enoch rips the amulet off of Seth’s neck and hisses to Seth that his sacrifice is for the good of all humanity. Enoch orders the soldiers to follow him, and they leave Seth to die.


We fade to the demolished ruins, fade to a pile of rubble, and fade to the bottom of the pile. Kyle’s hand bursts out of the pile. He catches his breath and climbs himself out of the rubble. There’s a crack of light, shining above him, but he needs to climb over some rubble to get there. It’s a struggle, but he bursts out of the ruins, and we see that he has a few scratches but is relatively unscathed. He rushes away from the ruins.


He shouts “Master” as he runs through the canyon, and he finds Seth lying on the ground, left for dead. He rushes to Seth, who tells him that the Tower Dwellers have stolen the Sky Amulet, and that it’s up to him to get it back. Kyle asks him how he’ll be able to do that. Seth instructs him to wait in the canyon for Wisp—if Wisp is alive, he’ll meet him there. Then Seth passes away. Kyle tries to wake him, but to no avail. Kyle says that it’s his fault, and he mourns the loss.


Kyle carries Seth back to where the hut and once been. He buries Seth under the leafless tree, and he looks up to see that Wisp is in the sky, circling him. He quickly prays for Seth and runs to the canyon entrance. He reaches it, and Wisp flies up and lands in front of him, this time wearing a pointed skeletal helmet, where it can shoot lasers from its forehead, through the helmet, and toward enemies.


Kyle: Wisp! You—

Wisp: This is no time for dawdling. Get on my back—we must retrieve the amulet.

Kyle: I don’t know how to ride yet!

Wisp: I will instruct you as we go.


Kyle nervously mounts Wisp.


Wisp: We are now as one. If anything happens to my rider, I will cease to exist.

Kyle: You don’t have to worry about that. Not with me.

Wisp: I suppose you’re right. It’s the tower dwellers who should fear for their lives.


Wisp leaps into the air, and they take off, flying over the ocean toward Enoch’s legion.


Troops in Enoch’s legion tell him that scouts have spotted Kyle and Wisp coming after them in the distance. Enoch practically shrugs it off, as it’s only one dragon and its rider, and he sends a handful of troops and monsters after them. While flying over rocks and ruins that protrude from the ocean, Kyle and Wisp shoot their way through wave after wave of enemies—Kyle is a natural at riding and still an excellent shot with his laser gun, while Wisp occasionally shoots some bad guys while gliding gracefully through the air.


Their skill gets back to the scouts, who tell Enoch that Kyle and Wisp have pushed through the enemy wave. There’s huge rocks up ahead with caves inside of it, so Enoch orders his troops to overwhelm them with numbers to force them to fly into the cave, where troops can come at them from both entrances of the cave. The troops do just this, and after exchanging quips, Kyle and Wisp fly into the cave, where Kyle shoots the troops behind them and Wisp shoots the troops in front of them. The cave begins to collapse as rubble falls from the ceiling, so Wisp does flips and corkscrews to dodge the falling rubble, and they manage to escape the cave as it collapses and crushes the troops who are still inside.


Enoch swallows and begins to see Kyle and Wisp as a threat. So he sends the turtle airship after it to slow them down, and also because he thinks a single dragon won’t stand a chance against a being who killed many dragons in one blow. The duo and the turtle airship confront each other over an expanse of ocean, and Wisp swiftly dodges the lasers that are fired at him; after an intense battle, the airship monster lets out a moan and plummets to the ocean, taking the troops on its back with it. Kyle and Wisp exchange more quips and let the wind carry them in the direction of Enoch and his legion.


Fade back to Enoch’s tower; inside, Floy lays near a small indoor pool as children play in the water; a woman named Rachel (Yasmine Aker), a powerful confidante for Enoch and mother figure for Floy, tells her to follow her to the Well. They go to a dark room with a glowing well in the center, and the two women look into the well to see visions of the battles between Enoch’s legion and the dragons of the canyon. Rachel is pleased to see that the sky amulet has been captured. But Floy watches Kyle, and she blushes as she watches Kyle ride through the sky. Rachel sees this and smacks Floy, knocking her to the ground. Rachel scolds Floy for looking at the enemy with fondness, as she is supposed to give herself to Enoch for marriage, and she instructs Floy to think about what she’s done as she exits.


Floy walks to the top of the tower, ascending sprawling staircases, and stands on its rooftop. A giant mountable bird with bright pink feathers flies down, lands on the roof, and greets her with bird noises (as it doesn’t speak). Floy talks to the bird about how violence isn’t necessary and that Enoch might be wrong about the dragons being evil. But for now, there’s nothing she can do but wait for Enoch’s return…


Fade back to Kyle and Wisp flying through the sky at dusk. Wisp tells Kyle more about his dragon father Cosmo, and how he teamed up with Seth to fight in a war between the tower dwellers and the keepers of the hills, where there was enough fertile hills to grow crops and feed many people. The tower dwellers wanted those hills all to themselves, so the keepers enlisted mercenary dragon riders to fight in the war—and this all happened before Kyle was born. Kyle says that the tower dwellers must want to eliminate flight to make sure they can conquer any land they want without fear of dragons getting in their way.


Wisp hesitates and then tells Kyle about a specific moment in the battle (we see this flashback as Wisp explains). Cosmo picked up the leader of the tower dwellers and hoisted him high into the air—but the leader plunged a dagger into Cosmo’s heart, causing Cosmo to let go of him. The leader fell to the earth—any attempts by the tower dwellers to catch the leader were blocked by the keepers of the hill, and he landed on the ground and died. Cosmo made a safe landing to keep Seth safe, but died shortly afterward. At the tower, the leader’s wife threw herself out of the tower, but the firstborn son, Enoch, grew up to become the leader of the tower dwellers, and he seeks vengeance.


Cut back to Kyle and Wisp as Wisp tells Kyle that they were fated to ride together, whether trouble came about or not. Kyle takes this in and dwells on the implications.


They fly toward a big rock in the middle of the ocean, and to get to Seth’s legion in the fastest way possible, they have no choice but to travel through a tunnel in the rock. They fly into a spacious room and quickly realize that they’ve flown into a dead end. Suddenly, a bulbous, grotesque dragon bursts through a wall. Seth dismounts, and the two heroes battle with the enemy dragon. The dragon tackles Wisp, and they fight like predators as Kyle points his laser gun, hoping not to shoot Wisp by accident. Wisp yells for Kyle to shoot, but Kyle takes to long, and the enemy dragon’s tail sweeps him off of his feet. The enemy dragon pushes Wisp off of him and lunges toward an incapacitated Kyle. Kyle reaches for the laser gun and shoots just in time, killing the enemy dragon. The tunnel begins to collapse around them, so Wisp screams at Kyle to get on his back, and the dragon shoots a huge laser at the ceiling, creating a way out of the tunnel. They escape just before it collapses and proceed on their journey.


We fade back to the canyon. A lone dragon flies over the canyon to where the dragons’ habitat is. The bodies of the shot-down dragons lie together on a ledge that overlooks an abyss. Many dragons watch as the bodies of the dragons are ceremoniously pushed into the abyss. The dragons mourn for their fallen brethren. A dragon with jade green scales flies above the abyss and shouts that she can’t allow the tower dwellers to cease their existence, and that their fallen brethren must be avenged. She shouts warriors to follow her into the night sky, so that a swarm of dragons may gather together to go after the tower dwellers. Many dragons follow this jade green dragon. They travel to every nest in the canyon to gather dragons willing to fight. And as the sun rises, so do the dragons out of the canyon…


In the morning, Enoch’s troops are seen resting on boulders that protrude from the ocean when two scouts inform Enoch that Kyle and Wisp have evaded their trap. Enoch reprimands both of the scouts for failing to try and kill the heroes themselves, and he shoots and kills them with his laser gun. Then Enoch orders a majority of his troops to launch a full-frontal assault on Kyle and Wisp as a small group follow him to the tower.


Kyle and Wisp are flying over a vast expanse of ocean, and they encounter a huge swarm of enemies in the sky. Kyle and Wisp are greatly outnumbered but have no choice but to try and fight their way through. They shoot many goons and evade as many lasers as they can, but Kyle takes a laser to the chest and slips off of Wisp’s back. Wisp gasps as Kyle freefalls to the ocean floor, and Wisp dives to try and catch him. A lesser soldier asks a general if they should kill the dragon, and the general shakes his head, saying that since they’ve killed the rider, the dragon will take care of itself—and the general orders the legion to regroup with Enoch and fly back to the tower, now having nothing in the way of their goal.


Meanwhile, Wisp catches Kyle just before he hits the ocean surface, and Wisp frantically looks around for a quick place to land. Wisp finds a large rock protruding at least ten feet from the ocean, one with a flat surface for them to rest on. Wisp lands on it and lays Kyle down on the rock. Then he looks out and watches as Enoch’s legion fly farther and farther away from them. Wisp shakes Kyle and asks him to get up. And it sinks in that Kyle might be dead.


Cut to a sequence where Wisp stays by Kyle’s side to wait for him to wake up. He dives into the ocean and collects fish for them to eat, and he defends Kyle from hungry vultures. During the night, Wisp barely sleeps as he keeps one eye open and frantically watches to be ready to defend Kyle at any moment. We cut to the next morning as Kyle still hasn’t woken up, and it looks like he might be dead. Wisp walks back and forth on the rock, arguing with himself because he knows he might still be useful in being able to stop Enoch’s legion, but he knows the rules of accepting a rider—if a rider dies, the dragon failed the rider and must die as well. Wisp sadly walks to the edge of the cliff and tips over.


We watch Wisp freefall toward the sharp rocks at the bottom. But before he falls, his eyes snap open, and he flies back up to the top, as he sensed something. He stares at Kyle in awe. Slowly but surely, Kyle wakes up, and Wisp is joyful that Kyle is still alive. Kyle tries to get up but groans in pain, and Wisp tells him to keep lying down. Wisp gets ready to spit, and Kyle asks Wisp, “what are you doing?” Then Wisp spits on the wound. Kyle groans in pain for a moment, but gradually becomes relieved as the saliva heals his wound. Kyle still needs to rest on the rock for one more day, and he won’t let Kyle get up to pursue Enoch because of it.


Kyle: But what if they reach the tower?

Wisp: Do not worry. As long as the wind blows, there is hope.


We fade from the rock to the tower as Enoch and his legion make it back to the tower. The citizens give Enoch a lukewarm welcome. Enoch asks Rachel where Floy is, and she says that Floy is in the room with the Well watching visions of the battles. They go to that room, and Enoch boasts to Floy that she must be watching images of his strength and prowess. Floy asks him if he has the sky amulet, and Enoch shows it to her and shoves it into her hands, saying that he wants her to be the one that places the amulet in the Sacred Stone to prove her loyalty to him. Then the Sacred Stone rises from the floor. There’s a clear concave in the stone where the amulet is to be placed. Floy walks toward it and considers what to do, but decides to throw the amulet on the ground, smashing it to pieces. Floy shouts that it’s wrong to cease the winds and disallow flight, and that Enoch is delusional for wanting that to happen. “After everything I’ve done for you!” Enoch says as he stomps toward her with a dagger in his hand. Floy runs to a staircase, and Rachel attempts to block her, but Floy pushes her off, and Rachel hits her head on the stone staircase and passes away.


“You’ll pay for what you’ve done!” Enoch shouts. Floy runs up the staircase as Enoch pursues. Floy makes it to the room that leads to the outdoor staircase, wanting to get to the roof, but Enoch and his troop enter from both staircases and attempt to seize Floy. But Floy runs to a window and jumps out of it. She falls down the tower for a time, but the bird from earlier in the film catches her. She mounts on its back and flies away as Enoch watches from the tower. Enoch then turns to his troops and shouts that they need to follow her at all costs—she’ll lead them to the boy and dragon responsible for wiping out many of their own. We cut to a sequence where the troops prepare for battle and fly in Floy’s direction.


At the rock, Kyle is resting and Wisp is keeping watch when they look and see Floy flying toward them. Floy lands on the rock and introduces herself, telling them that they watched them from inside the tower and wishes to warn them that Enoch and his troops are coming after them. Kyle asks him why she’s doing it, and Floy insists that the tower dwellers need a leader who is willing to solve problems not through the use of war, but through the use of peace. Then Wisp looks out after feeling a change in the wind; the wind is carrying the scent of thousands of dragons, and they’re all coming to defend themselves against Enoch’s legion! Floy mounts her bird and Kyle mounts Wisp, and they fly from the rock in the direction of the huge swarm of dragons. They meet up with the dragon swarm, and Kyle rallies the dragons, saying that the sky amulet has been destroyed, but Enoch must be stopped, for he desires to wipe out dragons at all costs and will stop at nothing to eradicate their species. Floy, an archer, raises her bow in the air and shouts that it’s time to change the world. The dragons follow them, prepared to fight in the most important battle of their lives.


Enoch’s legion and the swarm of dragons find each other above the rock where Kyle had rested, and they clash over the rock. Enoch sends his troops in front of him as he stands on the back of his black-scaled dragon, his dark clothes flapping in the breeze. Kyle shoots many enemies, and Floy gets many with her bow and arrows. The battle kills many on both sides. Floy gets an arrow lodged in the neck of Enoch’s dragon, and Enoch is forced to crash land on the rock. Kyle meets him there and aims his gun at Enoch. Enoch says that the dragons will kill every human just like they killed his father. Kyle says he begs to differ. Enraged, Enoch throws his dagger like a tomahawk, and Kyle swiftly dodges it. Enoch then notices a huge shadow being cast over him—it’s Wisp, who impales him in the chest with his pointed helmet.


The legion realizes that Enoch is dead and retreat. The dragons celebrate their victory. Floy meets Kyle and the rock, and they give each other a hug. Kyle then turns to Wisp and thanks him for his help. Wisp voices his undying devotion to his rider, stating that he is willing to defend him even unto death. Then Wisp turns to Floy and says that she’ll make a fine queen for the tower dwellers.


The heroes come back to the tower, and the people in the tower welcome Floy as their queen. Floy then offers for Kyle to marry her and be the king of the tower dwellers. But Kyle respectfully declines the offer, as his purpose is to live in the canyon as a protector of the dragons. They hug it out, and Floy tells him that she respects his decision. Kyle and Wisp fly back to the canyon, where Kyle pays respects at Seth’s grave and thanks him for his mentorship. Then Kyle mounts Wisp again, and they fly over the canyon; the final shot showcases the dragon’s thriving habitat before cutting to black.


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Pokémon: The Case of the Orange Outrage

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Starring: Ryan Potter (Ash Ketchum), Sophie Turner (Misty), John Boyega (Brock), Sonoya Mizuno (Professor Ivy), Midori Francis (Jessie), Ben Schnetzer (James), Skyler Gisondo (Tracey), John Magaro (Gideon), William Jackson Harper (Celio), Hamish Linklater (Drake), with Alessandro Nivola (Archer), and Bill Nighy (Professor Oak)
Release Date: February 16, Year 8
Directed By: Uta Briesewitz
Theater Count: 4115 Theaters
Budget: $175 million
Running Time: 105 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy creature violence, situations of peril, mild language, and some scary images


Previous Films’ Gross: 


Pokemon: The Journey Begins (Year 2)
$123,406,792 OW/$293,102,238 DOM/ $766,449,101 WW


Pokemon: Rise of the Rockets (Year 4)
$105,618,258 (3-DAY)/$128,885,437 (5-DAY)/$278,510,543 DOM/$801,662,583 WW


Pokemon: The Cinnabar Conspiracy (Year 6)
$122,610,319 (3-day) / $157,309,040 (4-day)/ $285,106,776 DOM/$885,669,112 WW



NOTE: Please see this google doc for visual images of all Pokemon that are specifically mentioned, in lieu of me describing them in text.




Plot Summary:



Cast Spoiler:



As the credits roll, in the cast listing we see “Featuring the Voice of Rachel Dratch as Meowth”.


Edited by 4815162342
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Winner of Three CAYOM Festival Awards...


Learning to Care


Writer-Director: Brett Haley
Genre: Naturalistic Dramedy

Release Date: August 30 (limited); September 20 (wide); October 4 (widest)

Major Cast:
Nick Robinson as Rob
Brigette Lundy-Paine as Ashley “Ash”
Jimmy Tatro as Robby
Geraldine Viswanathan as Chloe
Lee Rodriguez as Savannah
With Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Linda
And Margo Martindale as Michelle


Minor cast/cameos:


Billie Lourd as Amy
Odeya Rush as Mallory
Chelly as Bobby
Ncuti Gatwa as Ben
Neve Campbell as Virginia
Helena Howard as Brooke
Dane DeHaan as Dane DeHaan
Jason Isaacs as Jason Isaacs


All child actors played by unknowns.


Theater count: 4 (8/30); 25 (9/6); 103 (9/13); 645 (9/20); 2,045 (9/27); 2,765 (10/4)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language.

Runtime: 103 min
Production Budget: $2 million

Plot Summary: A recent college graduate takes a job at a child-care center. A naturalistic examination of the first year of work at a childcare center, heavily focusing on the relationships made with coworkers.

Plot (approx 8.8k words):


Rob pulls into a parking lot with a junky old car. As he exits the car, it is soon obvious that he is in the parking lot of a school, albeit a parking lot that is mostly empty. He walks to a side entrance of the school, where someone else is standing, waiting too. Rob checks his phone, and, awkwardly wanting to break the silence, says that it looks like they’re there a few minutes early. He introduces himself as Robby, and the other person is revealed to be Ashley. Both are starting here, at a before-and-after care program at a school in the suburbs. Ashley reveals that she has worked before at an art activity center for kids, and Rob says he’s worked at a summer camp before. Both graduated in the past June, and this is their first job afterwards. Before they have the opportunity to speak more though, Linda comes up behind them, and opens the door. 

Linda is their supervisor, although not the person who hired the two of them. Nevertheless, she sizes up the two of them, and gives them a quick tour of the locations they’ll be working: it’s basically a gym, a music room, an art room, and a cafeteria. They’ll both be working right after school, providing care for elementary school kids for parents who work later than the 2:30pm end-time of school. Rob will also be working a couple hours before school, while Ashley passed on those hours. Rob introduces himself as Robby to Linda, and Linda replies that they already have a Robby, coining Rob’s new standard moniker of, well, being Rob. 

Ashley goes to check out the art room on her own while Linda takes Rob to the gym, making a comment that as one of the few guys to be working here, he’ll likely be spending a ton of time in here with Robby. Rob is much quieter around Linda than he was around Ashley, and doesn’t have much to say response to this. The two go to meet Ashley in the art room, and Linda says that since they both passed their CPR and first aid training, they should both be good to go for the first few weeks. It’s a bit of an adjustment but they should both be fine. They’re both dismissed, although Linda says she has to stick around and set up the site. 

As they both head to their cars, Rob and Ashley talk a little about how they feel about the job. Ashley mentions that she’s excited about getting to put together the art curriculum while Rob admits he’s used to working with older kids and not necessarily being expected to run sports for any age. However, both are cautiously optimistic about their new jobs, and drive off. 

The next Monday morning, Rob arrives, bleary-eyed without anything to wake him up. He checks his clock on his phone as he clocks in, and he’s about two minutes late. He runs to the door, and rings the doorbell. A man, slightly older than him, comes to open the door, who introduces himself as Robby. Rob thanks him for opening the door, and Robby gives him a fist bump, saying it’s awesome to see another guy working here. Rob reciprocates and asks if he’s the only other guy here. Robby is, in fact, the only other man who works at this particular site. Robby says that the job drove the previous dude who worked here totally insane, and that’s why he quit. Rob looks at him concerned and Robby laughs, saying that the last guy who worked at this site really just went back to grad school, and considering the few guys who work at places like this, Robby was honestly surprised they gave them another dude.

Rob goes to sit down in the cafeteria where Linda is looking through paperwork, while another woman is on her phone. The woman, Amy (Billie Lourd), quickly introduces herself to Rob, and Rob gives an awkward wave back as he sits down at a lunch table. Robby is a very expressive guy, immediately jumping into a story about his weekend that he excitedly tells Amy and Linda, both of whom are very engaged in the story as well. As kids begin to arrive, Rob sits there, awkwardly unaware of what to say or do, until a kid walks up to him and asks him if he wants to play sorry. Rob says sure.

That afternoon, Rob arrives at the school, with Linda out to meet him. Ashley is there too as Linda leads them into the school lounge, explaining that this is where they will wait for a half hour, as they don’t have the cafeteria or gym until the bell rings. Ashley asks what they’re supposed to do an hour, and Linda responds that they can do whatever they want; it’s basically a half hour of free pay. Robby meets Linda at the teacher’s lounge and asks if they’re both still helping at kindergarten. Linda nods and she and Robby leave Ashley and Rob to stay in the lounge. They look around and see three other women sitting there, on their phones with nametags clearly signifying they work there. Rob and Ashley look at each other and sit down, as the older of the two women, Michelle, notices them and introduces herself. Michelle started her job here after her sons had grown up, as a way to get some extra cash around the house, but she’s worked here for fifteen years. The other two women, Mallory (Odeya Rush) and Chloe, introduce themselves as well, but immediately go back to look at their phones. Ashley and Rob look at each other, and after making small talk briefly, they too pull out their phones. 

The day at work begins, and it goes by quickly: homework time, recess, snack, art and sport and final free time. Throughout the day, it’s clear Robby is really Linda’s right-hand man, although he is very charismatic and enjoys messing with both the kids and his coworkers. He pulls Ashley and Rob aside and says if they have any questions about working here, just feel free to ask him. At recess, Mallory talks to Rob and reveals that she plans on quitting very soon; she has a job lined up in a few weeks. Rob asks for advice, and Mallory responds that there’s not really much advice she can give. Treat the kids like kids, but don’t be afraid to show discipline. During their conversation, it’s clear that Chloe is watching the swings, occasionally glaring in their direction. During sport, Rob and Chloe are sent to run it, but whenever Rob tries to speak up, Chloe tells him not to worry about it, she’s got it. Rob listens to this and does not interrupt. At the end of the day, there are only a few kids left playing basketball in the cafeteria. Rob and Ashley sit down across from each other watching them, and Rob asks Ashley how her day went. Ashley says it was fine but stressful and Rob agrees with that.

The next few weeks blaze by, as Mallory sure enough quits, and Rob goes through all the positions he has to do at his job for the first time: running art and sport, setting up snack with Michelle, watching the kids at recess, and helping out with homework. He and Robby hit it off well, and he and Ashley talk semi-regularly in the lounge before work starts, catching up on their weekends. In the morning, Rob is notably lower-energy and quieter, as he doesn’t really know how to talk to Linda or Amy. Robby tries to include him in their conversations, but generally, Rob avoids it. In the afternoons, when Rob is sent to facilitate activities with Robby, he is relaxed and lets Robby run it, while still being involved with the kids. With Ashley, they co-run it together, needing to frequently call in Linda to deal with behavioral problems. However, with Chloe, it becomes quite clear that Chloe just wants to run it herself, frequently finding excuses to send Rob out of the room, such as making him take kids to the bathroom or speaking over him when he tries to explain the rules. Rob doesn’t really know how to respond to this but just lets it be.

One morning, after Amy leaves early and while Linda is getting ready to serve breakfast and the kids are cleaning up the toys, Robby asks Rob if he plans on working the upcoming field trip to the pumpkin patch. Rob says he doesn’t know, and Robby says that when he started here, he always worked the extra field trip shifts; it’s easy money and generally super fun. Rob asks Robby why he won’t be working it then, and Robby says he’s got a gig the night before. Rob didn’t know Robby was in a band, and Robby says he’s been playing guitar with friends for a bit and interest seems to finally be picking up. Rob congratulates him for this when a first-grader (Joey) suddenly runs up to Robby and asks him if they cleaned up well enough. Robby looks at Joey and jokingly tells him that it looks like he forgot to clean himself. Joey is confused when Robby suddenly picks up and says he’s gonna throw Joey in the trash! Joey starts laughing as the other kids start chanting and Rob stands trying not to laugh himself. Linda sees this and rolls her eyes as Robby puts down Joey right in front of the trash can, saying he changed his mind. Joey asks Robby to flip him, and Robby looks to Linda for approval. Linda tells Robby he can do whatever he wants. Robby smiles and then flips Joey… but accidentally knocks his arm against the trash can. Joey immediately calls Robby out on this, and Robby, somewhat embarrassed, apologizes to Joey, saying he can get breakfast first. 

A few days later, it’s the day of the pumpkin patch trip, and Rob parks at a smaller site, where busses are already lined up. Rob is wearing a uniform with the daycare center’s name on it, matching the children’s field trip shirts. As Rob walks in, he sees several coworkers he doesn’t really know, who work at the other sites during the year, including some other men. One of them walks up to Rob and introduces himself as Bobby (Chelly), and Rob laughs at this, introducing himself. Bobby muses that their boss really likes hiring dudes named Robert. Rob looks around if he sees anyone from his site working, but it’s just Linda running the whole show and also Chloe, who is currently helping clean up breakfast. Wanting to make himself useful, Rob goes to join in wiping down the tables and then says hi to Chloe, who just says hi back and then goes off to talk to Linda, who is currently talking to Virginia (Neve Campbell), the head of the entire program. Rob, used to Chloe’s snubbery by now, goes back to get to know Bobby.

The busses are loaded and then they arrive a few hours later at the pumpkin patch. Rob gets his group of four boys (Joey is one of them), and then Rob takes them to the fairground by the pumpkin patch. After watching the kids ride rides and then eating sack lunches at the food court, Rob takes his kids to the corn maze. They walk through it once as a group and then three of the kids ask if they can run it again. Seeing Linda waiting at the entrance for her kids, Rob says sure, the boys who want to do it again can, and the one who doesn’t can wait with him at the entrance. Linda’s kids arrive back, and that group leaves, while Chloe and her group walk up to the cornmaze. Her kids recognize Rob from work and wave to him, as he waves back. As they enter the cornmaze, Rob briefly hears one of the kids in her group (Craig) ask why Chloe has to walk with them. Rob thinks nothing of it until later, back at the main site, when Craig walks up to Rob and tells him that Chloe thinks he’s a bad counselor. Rob makes a smile and asks him why he would think that and Craig explains that when he asked Chloe if they could run the cornmaze on their own, she said she had to watch them. When Craig pointed out that Rob was just waiting at the entrance for his kids, Chloe answered, “Well, I don’t really think Rob is the best counselor.” Rob, hurt by this but not wanting to show it to the kid, just tells him that Chloe was likely just trying to make Craig listen, and before anything else can happen, Rob looks at the clock and sees it’s 3pm, end of his shift. He gets up, checks out with Linda, and leaves the site, passing Ashley and Amy on their way into their shift (they acknowledge each other).

Early into November now, Rob has gotten used to the job decently, and after feeling challenged by Chloe’s disparaging comment, attempts to step it up at work. This includes actually running sport; even though Chloe still does not let him control it, when he is partnered with Robby, Robby is happy to step back and let Rob be the one in charge. Linda begins to trust Rob on watching the door for parent pick-up when she needs to go use the restroom (choosing to leave Robby alone with the kids instead). All around, Rob gets more comfortable at the job and we see him waiting for his shift in the lounge with Ashley conspicuously absent. Rob is chatting with Michelle, who is talking about her kids, when Ashley walks in late, clearly frazzled. Rob asks her what’s up, and Ashley says that she had to take an Uber to work; her parents took her car for an early weekend trip without letting her know she needed to arrange a ride to and from work. Rob offers to drive her home after their shift, and Ashley initially turns him down, telling him not to worry about it.

However, at the end of their shift, Ashley asks if the ride is still available, and Rob says sure. On their way to Ashley’s house, they shoot the shit on a variety of topics, be it politics, their job, and certain kids who are either annoying or funny to them. Rob brings up that he doesn’t think Chloe likes him and Ashley agrees that she gets that vibe. She’s glad she doesn’t have to work with Chloe often; Ashley generally finds how everyone their age who is studying elementary education at jobs like theirs is pretty anal about the rules, but Ashley doesn’t know how to speak up when paired with people like Chloe. Despite not having anyone else besides Chloe working at their site still at school, Rob agrees, citing his past experience with summer camp being similar. They talk a little about where they went to school and what they studied; Rob went to a midwestern school to study theater and Ashley to upstate New York to study art. Weirdly enough, both of them started as film majors though, until quickly tiring of the program. Ashley mentions that she’s a fan of horror movies briefly, and also The Scavenger Wars movies. Anyway, neither really wanted to be working at a day-care post-graduation, but they are in a similar position with needing some income while they apply to grad schools. Rob mentions like how it’s kinda weird that at the job he’s “Rob” when with everywhere else he’s “Robby.” Ashley gets that, saying that with her friends, she’s generally called “Ash,” but it’s much chiller and easier at work to just go by the full name on the nametag. Rob asks Ashley about her plans for the weekend, and Ashley says she’s gonna hang with her boyfriend and likely go to a party with his friends. Rob’s plans are really just to stay home and maybe catch a movie with a friend. They arrive at Ashley’s house, where Ashley’s car is sitting in the driveway. Ashley rolls her eyes, saying she hates living with her parents still, and Rob, living with his aunt and uncle, gets this. Ashley thanks him for the ride, and before leaving, tells Rob that, y’know, it’s more than cool if he calls her Ash. Rob smiles, and says he can do that.

A quick transition scene occurs of Rob and Linda setting up snack together where we see outside the window the final leaves fall and snow begins to accumulate. Christmas music begins to play as we see shots of kids in the morning playing with dreidels and wearing Christmas sweaters come in. Rob gets surprised when Joey walks up to him and gives him a Starbucks card, and he thanks Joey for the gift. Robby says one of the best perks of the job is Christmas gifts, and Amy comments that last year she got around $220 worth of Starbucks cards. Craig walks in, and his parents give Rob, Amy, Robby and Linda all a $50 Target card. As soon as the parents leave, Linda comments that she’s always waited until after school ends to go Christmas shopping; the Target cards alone generally cover an entire Christmas’s worth of gifts.

Rob enters the company Christmas party, which is being held at a fancy restaurant and is much more crowded than he expected. All the employees are attending, so Rob quickly looks for someone he’d recognize. He walks by Linda, who is already pretty drunk, at a table full of the other directors around her age; and then by Chloe, Amy, and Robby who are all sitting together. Robby invites Rob to sit with them, and Rob thanks him, but moves on (not really wanting to spend the party with Chloe or Amy). Rob sits down with Michelle and Ash, who brought her boyfriend, Ben (Ncuti Gatwa), as a plus one. Michelle says that her husband is staying home with the kids, but then asks why Rob didn’t bring anyone. Rob says he doesn’t have anyone to bring, and Michelle points out that his aunt or uncle would’ve likely been happy to come with. Rob doesn’t really know how to respond to this and Ash recognizes this and introduces him to Ben. Ben and Rob get along decently, and then it’s time for a white elephant exchange. Ben and Ash keep talking throughout it, while Michelle tries to talk to Rob. Rob generally starts feeling really out of it, looking over to Robby’s table, which genuinely seems more engaging than his, what with Ash and Ben very engaged with each other, and Michelle, bless her soul, being much older than him to be able to really let loose with. After the exchange, Rob goes over to say hi to Robby’s table. Robby is naturally very excited to see Rob, and give a noogie. However, Rob is surprised to see Chloe asking him what gift he got. Amy stays on her phone during this, but Chloe and Rob share a short conversation about the upcoming holidays. Both will be working some of the days of the winter break camp, something that Robby proclaims he’s glad he’s taking off on. Rob goes back to say goodbye to Ben and Ash (Michelle has already left), as Ash explains she won’t be working winter camp; her family is going on a trip to Texas to visit her grandparents. Rob wishes her a great break. As they all leave the meeting, Virginia stops Rob and hands him a box of candy along with a live check. Unaware he was getting a bonus, Rob thanks her profusely, but Virginia ignores him, trying to get Ash her check and candy quickly.

Jump ahead to Rob on a school bus, looking out the window. A kid sits next to him, both in the daycare’s field trip uniforms, and Rob pulls out his phone, letting him and the kid play with SnapChat filters. The bus arrives at the field trip’s destination, a trampoline park, and as Rob watches the kids get off the bus, Chloe tells him to go ahead, she’ll be the last one off. Rob obliges and goes inside the trampoline park. Linda tells all the counselors (who, besides Rob, Bobby and Chloe, are mostly people not yet seen) that they are expected to be on the trampoline court, actually trampolining with the kids. Chloe goes to talk to the other counselors once Linda leaves, and Bobby reveals to Rob that all the new counselors are summer and winter only workers; they go to school nowhere near here. Chloe’s close with them because they’ve been tight for years. Rob comments that he can’t imagine never having left his home, and Bobby takes offense to this, saying he’s never left here either. Rob apologizes, and Bobby says he’s just messing with him. A quick montage occurs of the rest of the field trip, with Rob trampolining straight towards a wall, making kids laugh; Bobby and one of the winter counselors getting into a foam sword fight on top of a balance beam above trampolines; and Chloe playing Duck-Duck-Goose with a group of kids on the trampolines.

On the bus ride back to the main site, the kid sitting next to Rob falls asleep rather quickly, so Rob pulls out his phone to check any notifications. He sees that Ash has followed him on Twitter - and moreover, Ash’s bio notes that they are non-binary and use they/them pronouns. Realizing that Ash has chosen to come out to him in this way, Rob quickly texts them, and, while first typing out something to acknowledge the coming-out, erases that and asks them how their trip has been. A few minutes later, Ash replies with a complaint about how their parents have been ridiculously annoying, but they don’t mind spending time with their parents. Rob replies back as the film fades to…

The first day back after winter break, Rob has actually arrived first for once in the afternoon. Ash enters and the two immediately start talking about how their breaks were. Rob enjoyed the field trips and Ash really appreciated the time off but they’re also ready to go back to work. Ash mentions that they have also been eagerly awaiting to hear back from grad school applications; Rob does not really have a response to this, as Chloe and Michelle arrive, interrupting the conversation. Linda and Robby lead two women into the room. Linda introduces Brooke (Helena Howard) and Savannah, two new hires who will be working at their site for the second half of the school year. Brooke is a freshman at a local community college and Savannah a sophomore; the former studying physical education and the latter studying elementary education. Chloe remarks that she’s glad she has some company here finally, while Robby just muses that he’s glad they won’t be understaffed anymore. That afternoon, recess outside occurs with Rob watching a giant snowpile the kids are playing in, Later, Rob ends up running sport with Brooke and Ash runs art with Savannah (Chloe was sent to be in charge of the homework room). Rob and Ash both feel odd being put in a mentorship position, and let their two proteges know this rather quickly. Brooke’s response is that she’s cool, since eventually she wants to be a gym teacher anyway. She’ll be able to learn how this job does it, and then will gladly work alongside Rob in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Savannah is just kinda quiet around Ash, but generally outgoing with the kids. 

The next morning, Rob arrives at work, and sees Linda introducing Savannah to Amy. The morning goes by quickly, with Savannah being as quiet as Rob was when he started the job. At the end of the shift though, as Rob walks to his car, he notices Savannah is waiting on the edge of the lot. He goes up to her, and asks her why she’s not leaving, and Savannah answers that she doesn’t have her license yet, so her mom’s gonna come pick her up. Rob offers to drive her home, and Savannah says her mom is already on the way, and Rob shrugs, leaving the lot. However, that afternoon, during snack, Savannah asks Rob if that offer is still open for the next day, and Rob says sure. He doesn’t do much after his first shift anyway.

The next day, after the morning shift, Rob drives Savannah home, asking her directions to her place, which she gives, obviously. She lives about fifteen minutes from work, so they shoot the shit about a variety of random topics: movies, Savannah’s goals in life, why Rob is working at a day-care when he really has no desire to work with children or in education long-term. The works. After a while though, the editing makes it clear that these snippets of conversation are not from the same trip; rather the evolution of the now regular ride home for Savannah. Eventually, Rob feels comfortable to mess around with dramatic braking or Savannah jokingly yelling at him to quit it. They complain about Linda’s management and talk about how they think Robby is cool. Eventually, they arrive at Savannah’s family’s apartment, and Savannah exits the car.

A few days later, in the after school lounge, Ash and Rob sit together talking as usual, when Linda and Robby come in, followed by Virginia. Immediately, the employees in the room straighten up and say hello to Virginia. Virginia says hi to them all, saying it’s just a routine check-in on their sites. She tells Rob to take off his jacket, as it makes them look bad in front of the kids. Rob takes it off, but shares a look with Robby, who defers his eyes to the ground. However, Virginia is more upset with Brooke, who has a cup from Starbucks sitting in front of her. Virginia reminds them all that one of the biggest rules they have is no food or drink besides water, and it needs to be in an unmarked container. Virginia then leaves, quickly followed by Linda, who apologizes to everyone, and Robby, who gives them all a big shrug, and leaves. Brooke stands up and throws her drink out, and sits quietly. Chloe breaks the silence and says that she shouldn’t worry; Virginia is just always like that. Brooke murmurs that she doesn’t get why she needs to be so mean; she didn’t know that rule, and moreover… she was only gonna drink it in the lounge. It wasn’t ever gonna be in front of the kids. Ash says that she shouldn’t let Virginia bother her; she makes all of them nervous. Michelle agrees with Ash, saying that she’s much older than the rest of them, but Virginia still terrifies her. Savannah puts her arm around Brooke, but Brooke pushes it off, saying okay, thanks, but maybe they’re all overblowing it. Rob sits there awkwardly, deciding to comment that he's glad he didn’t bring his lunch into the lounge today, like he does semi-frequently. 

That afternoon, Linda calls a meeting for everyone after work. Virginia was fine with the site for the most part, but they need to change clubs (after-school themed activities they do on Wednesdays). They’ve been doing the same ones since the beginning of the year, so Virginia is a tad annoyed by this, since they were apparently supposed to change them once every two months. They need an art club, a sports club, and a third club that fits under neither of those. First though, Linda says she’ll want Michelle in the homework room to help with pick-up on Wednesdays, so she doesn’t need to do a club. Robby volunteers to run a soccer club, which Brooke will help him out on. Ash naturally takes the art club, which Savannah volunteers to help with. That leaves Rob and Chloe, who don’t know what club to do. Linda says that actually, she has the club for them already; the sites will be eligible for a grant if they move forward with a STEM club. Chloe volunteers to take the reins, and although Rob points out he actually has experience running a STEM club at his old summer camp job, Linda says Chloe will be the official leader of the club, although more due to her being more certified than Rob than anything else. However, they can both plan it together.

Chloe says that she can plan the first week and Rob can throw some other ideas at her. Rob gives the ideas he has: an egg-drop challenge and marshmallow catapults. Chloe says they’ll do them, but not the first week. The following Monday, Rob helps Chloe set up the STEM club, which ends up being a slime making activity. Rob has never made slime before, so it’s really more Chloe going around helping the kids start and Rob shaking up their slime when it needs to be, or dying the slime with food coloring when it's time. Another montage begins, this of the various science projects: be it the aforementioned ideas from Rob, or other ideas, such as a tornado in a soda bottle or film canister rockets. The kids are generally excited about these, and Rob tends to work in a subservient role to Chloe, even on his project ideas. Still, Chloe and Rob work together well, although it never gets to the camaraderie levels that Rob has with either Ash or Robby. Nevertheless, the STEM club is a success.

Winter turns to Spring, and one morning, Amy is ready to leave early. She says bye to Linda (who is prepping breakfast) and Robby (who is making sure the kids keep cleaning up). Savannah is watching the bathrooms while Rob is also helping the kids clean up. Jump ahead to everyone eating breakfast, both the children and the workers. They all wrap up, with the kids going to grab their backpacks and jackets. Robby and Rob just discuss what they did over the weekend. Rob asks Robby how the band has been going, and Robby says it could be better, but it’s fine. Rob tries to ask more, but Joey interrupts them both, asking Robby how much longer until they get to go outside for morning recess. Robby checks his watch and says it’ll be maybe in 40 years. A third-grader walks up and asks Robby if he can flip him. Robby looks around and says that the last time he flipped a kid it didn’t go so well. Joey volunteers to be flipped again, and Robby checks to make sure Linda isn’t around. Robby then flips Joey, to the cheers of all the kids. Robby celebrates, saying he’s glad he didn’t hit Joey anywhere this time. Joey though says he felt his head swipe against the ground, and immediately Robby gets serious and asks Joey if he’s okay. Joey says he’s fine, but Robby still checks his head for swelling, and asks again if Joey is joking or not. Joey just smiles and walks away, while Robby looks concerned. He comments to Rob that he needs to stop being pressured by the kids to do dangerous stuff with them, and Rob, with a lack of anything else to say, agrees.

The week after Spring Break, Rob arrives to work in the morning, and is immediately handed a bag by Linda. Rob asks what it is, and Robby comes in from the hall wearing a super chill track jacket with the company’s name on it in small lettering. Linda says it’s Teacher Appreciation Week, so the staff all gets nicer clothes than usual that they can wear at work, along with a gift card to Starbucks. Rob thanks Linda for it, and sits down as both Savannah and Amy also receive their gifts. Rob asks Robby if he should expect gifts from the parents or kids, and Robby scoffs, saying the kids don’t really view them as their “teachers” anyway. This said, he should expect maybe two or three gifts. Sure enough, by the time shift ends, every worker received around $60 in Starbucks cards (not counting the gift from Virginia). As Rob drives Savannah, they talk briefly about how cool the gift perk of the job is.

A few weeks later, Rob pulls into the parking lot of the smaller site wearing his staff uniform. It’s clearly nighttime as he walks into the building, which is packed with kids and parents alike. He sees Savannah and Michelle serving pizza to the kids, and he walks by Ash eating pizza with someone he doesn’t recognize. Ash waves Rob over and says that they asked Linda and apparently both their shifts start in like 20 minutes, so he can grab pizza if he wants. Rob nods and goes over to grab pizza, but first decides to check out the gym. A large number of tables with kids and parents eating at them are set up, and on stage is Robby, telling jokes and pulling up items to bid on. It’s an auction fundraiser, with Robby as auctioneer. After selling a free spa trip, Robby says they’re gonna take a ten minute break. He waves over to Rob, and Rob heads to him, where Robby gives him a hug, telling him he’s glad he made it. Rob points out that he’s really only here because he has to be. Robby asks if he brought a change of clothes, and Rob, taken off-guard by the question, says he thinks he has some in his car. Robby says he, Linda, Ash, Chloe and a few others are hanging out after this and getting some drinks. Rob says he can’t drink and drive, and Robby offers him to leave his car at Robby’s place and sleep on the couch. The bar is within walking distance of Robby’s place too. It’ll be fun!

Sure enough, after the fundraiser, they all go out for drinks. Oddly, despite their close friendship, Rob and Ash find themselves on opposite ends of the table, dealing with Robby, Chloe and Linda talking about funny work stories in the past around them. They don’t entirely disassociate from the conversation, but the two of them find little to add to the raucous tales of past coworkers and children. They do both get drunk though, but notably, they don’t really even attempt to have a conversation together. As Robby and Rob arrive back at Robby’s place, both pretty drunk, Robby offers him some leftover tacos in an attempt to sober up. Rob takes them and then sits on the couch for a bit. Robby sits down next to him with his own tacos, and asks Rob how he’s liked his first year working at their job. Rob answers that it’s been genuinely pretty fun; the kids make everyday interesting and for the most part, he likes his coworkers. Robby narrows his eyes at him and asks Rob if he has a crush on any of the coworkers and Rob looks uncomfortable. Robby clarifies, saying he doesn’t have to say anything if he doesn’t want to, but in his own personal experience, there’s been coworkers who he’s been interested in, and even one he’s dated in his last eight years or so working here. Rob answers that he was kinda interested in one of their coworkers, but he doesn’t want to pursue anything. Robby says he doesn’t have to tell him anything, but he wants to get one guess. Rob tells him to go ahead and Robby guesses Chloe, which makes Rob laugh and shake his head. 

Robby wasn’t expecting that answer, but honestly, he doesn’t want to press more. Rob asks, as always whenever they get to talk, about how his band is going. Robby grimaces and says that honestly, not too good. They still get some gigs here and there but Robby’s in a bit of a rut. Rob asks him to explain, and Robby says that he started working here after high school so that he could make some money on the side while he pursued his dream. But now he’s turning 27 and realizing that he needs to get his shit together and get a job that both pays better and offers more hours. Rob doesn’t know how to reply to this, and Robby says that Rob is lucky, he’s still pretty young at 22. He still has time to figure this shit out, and he has a degree too. Rob snorts and says he just has a degree in theater, and that’s pretty useless on its own. Robby asks if any auditions have been going well, and Rob answers that really he’s only gone to a few because he’s busy with work and then also just other commitments with old friends from college and high school. Robby says Rob needs to prioritize the shit in his life, and Rob asks him if he has. Robby answers that he knows he hasn’t prioritized what he needed to; that’s why he’s still here in his late 20s. Robby points out something to Rob: outside Ash (who is Rob’s age), Linda (who is the supervisor), and Michelle (who is working as an empty-nester mom), he doesn’t know anyone at their work who isn’t trying to be a teacher. They just work here during college to save money for those student loans. And unless Rob wants to be a teacher, there’s gonna come to be a point where he needs to choose whether to keep working here and with children, or to move onto another job. Rob asks Robby why he’s going so far in on this with him; as he said, he’s 22. He has time to figure this out. Robby sighs, and says Rob’s right. He does. He just wants to make sure Rob’s aware of this. Rob thanks him for this, but says that he should be getting for bed. Robby apologizes for keeping up, and Rob tells him not to apologize, and thanks him again for the couch. Robby leaves the room as Rob shuts his eyes.

And opens them, mid-sentence of Linda talking at a morning meeting. She passes out medical forms, saying that with camp gearing up, these need to be submitted soon. Rob points out that it’s early May, and Linda replies that it being a month away should, if anything, make Rob confused that these forms weren’t being filled out yet already. Robby grabs the forms and thanks Linda for them, and then he asks Rob what position he wants in summer. Rob answers that he’s aiming for an assistant counselor, as planning activities sounds difficult. Robby agrees, saying that’s usually what he goes for. That afternoon at recess, Rob approaches Ash with a question for them: a friend cancelled on him for tomorrow night, and he has a ticket to a screening to A Cure for Wellness, which will be followed up with a Q&A with Jason Isaacs (and Dane DeHaan. Neither of them really know what the movie is about or even who Dane DeHaan is, but Rob says that he thought that they might be interested in Jason Isaacs. Ash does agree that they’re a fan of Jason Isaacs, and says that tomorrow they’ll just have their parents drop them off at work, and then they can go to the movie afterwards.

At the screening the next night, the film ends and Rob looks over to Ash, who seems to be in an amused shock. The film was weird in the best possible ways. Jason Isaacs comes out to huge cheering while Dane DeHaan gets light applause. The only bit of the Q&A shown is a bit where Jason Isaacs makes a joke that he has somehow become an A-Lister in Hollywood, whereas Dane DeHaan couldn’t even get a credit in Attack on Titan. Dane DeHaan forces a smile at this, as Rob laughs at this while Ash looks confused. Rob says he’ll explain the joke to them on the way home. Cut ahead to the car, in the middle of Ash giving a polite chuckle to Rob’s explanation. Rob asks Ash if they’re gonna work the camp this summer, and Ash says they actually got the job as the full-on art supervisor. Rob congratulates them, and says that sounds like a lot of work, but he’s happy for them. Ash says that they’re looking for more experience so they can move onto something else. Rob asks what they mean, and Ash is surprised, and says they presumed Rob would be in the same boat; this day-care job is meant to be a temporary transition job. Rob asks how the grad school applications went, and Ash says that they never heard back from any of them. Their plan for the summer is to take an online session for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, so maybe by next summer, they can look into maybe moving abroad to Japan and becoming an English teacher. 

Rob asks why they don’t want to pursue their dream anymore, and Ash tells him not to judge them. They can still go after their dreams, but first, they gotta move out of their parents’ house. Ash then asks Rob how his dreams are going. Rob admits he’s also in a tough spot. He doesn’t know if he really wants to move on yet though; within the hours working at their program, he has been building up credentials that allow him to possibly move up to work somewhere else - somewhere more theater-specific - while still working with kids, which he’s found he really likes. Ash says then it looks like the two of them will at least be working together another year, and Rob says he guesses so. They’re both 22 though, and they got a lot of their lives ahead of them. Ash muses that maybe at some point in their life, they’ll actually have a job they’ll be comfortable being out at. Rob pauses for a second, and says, yeah, that would be cool. After a brief silence, he asks if he’s the only coworker they came out too, and Ash answers that yeah. He seemed like he wouldn’t act weird about it like a lot of their friends did when they first came out. Rob points out that coming out as non-binary by following him on Twitter is a pretty nonchalant way to do it, and Ash teasingly asks him if he wanted a huge theatrical number about it. Rob says that he just thought it was cool, it’s just that they’ve never actually talked about it, and it meant a lot to him that Ash trusted him with this. Ash says that they’re friends, so of course they’d trust him.

They drive a bit more, and Ash asks Rob if he’s found any friends outside of work. Rob says that he really hasn’t honestly, but that’s okay, because work and the theater stuff takes up so much of his time. Rob reciprocates the question to them, and Ash answers that they broke up with their boyfriend a few months ago, and with him, most of their local friends are gone (they were closer to him than they were to Ash). However, Ash has liked having the time to be alone for a bit. With their sisters back home for the summer and the ability to really focus on their art, they are okay with a little break from socializing; they get enough socializing at work anyway. Rob says if they wanna hang out during the summer at all, he’s down. He likes socializing at work, but tonight has been fun. Ash says that they’d like that, and maybe they can invite Robby, Brooke or Savannah along too. Rob says that’d be chill, just as long as they don’t invite Linda. Ash rolls their eyes, and says they’ll try not to. They arrive at Ash’s place, and Ash flashes a peace sign to Rob as they head to their door and Rob drives off.

A few days later at Virginia’s house, the end of year party is going on, with every afternoon work  from Linda’s site sitting together (you can see Bobby, Amy and Virginia in the background of shots), eating hot dogs. Chloe and Rob talk briefly, as it turns out they will be working together as counselor and assistant this summer. They are both actually looking forward to it, remembering their STEM club turning out better than expected. Moreover though, Rob asks first if Chloe is happy with him, and Chloe reassures him, Rob is honestly one of the top three options for assistants, considering most of the workers in summer are, well, summer-only workers. As Rob returns to talk to Ash more (who is chatting currently with Brooke and Savannah), Chloe then asks Robby pointedly what position he’s gonna be working this weekend. Linda gives Robby a look, and Robby gives Chloe a quick glare and then says he was going to wait until the end of the party, but since Chloe asked, he has an announcement to make to everyone: next week will be his last week working in the child care program. He’s taken a job as an event technician that he’ll be starting in a few weeks; basically, it’s like he’s a roadie, but for events solely in the city. Everyone kinda stares in shock, except for Chloe, who says that Robby should feel better now that he’s spilled the beans. Robby says that yeah, it does feel better somewhat, but he doesn’t want any big dramatic goodbyes until the last day. They all agree that they’ll miss Robby, but agree to respect his wishes.

The last day of school. After the last kid gets picked up, the employees head out to the parking lot to all give their goodbyes to Robby. Chloe gives him a quick hug and says they’ll hang out on Sunday, while Michelle and Linda begin to give him a long goodbye. During this, Rob, Ash, Savannah and Brooke awkwardly wait and Rob asks Savannah if she’ll still need rides in the summer. Savannah points out that she’s been riding home with Brooke every afternoon, and that’s what it’ll be in the summer, and Rob comments that he was just asking. Brooke narrows her eyes at Rob melodramatically and asks him if he’s trying to steal her cousin. Rob pauses for a second, and asks if he’s serious. Brooke doesn’t understand what he means, and Rob asks if Brooke and Savannah are cousins. There’s a long pause, and Ash asks Rob if he’s being serious right now. Rob is really confused, and Brooke and Savannah laugh, saying they assumed he knew they were cousins. Ash says that they learned that on the first day the two of them started working, and Rob is confused on how he missed this.

Brooke and Savannah give Robby their goodbyes, as Robby wishes them luck in everything. It’s just Ash and Rob now, and he tells them that well, they did the hard part. They finished their first year here. Ash points out that they still have camp, and Robby says that camp is the easy part. The hard part is getting to know who to trust, and he can tell the two of them trust each other. Robby gives the two of them a look, and he says he wants to give them both personal goodbyes. Rob says okay, but then Robby continues staring at him, and then clarifies that he’s gonna say goodbye to Ash first. Rob then awkwardly runs after Brooke and Savannah, to talk to them briefly while Robby finishes up with Ash first. Robby and Ash hug, and Robby tells them that he really hopes that their art thing works out. Ash says that they don’t know about it, and Robby says that if it doesn’t, he knows that they’ll make a fine teacher. He gives them a hand clasp, and says that he is proud of them for all they’ve done here. Ash thanks him again, and goes in for a hug again. They begin to briefly tear up, but Robby admonishes them, saying that he gave them his Facebook and phone number. He’ll be around to hang if they want, and they should enjoy summer camp. Ash nods, and then leaves, waving to Rob to come over.

Rob and Robby sit on a bench, staring at the now empty playground as the sun sets. Rob asks him if he thinks he’ll be happy as a roadie. Robby doesn’t know. Robby though does think there comes a time in this job where people need to either decide to become a teacher or leave. Robby doesn’t think he’d be a great teacher. Not because he doesn’t know how to discipline the kids, or have fun with them, but because, well, his weakest point has always been actually helping them, with their homework or other projects. Rob looks at him like he’s crazy, saying he’s all the kids’ favorite, and when the kids find out this was his last day, they’ll be heartbroken. Robby shakes his head and says they’ll be fine. Robby asks Rob if he remembers anything from when he was in elementary school. Rob answers that he remembers breaking his wrist, and Robby chuckles. As much they love this job, they need to remember that the direct impact they have will ultimately be forgotten. They’re kids. It’s not that their counseling doesn’t have a positive impact on their lives, but when it comes down to it, in ten years, all the kids will remember that there were a couple of dudes and a lot of women watching them as a kid; whether it was Robby, or Rob or another guy won’t matter. Hell, next year, it’s like Rob starts going by “Robby”.

Robby says that he loves working with the kids, but that time of his life needs to be over so he can get to a place where he can have his own kids within a decade or so. He thinks he’d be much a better dad than he was a counselor, and Rob agrees with him. Robby playfully punches him, and Rob says that wasn’t meant to be rude; he just thinks Robby will be a great dad whenever he ends up being one. He was practically a dad to all the kids this year, and a big brother for all the coworkers. Robby thanks him, but then points out the real reason why he chose Rob to be the last person he said good-bye to. He talked to Linda about it, and next year, Rob will be the only man at this site, most likely. Registration for the fall semester has already completed, and they have a little less kids than this year, and as such, this site will only need one guy. Now, he’s not expecting Rob to suddenly become the sports guy, but he knows Rob will be able to step up where he needs to, and take on the same role he had this year. Robby had been debating on leaving for a few years now, but this was the year for two reasons: one, Robby needed to move on, but moreover, Robby knew he could trust Rob to handle whatever comes his way. Robby gives Rob a bear-hug, and tells him that he is so proud of how much he has changed for the better over the past year, and he knows that, even though the kids might not remember their names eventually, they will be forever affected positively by Rob’s caretaking of them.

Not knowing what else to say, Rob cracks a joke about how he’ll be sure not to try to flip any kids. This gives Robby a big belly-laugh as he relaxes into the bench. Robby tells Rob to go home, and get hyped for Monday and camp. Rob asks what Robby’s gonna do, and Robby says he’s just gonna sit here a bit, and let this chapter of his life close on a sunset. Rob looks at him quizzically, saying that’s pretty poetic for him, and Robby shrugs, saying he doesn’t think he’s gonna regret leaving this job, but he doesn’t want to regret how he chose to leave. Rob shrugs and says good-bye to him, heading to his car. The film ends on a shot of Rob driving away, the sunset glaring down, the camera focused on the parking lot and the playground behind, as Robby sits quietly, contemplating his last day of work and his time as an after-school counselor.


The credits are set to an original song, “How to Care,” written by Keegan DeWitt and sung by Brigette Lundy-Paine (something in the vein of this.)


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The Space Between Trees


An EssGeeKay Studios Film


Directed by: Debra Granik
Written by: Debra Granik and Katie Williams
Genre: Mystery/Crime Drama 

Release Date: August 9

Major Cast:
Olivia DeJonge as Evie
Diana Silvers as Hadley Smith
Jack Reynor as Jonah Luks
Holly J Barrett as Elizabeth “Zabet” McCabe 
Zoe Perry as Evie’s Mom
Tina Majorino as Laura Grossman
Colin Ford as Anthony-Not-Tony
Ethan Cutkosky as Chad
Nicholas Hamilton as Garrett Murray
And Christopher Meloni as Ray McCabe


Unknown actors for remaining roles


Theater count: 3,124

MPAA Rating: R for suggestive content, language, drug and alcohol use involving teens, and graphic violent content
Runtime: 131 min
Production Budget: $6 million
Music by: Hildur Guðnadóttir

Plot Summary: Following the death of her estranged childhood friend, high schooler Evie tells a lie that can’t be untold, and gets tangled up in a web of secrets and tragedy helmed by the dead girl’s best friend. 


Plot (approx 9.8k words):  


On an early Spring Sunday morning before sunrise, Evie, a high school Junior, exits her secondhand sedan and prepares for her early morning paper route in the neighborhood near Hokepe Woods. She methodically delivers papers to each of the houses in the middle class neighborhood. As she walks, she listens carefully as a truck labelled Jefferson Animal Control parks beside her in the cul-de-sac. She quickly makes her way back to the truck and greets Jonah Luks, a college dropout who collects roadkill and dead wildlife in the neighborhood daily. Evie, clearly infatuated with the older man, chats with him as he grunts and responds shortly to her. She teases him by stealing his sled used for picking up animal corpses, which he promptly takes back from her. He heads out into the woods with the sled, and she listens to the sound of the treads on the soft dirt, matching her delivery pace to the sound. When she can no longer hear the sled, she continues her rounds but notices something off when she peeks around the corner of a house and sees Jonah speaking with a resident of the neighborhood. She watches him go inside the house and she ducks into a nearby shrub, surveying the scene. Soon, several sirened police vehicles surround the neighborhood, and Evie watches as Jonah leads policemen into the woods. She leaves the bush, seemingly to talk to Jonah but is cut off by the corner wheeling out a zipped up body bag from the forest. Jonah spots her and calls to her but she quickly runs away. 

Evie circles back around to the cul-de-sac and steals a toothed animal trap from Jonah’s truck, burying it in her paper satchel among the undelivered papers before driving home. Once home, she’s greeted by her mother, who acts neurotic and theatrical, and only responds to Evie’s presence when Evie asks her what’s wrong. Her mother tells her she was worried since she came home later than usual, and asks if she was with a friend or a boyfriend. Evie tells her she wasn’t, and the two sit in awkward silence and her mom sighs and looks distressed. Evie apologizes and her mother relaxes and acts less melodramatic. Evie excuses herself to her room and briefly inspects the trap, running her hand along it and whispering to herself “this is important.” She hides it in a shoebox in the bottom of her closet. 

Time passes and while Evie and her mother eat dinner in front of the TV, the phone rings in the kitchen. Her mother excuses herself, while Evie watches the news, but nothing about a body in the woods is mentioned. Her mother returns with two glasses of water and a tissue box and stages them on the coffee table in front of them just so. She turns the TV off, leaving Evie to look at her darkened reflection in the bulging box. Her mother sits and tells her she just spoke to her coworker Veronica. Evie again asks what’s wrong, and her mother tells her it’s Elizabeth McCabe. Evie corrects her, saying her name is Zabet to everyone. Her mother bristles slightly, then continues saying that Zabet has passed away. Evie asks if it was a car accident and if Zabet will have a tree planted for her out front of the school like two kids last year, but her mother tells her she’s been killed. Evie unconsciously smiles and asks if she was murdered. Her mother scolds her for thinking it’s funny. Evie apologizes and asks how she died, and her mother says she isn’t sure beyond getting murdered. Evie quickly puts it together with the body in the woods, and blurts out “I saw her.” Her mother asks when, and Evie quickly recovers, saying she saw Zabet at school the other week. She explains that she saw Zabet by her locker, one of the orange painted ones, and wonders if they’ll assign her locker to someone else now. Evie smiles again and asks if she was raped, then quickly hides it. Her mother is taken aback and scolds Evie, asking her why she would ever ask that. Evie apologizes again, saying she doesn’t know. 

Evie’s mom stands and brings the undrunk water glasses into the kitchen, washing them at the sink. Evie follows, saying it’s weird that Zabet is dead. She realizes her mother is crying, and in a tearful voice, her mother tells her she remembers when the two were little girls. She holds up the first clean glass to the light and puts it on the drying rack, then accidentally drops the second glass. 

The next day, Evie walks through the halls at school, watching everyone talk with their friends and joke before class starts. She enters her homeroom and sits in her seat before anyone else is there. Her teacher Mr. Denby tells her good morning and looks bad down at his desk, then Evie breaks the silence and says that she knows too. Confused, he asks her to elaborate, and she explains that she knows what he’ll have to announce to the class when it starts. He quietly tells her it will happen over the loudspeaker instead. The rest of the class files in and the speaker cackles to life. Over the speaker, the principal somberly tells the students that Elizabeth McCabe passed away on Sunday morning. After he finishes, the male students in Evie’s homeroom huddle and quietly joke and tell stories, while a few female students cry and comfort each other. The student next to Evie, named Nora, turns to her and says she has no idea who Elizabeth is, and asks if Evie knows her. Evie says yes, but they weren’t really friends. Nora disappointedly says “oh,” but Evie quickly corrects, stating that they were friends when they were younger. Nora asks what Elizabeth was like, and Evie thinks for a moment before saying that she hangs, or rather hung, out with Hadley Smith. Nora’s face scrunches up in distaste and she begins to turn away. Evie interjects again and says “there was this one time…” which catches Nora’s interest, and she tells a story of when Evie and Zabet’s class went to the nature center in third grade, and watched a woman dissect an owl pellet in front of them to make a mouse. She then pauses for dramatic effect before explaining that when she saw the skeleton, Zabet said “it’s all in there.” Nora asks her what happened next and Evie quietly says that’s the whole story. 

At home, Evie watches the news with her mom. The report says that Elizabeth McCabe was murdered in the woods and not planted there. She said goodnight to her mother at 11 PM on Saturday night then went upstairs to bed, and there were no signs of a break-in or foul play. Her mother thought she was still asleep until the police knocked on her door on Sunday morning. Evie’s mother wipes away tears, saying again that she remembers when Evie and Zabat were just little girls hanging out together. Evie remembers playing with Zabet (Elizabeth back then) when they were kids. 

In a flashback, Young Evie excitedly tells a story about a few weeks before her dad left where he and her mom were arguing in the kitchen. Her dad was standing by the dishrack and he grabbed a colander and threw it at her mom, but it bounced off her chest harmlessly. Then, he threw a metal ladle at her, but her mom caught it in mid-air just an inch from her face. Zabat delightedly demands that she tell it again, and outside in Hokepe Woods they reenact the scene. Evie throws the ladle at Zabet’s face without warning and Zabet catches it in mid-air. 

At school, Evie watches Hadley Smith at her locker, a “bad girl” who wears a slouchy sweater and Doc Martens with poorly bleached blonde hair. She’s surrounded by an entourage of other “bad girls” but she remains stoic. When she passes by Evie, Evie calls out to her but Hadley ignores her. Later in the cafeteria, Evie keeps watching Hadley from the condiment bar. Hadley approaches to get ketchup for her fries. Hadley notices her staring and confronts her. Evie tells her quietly “They didn’t really know her.” Hadley responds in kind “neither do you” and walks away, but Evie follows her. Enraged, Hadley walks the perimeter of the cafeteria, occasionally looking over her shoulder and glaring at Evie. Finally she stops and turns to Evie, hissing at her to please stop. Evie apologizes and Hadley storms off. 

Later in the week Evie and her classmates disembark from the bus in front of a church for Zabet’s funeral service. They seat themselves inside the church, where Evie briefly makes eye contact with Hadley. Evie stirs in her seat, and her classmate next to her asks if she’s okay. She says she feels sick and excuses herself. She half runs to the bathroom and throws up, then leans against the stall door. She rinses off then exits the bathroom to make her way back to the main chapel. She passes by a room that’s empty aside from some chairs and a man sitting by himself. She pokes her head in and asks if he’s there for the funeral, since it’s starting soon. He tells her he would rather not disrupt the service. Evie agrees and sits a few rows back from him. He introduces himself as Ray and asks her how she knew Elizabeth and she unthinkingly lies and says she was her best friend. He asks if she’s Hadley and she corrects him, telling him she’s Evie. He explains that he’s Elizabeth’s father. Evie backtracks and begins to explain that they weren’t really best friends, but he cuts her off and says he regrets not meeting Elizabeth’s friends. Evie tells him they know each other now. He tells her she should head back into the chapel and she asks if he’s coming, but he says he’d rather be alone. She turns to go, but stops and tells him Zabet thought he was a good dad, then assures him she’s telling the truth when he doubts her. He thanks her and she exits, going back to the bus instead of the chapel. 

At home the next week, Evie watches TV and her mom answers the ringing phone in the kitchen. She calls for Evie, saying it’s for her, looking confused and a bit concerned. Evie answers and Ray McCabe speaks to her on the other end. He invites her and Hadley to dinner at his condo. Evie asks if Hadley knows she was inviting, and Ray confusedly tells her yes and asks if that’s alright. Evie quickly but reluctantly says it’s fine and she’ll be there. 

Evie rides her bike to the condo and knocks on the door. Hadley answers and coldly lets her in. Ray enters and hugs Evie awkwardly but warmly, then leads Evie and Hadley into the kitchen, telling them he’s making spaghetti. Ray rambles about Elizabeth’s favorite foods and other things about her childhood while Evie dutifully and noncommittally agrees, clearly to Hadley’s discomfort, who remains speechless and disengaged from the conversation. The group heads to the table for dinner and Evie asks Hadley to pass her the bread. Hadley intentionally drops the basket but Evie catches it in time. Ray jokingly cries “watch out!” and Hadley softly repeats it to Evie. Ray compliments Evie’s reflexes and relates it to the time Elizabeth took tennis lessons. Hadley bursts out that Zabet threw her racket and Ray delightly remembers. Hadley’s demeanor changes and she sweetly asks Evie if she remembers that moment. Evie gawks awkwardly, unsure what to say, as Hadley prompts her about when it happened last Summer. Evie continues to flounder and forces out that Zabet threw the racket because she had a lot of spirit. Ray excitedly agrees, startling both girls. Hadley prompts Evie to tell her own story about Zabet, though Evie tries to shut her down, Ray softly agrees. 

Evie begins to tell a story and Hadley interrupts, asking her to be more specific about when it happens. Evie says it happened last year. Hadley interjects again, asking if they were friends last year, but Evie dodges the question and says they had a class together. Hadley asks which class, and Evie answers gym. Hadley quiets, and Evie continues, saying that Zabet was good in gym, even if she didn’t do any sports, because of her good reflexes. She says that in April, they had a swim unit, and everyone hated it because it meant going in the pool in the middle of the day, and at the end of the unit, they all have to go off the high dive. Evie stops, asking Hadley if she remembers the swim unit and how much Zabet hated it, but she doesn’t respond. Evie continues, saying that everyone hated the high dive because it’s so high, and a lot of kids are scared of it. She says that even though everyone expected her not to be, she could tell Zabet was scared of the high dive too. Hadley interrupts to say that Zabet wasn’t scared of heights, but Evie brushes it off, saying that it wasn’t the height that was scary, but the jump. She says that on the last day of the unit, Zabet didn’t change into her swimsuit and told the gym teacher she was on her period, but he didn’t care and told her to go back and change, which made her really upset. Zabet came out and the gym teacher told everyone that they don’t have to do a perfect dive or anything, they just have to try it. Everyone lined up behind Zabet, who climbed the ladder first, step by step like she wasn’t afraid of anything. Hadley interrupts, guessing she did a “perfect dive” off of it, and rolling her eyes. Evie looks at Hadley and tells her no, Zabet didn’t dive. She turned right around and stepped down. Hadley asks what the point of the story even was, but Ray cuts her off, thanking Evie for the story. Under her breath, Evie quietly tells Hadley the point is that Zabet survived. 

Later, Hadley sweetly says goodbye to Ray and thanks him for dinner and heads out. Evie works on getting her shoes on and Ray offers her leftover spaghetti. She thanks him and he thanks her in turn, calling her a good girl. Evie quickly excuses herself and tells him goodbye. Outside, Hadley sits on Evie’s bike. Hadley tells her it must be real exciting for her to be hanging out with a dead girl. Evie tells her that’s not it, and Hadley asks her why she’s doing this. When Evie asks her what she means, Hadley just repeats “this.” Evie stumbles through a response, saying she ran into Mr. McCabe at the funeral and that it was an accident. Hadley thinks for a moment, then tells Evie that Zabet’s face was beaten so badly she was unrecognizable. Evie responds that that’s awful, and Hadley mocks her. She steps off Evie’s bike and asks if she needs a ride home. Evie wordlessly gets into Hadley’s car. 

That Sunday, Evie delivers her newspapers and hears Jonah’s sled in the woods. She quickly moves back to the cul-de-sac and sits on Jonah’s truck. He emerges from the woods pulling his sled. He says hi to Evie as he loads up his truck, and she blurts out that she didn’t see him last week. Without pausing he tells her everyone needs a break now and then. He finishes up and tells her “see you next Sunday, kiddo,” and she steps down from the truck and blurts out “she’s dead.” Jonah pulls her into his arms suddenly, hugging her tight. She realizes he’s comforting her and pretends to cry. He pulls away and looks into her face, telling her “we’re both okay, yeah?” She wordlessly nods, and he repeats “see you next Sunday, kiddo,” then gets in his truck and drives away. Evie sits on the curb and begins to actually cry. 

The next day at school, Evie walks down the hallway when Hadley catches up to her. Hadley nonchalantly strikes up a conversation, saying her parents are obsessed with Mr. McCabe. Evie admits she didn’t tell her mom where she was going. Hadley tells her she’s got Calculus next, and Evie answers that she has Biology. They continue walking together in silence for a moment, then Hadley stops at the fork in the hallway. Evie stops as well, then Hadley speaks again and says that Mr. McCabe seemed okay at dinner. Evie agrees, saying he was as well as expected. Hadley lightly socks Evie’s shoulder then walks away to class. 

In a montage, Evie and Hadley have various discussions in various locations: the cafeteria, Hadley’s car, outside the school. Hadley talks about how she feels like all of her friends are fake and that she can’t connect with them. Evie talks about Jonah, and how he found Zabet. Hadley asks if he’s in college, and Evie admits he dropped out. Hadley accuses him of being creepy for picking up dead animals and dead girls. Evie defends him, and Hadley asks if she’s in love with him or something. Evie asks what Zabet’s last words were, and Hadley tells her it was probably “see you later” or something, then tells her to drop it. 

Evie and Hadley eat at another dinner at Mr. McCabe’s. He gives them each one of Zabet’s old necklaces. When Hadley points out that Evie got the one that Zabet wore everyday, Ray tells them that she wasn’t wearing it when she died. Hadley outright asks him if there have been any suspects, but Ray says no. He says more than anything, if he had a chance to meet his daughter’s murderer, if they were alone for just ten minutes, he wouldn’t attack him or hurt him, he would simply ask why he killed her. In Hadley’s car, Evie offers to trade with Hadley, but Hadley tells her no. She says that that was Zabet’s lucky necklace, but clearly it wasn’t. Hadley says she doesn’t want to go home yet, and asks if Evie wants to go somewhere. Evie agrees.

The two end up at a diner. Evie just orders a soda, while Hadley orders pancakes, saying she needs to get the taste of spaghetti out of her mouth. Hadley asks Evie if she’s ever been drunk. Evie says no. Hadley asks if she’s ever hitchhiked or smoked. Evie says no and no, and that she’s never done anything really. Hadley tells her she should do something since she’s sixteen. She looks over to a group of college guys at another table nearby and dares Evie to tell one of the guys to meet her in the parking lot. Evie turns her down, saying he wouldn’t, but Hadley argues back, telling her he definitely would. Hadley stands up abruptly, grabbing Evie’s hand and leading her out since the guys are leaving. Evie hesitates since they didn’t pay for their food but Hadley drags her out into the parking lot. Hadley screams after the guys in their car and the two girls bust out laughing. Hadley clings to Evie and dances her around the parking lot and through a ditch to the highway. She tells Evie they’re going to run away together and holds out her arm to hitchhike. Evie tries to lead her away, saying it’s too dangerous, but Hadley tells her they’re the dangerous ones. Evie insists, but Hadley grabs her face and tells her she promises to protect her if anything happens. They’re about to turn away from the highway when a car pulls up in front of them and one of the guys from the diner pokes his head out. He asks them if they want to go to a party near campus. Evie nods at Hadley, but Hadley tells her to tell them. Evie hesitates, and Hadley steps on her foot, prompting Evie to answer yes loudly. 

Hadley pulls up behind the guys in her car outside of the house. Hadley asks Evie if she’s ready, and Evie asks “ready for what?” Hadley answers “ready for something to happen.” Hadley falls in step with the guys and drinks from one of their flasks. The guy who invited them to the party hangs back with Evie introduces himself as Anthony-don’t-call-me-Tony. He chats with her, trying to make conversation about classes and work, and Evie is intentionally vague. He leads Evie to a couch and Evie notices she’s been separated from Hadley. She moves to go but he grabs her hand, telling her her friend will be back soon. One of the other guys comes back with three beers and hands one to Evie. She downs it in one go, impressing and intimidating the guys. Evie drinks another beer and begins to teeter on the couch a bit. She notices Hadley walking between two guys, unsteady on her feet, and calls to her. Hadley waddles over. Hadley leans against one guy named Chad and the other guy sits down and Tony asks what’s going on. The guy says he’s going to show Hadley upstairs. Hadley grabs Evie and pulls her into a hug. She whispers to Evie to tell Tony to show her the rest of the house. Evie tries to pull her away from Chad but Hadley steps away, leading Chad away from Evie and Tony. Tony and the other two guys talk to each other and Evie makes out the word “pills.” She turns around and asks if they gave Hadley pills. The guy that was with her says she brought the pills and they’re strong. 
Evie turns away from Tony and sees Jonah leaning against a wall on the other side of the room. Evie abandons Tony and makes her way over to Jonah. Jonah looks at her with surprise and Evie clinks their cups together. He asks her how much she’s had tonight and she pouts, moving to turn away, but he grabs her arm. Evie smiles up at Jonah when Tony appears beside her, asking her what’s up. Evie tells him she saw a friend, and introduces Tony and Jonah to each other, and Tony annoyedly corrects her, saying it’s Anthony. Tony asks Jonah how he knows Evie and Jonah smiles, saying that they see each other every Sunday morning, but is interrupted by Hadley loudly screaming Evie’s name. Evie runs up the stairs and sees Hadley struggling to hold a door closed. Hadley turns and sees Evie and collapses into her arms. The door swings open and Chad comes out, looking angry and covering his eye. Evie yells at him, telling him to back off and leave Hadley alone. Tony grabs Chad and tells him Hadley and Evie are just kids and that Evie runs a paper route according to Jonah. Evie grows bold, saying that they are sixteen, which means statutory rape. The commotion at the party dies down and Hadley pleads with Evie for them to go. They exit the house and Evie asks Hadley what she took. Hadley says they were just sleeping pills and she’s fine. Evie drives her home silently. 

Some time later, Evie stays home from school sick, lazing on the couch flipping channels on TV, and stumbles onto a news report about Zabet. In it, a waitress named Laura Grossman says she heard two men discussing the murder at the diner where she works, and heard them say “I didn’t think they’d find the body so soon.” The exterior of the diner is shown, and Evie recognizes it as the diner she and Hadley were at. Later, she’s woken up by someone knocking on the front door. She answers it and Hadley comes in, telling Evie she looks terrible. She tells her to get up and get dressed because they need to go. 

Hadley smokes a cigarette in the parking lot of the diner. She offers the end to Evie, who takes it. They exit the car and Hadley storms in. Evie lags behind, stomping the cigarette on the ground, and enters the diner a moment later. Inside, Hadley hangs back, looking nervous. She pulls on Evie’s arm and tells her to get a table from the host, a young guy. Evie steps up and he asks if it’s a table for one, but she corrects him, turning back to look at Hadley who’s hiding behind her. She interrupts the host as he’s seating them, telling him they had a good waitress named Laura last time. He tells them she doesn’t have a shift that afternoon. Their waitress approaches them and takes their order, and Evie mentions the news. The waitress brushes it off, saying they’re not supposed to talk about it, police orders, and leaves to put in their orders. Evie asks if they can go and Hadley pleads with her, saying if she was really Hadley’s best friend she would do this for her. The waitress brings their drinks and Evie asks her if she knows anything, and the waitress tells her no again, but Evie stops her, saying they want to know because Hadley was her best friend. Hadley cuts in and says that Zabet was Evie’s sister. The waitress sits down in the booth and comforts Evie, saying she really doesn’t know anything about the guys, but that she trusts Laura. She tells them about her Aunt who was shot in the face in a parking garage, and tells Evie that her aunt and Evie’s “sister” are probably in Heaven together now. The waitress kisses her cheek and leaves the table, and the girls quickly leave after. 

In the parking lot, Hadley stalls for a bit. Evie awkwardly asks if they can go, and Hadley tells her to look. Evie asks again and Hadley pushes Evie’s head in the direction of the other side of the parking lot. A man stands by his car, seemingly watching them. Evie suggests that he’s just waiting for someone, but Hadley says he followed them out of the restaurant. She says “they follow you out sometimes.” Evie starts to ask what this means but is cut off by Hadley suddenly peeling out from her parking space and driving straight towards the man. The guy climbs up on the top of his trunk but falls to the ground. Evie closes her eyes, bracing for impact, but Hadley abruptly breaks. Hadley puts her head on the steering wheel, controlling her breathing. Evie gets out of the car and looks down at the guy, his legs just a foot away from the front wheels. He’s college age, not much older than them. He clambors up and tells Evie “I’m sorry, I didn’t know” and gets in his car and quickly drives away. Evie gets back into the car and starts to ask Hadley what happened but Hadley cuts her off, saying he shouldn’t have been watching them. Later, she pulls up in front of Evie’s house and doesn’t unlock the door. Evie pulls on the lock and Hadley quickly locks it again, to Evie’s annoyance. Hadley grimly looks at her and says “We have to find him.” Evie starts to explain that the police will do their job, but Hadley interrupts, saying if they’re Zabet’s friends they can find her killer. Evie wordlessly nods and gets out of the car. 

Some time later at school, Evie and Hadley walk through the halls together, discussing suspects. Hadley mentions a junior named Justin who once beat a kid up for getting his sleeve wet with his umbrella. Evie writes his name in her science notebook. Hadley also mentions Wendy, an old friend of hers who didn’t like Zabet. Evie writes the name down, and Hadley also tells her the entire soccer team, which Evie objects to but Hadley insists. Evie also mentions the guy Hadley was at the party with, Chad. Hadley looks at her blankly, and says fine, and to add the guy Evie was with too. She writes down Chad and Tony. Evie pauses, asking if it’s worth putting them on there if they likely never met Zabet. Hadley scoffs, saying she and Zabet used to go to parties all the time, and Evie isn’t special for getting hit on at a party. The remark stings Evie, and the two stand in tense silence for a moment. Hadley sighs, saying it could really be anyone. Evie if even Mr. McCabe could be it. Hadley replies that it could be him. Evie asks if it could be her, and again Hadley replies it could be Evie or even Hadley herself. 

At lunch, Hadley says they should start a whisper campaign, and spread rumors about Zabet; she was pregnant, she was meeting her dealer, she was running away from an abusive household, and anyone who changes the rumor or reacts strangely to it is a suspect. Evie hesitates, asking if that wouldn’t just ruin Zabet’s reputation. Hadley shrugs, saying Zabet’s already dead; she doesn’t have a reputation anymore. A punk looking guy walks by their table, and Hadley says that guy, Garrett Murray, is their number one suspect. She tells Evie that he’s trouble, saying he punched a teacher in middle school, he got kicked out of his last two schools, and one time he beat a kid up for getting his sleeve wet with his umbrella. Evie starts to question her but stops, instead saying she’ll add him to the list. Hadley says she’ll start smoking with him to try and get dirt out of him. She also says that Evie needs to get Jonah Luks to take her to where he found the body. Evie says he won’t want to, but Hadley insists, saying she has to make him want to. 

That Sunday, Evie sits on the front steps of one of the houses near Hokepe Woods. Jonah’s truck pulls in, and she gets up and brushes herself off. As Jonah gets his equipment out, he grunts in acknowledgement at Evie. Evie runs to catch up with him, telling him she finished delivering all her papers. He tells her she’s lucky she can go home now, and Evie asks if she can walk with him for a bit. Jonah turns her down, but she insists, saying he could use the company and her extra eyes helping him. He tells her no, saying it’s too muddy, but she awkwardly says she likes mud. He tells her “go home, kiddo,” and she gets annoyed, saying he knows her name, she knows because he used it that day when he called out to her. He looks at her, telling her he knows why she wants to go out there, and when Evie doesn’t respond he continues, saying it’s not some joke or gossip. Evie shakes her head, saying it’s not like that; she knew Zabet. Jonah says she was Evie’s friend, but Evie corrects him and says she wasn’t. Jonah points out it’s not a good time to be bringing girls into the woods, and Evie says she won’t tell if he doesn’t. He starts walking, pulling his sled behind him, calling Evie by name and telling her to come on then. She follows him. 

They walk through the woods, the only sounds being Jonah’s sled and the rustling of leaves in the trees. Evie breaks the silence, asking if he finds something in the woods every time. He says yes, usually something small, and a deer about every third time, though it used to be a lot less. Evie observes that that’s a lot of deer, and he agrees, telling her he thinks someone’s been poisoning them since they’ve had foam in their mouths. Evie asks who would do that and Jonah shrugs, saying it’s probably someone in one of the houses, but she shouldn’t spread that around. Evie delights in the secret, and babbles on that he should try to catch the culprit, when Jonah stops, and points to a spot in the woods, telling her that’s the spot in between two trees. Evie crouches down, placing her hand in the dirt, and looks up at the trees. The leaves rustle and sunlight pokes through. Evie takes a deep breath, closing her eyes and letting the sun beat down on her face. Her reverie is broken when she falls forward into the dirt. She cusses loudly, and Jonah starts to laugh before looking down at her and suddenly turning serious. He helps her up and they keep walking. Evie asks if it was horrible finding her, and he tells her sure. She reaches out and holds onto his arm, leaning into him slightly, and he doesn’t react. She breaks the silence again, asking if Zabet’s eyes were open. He stops and pulls his arm away, saying he’s got to finish the rest of the woods. He points in a direction and tells Evie if she walks that way she’ll get back to the houses. Evie thanks him and he tells her sure, then turns away. Evie listens to his sled moving through the dirt as she walks in the opposite direction. 

Evie walks past the house Jonah entered to call the police in, and the bush she hid in to spy on him, then walks back to her car. When Evie gets home, her mom tells her Hadley called twice and woke her up. Evie sits down at the table with her mom, and her mom talks about how Hadley was rude, saying she called before nine and made her mom promise to deliver her message for Evie to call her. Evie apologizes, saying Hadley’s been through a lot, and her mom starts to respond when the phone rings again. Evie answers and Hadley immediately asks if she talked to Jonah. Evie pointedly looks at her mom, who excuses herself. Evie brings the phone into her room and tells her yeah, and Hadley asks why she didn’t come over. Evie brushes her off, saying she had to get the car home. Hadley asks if Jonah took her to the spot and Evie tells her no, which Hadley can’t believe. Evie insists, and Hadley stays silent. Evie adds a soft apology, and Hadley accuses her of not talking to him like they practiced, but Evie insists. Hadley calls him an asshole, which Evie objects to, saying he said it was a bad time to bring girls into the woods. Hadley calls him creepy, but Evie says he’s just being practical. Hadley says he’s going on the suspect list, and Evie points out he already is. Hadley pauses for a long moment, then says Evie will try again tomorrow, her voice crying. Evie promises to try again, and Hadley hangs up. 

At lunch at school, Evie looks around the cafeteria for Hadley. When she doesn’t see her, she sits down by herself. Later, Evie walks the empty hallways and exits the school building, crossing the street to the wheat field by the parking lot. She walks into the field and runs into two students smoking, a girl and a guy. She timidly asks if they’ve seen Hadley, and the guy briefly gives her a hard time, teasing her for cutting class and being out in the smoking field. The girl tells him to knock it off and tells Evie Hadley is probably deeper in the field. The guy gives Evie a lit cigarette as an apology, and Evie keeps walking. The tall stalks of wheat rustle as Evie walks, and voices flit in and out around her. She stops and sighs, about to turn around, when the wheat stalks in front of her rustle wildly, knocking the cigarette out of her hand. She hears Hadley’s voice clearly say “you’re on fire,” and peeks her head into the next row of wheat. She sees Hadley sitting back on her knees in front of Garrett, whose pants are unbuttoned. Hadley repeats herself, and Garrett bats at his shirt, which is smoking on the back, a small hole burned through. He and Hadley spot Evie, and Garrett angrily gets in Evie’s face, asking if she threw her cigarette and why she’s spying on them. Hadley pulls him away from Evie, saying she asked Evie to come out and get her. She grabs Evie’s arm and pulls her away from the field and toward school. As they walk, Evie timidly admits that it was her cigarette that set him on fire, and they break into a fit of giggles. When they sober up, Hadley says she still hates Garrett. Evie asks why she was out in the field with him, and Hadley rolls her eyes in response. 

Evie sits on her bed in her room, observing the trap she stole from Jonah. She runs her fingers along the teeth delicately like she’s worried it will snap on her hand. She stops, hearing the sound of her locked front doorknob being fiddled with. She sets down the trap and cautiously gets up from her bed, walking into the living room and watching the doorknob jiggle. And startles when Hadley pounds on the door, shouting at her to open up. Evie opens the door and Hadley barrels in, swiftly locking the front door behind her. She runs to Evie’s room and looks out the window, then collapses to the floor with relief. She tells Evie he’s gone. Evie asks who, and Hadley says the guy she ran over at the diner parking lot, or almost ran over, has been following her in his car. Evie treats it as a joke, but Hadley seems panicked and disappointed in Evie, worrying if he’ll get her next. Evie tries to calm her down, saying it won’t be her. Hadley straightens up and looks on Evie’s bed, noticing the trap there. She easily springs open the trap, making Evie panic, saying it’s dangerous. Hadley just as easily unsets the trap. Evie scoops up the trap and puts it away. She grabs Hadley’s arm and tells her she’ll show her the spot where Zabet was found. 

Evie guides Hadley through the woods, taking the same route Jonah used to show her. Hadley is borderline giddy, skipping through the woods and humming, lacing her fingers through Evie’s and swinging their arms. Evie stops at the spot and points it out to Hadley. Hadley walks up to the spot and sits down in the mud. Evie objects at first but Hadley ignores her, instead laying down completely on her back. She looks up at the sky and the jagged edge of the trees and their rustling leaves. The leaves beneath her head crunch as she moves. Evie reluctantly sits down next to her. Hadley points out that this view was the last thing Zabet saw. Evie lays down as well and looks up, taking in the sky and treeline. She asks Hadley what Zabet was like, and what kind of person she was. Hadley vaguely says she was just a person, then changes the subject, asking if Jonah said if her eyes were open or closed. Evie says they were open. Hadley turns on her side to look at Evie, and Evie does the same. She tells Evie Zabet was a good person and a good friend, and went along with what anybody wanted to do. She asks Evie if she would know the killer if she saw him. Evie says she’s unsure, but maybe. Hadley resolutely says she will know him when she sees him. 

The two walk back through the woods to Hadley’s car. Evie tries to clean up the mud off her body but Hadley doesn’t seem to mind it. On the edge of the woods, Hadley stops, pulling Evie back into the woods. She points to the car parked behind hers, a burgundy station wagon and says the guy followed her there. She starts to go to the car but Evie pulls her back to her, begging her not to go. Hadley looks Evie in the eye and says she just wants to look. She walks towards the car slowly but firmly while Evie watches, growing more panicked with each step Hadley takes. The car door swings open but Evie shouts and runs toward Hadley before they can see who the driver was, as he closes the door and quickly drives away. Evie catches up to Hadley and puts her arms around her but Hadley angrily bats them away. Hadley says she hopes he tries to come for her next, because she’ll be ready. 

At school again Evie stands at her locker looking at the suspect list. She sighs and shoves it into the back of her locker when a commotion starts up down the hall. The huddle of students is broken up by Hadley busting through, being led by a faculty member. Hadley’s face is bruised and bleeding and her eyes are wild. Evie calls out to her but Hadley ignores her. Nearby, Evie listens to two students gossiping about the incident. Apparently Hadley bit Garrett’s face and neck so he punched her face to get her off of him and now both of them are suspended. Later, Evie stops by Hadley’s house and knocks on the door but no one answers. She leaves Hadley’s homework under a rock on the porch.

At home, Evie gets a call from Evie. Evie says Hadley’s been avoiding her. Hadley brushes her off, then thanks her for the homework. She tells Evie to sleep over tonight. Evie hesitates, saying she’ll have to ask her mom. Hadley tells her to make her say yes. Later when Evie and her mom are eating dinner, there’s a knock on the door. Her mom answers it and sees Hadley waiting for Evie with a backpack slung over her shoulder. Evie’s mom fusses over Hadley’s bruised face but Hadley brushes her off, saying she thinks her face looks cool. Evie’s mom is perplexed. Hadley excuses herself to go to the bathroom. Evie says Hadley’s there to collect her for a sleepover but pleads with her mom to tell her she can’t go. Her mom tells her she should have fun. Hadley returns and says they should get a move on. 

Hadley and Evie lay on their backs in Hadley’s bed under the covers. Evie looks up at Hadley’s ceiling, covered in glow-in-the-dark plastic stars that illuminate in the dark. Hadley breaks the silence, asking what people at school are saying about her. Evie just says that she got in a fight and got suspended. Hadley says she attacked Garrett and he was only trying to defend himself. Evie asks why she did it and Hadley says she wanted to know what it felt like. Evie turns away from Hadley and drifts off to sleep. Later, she’s woken up by Hadley putting on her clothes and packing a backpack. She looks at Evie, telling her to get ready to go. Evie refuses, saying she’s not going into the woods at night, but Hadley insists, pulling her out of bed and saying if there’s nothing there there’s nothing to be afraid of. 

Evie and Hadley walk through the woods. Evie looks up at the sky. It’s scattered with stars and the darkened jagged treeline cuts through the inky dark blue. Crickets and bugs chirp out and add to the sound of the girls’ soft footsteps in the dirt. Hadley leads them past the spot where Zabet was found to a fallen log and sits down. She pulls out a flashlight from her backpack with a metallic clang. Evie reluctantly sits on the ground in front of the log. Hadley says the killer always returns to the scene of the crime, but Evie rolls her eyes, saying that’s just in the movies. They laugh softly and listen to the sounds of the night, bugs dancing around the beam of Hadley’s flashlight. They suddenly hear a rustling in the woods, and the distinct sound of footsteps. Hadley clicks off the flashlight and puts it in her back pocket. She and Evie simultaneously stand and reach for each other, intertwining their fingers tightly. They tiptoe softly through the woods toward the sound, Hadley leading them. They stop a few yards away and see a shadowy figure at the spot where Zabet died. The figure leans over, something glinting in their hand and Evie sucks in a sharp breath. Hadley squeezes her hand and motions toward a closer tree with a wide trunk. They silently make their way over to the tree and hide. Evie lets go of Hadley and nearly collapses against the tree, pressing her forehead against the bark of the trunk. Hadley whispers in her ear to look. Evie peeks her head out from behind the tree and sees Jonah, drunk and holding a beer bottle, sitting in front of Zabet’s spot. Hadley resolutely takes out the flashlight from her back pocket, brandishing it like a nightstick. Evie tries to signal for her to stop but Hadley steps forward. Evie quickly runs out in front of Jonah. She falls on her hands and knees, scraping her left knee slightly. Jonah confusedly looks at her, asking her what she’s doing there. Evie says she was at a sleepover. She crawls over to sit next to Jonah and he points out that she got hurt. She tells him she’s fine and pulls her pant leg up to show him. He places his hands on her knee and her breath catches. His hands linger there for a moment, then he stumbles up. Evie catches him, guiding him through the woods back to his truck. She doesn’t look over her shoulder as Hadley watches them from behind the tree.

Jonah stumbles up to his truck and fumbles with his keys, finally unlocking the cab and hoisting himself up and in. He curls up in the cab, leaning against the steering wheel. Evie hesitates for a moment before climbing into the passenger seat and trying to rouse Jonah from his sleep. He grunts and Evie sighs. She climbs in from the driver’s side and shoves him into the passenger seat. She grabs the keys and drives away from Hokepe Woods. Evie parks by a curb in a random neighborhood and sits, watching Jonah sleep. She inches closer, resting her hand on his shoulder, then his cheek. She leans in and kisses his cheeks, his nose, his forehead, then his lips. She pulls away, laughing slightly to herself, then kisses him again. He kisses her back drunkenly, using his tongue, and she pulls away, startled. He opens his eyes and looks surprised, letting out a noncommittal “oh.” Evie moves with her back to the door, feeling behind her back for the door handle. Jonah drunkenly rambles, saying that was weird, and it was weird when she fell out of the trees. He tells her clearly that he thought she was the dead girl, then nods back to sleep. Evie manages to get the door open and falls out backwards. 

Evie lands hard on the pavement, knocking her head on the curb and biting through her lip violently. She gasps for air, blood pouring from her mouth, when Jonah calls out her name and scrambles across the cab. She quickly gets up and runs away. She runs until she can’t breathe, clutching at her sides. She retches on the side of the road when a car full of college kids rolls up to her. A passenger asks if she’s okay and Evie asks if they can take her home. They take in the sight of her: blood running down her chin and the front of her shirt, muddy from the woods with leaves in her hair. She pleads with them again and they agree. Later, Evie gets out of their car and walks up to a door, knocking softly. Mr. McCabe answers. 

He lets her in happily and unquestioning. The TV is on and there’s a snack laid out on the coffee table in front of the couch. Evie shudders and he offers her a snack or a drink. She turns him down and says that’s okay. She tells him she’s sorry for intruding but she didn’t have anywhere else to go. He tells her it’s fine, and that she was a friend of Elizabeth’s. He offers to drive her home and she asks if she can stay at his place tonight. He tells her that’s perfectly fine and leads her to Zabet’s old room, untouched and preserved like a shrine to her. The bed is unmade, a drinking glass rests on the nightstand, and drawers are open with clothes piling out. He tells Evie to help herself to any pajamas if she needs them and bids her goodnight. Evie stops him by hugging him slightly, and he hesitates before hugging her back. He leaves and shuts the door behind him. Evie peeks in all the drawers and fiddles with the trinkets on Zabet’s dresser. She runs her hand between the mattress and the boxspring. She opens the closet and pushes the clothes away, standing on her tiptoes to reach the top shelf. She pulls down a shoebox that has Zabet’s lighter and a half empty box of cigarettes, as well as a notebook filled with sketches. Evie changes into a t-shirt and shorts of Zabet’s and looks at herself in the mirror. She turns around and starts cleaning the room. She puts away all the messy clothes and trinkets while smoking a cigarette. She lays down on Zabet’s bad and goes to sleep, then wakes before the sun comes up the next morning, makes the bed, changes, and quietly slips out past Mr. McCabe, who’s fallen asleep in front of the TV. 

Evie walks back to Hadley’s house. She sees Hadley’s car parked in the street in front of the house and peers in, seeing Hadley sleeping in the backseat. She opens the door and Hadley wakes up, smiling at her. Evie apologizes, saying the guy in the woods was Jonah Luks, and she had to make sure he was okay since he was drunk. Hadley sits up and scoots over in the backseat. Evie slides in the car next to her. Hadley shrugs, saying it’s whatever and Evie just spent the night with a guy she liked. Evie says all they did was kiss and Hadley snorts, asking if he chewed her lip off. Evie tries to explain but keeps getting interrupted by Hadley, who asks why they stopped kissing. Evie steals herself and says she ran away after he said she reminded him of Zabet, “that dead girl” he called her. Hadley gets angry and swears at Evie, saying she waited up all night for her and was ready to call the police because she thought something happened to her. Evie apologizes for making her worry and Hadley laughs incredulously, saying she wasn’t worried and it’s not like Evie is her friend or anything. This stings Evie, who apologizes again, and Hadley screams at her to get the fuck out of her car. Evie does. 

Evie walks in her house and her mom greets her without turning around while making breakfast. She asks if Evie had fun, and Evie snaps, saying didn’t, all she did was bust her lip open. Her mom quickly turns around and observes Evie’s face, saying she’ll want to put something on it so it doesn’t swell up and get infected. Evie snaps again, accusing her mom of only caring about how it looks and saying she didn’t even ask what happened. She says she could have gotten her face beaten by some guy and her mom wouldn’t even care. She storms down the hall and locks herself in her room.

The next morning, Evie pulls into the Hokepe Woods neighborhood and spots Hadley waiting for her on the curb. Evie is cautious around her but Hadley shows no indication of still being mad at her, and says she’s there to help. They deliver papers in the neighborhood, with Evie keeping an eye out for Jonah’s truck. When he pulls into the neighborhood, he keeps driving past them and Hadley smiles at Evie before taking off behind him and calling out to him. Evie reluctantly runs after her. She happens upon Hadley leaning into Jonah’s pulled over truck and asks if they can walk with him. She repeats the same speech Evie used earlier to convince Jonah when she wanted to see Zabet’s spot, but he refuses. He gets out of the truck and gathers his supplies and Hadley flirts with him, insisting that he let them come with but he doesn’t bite. They trail after him, Hadley laughing and joking with him and trying to grab his keys while Evie stays silent. Suddenly Hadley grows serious and asks him if he ever encounters any animals that are still alive. She continues, asking him if he ever finds any that are almost dead and if he does, does he just stomp on them or slit their throats with his hunting knife. Taken aback, Jonah stops and stares at Hadley and she uses the moment to grab his keys and run deeper into the woods. Jonah sighs and asks Evie to watch his sled. She wordlessly nods and he runs off after Hadley. Evie waits for a few long moments but doesn’t see any sign of Jonah or Hadley. She looks around at the woods and realizes they’re in a familiar patch of trees. She calls out to Jonah and Hadley but gets no response. She panics, breaking down and leaning against a tree, hyperventilating. She hears a loud cry from the woods and runs the other way.

Evie pounds on Mr. McCabe’s door and he answers. She pants, asking him to follow her. He complies, running with her to the edge of the woods then stops. Evie cries, saying they have to go in there because Hadley’s in there. Mr. McCabe grows serious, saying they should call the police but Evie begs him to help her. They step into the woods together.

At the spot where Zabet was found, they find Hadley huddled into a ball, rocking back and forth in shock. Jonah lies beside her, his leg mangled and bloody, caught in an animal trap - the one that Evie stole. He’s passed out. Mr. McCabe runs to Jonah, creating a tourniquet with his clothes and attempting to staunch the blood. Evie carefully walks over to Hadley and Hadley looks up at her, then bursts into tears. Evie puts her arms around her. Mr. McCabe instructs Evie to press down on Jonah’s wound and he runs to get help. She presses down, her hands quickly getting soaked with blood. She looks over at Hadley, who’s wide and wild eyed. Hadley says she did it, and Evie says she knows. Hadley shakes her head, saying she means Zabet. Evie is confused, and Hadley says she and Zabet had a list. Guys they would meet, their names, their numbers, what they looked like. They would meet these guys and add them to the list, and call them to have sex with them or get drugs or rob them or whatever they wanted. And when they were done they would cross them off the list. Evie puts it together, realizing that night Zabet was meeting someone from the list. She asks where the list is now, and Hadley says she burned it, breaking down again. Evie watches her cry, continuing to push down on Jonah’s leg. 

The scene hard cuts to Evie and Hadley in the same positions in frame, with Hadley lying in a hospital bed and Evie sitting in a chair beside her. Hadley laughs easily, saying she was in shock but now she’s not, and complaining that she won’t even get to stay long enough to get free Jello. Her smile falters when she notices Evie’s silence. She asks what’s wrong with Evie and Evie just stares at her wordlessly. Hadley nods, then pauses. She continues, reminding Evie of the list, and saying she had a thought that it could have really been Jonah. Evie shakes her head, saying it wasn’t. Hadley continues, saying that Jonah took Evie herself back to his car, but Evie says she took him back. Hadley says he kissed Evie, but Evie says that’s not true. Hadley interrupts with a smile and says Evie told her Jonah kissed her, and then told her he hit her. Evie goes silent again. Hadley nods again, agreeing with the story she just told. Evie stands abruptly, letting the chair screech against the floor. She tells Hadley she told them it was an accident. Hadley rolls her eyes, saying she knew Evie would.

Evie walks like a zombie back to the waiting room. She passes by her mother and stands directly in front of Mr. McCabe, saying she has something to tell him. Evie speaks with Mr. McCabe as a voiceover narration starts up. As the voiceover continues, scenes play of Evie back at school, delivering papers, hugging Hadley goodbye, having dinner with Mr. McCabe, and eventually stopping by Zabet’s old room, now bare and empty. Evie explains that Jonah lost his leg at the knee. They were worried he almost wouldn’t make it, but he pulled through in the end. He couldn’t work for Jefferson Wildlife Control anymore, and in fact, moved out of state all together, to live with his brother in South Carolina. Evie didn’t visit him in the hospital. She told Mr. McCabe about the list, the real list, even though it was painful for both of them. It turned out the list didn’t help the police anyways. They caught the guy by accident, after murdering another girl three states over. Zabet’s sweater was still in his car. Rumors swirled at school about Hadley’s role in Jonah’s “accident” and Zabet’s death. Evie notes that although every rumor got back to her, she never heard her own name mentioned in all these stories, like a ghost, the page on which the story is written, or the space between trees. Hadley spent the summer with her aunt out of town, then transferred schools the next year. She says goodbye to Evie, wishing her luck and hugging her tightly. Evie looks into Zabet’s room. She says every hint of Zabet is gone. She finishes her monologue with the line “‘Rest in peace,’ that’s what we say when we speak to the dead, and then we hold our breath and wait for them to whisper the same words back to us.”



Alternative Google Docs Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BsthGChCmGVx_v1awqz4bcaiA65shNPfL7YxfcvIs6E/edit?usp=sharing

Edited by Blankments
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Writer-Director: Benh Zeitlin
Genre: Fantasy/Drama

Release Date: May 24 (limited); June 14 (wide)
Major Cast:

Royal Patel as Bree
Azhy Robertson as Arthur
Purbi Joshi as Mom
Maulik Pancholy as Dad

Other roles are unknowns.


Theater Count: 16 (5/24); 106 (5/31); 534 (6/7); 3,215 (6/14)

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic content and brief crude humor.

Runtime: 98 min
Production Budget: $10 million

Music by: Dan Romer and Behn Zeitlin

Plot Summary: During a global pandemic, a young girl spends the summer at a beach house with her family. However, the girl soon befriends a boy hidden within the sand, even as her parents’ relationship dissolves.


Plot (approx 4.7k words):


A child sits in the backseat of a car. She introduces herself in voice-over as Bree, a seven-year-old girl who loves her parents and adventures. However, she didn’t know she was about to start a really big adventure. Sun high in the sky, the car drives through lush greenery until it reaches the sea-side where there’s an isolated beach house. Her parents begin to unload the car, as Bree looks out to the sandy beach, hearing some laughter as some sand picks up from the wind.

Bree explores the beach house, which is small and cozy, with one bedroom on the first floor and a large attic with a bed in it. This is where Bree will be spending her summer, while her parents work downstairs. Bree runs downstairs and says that she loves the place and her parents look concerned, but put on a smile for her. Bree asks if they can take her to the beach, and Mom and Dad both say that they’re going to be a bit busy with work, but they can take her out later. Bree goes upstairs then to wait in her room, while we see both Mom and Dad get to work on their laptops, getting onto teleconferencing calls on separate laptops downstairs. With their headphones on, they can’t hear Bree playing upstairs loudly, pretending to be a pirate on her bed. Outside her window, some sand blows by, sounding vaguely like humming. The camera follows the sand from the window until it rests on the beach, beginning to sink in.

Bree comes downstairs within an hour and asks if she can go to the beach. Mom and Dad get off their computers for a second, and both say they can’t possibly go with her, they’ve got a big project they’re working on, and with everything going on in the world… Bree asks if she can just go explore alone. Mom is very against this, but Dad points out that there is literally no one within miles of them and when he was a kid, he would disappear for hours in the woods behind his grandmother’s house. Mom relents, but they make Bree promise to stay out of the water and close enough to the house to not get lost. Bree hugs them both and runs outside.

However, the area near the front of the house is sandy yet not exactly interesting. She quickly grows bored here too until she steps in some weirdly colored sand near the water. She hears a wince, and jumps back, as water comes in over the sand. As the top of the sand washes away, she sees a boy laying under the sand. She rushes to dig him out, but the boy sits up, laughing, asking Bree who she is and if she wants to see some caves. Bree asks who he is, and the boy reveals himself to be Arthur. Bree asks where he lives, and Arthur just tells her to follow him and he’ll explain on the way.

Arthur takes Bree down the beach, and Arthur says that he’s lived in the sand his whole life. Bree asks what that’s like, and Arthur clarifies that he lives in the sand in the water with his parents, but he’s been exploring this area for a while on his own while his parents send him out to have fun. Bree asks if his parents are busy, and Arthur says that they aren’t, they just want him to have fun. Bree finds this reassuring. They arrive at a large cave, and Bree looks behind her, seeing just an endless shoreline. She gets scared that she won’t be able to find her way home, but Arthur, with wind blowing off his hair, reassures her that he knows the way, but first they should check out the cave.

Inside the cave is a gorgeous waterfall that seems to stream upwards to a nest of bugs that seem to glow in the dark with every color. Bree gasps as Arthur dives into the water, and emerges quickly, smiling. He tells her to follow him, she knows how to swim, right? Bree nods yes and then jumps in the water. They swim up the waterfall to the nest of bugs, and Bree looks on in awe, as Arthur smiles when the bugs land in his hair, illuminating with neon colors beyond the rainbow. They goof around in the water a bit, splashing each other, and playing with the weird current of the reverse waterfall, as the neon bugs land on the walls of the cave, making a gorgeously magical colorscape to compliment their playing.

Later, Arthur, sand blowing off of his hair once more, leads her back home as the sun sets behind them. Bree talks about how cool it was, and Arthur is just glad he finally had someone to share that cave with. The beach house appears in the distance, and Bree thanks Arthur for the day’s fun. Arthur waves her good-bye with the sand beginning to fly off his hand. Seeing this, Arthur gives a wry smile, and jumps into the water nearby, dissolving quickly into sand which travels deeper into the water. Bree looks on in awe and then runs back to her house.

Bree walks into her mom screaming at her dad about Bree. Bee walks in quickly, and Mom immediately rushes to hug her, saying she was worried when she couldn’t find her. Bree apologizes, but Dad says that he would’ve done the same thing at her age, and asks about her adventure. Bree tries to talk but Mom cuts her off, telling Dad that he shouldn’t act like she was hysterical. Dad rolls his eyes at this and asks Bree if she wants pizza. Bree says yes, excited, and it’s suddenly dinner time with them passing around pizza. Bree asks them both how work was, and neither really wants to talk about it at all, clearly glaring at each other during their respective brief responses. When Mom asks Bree what she found, Bree tells them the story of the sandboy she met and the magical cave they went to, and both parents laugh at her story, telling her she’s so creative. Bree asks if her parents believe her, and of course, they say they do, while smiling.

The next day, Bree once again leaves her house to see Arthur laying under the sand. She jumps on the sand above him and he immediately emerges, telling her to knock it off, that actually hurt. Bree apologizes, still giggling, and Arthur can’t help but join in her laughter. Arthur leads Bree to find some tide pools down the beach. As they sit with their feet in the water, watching the starfish, anemones and urchins, Arthur asks her if she wants to jump in. Bree doesn’t understand, and Arthur stands over the tidal pool, asking her to jump in like he does. Arthur cannonballs in the tide pool, causing a huge splash, but appearing to submerge under the shallow sand. Bree closes her eyes, and follows him in the cannonball, sinking under the sand to land in an air pocket, where the starfish, anemones, and urchins form a moving ball to protect the air pocket. Once again, Bree looks agape at the sight Arthur has taken her to see, and Arthur too is staring in awe.

Arthur explains that his parents told him about this place, but he had never actually gone here before. Bree asks Arthur about his parents, and why they let him explore every day on his own. Arthur points out that Bree’s parents also let her go off and explore on her own, and Bree replies that her parents are busy with work and with each other, so they let her go out so that way she doesn’t distract them. Normally, she’s at summer camp right now but with things being what they are, that couldn’t happen this year. Arthur asks what summer camp is, and Bree says it’s a time to hang out with other kids. Arthur says that sounds fun, and Bree answers that it is, but she still wants to know about Arthur’s parents. Arthur sighs and says that he goes home to his parents every night; they live deep underwater in the sea, letting him explore above water during the day, like they did when they were kids. His parents told him he’d likely make a friend during this, and he’s glad he found a friend in Bree. Bree smiles, and holds his hand as they both jump up through the barrier of animals to return to looking in the tide pool.

As the sun sets, Bree heads back home. When she enters the house, she hears her parents arguing in the kitchen, and avoiding it, chooses to head upstairs. The film enters a rollicking score-only montage of the following few weeks of Bree’s summer. Every day she meets up with Arthur, and Arthur shows her something cool on the seemingly limitless beach around them. They explore the woods, swinging through trees like Tarzan, and fake sword-fighting on the branches. They take a canoe made of bark through the shallow water of the sea, Bree standing at the head of the boat while Arthur laughs in the back. When rain falls one day, Arthur looks on with pure astonishment, having never seen it before. However, this montage is also intercut with scenes at home for Bree, as her parents struggle to work from the beach house, and find the time they spend together to be driving them insane. Be it a board game night, a movie night, or a variety of dinners, it almost always ends with her parents shouting at each other. At points, Bree tries to stop it, and it works for the most part, but only for a few minutes until the parents are back at it again. Finally though, Bree makes it to July, and gets up early, running to the beach to wake up Arthur early, so they can finally watch the sunrise, with Arthur once again completely blown away for what the world has to offer. The dialogue begins again with Bree looking at the sun too, smiling, saying today is her birthday, and Arthur taking his eyes off the sunrise to say happy birthday back to her, hugging her.

Bree heads back to her house, to see her dad already up and making pancakes for her. Dad offers her her birthday breakfast, and Bree scarfs it down, excited. Dad tells her that with it being her birthday tonight, and the 4th of July this weekend, he’s gonna take her into town to get fireworks. Bree squeals with delight as Mom enters the room, saying happy birthday to Bree. Dad tells Mom his plans to take Bree into the town 20 minutes away, and Mom tells him to spend the day with Bree down there; she couldn’t get the day off from work. Dad agrees with this, and tells Mom to make sure to be done with work so they can all celebrate Bree’s birthday that night. Mom rolls her eyes and tells him not to be so condescending to her; of course she knows to do this.

Bree rides in the backseat of her dad’s car to go into town, and the two, wearing masks, quickly pick up the fireworks at the store, and then go to eat outside at a hot dog place. As they finish up lunch, Dad asks Bree if she wants to go to the park, and, thinking of Arthur, Bree asks if they can head back home. She’ll go play on the beach, and let Mom finish her work. Dad tries to push her to stay and find something to do here, but Bree won’t budge. Dad sighs and begins the drive back home. However, when they arrive home, Dad puts the fireworks in the garage as he enters with Bree. They soon discover Mom is nowhere to be found, and when Dad calls Mom, all he gets is her voicemail. Dad keeps trying to call her, when Bree sees a car pull up, and Mom exit, holding a birthday cake (and wearing a mask).

Bree goes out to hug her mom’s legs, welcoming her home and saying she was worried about her. Mom tells her that she shouldn’t worry, but then also says she has to set the cake inside. They do both head inside, and Dad eyes her suspiciously, asking why he didn’t tell him she was buying a cake; he was gonna make a cake that night. Mom says she wanted it to be a surprise and didn’t suspect it’d be an issue. Dad says he already started preparing the cake yesterday, and Mom says they’ll just have two cakes, and asks Bree if that will be okay. Bree nods her head yes, excited. Dad shakes his head, and asks Mom who was driving her. Mom looks a little ashamed and says that she had asked some friends to come drive her who were in the area. She needed a break from the house and to hang out with her friends for a bit. Dad says that he’s needed that too; he can’t stay cooped up all the time. Mom says that she’s not keeping him here, and Dad replies that she really is. Bree looks at the two of them beginning to argue and loudly sighs. The two stop for a second, and Mom tells Bree that she should go play on the beach right now, since she and Dad need to talk. Bree doesn’t take longer than a second to leave the house, and run down to the beach, where Arthur is resting under the sand.

Bree asks Arthur if his parents are around during the day, when he goes ashore to hang out with her. Arthur says that he believes they are, but doesn’t understand why she’s asking. Bree demands for him to take her to them. Arthur is extremely reluctant, and Bree says that she gets to pick the adventure on her own birthday, and she wants to meet Arthur’s parents. Arthur says it might be dangerous, which is all the better for Bree. They go to take their bark canoe, with Arthur propelling further and further into the sea. Bree looks around and cannot see anything but water from every direction. Arthur tells Bree she needs to hold onto him tight, and Bree asks if she’ll be okay. As long Bree trusts Arthur, it’ll be fine - and besides, she was told this might be dangerous. Bree nods her head, and holds onto Arthur as the two jump off the canoe and into the water.

Bree’s eyes widen as she is submerged in the water, surrounded by one of Arthur’s arms. The other arm is straight up towards the surface, as Arthur stares as small air bubbles quickly come down to surround Bree’s nose and mouth. As they go deeper, the bubbles around Bree get larger and larger, until they reach the bottom of the sea, which is naturally full of sand. Bree asks Arthur where his parents are, and Arthur stomps the sand. Immediately, two large boulders arise from the sand, with glowing indents that appear to be eyes. Arthur goes to hug these rocks, and introduces them to Bree as his parents. (At this letting go of Bree, Arthur is no longer dragging down air for Bree to breathe, and as such, the now large bubble around her head begins to slowly decrease as she takes in more and more air throughout the following conversation.)

The parents in unison say hello to Bree, and Bree is excited to meet them too, asking if this is what Arthur will become when he is older. The parents say they know not what Arthur will become, in the same way Bree’s parents could never guess who she will grow up to be. Bree tells them that she is worried about her parents. They argue a lot and she knows they love her, but she doesn’t think they love each other. Arthur solemnly looks to his parents, and tells them he knows they love him. Arthur’s parents say that they have raised Arthur to know that they love him very much. He need not fear that they would split or leave him, as they cannot move. Arthur can never worry them because of this, and the parents tell Bree they feel deep sorrow in knowing that a child is fearing their parents leaving each other, but also explain that if Arthur were to leave them, or if the two parents were somehow separated, that would never stop Arthur’s parents’ undying love for him. If what Bree says is true, her parents will love her no matter what they think of each other, and that is important. Bree says that she wants her parents to love each other too though, and asks them if there’s a way she can make that happen. Arthur’s parents are silent, and Bree begins to demand for them to explain to her. However, in her demands, she uses up what little is left of her air bubble, and in the middle of her demand, Arthur grabs her, saying goodbye to his parents.

He rockets upward through the water, holding Bree tight as Bree begins to panic, having run out of air to breathe. Breaching the surface of the water, Bree grabs the side of the canoe, as Arthur helps her board the vessel without capsizing it. With both now back on the canoe and catching their breaths, Bree thanks Arthur for taking her to see his parents. Arthur asks if she liked her birthday present, and Bree says she did, but she wants to know if he wants to do one more thing.

Arthur and Bree arrive back on shore, with Bree signaling Arthur to follow her. He follows her until he reaches the edge of the sand and the asphalt of Bree’s driveway, stopping suddenly. Bree looks at him and seeing his apprehension, tells him to wait here. She sneaks into the garage, and quickly finds matches in the garage. She grabs them and the fireworks her father left out. She then runs back to Arthur, handing them off to him. He asks what they are, and she answers that they’re rockets that explode with as many colors as the bugs they saw at the beginning of summer. Arthur looks on excited at them, and asks where they’re gonna use them. Bree tells him to wait, she also wants to share her cake with him. Arthur asks what cake is and Bree smiles widely at that.

Bree goes to her front door, sneaking in as quietly as possible. Unfortunately, her parents both sit quietly in the front room, seeing her walk in. Bree quickly forces a smile on her face, telling them she had an awesome birthday adventure outside. Mom smiles wearily at this, and Bree asks Dad if she can get out the cake Mom bought earlier. Dad wryly comments that it’s good she is asking for that cake, as he hasn’t had time yet to make the other cake. When Bree asks why, Mom and Dad both just force a smile and say that they’ve just been trying to make it so Bree has the best birthday ever. Bree sighs, not really believing them, but then forces on a smile as she follows them into the kitchen.

Outside the house, Arthur waits as the sun begins to set. As the wind picks up and sand begins to drift off him, Arthur puts the fireworks on the ground and begins to look at the matchbox. Having never seen one before, he takes out a match and reads the side of the box: “swipe match against box’s side to use.” Not understanding the purpose of the match, Arthur does so, and lights the match. Afraid of the fire, he quickly drops the match onto some brush beneath his feet, which quickly ignites. Arthur grabs the fireworks to protect them from the fire, as he begins to stomp it out quickly. Unfortunately, an ember gets onto one of the fireworks’ fuse, and Arthur, seeing the fuse begin to shrink, throws all the fireworks on the ground and runs away from it.

Inside, as Mom brings out the cake, the house is suddenly engulfed with the sound of the firework going off in rapid succession. Mom immediately places the cake on the table, and asks Dad if he knows what that was. Dad, concerned, runs out the front door to look around, followed by Mom and Bree. They see the fireworks, still firing, seemingly endlessly, with Arthur standing sheepishly behind them. However, when Arthur sees Bree, he waves to her, relieved to see her, and Bree waves back. Mom and Dad see this though, and Dad asks how she knows this boy. Bree says it’s the sandboy she’s been telling them about. Mom says that she thought she was talking about an imaginary friend, and Dad tells Bree that she was told not to talk to any strangers. Arthur begins to walk towards them, but immediately, Mom and Dad both turn around and tell Arthur to stay away. They don’t know him, and they can’t trust anyone they don’t know. As Arthur begins to cry, Bree tells her parents to calm down and Arthur is her friend, and Mom tells Bree they need to go inside. Mom tells Arthur to leave again as Dad picks up Bree against her will and begins to take her inside. Bree screams in anger, and then in horror when she sees (with her parents turned towards the house) Arthur slowly fade away into sand, being carried away by the wind.

Bree’s dad carries her up to bed, saying that they will eat the cake in the morning; right now, they really cannot deal with what they just saw. Before Bree has a chance to argue, her dad leaves her. As Bree sits down on her bed, somewhat stunned by how her friendship with Arthur may have just fallen apart forever, she hears her dad begin to yell at her mom, about how she should’ve watched Bree more before she ran off to play with a homeless kid everyday. Mom counters that this was Dad’s idea, and it’s his fault that Bree had so much freedom to get into danger.

The words quickly become indistinct, as Bree thinks more and more about her parents don’t love each other, and the only person who she can talk to right now about this is Arthur. She goes to the window of her room, quickly climbing out of it, standing on an overhang of her porch. She slides down the gutter, and runs to the beach, yelling for Arthur, begging him to come back. Inside, her mom goes up to check on her and discovers the window open and BRee nowhere to be found. Mom runs downstairs, and tells Dad Bree is gone. They both go out to search for her, yelling her name. Bree, hearing her parents yell for her, quickly searches for the canoe but to no avail. Left without a choice, Bree runs into the water, swimming deeper and deeper into the water, while yelling for Arthur, until she tires out, and begins to sink under the water.

Mom and Dad reach the precipice of the sea, but Bree is nowhere to be found. They both scream and call for her, fearing the worst. Underwater, Bree stares, looking panicked as she tries to swim up, but the surface is simply too far away for her. As her eyes begin to close, she sees a glowing bright pillar of sand, rushing towards her. From the parents’ perspective, something suddenly breaches the surface, flying high into the air. The sand forms into Arthur, who clings to Bree tightly, as they begin to fall, Arthur catching the wind so they drift back towards shore midair. Bree’s parents stare on with mouth agape.

Arthur looks over Bree’s unconscious body, and begins to cry, apologizing to her that he couldn’t save her. He hugs her limp body, as she suddenly begins to cough. Her eyes open and seeing Arthur hugging her, she hugs him back. Arthur’s tears turn to ones of joy, as Bree laughs, saying she knew she’d find him. Arthur apologizes that he got scared of her parents, and Bree says that she understands why they would do that. As Bree’s mom and dad approach the two of them, Bree tells Arthur to move, and then she confronts her parents. She tells them to leave her alone; all they want to do is take away the sole source of fun she’s had in the past month because they’re afraid. More though, they don’t even love each other, so how can she expect them to let her even have friends. She just wants them to leave her alone.

Mom and Dad look at each other, sheepishly. Mom says they were both so worried about her just now, and Bree replies that she’s been worried about them all summer. Mom and Dad look at each other again, and this time, Dad apologizes, saying that it wasn’t right of them to be getting at each other in front of Bree. Mom says that she may disagree with Dad on a lot of things, but they definitely both love Bree. Bree asks them if they’ll stop arguing all the time. Dad says that they can’t guarantee they won’t argue in front of Bree anymore, but they can try to do it less. “Far less,” Mom adds, also saying that they can’t really say what the future will be, but for now, they will not put this on Bree any longer. Dad says that it’s still Bree’s birthday, and they go inside for cake. Mom invites the sandboy to join them, and Bree introduces Arthur to them. 

As they head in the house (camera emphasizing the moment Arthur steps off the sand), Bree looks to Arthur, who is smiling widely. She looks to her parents, who look at each other with uneasy smiles, but then down to Bree with real ones. As the candles are lit, Bree blows them out, and the cake is cut and passed out, the film enters a final montage with the rollicking music, of the joy of the birthday and the rest of the summer. Arthur and Bree eat dinner with Bree’s parents a few times, as Arthur tries pizza for the first time. Bree returns with Arthur to visit his parents, both laughing with joy as the parents tell them stories of their own time as kids on the surface. Eventually Bree begins to narrate, as summer ends and her parents pack up the car, Bree hugging Arthur goodbye before they return to the city. As fall begins, wearing masks as Bree enters school, but when she leaves, a year or so has passed, the need for masks gone. Bree returns home to just her Dad, revealing that her parents divorced soon after that summer, but were certain to make sure Bree knew it wasn’t on her at all. Furthermore, they kept their own fears for the future and for life away from her, so she could grow up. And eventually Bree would grow up. The next summer, she returned to the beach house with her Mom, and no matter how far she looked, she could never find Arthur. However, she made new friends in the town, now populated with people ready to enjoy a healthy summer. The years go by and every summer, Bree returns to the beach house. Bree never saw Arthur again, although she could swear she heard his laugh every time the wind picked up on the beach. However, eventually time passes and Bree, as an adult, pulls into the beach house with her own wife and son in tow. As Bree and her spouse walk ahead into the house, the son hears the laugh of a young girl from the breezing sand. He asks if either of his mothers heard that, and Bree looks to the sand, and smiles.




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Olive's Hallowed Eve


Writer-Director: Jemaine Clement
Genre: Live-Action/CGI-Animated Holiday Fantasy/Comedy Musical

Release Date: October 4

Formats: IMAX/IMAX 3D

Major Cast:

Zendaya as the voice of Olive the Dog

Michael B. Jordan as Tim

Taika Waititi as the voice of Martini the Penguin

John Mulaney as the voice of Fido the Flea

Jemaine Clement as Tortie Luga

Joe Pantoliano as the voice of Leo the Cat

Beanie Feldstein as Katie Normal

Anthony Carrigan as Josh Luga

Shahadi Wright Joseph as the voice of Karrie the Canary

Natasha Lyonne as Sandy Normal

With Jake Gyllenhaal as the Postman

And Ted Danson as Mr. Samuel Stickler




Chris Hemsworth as the voice of the Turkey
LeBron James as Tim's Older Brother
David Byrne as Stickler's Song Double
Sam Neill as Santa Claus
Richard E. Grant as Deus ex Machina
Olivia Colman as Denise ex Machina



Theater Count: 4,037

MPAA Rating: PG for some crude humor/drinking references and brief disturbing images.

Runtime: 112 min
Production Budget: $65 million

Music by: Christophe Beck

Original Songs: Bret McKenzie


Previous Film - Olive the Other Reindeer - 48.7M (81.4M)/228.7M/514.5M (OW (5-Day)/DOM/WW)


Plot Summary:  On the week before Halloween, Olive helps her new neighbors search for a missing spellbook that, should it fall into the wrong hands, will spell certain doom for the village of Town’s peaceful existence - and Halloween itself.


Plot (approx 13.5k words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ihmc5rpye6M0nRClG24KPqle73bnwxzT24_pizilQ5o/edit?usp=sharing

Edited by Blankments
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"The journey begins."





Studio: Phoenix Fire Entertainment, in collaboration with Phoenix Fire Artstyles


Release Date: June 28th, with IMAX

Genre: Live-Action & Animation Hybrid/Sci-Fi/Mystery/Dramedy/Action/Adventure

Rating: PG-13, for extended sequences of sci-fi violence, language, sexual content and brief disturbing images

Format: 2D, 3D

Budget: $175 million

Theater Count: 4.012

Runtime: 2 hours and 25 minutes


Director: Alex Hirsch

Producer: Alex Hirsch

Screenwriters: Alex Hirsch, Dana Terrace, Liz Hannah

Cinematography: Greig Fraser

Original Music: Mark Mothersbaugh

Original SongMighty Fall by Hailee Steinfeld (more details in the plot summary)


Cast (alien characters are in makeup, unless highlighted as otherwise):

- Olivia Cooke as Jane Medina

- Finn Wolfhard as Thiago Medina

- Naomi Scott as Allyarah

- Dee Bradley Baker as the voice of Trudar (animated)

- Billy West as the voice of Grath (animated)

- Bob Bergen as the voice of Helaros (animated)

- Kristofer Hijvu as Karaken

- with Chris Evans as Hakana

- with Christoph Waltz as Vida

- and Emma Thompson as Luanna


Secondary Cast:

- Diogo Morgado as Victor

- Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Lambert

- Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Vacan (mo-cap)

- Kira Kosarin as Shelaine

- Britney Young as Yousen

- Triple H as the voice of Neddard


Hidden Cast (SPOILERS):


- Charles Dance as Admiral Thundborr

- Hailee Steinfeld as Tatiana

- Candy Milo as the voice of Granny (animated)

- Bob Bergen as the voice of Tweety (animated)

- Viola Davis as the voice of the Trucidator


Plot Synopsis: Human space P.I.'s Jane (Cooke) and Thiago Medina (Wolfhard) are tasked with finding Hakana, a missing alien, in the animated dimension.


Plot (approx. 18.2k words)https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Agp6Ss7CCHyepagylnzpKLeigiPO-eqIDyY4K9_UytQ/edit?usp=sharing


Special thanks to @YourMother the Edgelord and @Reddroast for pre-reading the original draft of the film.

Edited by MCKillswitch123
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From the director of 'The Red Turtle' and the author of 'Hilda'





Studio: Cookie Pictures

Production Companies: Cookie Pictures Animation, Mercury Filmworks

Genre: Animation (Traditional)/Dark drama

Director: Michaël Dudok De Wit

Producers: Sebastian Peters, Luke Pearson, Paul and Gaëtan Brizzi

Composer: Laurent Perez Del Mar (score description)

Rating: R for language, sexual content, disturbing imagery, and thematic elements

Running Time: 71 minutes (1 hour, 11 minutes)

Budget: $15 million

Release Date: November 1st (Limited), November 27th (Wide)

Theater Count: 4 (Nov 1st), 65 (Nov 8th), 375 (Nov 15th), 1,015 (Nov 22nd), 3,135 (Nov 27th)

Animation: Similar to Hilda and The Midnight Giant, Everything We Miss directly translates the art style of the original graphic novel (some images NSFW), but forgoes ”Worldmeander” animation in favor of traditional 2D animation. Like the novel, much emphasis is placed on burnt oranges, black silhouettes, and different shades of gray.

Based on: Everything We Miss (2011) by Luke Pearson


Voice Cast: 

  • George McKay as Will
  • Imogen Poots as Anna
  • James McAvoy as The Narrator


Synopsis: A look into the ending days of a failing relationship witnessed and interfered with by the abnormalities surrounding us.



(content warning: some images included are NSFW. I've made efforts to censor them, but reader discretion is still advised)


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M7R2sVl15E26suZjjXewP81gMLbI3DZIjIUNq3iCZf8/edit (5,324 words)


All of McAvoy's narration is in dark red italics.

Edited by cookie
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Mass Effect: Revelation


Genre: Sci-Fi

Starring: Mackenzie Davis (Lt. Commander Shepard), Sean Teale (Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Ashley Williams), Rob McElhenney (Lieutenant Jeff “Joker” Moreau), Toby Kebbell (Garrus Vakarian – mocap), Giancarlo Esposito (Saren – mocap), Bella Heathcote (Liara T’Soni), Katherine Langford (Tali’Zorah), Jennifer Ehle (Matriarch Benezia), Travis Willingham (Urdnot Wrex – voice), featuring Pablo Schreiber (mo-cap) as Nihlus, with Mandy Patinkin (Admiral Hackett), and Blair Underwood (Captain Anderson)


Co-Starring: Essie Davis (Dr. Karen Chakwas), Clark Gregg (Ambassador Udina), Christopher Judge (Kordet Zok – voice), Matthew Modine (Executor Pallin – mocap), Chris Bauer (Fist), Robin Atkin Downes (Anoleis – mo-cap), Keone Young (Captain Kirrahe – mo-cap), Mark Meer (Barla Von – voice)


Directed By: Olatunde Osunsanmi

Written By: Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck

Original Music By: M83

Release Date: May 3, Year 8

Theater Count: 4273 Theaters

Running Time: 160 Minutes

Budget: $200 Million

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, brief strong language, disturbing images, and some sexual references


Previous Films' Gross:


Mass Effect (Year 4) $90,396,879 OW/$250,151,794 DOM/$648,790,127 WW


Mass Effect: Ascension (Year 6) - $114,519,264 OW /$300,559,166 DOM / $837,650,459 WW


Premise: The Normandy is assigned to supervise the transport of a priceless ancient alien artifact. When the mission collides with a devastating alien attack, the investigation plunges Shepard and her comrades into a mounting conspiracy that could end up threatening the entire galaxy.


Note: Different alien species are portrayed differently. Asari and Batarians use actors/actresses with make-up/prosthetics. Quarians have the actor/actress fully covered in a body suit/helmet. Turians and Salarians are portrayed by the actor himself via mo-cap. Other species such as Krogan, Volus, etc. are portrayed with stuntpersons doing mo-cap and someone else doing the voice.


Plot Summary:








The post-credit scene shows construction crews hard at work on the Citadel repairing damage from the Geth attack and cleaning up debris, including fragments from Sovereign. We see one particular fragment from Sovereign includes computer technology and other advanced stuff, and the construction foreman upon seeing it makes a call. A hovertruck arrives and a few people get out with a handcart. The people load the fragment onto the cart and into the truck, with one of them paying off the construction foreman.


The hovertruck arrives at a warehouse, where Barla Von is waiting. He sees the Sovereign fragment being unloaded and says to the chief of the delivery team that the Shadow Broker will be pleased with their work. The delivery chief shrugs and says it’s all space junk to him, but this is the fifth piece they have acquired over the past few weeks. What does the Shadow Broker want with parts of a dead Geth ship?


Barla Von, in-between mechanical wheezes, replies “Oh the Broker has buyers lined up, buyers who like to collect things. And these pieces are exactly the sort of thing they are looking for. The delivery chief shrugs and goes back to the truck and Barla Von goes up to the Sovereign fragment and puts a hand on it, and some of the tech dimly lights up.


“Yes, exactly what they’re looking for.”


Edited by 4815162342
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Static Shock: Frozen Summer (139)

Studio: Endless Entertainment 

DC Entertainment

Milestone Media

Release Date: 7/26/Y8

Genre: Superhero/Coming-of-Age

Director: F. Gary Gray

Producer: Ryan Coogler

Writers: Rick Famuyiwa, F. Gary Gray and Joe Robert Cole

Score: Ludwig Göransson 

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence and thematic material 

Budget: $135M

Theater Count: 4,202

Format: 2D, 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX

Runtime: 125 minutes

Previous Film: Static Shock (Y5): $67,553,354/$210,117,717/$447,058,972



Niles Finch as Virgil Hawkins/Static

Blake Cooper as Richard “Richie” Foley

Sierra Capri as Maureen Connor-Vega/Permafrost

Jessica Sula as Frieda Goren

Nicholas Hamilton as Francis Stone/Hotstreak

China Anne McClain as Sharon Hawkins


Matthew Rys as Governor Wade Eeling


Sterling K Brown as Robert Hawkins



John Krasinski as T.O. Morrow

Unknown actress plays Lucia Vega

Plot: (6,394 words)


Edited by YourMother the Edgelord
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Kings of the 6

Studio: Horizon Entertainment 

Genre: Sports Documentary

Release date 3/29/y8

Theatre Count: 2500

Runtime 95 minutes 

Director: Sean Menard 

 Featuring interviews with Steph Curry, Dwane Casey, Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, DeMar DeRozen Drake, Masai Ujiri, Kyle Lowry, Nick Nurse, Dell Curry, Fred VanFleet, Steve Nash, Simu Liu, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James and Adam Sliver.


Rating PG-13 for language 


A documentary about the rise of the Toronto Raptors from the 2010s culminating in the 2019 NBA finals.



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Reworked and expanded from an ancient 1.0 entry



Strangers in the Town


Genre: Period Black Comedy

Stars: Jon Hamm (Jimmy Finn), Ben Barnes (Davey Hill), Ellie Kemper (Lillian Finn), Angourie Rice (Sally Finn), Nick Offerman (Mayor Timothy Billups), Chelsea Peretti (Franny Billups), Josh Lawson (Marty Dangel), with John Mulaney (Buck Grock) and Walton Goggins (Snake Kingman)

Directed By: Claire Scanlon

Written By: Michael Schur

Original Music by Woody Jackson

Release Date: 8/16

Release Platform: 3050 theaters

Budget: $25 million

Running Time: 104 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, incidents of violence and property damage, and some sexual content


Setting: The fictional town of Wasatch, Minnesota, right around the turn of the 20th Century.


The tone for the film is akin to O Brother Where Art Thou?


Plot Summary: 




The town of Wasatch, Minnesota has always been Jim Finn’s (Clooney) town to bask in the adulation of its folks. He’s affable, charismatic, intelligent, and is recognized as the local town hero, with people constantly telling stories about how he has saved Wasatch from such dangers as the blazing fire of ’98, the flood of ’99, the outlaw bandits of 1900 led by the fearsome Snake Kingman, and perhaps even most importantly, the lost sheep herd of ‘01. He’s the man who walks down the street and everyone says hello to, liked by all, hated by none. People come by his house to leave gifts of pies, cakes, and other items to thank him for what he’s done. He has the ear of the Mayor of Wasatch, Timothy Billups (Offerman), and in fact is one of the town councilmen, the townsfolk figuring they might as well forego an election for him since he’s always doing so much. He’s got himself a turn-of-the-century equivalent of a hype man, Buck Grock (Mulaney), who’s not the sharpest tool in the shed but is always there having Jim’s back.


Jim’s also a family man, raising three daughters on his own. His eldest daughter Sally (Rice) is bright and perceptive and is ready to go to college, though Jim keeps finding ways to talk out of it and convincing her to stay home and help raise her sisters, especially since his spinster sister Lillian, who goes by Lilly (Kemper). seems to be the only person in town not on great terms with him and rarely takes the time to check in on him and his family.


His other daughters, Betty and Daisy are twins about age nine, and are a bit of troublemakers. We see whenever Jim gets stressed, he retreats to a small shack on the edge of his property.


As Jim is a single man, having been widowed for several years, he’s also the most eligible bachelor in town, with plenty of women trying to seduce and woo him, including but not limited to the Mayor’s sister, Franny Billups (Peretti).


The first 15-20 minutes of the film set up the foregoing, including Jim’s latest heroic feat for the town, which is the catching and releasing of the Marauding Bear of ’02. All of this plays up the goofy oddball yokel nature of Wasatch, but everything is on the up and up for Jim.


Until the Strangers arrive.


We’re introduced to Davey Hill (Barnes) and Marty Dangel (Lawson), a pair of riverboat musicians who moonlight as gamblers. They’re playing a gig on a riverboat casino that’s going up the Mississippi and end up partaking in a high-stakes game with all of their savings, and among the participants is the infamous Snake Kingman (Goggins). After several rounds where Marty’s brusque humor only pisses most of the others off, Davey wins a big hand that cleans out several opponents, including Kingman. The game ends and Davey’s celebration is short-lived when Marty reveals to him that he cheated and fixed the deck so Davey would win. Davey wants to return the money but Marty points out that Kingman would just thank him for coming clean before killing him anyway. So they hurriedly back up their belongings and try to sneak to a small lifeboat, but Kingman realizes the scam and his goons hunt for them and after a comic chase sequence through the various decks of the riverboat Davey and Marty jump over the side and swim to shore, most of their belongings and winnings ending floating downstream.


After drying out and taking stock of the little possessions they have, the two decide they need to find some small town and make some quick cash to get back on their feet, before they find themselves something more long-term.


The film returns to Wasatch where Jim is, as usual, soaking up the adulation of townsfolk, and some suggest he even run against the Mayor in the upcoming election. Jim acts all humble and disinterested, but privately confides to Buck that if he does win that election he would have the town eating out of the palm of his hand.


Sally tries to persuade him about how more women are going to college these days and it’ll help her become a doctor, which is slowly becoming a thing these days, but Jim has none of it and uses absurd hypotheticals delivered in a long-winded convoluted tone to convince her to wait. Jim also has to fend off some semi-unwanted advances from Franny.


Davey and Marty arrive at Wasatch, Marty calling it a real piece of shit podunk town, probably with the dumbest most gullible locals ever. So, perfect. They go to the only inn/tavern in town and strike up a deal where they’ll play live music for some cash and a free room/meal thrown in. Marty wants to think of some other schemes to pull but Davey gets him to wait, since acting too fast nearly got them killed by Snake. They play the first night and their music is well-received by the people there. Later they play cards and dice with a bunch of people, including the Mayor, and Davey has to keep Marty from using loaded dice and cards up his sleeve. Lilly was there for the music and afterwards Davey tries to flirt with her, and after some screwball comedy-style banter she shuts him down and walks off, but that makes him more interested.


We see a few scenes of Davey and Marty ingratiating themselves with people in the town by playing music every night, being charming and friendly in the morning, and in-between slowly and carefully fleecing and hustling people of money through gambling. Jim is suspicious of how warmly received these two are, especially when in one scene Davey charms the pants (figuratively) off of Jim during a card game and wins $50 off him while Jim is distracted. Jim tells Buck that something ain’t right with those strangers in the town.


After they win a decent amount of money, enough to get them a fresh start in someplace a bit more alluring, like Dubuque, Iowa, Marty suggests pulling up stakes and leaving, but Davey by now has had another feisty verbal exchange with Lilly and is now invested in wooing her, so he wants to stay a bit longer. Marty grumbles and says in that case he’s gonna pass the time making some real dough.


After some more verbal combat, Davey is able to convince Lilly to go on a walk with him. Jim tries to talk Lilly out of it, saying he thinks the man is no good and Lilly says Jim’s just annoyed she actually thinks decently of someone who ain’t him. Besides he’s got no expertise on man and woman relationships as he well knows. Jim is grumpy.


Jim’s mood worsens when he gets into a fight with Sally, who realizes that Jim has been throwing out periodicals she ordered that discuss college opportunities for young women, and when she confronts him he yells that she’s better off here because the outside world is cruel and terrible and nothing good for someone like her, so she runs off. Jim meanwhile grabs some liquor and goes to his shack to drink.


Sally is so upset running off that she doesn’t pay attention to where she is going, and winds up near the local waterfall and loses her footing, slips down a slope, and ends up clutching to ledge several dozen feet over the roaring falls. In the meantime Davey and Lilly have been on their walk, talking, and actually not verbally sparring, when they hear Sally’s cries for help, and they rush over. Davey is able to save Sally from certain death and brings her back to her home, where Jim is taken aback by what happened.


News of Davey rescuing Salley electrifies the town, and Lilly is singing Davey’s praises, which makes the town even more well-disposed to him since Lilly is so hard to impress. Mayor Billups, seeing a way to deflate a bit of Jim’s trial balloon about the election, decides to hold a celebration in Davey’s honor and as part of it presents him with a key to the town. Marty tells Davey that with this newfound town honor they could use it to really bilk these people over. Davey says he wants to see how this plays out.


Jim meanwhile is infuriated that someone has taken his fame and glory, albeit briefly, and while drinking heavily with Buck, says he’s gonna show this town who the real hero is. Buck asks how he’s gonna do that, and Jim says he’s going to make sure Davey fails the next time he’s challenged.


After a couple scenes showing Davey going closer to Lilly, Marty making friends with people in the town, and even Sally and her younger sisters becoming friendly with Davey as they spend time with him and Lilly, Jim enacts a plan that will put Davey and Lilly in fake danger when they take a wagon ride, and he will swoop in and save them both, putting Davey in his debt and making him the local hero once more.


The issue with that plan however is Buck, whose IQ is a bit questionable, and he makes some mistakes that result in the plan being screwed up, Davey and Lilly being put in actual danger, Jim being knocked out when he tries to play his part, and Davey ends up saving both Lilly and Jim from real harm. The result is that Davey becomes even more famous in the town, and Jim’s failure and needing to be saved makes townspeople start to lose a little interest in him. Even Franny starts fawning a little over Davey.


One consequence is that one night after Davey and Marty finish playing music, Mayor Billups drops by and suggests to Davey that he might want to consider running for the councilman seat held by Jim. Davey isn’t so sure about that, partly because this is supposed to be a temporary stay for him, and partly because he doesn’t think the job suits him, but the Mayor convinces him to think about it. Afterwards, Marty tells Davey maybe he should do it, a government position means they can line their pockets with government money.


Jim meanwhile is sulking and gets approached by Franny, who in Jim’s gloom sees an opportunity and she is able to seduce him and sleep with him in a field. Afterwards she talks and rambles and mentions off-hand her brother’s plan to supplant Jim and Jim plays it cool, but we can see he looks pissed.


Jim visits Buck in his run-down shack he lives in, trying to politely decline Buck’s questionable offerings of hospitality, and says he is going to need Buck’s help. He has a new plan.


They’re going to kill Davey Hill.


The next segment of the film shows a few dueling plans at work, with the Mayor’s persistence and Marty’s greed separately and slowly convincing Davey to run in the election, and a decent amount of people attending his first campaign rally. Another plan is that of Jim and Buck to try and kill Davey through various schemes, which progressively get more complex and desperate, and all of which fail in various ways, usually resulting in humorous consequences, a couple of which are grim for property or random animals (Think of Michael Palin’s multiple assassination attempts in A Fish Called Wanda). During all this, Davey and Lilly are growing closer, Marty is continuing to cheat people at gambling, and Sally is trying to find a way to get herself to college, becoming more suspicious of her father’s behavior.


Eventually, it comes to election day, and Jim, who has spent so much time trying to kill Davey he has forgotten to campaign, since he figured he was a sure win, is flabbergasted when it’s revealed that Davey has beat him by a handful of votes. Davey tries to act all gracious and generous at his victory speech, saying Jim’s a great guy who’s done a lot for Wasatch and he hopes they can continue working together. But Jim gets himself drunk and causes a mess of a scene when he approaches the stage, climbs on it, and starts ranting to the crowd about how they’re a bunch of idiots and simpletons distracted by the new shiny thing in town and forgetting all the good things he has done for them. “So, fuck you all!” he shouts before he vomits, then passes out falling off the stage. Mayor Billups smiles, commenting to a friend that he doesn’t have to worry about Jim Finn anymore.


Lilly and Sally and Sally’s sisters take Jim home in a wagon, and Lilly and Sally get Jim into bed. Sally is angry at her father and Lilly for once is gentle towards Jim, saying he’s just not used to failure, not for a while.


Marty meanwhile is cackling to Davey about Davey’s win, saying all they need is one good opportunity to fleece this town with his newfound power, and they can blow off rich as kings. Davey half-nods along, and we get the idea that maybe he’s taking this gig seriously.


Time passes, Davey settles into his job as town councilman, and has some decent ideas about improving Wasatch. He also decides to propose to Lilly, and she accepts. Jim grumbles about this, and resigns himself to Buck that Davey’s got him beat, and now he’s going to be family. So, he’s gonna call it quits. Davey gets to live. Buck, who hero-worships Jim, is dismayed, and tries to butter Jim up the way LeFou butters up Gaston, but it is to no avail. Jim is depressed, and he wanders off sadly. Buck shouts after him that he won’t quit, he’s gonna make the town see that Jim is still number one!


For the moment, things seem all quiet, and Davey gets an opportunity for some real corruption when he’s put in charge of a money fund for the upcoming 50 year anniversary for the town. Marty says this is their big ticket, the fake wedding proposal was a great way to really make it seem like they were here to stay, but with this fund they can rip this place off and finally go. Davey however says he’s not interested. He actually is in love with Lilly, and he actually likes it here, so he’s going to start over. This turns into a shouting match with Marty, with Marty calling Davey a no-good cheat and thief and listing all of the things they’ve done and how they had planned to really screw these yokels over. Unbeknownst to them, Franny is nearby and hears everything, and she giggles and runs off.


Jim meanwhile has gone to sulk in his shack with alcohol again, and this time Sally decides to follow him, and she barges in on the shack, and finds herself face to face with a lot of stuff that correlates with a lot of the town dangers that Jim had rescued the town from over the years. She realizes that all of the things Jim had saved the town from, Jim had deliberately caused in the first place! Jim tries to explain things to Sally but she doesn’t give him a chance, saying she hates him and she wishes he had died instead of her mom and she runs off. Jim decides to get more drunk.


This coincides with Marty taking a horse and riding out of town with as much money as he could stuff into saddlebags, and Davey walking down the main street, where he’s suddenly accosted by a bizarre trap of Buck’s that tries to kill him, but he dodges and instead the trap results in basically destroying two empty shops nearby with projectiles. Buck is discovered to be the culprit and when being arrested by the constable he shouts that he’s just doing what Jim wanted! Jim is the real town hero! Jim is the best! Davey sighs, but then he is approached by Mayor Billups who says he’s been told by Franny what she heard, and he is really disappointed. He orders Davey’s arrest as well, Davey protesting he wasn’t planning anything.


Lilly finds Jim passed out in his shack and wakes him up with some hard slaps and some dumping of water buckets. She says Jim has really stuck his foot in shit this time. “I let the fake hero bullshit slide because I knew you needed it, but trying to kill Davey? That’s too low, even for you.” Jim says he tried to, but he gave it up once he knew Lilly was going to marry him. Lilly says Buck didn’t get the message and tried again and got caught, and now he’s saying it was all for Jim. She says he better leave before he gets arrested and Jim, all fatalistic, says he deserves it, he lost the respect of his town, his family, he has nothing. Lilly sighs and leaves as Mayor Billups arrives with some constables to arrest Jim. Franny is there and is comically hysterical, trying to get to Jim and free him but failing.


Jim gets dumped into the tiny Wasatch jail, which is so small it has only one cell, so him, Buck, and Davey are all in it. There’s some humor as they all try to stay as far away from each other as possible, which means they’re all about five feet from each other. There’s awkward silence until Jim says he wants to explain and Davey says he’s not interested in Jim’s excuses, then Jim, realizing wait, Davey is in jail, asks why Davey is here and Davey admits he kinda was a con artist gambling rogue before he got here and his partner wanted to scam this place. Jim claps his hands and hoots and says he knew Davey was up to no good when he got here. Davey says he turned over a new leaf and wasn’t going to go through with it. Jim retorts that he wasn’t going to go through with killing Davey. There’s silence, then Buck says “I was going to go through with killing you though” and both tell him to shut up.


Marty meanwhile is galloping through the woods when a rope suddenly gets extended between two trees, which knocks him off the horse. He’s dazed and as his vision clears he looks up and sees Snake Kingman.


“Howdy there, card cheat. Now tell me where your partner is, and the rest of my money.”


Cut to Marty tied up at a campsite for Snake and a few lackeys. Snake interrogates him and at first Marty is defiant, cursing up a storm, calling Snake a bunch of names, saying he’ll never say a thing. Then Snake says he got his name because he kills the people who cross him with snakebites and they die slow and painful, and he’s got a snake for Marty. He goes to a saddlebag to pull something out and Marty immediately cracks and tells everything to Snake in a rambling stream, including mentioning that Davey is marrying Lilly. We then see Snake pull some rope out of the saddlebag and break down into laughter, saying “you idiots believe that snake bullshit every time.” He tells his lackeys to saddle up, they gotta go. They ride off, leaving Marty bound and gagged.


Mayor Billups comes to the jail, gloating to both Jim and Davey, neither of whom are interested in playing along.  However, he finally gets so annoying and condescending that they team up to verbally tear the Mayor a new asshole, and with his feelings hurt the Mayor sulks off. Jim and Davey still don’t like each other, but they both agree that Mayor Billups is the worst.


Lilly finds Sally alone in the woods, crying and upset, and talks to her. Sally is angry, upset, and disappointed in her dad and Lilly says she understands completely, but she does want Sally to see the full picture. She explains that Sally’s mom isn’t dead. She ran off several years ago because some awful no-good sleazy salesman came into town and charmed the pants off her literally, and she decided a life on the road with the guy was better than a quiet life here raising a family. Jim was devastated so he faked his wife’s death to avoid the shame and ridicule, and then seeing the sympathy he got, decided to fake more incidents to get favor from the town and so he wouldn’t feel like a loser. Sally is surprised Lilly knew and said nothing and Lilly said no one got hurt, and he seemed to actually care a bit about the town too, so she let it be. She says Jim is just in a really twisted and dumb way trying to protect Sally.


The conversation gets interrupted when a guy arrives on horseback: Snake Kingman. He asks Lilly if she is Lillian Finn, and when she says she is, Snake is pleased, saying he was hoping to meet Davey’s fiancé. His men suddenly appear and grab Lilly and he tells Sally to go run to Davey and let him know he’ll trade Lilly for his money, telling her where to send Davey.


There’s more reluctant bonding in the jail cell between Jim and Davey, with Buck feeling a little left out, when Sally appears, saying quickly what’s happened. Both Jim and Davey want to help Lilly, but they can’t behind bars. Sally says she has an idea and with Buck’s help improvises a contraption and tears the cell door off its hinges. Jim thanks Sally and Sally says she owes him big for this, and she’s still mad at him too. Davey asks Sally where Snake is waiting and Sally gives him the information. Davey is planning to turn himself in and Jim says Lilly is his sister and his responsibility, he’s going to handle this. The two get into an argument until Sally tells them to both shut up. They can work together. The two grudgingly agree. Buck, still in the cell, says he wants to help and Sally sighs and grabs Buck’s arm and tells him to come with her.


The four of them sneak out of the jail, and create a distraction that attracts the attention of Mayor Billups and the constables while they steal horses and ride out of town. As they ride Jim tries to explain things to Sally but Sally says Lilly told her everything. Why didn’t he tell her the truth about her mom? Jim says he lied because he thought if she knew the truth, she wouldn’t respect him anymore. “You were the one who stayed to raise me, you were the one who cared” Sally replies. “Why wouldn’t I respect that?” She gallops off as Jim ponders that.


Snake and his group return to their campsite, Snake saying if Davey does the right thing, Lilly won’t be hurt. Lilly taunts Snake with verbal insults that Snake gets tired of so he gags her, and dumps her next to the tied-up Marty. They humorously try to communicate to each other through the gags. Snake tells his men that when Davey arrives, he gets to kill him.


Jim, Davey, Sally, and Buck get near the campsite and Sally tells Jim and Davey that she’s got a plan to free Lilly. Just distract them while she does it. Jim is a bit proud that Sally has inherited his plan-making ways, and Sally fails to conceal a slight smile at that comment before riding off with Buck.


Jim and Davey talk about how to handle this and Jim says he’s got a plan of his own too.


Cut to Snake and his lackeys waiting, when they see Davey ride up on a horse. Snake and Davey extend pleasantries, then Snake demands his money. Davey wants Snake to release Lilly first and Snake says he has all the cards. Money first. Meanwhile, Jim suddenly stumbles into the campsite from the side acting like he’s lost and starts rambling about what’s going on, causing Snake some aggravation as he tries to deal with this new nuisance.


During this, Sally and Buck sneak into the campsite from behind and they un-gag Lilly and Marty. Lilly is glad she’s here, Marty just wants to be untied, cause Snake is gonna kill them all. Sally says that’s not going to happen, and tells Buck it’s time to act. Buck, smiling widely, gets to work with a mix of rope, hand tools, and some oil.


Snake finally has enough with Jim’s talkativeness and draws his pistol and tells Jim to stand by Davey. “Now I don’t know who the hell you are, but you’ve annoyed me almost as much as this cheat, so I think I’ll just kill you both.” He cocks his pistol and aims, and suddenly there’s a whipping noise as a convoluted rope and pully trap goes into action and snares Snake and all of his lackeys and dangles them up in the air, as a patch of ground underneath them is suddenly ignited with oil and a thrown lantern. Jim and Davey see Sally on the far side of the campsite, waving, and then see Lilly and Marty are free. Snake is terrified of the fire below and begs to not die and Jim and Davey say they will not let him burn alive if he promises to leave his money with them and never come back. Snake quickly agrees.


Snake and his lackeys are let down safely, but are kept tied up with the idea that they can get themselves out of it. Davey and Lilly have a lovey-dovey moment while Jim tells Sally he was wrong to think she couldn’t handle the outside world. Buck just stands around happy he helped, and Marty is looting the camp for anything valuable. This results in him screaming in terror when he opens the saddlebag Snake Kingman had threatened him with earlier and sees a rattlesnake in it coiled up and ready to strike. “There’s an actual goddamn snake in there!” he shouts.


Everyone looks at Snake, who shrugs and says “I was bullshitting about bullshitting.”


The film fades to a little time later, to the wedding of Davey and Lilly. We learn that after the defeat of Snake, Jim and Dave were able to work out a deal where they are let off with a long sentence of community service, so they will be doing actual things to help Wasatch going forward. Marty plays music at the wedding but is dejected because everyone knows he’s a cheat and won’t play cards or dice with him. We also learn that Sally as been accepted to a college. Mayor Billups is annoyed that Jim and Davey were able to talk their way out of jail time, and gets further annoyed by commentary from the townsfolk that with Jim and Davey reconciled and working together, maybe they’ll get supported in a joint ticket for the next election. Franny is back to hitting on Jim relentlessly. Buck meanwhile has found a new outlet for his single-minded talent: building contraptions for kids to play with that are only moderately unsafe.


As the wedding winds down, Jim tells Sally he’s proud of her and Sally, having forgiven her dad, says she learned everything from him. He then goes for a walk and is joined by Davey, who says they got off on the wrong foot, but he wouldn’t mind doing things over. Jim says he wouldn’t mind that. After all, Davey isn’t a stranger anymore.



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Being ported straight from the vault from 2.0 with no changes other than casting






Genre: Fantasy

Cast: Anthony Boyle (Garrett), Emma Corrin (Theresa), Joel Edgerton (Maze), Morfydd Clark (Elvira Grey), Rupert Friend (Twinblade), Ralph Ineson (The Guildmaster), Amita Suman (Whisper), and Claes Bang (Jack of Blades)

Directed By: Michael Dougherty

Written by: Jack Thorne

Release Date: March 1, Year 8

Theater Count: 3765 Theaters

Budget: $110 million

Running Time: 135 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for fantasy violence, language, sensuality, and some disturbing images


Plot Summary:




We are introduced to Garrett, a child age 11, and his sister Theresa, age 12, who live with their family in the small village of Oakvale in the continent of Albion, which is divided into many quarreling city-states and towns. Their parents are former mercenaries. Garrett wants to be a great swordsman like his parents while Theresa is troubled by strange dreams of shadowy figures. We reach Theresa’s 13th birthday and while Garrett is sent out to collect firewood, Oakvale is attacked by marauders who easily defeat the village guards and burn the village down. The leader of the marauders has a strange spiked helmet hiding his face and he kills Garrett’s father. It appears to Garrett that his whole family has perished, but we see that Theresa is captured by the marauders, who keep her alive. Garrett stays hidden until the marauders leave and he then wanders aimlessly. He is found by a wandering man, Maze (Edgerton), who is one of the leaders of the Heroes’ Guild. Maze promises to protect Garrett and says Garrett’s parents were members once. Garrett agrees to travel with Maze. Meanwhile Theresa is questioned by the marauders, who want to know about her family. The marauders are then hushed by the arrival of a shadowy figure, covered in armor and a mask. The figure (Bang) says that Theresa has the power to see beyond her eyes and uses magic to rip visions out of her head. Theresa falls to the ground, covering her eyes, which are bleeding profusely. The figure says they’ve learned all they can. The marauders ask about Theresa and the figure says to leave her, either she’ll perish or she’ll thrive.


Garrett arrives at the Heroes’ Guild with Maze and over several scenes we see him become acclimated to the culture of the Guild, learning many forms of combat as well as intellectual subjects. He learns about the history of Albion, which was ruled centuries earlier by the Archons, a powerful bloodline of magic. The Archons faded when they were corrupted by the influence of the mythical Sword of Aeons, the source of their power. The Chamber of Fate in the Guild commemorates their initial conquest of Albion. He also befriends a few other children guild apprentices, including Whisper, a young dark-skinned girl his age from the South Islands, who also becomes a playful rival, and her brother Thunder. We also see bonding between Garrett and Maze and Maze tells him a story of one of his mother’s legendary exploits. We are introduced to the Guildmaster (Ineson). He takes note of Garrett and gives him advice on how to live up to his parents’ reputation. After these scenes, we jump forward to ten years later, with Garrett (Boyle) now 21, he and Whisper (Suman) completing their final trials. The Guildmaster oversees a ceremony where he and other apprentices are promoted and later Garret and Whisper talk about their plans for the future. Whisper aims to head towards the Witchwood. Garrett decides to return to the ruins of Oakvale to pay his respects. Later, Maze informs Garrett that a company of bandits has taken control of the region near Oakvale and insinuates it could be the same group responsible for its destruction. This reinforces Garrett’s desire to go back.


Garrett returns to Oakvale and meditates in the ruin of his home. He then sets out to learn more about the bandits, who are led by Twinblade (Friend). After getting some information, such as the bandits somehow managing to evade all attempts to catch them, he sets out to locate their main camp and manages to find it. He infiltrates the camp and surprises Twinblade in his tent. Twinblade is amused, denies being with the group who destroyed Oakvale, and immediately has Garrett surrounded, though he chooses to fight Garrett alone. The two duel and though Twinblade is bigger and stronger, Garrett uses trickery to subdue his opponent. A female voice calls for him to stop. It is Theresa (Corrin), a sash tied around where her eyes would be. This stuns Garrett and Theresa is able to resolve the situation, saying that Twinblade had nothing to do with Oakvale’s destruction. Instead he saved her from dying alone in the Wilderness. After Theresa defuses the situation, she and Garrett talk alone where she explains (with narration accompanying short flashbacks) how after her torture blinded her, Twinblade found her on the brink of death. We see that as she grew her dreams focused into becoming visions of the future, which explains how the bandits can predict every attempt to find them, and how Garrett was able to find them since Theresa wanted the reunion to happen. Garrett understands that the man who and ripped visions from her head is the enemy he seeks. When Theresa says she catches glimpses of the figure in her dreams and saw him recently near Bowerstone, Garrett decides to go there and Theresa says she will go with him.


Theresa bids farewell to Twinblade and says she still hasn’t repaid the debt of him saving her. Twinblade replies that it is the opposite, that she has saved him and his men many times over and that his men will come through on their debt. Garrett and Theresa then set out for Bowerstone, with a couple scenes showing them traveling and talking. We learn that in addition to having prophetic dreams, Theresa has the ability to tap into The Will, which is what people in Albion call the source of magic. The two arrive in Bowerstone, which is a prosperous merchant town ruled by Lady Elvira Grey (Clark). Garrett has no idea what to do now but Theresa assures him that instead of forcing matters, they should watch how things unfold and let the right path reveal itself. So, Garrett simply acquaints himself with the town and eventually learns that an unknown person is hiring mercenary companies to raid villages in the area. Hearing that Orchard Grove is threatened, Garrett decides to go. Theresa accompanies him. At Orchard Grove they find that the few dozen defenders are outnumbered by over a hundred marauders. Garrett volunteers his services and helps the defenders plan a way to drive off the attack. The marauders attack the walls but are driven off by Garrett’s leadership and skills. Garrett then launches a mounted counterattack that forces them to retreat. As the marauders retreat, Garrett sees that their leader has a strange spiked helmet and Garrett flashes back to the leader of the Oakvale attack who killed his father. Afterwards Garrett interrogates a prisoner about their leader but only learns that the man with the helmet (now called Helmet for easiness) is the representative their employer sends to lead them on missions. Theresa uses magic to read the prisoner’s mind and says he knows no more. Garrett asks Theresa to try and see the masked man in her dreams, but Theresa replies it doesn’t work like that: Her dreams come to her, she doesn’t seek them.


The two return to Bowerstone and find that Garrett received an invitation to meet Elvira. Theresa warns him to be cautious. Garrett is taken to meet Elvira, who is very charming and cultured. After she thanks him for his help and flirts a little, Garrett says the troubles will continue since the marauder leader is working for someone and he’s been doing this raiding for over a decade. Elvira understands his concerns and says she would be very grateful for his further assistance in protecting Bowerstone. She suggests he visit the Witchwood, where many swordsmen gather at the Arena, to see if others know more. She also hints that if he wins further glory, there’ll be more occasions for the two of them to meet. Garrett returns to Theresa, who says that she only has feelings of caution and darkness from her dreams. Garrett insists that he must follow any lead.


They go to the Witchwood with Garrett seeking out the Arena, but Theresa convinces him to delay, saying her dreams indicate caution is best. They instead camp overnight in the area, bonding more as Garrett talks about how Maze became a substitute father for him. The next morning they witness a traveler being attacked by wild creatures and Garrett intervenes. They discover the traveler is an archeologist who was traveling to deliver some findings to Maze at the Arena. Garrett says he can take them to Maze and the archeologist plans to go to the Guild for research. Theresa says she’ll go with him, telling Garrett that she doesn’t see a path for her in his near future. Garrett is hesitant to separate from his sister but she chides him, saying he used to always avoid her when they were little. Garrett continues to the Arena and delivers the archeologist’s findings to Maze, who is happy. Maze congratulates Garrett on his accomplishments and says that he has the status to try his hand at the Arena tournament, the current one being sponsored by the legendary Hero Jack of Blades. Garrett also encounters Whisper at the Arena, with her having entered the tournament. She says the tournament is seeking pairs and asks Garrett to join her. They drink and swap tales for a bit, showing how good close friends they are.


We see the Arena tournament, with Jack of Blades (Serkis), a man with a strange mask and armor, initiating the ceremonies. The tournament goes through in a montage fashion, with Garrett and Whisper combining forces to defeat a number of challengers, from creatures to other swordsmen to summoned demons. After the last round, Jack of Blades says there can be only one winner so they must fight one another. We see a fast and ferocious fight between Garrett and Whisper, which ends with Garrett disarming his rival. Jack tells Garrett he must finish her off, but Garrett refuses to kill her. Jack gets irritated and says Garrett must then prove himself again and summons a trio of Balverines and sics them on Garrett. Garrett is tired but does his best and takes down two, but the third knocks him down but Whisper is able to get up and attack it to distract it. She gets badly wounded as a result but this gives Garrett time to recover and finish the last Balverine off. Jack teleports to the Arena floor and says Garrett is the winner and shows very promise talent. Jack then teleports away and Garrett carries an unconscious Whisper to a doctor’s tent. As the doctor works on Whisper, Maze and Garrett talk about Jack of Blades. Maze says Jack is ageless, being around since the time of the first Archon and appearing and disappearing for decades at a time. Maze tells Garrett that Jack was testing his abilities and his personality. Maze relates a story about a mission he went on with Jack, saying Jack is very powerful but also a double-edge sword.. Later Garrett visits a recovering Whisper and Garrett says he is returning to Bowerstone and asks Whisper to let his sister know.


Theresa and the archeologist arrive at the Heroes’ Guild. The Guildmaster meets them and recognizes Theresa as her mother’s daughter. He guides Theresa around the Guild, telling her about her mother, and takes her to the Hall of the Fallen, where statutes of fallen legends stand, including her and Garrett’s mother. Theresa suddenly experiences a violent vision showing the sack of Oakvale again, people toiling in a prison, and the shadowy figure who tortured her looming over her and we see it’s Jack of Blades. The scene then cuts back to the Guildmaster kneeling over an unconscious Theresa. After recovering, Theresa explains what she saw though the Guildmaster is hesitant to believe it. Afterwards we see the archeologist get called away on an errand. That night, Theresa has a vivid vision where she sees Jack of Blades wandering the countryside, finding various old items, before he finally looks into the camera and says “I see you too.” Theresa wakes up in a cold sweat.


Garrett returns to Bowerstone to find its situation precarious, with Elvira having been kidnapped while on a diplomatic quest. Garrett takes a small company of guardsmen to track the bandits down and rescues Elvira. Elvira is grateful and says Garrett is becoming more famous and powerful every time they meet. The two have some flirtatious talk before Elvira says the marauder problem is growing worse, with many villages plagued. Elvira wants to unite Bowerstone with other villages to defend them all. She says the marauders know this so they captured her, and the leader she describes is Helmet. This makes Garrett determined and he tells Elvira he will help her cleanse the region of the marauders. Elvira smiles and says she knows she can count on Garrett and kisses him on the cheek.


Back at the Heroes’ Guild, Theresa is sketching the items she saw Jack of Blades with in her vision. The Guildmaster recognizes some of them as old artifacts from the Archons’ empire and is starting to believe in Theresa. He says the archeologist would know more about them but he’s left for parts unknown. Whisper and her brother Thunder arrive at the guild and give Theresa news about Garrett. Theresa tells them about her visions of Jack of Blades and Whisper wants to get the news to Garrett immediately. Theresa is unsure since they don’t know Jack’s plan so rushing ahead could be trouble. Whisper insists Garrett needs to know and says she’ll find him. Thunder says he will help Theresa find the archeologist. The Guildmaster gives Theresa some advice to not passively observe her visions. He urges her to “act, not react, and you can make the future rather than witness it.”


Garrett is given command of a company of guardsmen and they are sent to reinforce a town that Helmet’s marauders are poised to attack. They help drive off the marauders, inflicting heavy losses. Garrett and Helmet briefly fight, Helmet taunting Garrett for being even weaker than his father. Helmet says Garrett’s mother will be ashamed to call him son, using the present and future tenses instead of the past. Helmet then retreats, Garrett pondering his meaning. Afterwards Elvira arrives and there is a huge celebration where the leaders of the town and other nearby villages pledge loyalty to her. Garret and Elvira look at one another during the party and she motions for him to follow her. They go to a secluded spot and after some flirty talk Elvira kisses Garrett and the two make out and grope for a bit, getting close to starting for home plate before Elvira cuts it short, leaving as Garrett looks infatuated with her.


We see Theresa and Thunder traveling in the wilderness. Thunder isn’t talkative but is curious about Theresa’s visions and Theresa is able to get him to talk a bit about himself. They reach the last known location of the archeologist and find his camp in tatters and signs of a struggle.


Elvira is now coordinating the alliance between Bowerstone and the other villages in the region. Garrett is praised as the regional champion. She has him lead an attack on a town she claims is supporting the marauders and it surrenders. One of the prisoners claims to have a message from Helmet and tells Garrett that if Garrett wants revenge he must go to Bargate Prison, where he’ll find not just Helmet, but also his mother, who is alive. Garrett is in disbelief. That night at Bowerstone he has trouble sleeping when Elvira comes to his room and he tells her of the message. She says that with his growing abilities he can accomplish anything. The two kiss again and this time Elvira pushes things along so that they do go all the way. Afterwards they lie together and Elvira says he must go if there is any chance his mother lives. The following day Garrett prepares to leave when Whisper arrives, bearing Theresa’s news. Garrett concludes that Jack must be Helmet and asks Whisper to go with him to free his mother. Whisper wants them to go meet up with Theresa and Thunder but with Garrett set on going to Bargate Whisper agrees to go with him. Elvira gives Garrett a map of Bargate, showing secret paths into the prison.


Theresa and Thunder are able to track down the goons who captured the archeologist and free him after a short battle. The archeologist says they were taking him to Bargate Prison. Theresa shows him the sketches she made and he recognizes them as tools the Archons used in a ritual to find the Septimal Key, which unlocks a portal that barricades the realm from the Void, a dimension outside the world. He says he actually gave some of the items to Maze, who said he would take them to the Heroes’ Guild. That night, Theresa has a vision of Bargate and finally goes beyond seeing and pushes herself into the vision (in which her eyes are undamaged), walking up to the prison and through the main doors to see Garret in chains in front of Jack of Blades. Jack again notices Theresa and says she is still the same frightened girl whose mind he ripped open. Theresa, angered, fires a burst of magic at Jack that knocks him off his feet due to the surprise. She strides over to him and places a hand on his head and experiences a surge of visual data showing what Jack wants, a sword burning with power. Theresa then severs the mental link which ends the vision, waking herself up. This rouses Thunder and Theresa explains that not only is Garrett in danger, she knows what Jack wants. From the description of the sword Thunder realizes it is the Sword of Aeons. Theresa says they need to get word back to the Guildmaster, but they also need to help Garrett. Thunder says it will take too long to bring help from the Guild, but Theresa says it wasn’t the Guild she had in mind.


Garrett and Whisper arrive at Bargate Prison and decide to infiltrate at night. As they wait they talk. Whisper has noticed how Garrett looked at Elvira and seems a bit jealous. Garrett says Whisper is his oldest friend and he’ll always be there for her. They then infiltrate Bargate using Elvira’s map and find a sealed section, inside of which is Garrett’s mother. He releases her and they have a tearful reunion when she recognizes him and he says Theresa lives too. The three then try to escape but they are detected by guards. Jack of Blades shows up and is glad Garrett has appeared. He uses magic to freeze Garrett and his mother in place but Whisper is able to escape. Jack tells Garrett he has fallen perfectly into his trap, saying that he needed Garrett to first become powerful. He says that he plans to seize the Sword of Aeons, which gains its power from the bloodline of the Archons, and says that Garrett’s mother is of that bloodline. He adds that he will take control of Albion, as his people did before the Archons, with Elvira as the humane face of his rule. Garrett realizes that the marauder menace was a way for Elvira to show leadership and get other towns to join her. Jack says that Garrett’s been allowed to roam free to gain power needed to fuel the sword, but now he can’t have Garrett loose and has his men lock Garrett up as he disappears into the ether with Garrett’s mother.


Whisper is a fair distance away and uses magic to open a communication portal with the Guild and gets in touch with Maze, who tells her to wait for him to arrive.


We see Garrett locked in a cell, observing how the guards act. He uses these observations to escape his cell and start a prison riot. He gets a weapon and tries to escape but is soon cornered. However suddenly alarm bells sound: The prison is under siege! Armored men use ladders to scale the walls and take out the guards. Garrett is unsure of the men’s intentions, but then their leader storms into the entry courtyard: Twinblade. He tells Garrett he had a favor to pay. Theresa is with them and we get an infodump as she explains what she found out and Garrett combines that with what Jack said to get a good picture of Jack’s plan. At that point Maze appears with Whisper, saying that Whisper was able to summon him. Garrett is glad Maze is here since they need to act fast, but Maze suddenly betrays them all with a stunning spell. He says he can’t let that happen as he puts on a helmet, the spiked helmet worn by Helmet! He goes to Theresa and says he’ll be needing her for the next step and grabs her, but she briefly breaks out of the stun to grab him and yanks thoughts from his mind and sends them to Garrett where they appear as rapid images. Maze backhands Theresa and then teleports the two of them away.


The stun wears off and everyone is pissed at Maze’s betrayal. Garrett says the images Theresa gave him showed an old decrepit abbey with some strange symbols that look like the Archons’ glyphs. They aren’t sure where that is, but Twinblade says they need to find someone who does. Garrett says they’ll need to pay Bowerstone a visit.


Maze and Theresa arrive at a tall cliff with a ruined abbey in the distance. Theresa tries to persuade Maze to let her go, saying Garrett looked up to him as a father. Maze says he’s gone too far to stop now, since Jack will be sure to kill him if he falters. He tells Theresa that she is just as powerful as her brother, even more so because of her visions and connection to The Will, and says she was the one who is needed for the next part of Jack’s plan, being not just of the Archons’ blood but one with sight to pierce the veil of the Void, and it will hurt.


Garrett, Whisper, Twinblade, and Twinblade’s men quickly storm Bowerstone at night and subdue the guards who try to resist. Garrett and Whisper confront Elvira, who admits she was to be the face of Jack’s rule over Albion, the beloved figure the people would blindly follow. She says Maze has gone to Hook Coast, where one of two remnants of the Archons’ empire remains, the other being the Heroes’ Guild compound. She tells Garrett that Jack fears him and that he can defeat Jack and take his place as the most powerful being in Albion. If he does that, then the two of them can rule Albion together as lovers. We see through her mannerisms, vocal tones, etc that she is trying to lull Garrett with seduction magic (explaining how he fell for her earlier) but this time Garrett fights it off. Elvira shouts she won’t give up her power and tries to fling a knife at Garrett but Whisper catches it and flings it back at her, which kills Elvira. With that issue resolved, the two meet up with Twinblade to talk options. Garrett says Whisper should return to the Heroes’ Guild to tell the Guildmaster everything while he and Twinblade go rescue Theresa. We then see a scene with Garrett and Whisper as they prepare to go their separate ways. Whisper is sorry Elvira turned out to be just using Garrett but Garrett says it’s his fault he got duped by Elvira’s seduction. He thanks Whisper for always being there and the two hug and there’s an awkward moment of tension before they split. We then see Garrett and Twinblade riding for Hook Coast as fast as they can. There is a scene between then where Twinblade talks about how Theresa became a surrogate daughter for him and he will do anything to protect her.


At the abbey at Hook Coast we see Maze beginning preparations for a ritual, Theresa magically bound to a pillar. She asks why he follows Jack and we learn that when Maze was younger Jack saved him from certain death, a poison that remains in his body. Only Jack knows how to keep the poison at bay, so Maze follows Jack in order to stay alive, since he fears death. Theresa understands his fear but says it drives him to do things he is supposed to stand against. Maze says his choice is made. He begins the ritual with the items the archeologist unwittingly found for him, chanting in an old language as ribbons of energy encircle the abbey. They then stab into Theresa, causing her to scream in pain as the energy radiates outwards from her. This opens a small portal out of which drops the Septimal Key. Maze in a command teleports it away (presumably to Jack). He tells the wounded and barely conscious Theresa that soon it’ll be over.


At this point Garrett and Twinblade arrive. Garrett says he knows now that Maze killed his father and has been raising him out of guilt. Maze nods, saying part of him hopes Garrett can stop Jack, but he cannot just let it happen. This leads into a thrilling 2-on-1 fight with swordfights and magic galore. Maze is very strong and injures Garrett, but before he can get in a killing blow Twinblade gets in the way and takes the strike instead. This snaps Theresa out of her stupor and in a sudden burst of anger she shrieks and blasts energy outwards that knocks Maze off his feet, sears his body, and cracks the foundations of the abbey. This gives Garret the ability to recover and he takes the fight to Maze, who, weakened, can’t stop him and gets a mortal wound. After he falls, he says that he’s no longer afraid. He says Garrett has freed him, Jack will now go to the Heroes’ Guild, and then he dies. Theresa rushes to Twinblade’s side and says she can try to heal him, but Twinblade says he is done for and she must save her strength for the fight to come. He then dies as Theresa hugs his body and sobs. Garrett embraces her and the two have a quiet, sad moment in the ruins of the abbey.


Whisper arrives at the Heroes’ Guild, reunites with her brother Thunder, and warns the Guildmaster. The Guildmaster begins preparations to defend the Guild, but they are soon interrupted by Jack’s arrival with a small horde of minions. As the minions fight the members of the Guild, Jack finds the Guildmaster and easily disables him with magic. The Guildmaster says Jack has underestimated Garrett and Theresa’s strength, to which Jack replies he hopes those two are just as powerful as the Guildmaster wants, since that will only make him stronger when he uses their blood to fuel the Sword of Aeons. Jack has the Guildmaster stuck in stasis as he drags Garrett and Theresa’s mother with him to the Chamber of Fate.


Garrett and Theresa arrive via teleportation near the Guild and quickly move to it as the battle rages. Theresa says she sees Jack in her mind in the Chamber of Fate so they make haste for there. They get to the Chamber and Jack is happy to see them, saying that his revenge on the Archons will now be complete, as the first Archon over a thousand years ago stripped him of his status as demigod, and only now has he learned how to restore it via the Sword of Aeons. He uses the Septimal Key to open a portal that drops the sword into his hand and he says he will show them its power, making their mother kneel before him. Their mother tells them how much she loves them, just before Jack slits her throat with the Sword, making the sword pulse with power. After some bitter words between Garrett and Jack the final fight begins, with Garrett and Jack duking it out as Theresa tries to use magic to aid her brother. Garrett puts up a great fight but Jack with a partially powered Sword is incredibly strong and gains the upper hand, disarming Garrett. Theresa then out of desperation has her mind leave her own body and implant itself into Jack, making him convulse as we see her inside his mind directly confronting an avatar of his mind with magic. Jack tells Garrett that if he strikes Jack down he will kill his sister as well, but then Jack says “do it now” (implying his sister has temporarily gained control). Garrett quickly grabs the Sword and stabs Jack, the power evaporating Jack’s body in a flash. He then rushes to Theresa’s limp body, pleading for her to be all right since he can’t lose her too. After some seconds of silence, she stirs, her mind having retreated back in time. Garrett is overjoyed and hugs her, then helping her to her feet. They look at the Sword of Aeons and wonder what to do with it, since they are of the Archons’ blood and the Sword was their symbol. Theresa says it is a powerful but dangerous tool, with as much ability to harm them as to aid them, since the legends say it corrupted the last Archons. Garrett ponders for a minute and then casts the sword back into the portal, along with the Septimal Key. This causes the portal to reseal itself.


With the battle over it is time for clean-up. The Guildmaster congratulates Garrett and Theresa on stopping Jack and saving Albion from his scheme, before going to oversee repairs to the Guild. Whisper appears and Garrett goes to talk to her. They’re relieved that things are now ready to settle down. Whisper says she and her brother are going to return home to the South Islands for a time, to reunite with family and see if her people there could use some help. Garrett says he’s always liked travelling and promises to stop by. Whisper kisses him on the cheek and says he better before leaving to go with her brother. Garrett then goes to find Theresa, who is in the Hall of the Fallen in front of the statue of their mother. She says that she won’t be staying, that she needs to go and learn more about the world and its mysteries, so she can really use her powers to get involved with it. Garrett says it’s a dangerous world out there to be alone and Theresa, smiling, says that they’ve both proven they can stand on their own and besides, Garrett has an island chain and special someone to visit soon. Garrett laughs at Theresa being able to know that already. He says that their mom and dad would be proud to have seen them come this far, to which Theresa replies that they are. The camera zooms out from them in front of the statue before things fade to black.



Edited by 4815162342
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Doc Dreams


Release Date: April 12th, Y8

Directed by: Steve James

Cinematography: Tom Bergmann

Edited by: John Farbrother and David E. Simpson

Genre: Documentary

Studio: Alpha Pictures

Shooting Format: iPhone 5

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Film Formats: 1080p HD

Audio Formats: 5.1, 7.1, Dolby Atmos

Production Budget: $1 million

Theater Count: 2,021

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 170 minutes


Main Cast:

Steve James as himself


Synopsis: In Year 2, Alpha Pictures gives $1 million to famed documentary filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams) to make a documentary filler about whatever he wants so they have something to fill up the remaining spots on the schedule. The resulting film was shot over the course of five years and assembled from over 250 hours of footage, following James' daily life as struggles to come up with the best documentary filler possible.

Edited by Alpha
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Rhino Riders 2


Studio: Hunt Productions 

Genre: Family Sports

Director: Dean DeBlois


Millie Bobby Brown

Aaron Taylor Johnson

Runtime: 102 Minutes

Rating: PG

Release Date: May 17

Theatre Count: 4012

Budget:  120M

Previous Film Gross: $20,975,651/$85,153,652 / $250,955,012





Following the events of Rhino Riders Tim has garnered a huge amount of celebrity. Tim evades media attention and largely keeps to himself. As of 2 years after the events for the first movie he has practically disappeared. Media reports with headlines such as “Where has Tim gone are seen flashing across the screen in a montage.





During the preceding years there has been a large focus on implementing new exoskeleton suits for the rhinos in an effort to create a safer environment for the animals where they will be allowed to avoid injury. While the initial intention of these sutis was well intended, the larger corporations that push rhino racing saw it as an opportunity to make the races more extreme. We see media coverage for this particular year indicating that it will be this year THE BIG ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE will be the most extreme version yet.



Lilly (Millie Bobby Brown) is the youngest racer to be racing on the professional level. We see here as she paces around in front of the stands in a crowded stadium with a rowdy crowd that is getting ready for a rhino race. Two middle aged men make harsh comments to Lilly about how a girl shouldn’t be racing. Lily gets angry but bites her tongue. Lilly walks back into the stable where her rhino is sitting and waiting. As the race draws nearer there is a show of the exoskeleton being assembled around a rhino for the first time, it is done using a combination of humans placing pieces of the gear on the rhino and fancy gizmo technology that assembles around the rhino. As the rest of the crew leaves the room Lilly gears up in her own slick suit and helmet.



This race is much like a typical horse race in a multi lapped repeating course except the course has all kinds of cool neon lighting and flashing technicolor visualls. Lilly is able to win the race



By winning this race Lilly has qualified herself for THE BIG ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE. In the post race interview Lilly claims that she will be the greatest racer of all time.



To open the race each rhino is and rider is housed in their own large jet where the pair sits awaiting for the start. The jets all hover in a line above the desert. We see the media frenzy as the countdown for the race begins. The whole world is watching. The whole world is watching. Lilly and her rhino (both already suited up) sit breathing deeply as Lilly climbs on top. When the countdown reaches zero the floor of the jet gives way beneath them and they free fall towards the dessert below. Lilly looks to her left and right seeing her other competitors falling from their own jets. Furiously Lilly looks at the aerodynamics readings on her helmet graphic. One rider is seen getting disconnected from their rhino getting blown away in the wind. As they approach the ground Lilly and her rhino use some rocket thrust from the exoskeleton suit to soften their landing. We see that some of the rhinos are able to start running immediately after land while other rhinos have rougher landings and have their legs buckle beneath them or go rolling and tumbling through the sand.



As the race continues the rhinos run across the desert and  up mountaintops where they will encounter rockslides that they must maneuver, to running across an icy tundra. Throughout all of these sections of the race it is apparent that many of the rhinos are struggling to handle the extreme conditions despite the benefits of their high tech suits.


Lilly finds herself in second place as she approaches the final section of the race. The rhino and their rider must swim across the ocean to reach the finish line.


One reporter covering the race in studio is seen asking one of her superiors if they should be discussing the number of rhinos and riders who have either fallen far behind the leaders or have simply been removed from the race because they could not continue any further. Her boss scolds her for this idea and tells her that they need rhino racing to look cool, which he believes can only be done by introducing newer and more difficult courses ever year, but that it also needs to appear safe.



As Lilly and her rhino are swimming relentlessly across the ocean they can see that a storm is starting to form. Undeterred Lilly pushes the rhino harder as she sees that the first place competitor is in their sights. They start to make up some ground but as the rain starts to come down and the waves pick it becomes apparent that the rhino is struggling to continue. One particularly sizable wave comes through and knocks Lilly off of her rhino. She quickly starts sinking. 



The same media crew from earlier is seen watching the scene unfold before them in quite shock as the exec screams to cut to commercial or put the camera on first place instead.



Realizing that it is dragging her down Lilly ditches her suit and helmet and tries to swim for the surface.Lilly is running out of air and hope when a figure swims down to her and pulls her out of the water as she goes unconscious. 



Back in the media coverage studio the image of what is going on with Lilly has been removed from the screen and instead they are all watching the winner and counting down the hours until he makes landfall and crosses the finishing line. The crew spins a narrative of how inspiring it is to watch this rider and rhino swim across the ocean against the odds and pull out the victory. They very discreetly ignore the fact that all the other competitors in the race seeming won’t even be able to finish. As groups of people across the world are seen watching the reports and eating up the crafted narrative. As the leader finishes the race folks around the world cheer in celebration and many parties are thrown. 



Lilly and her rhino both wake up on a little island. Lilly turns to see the man that had saved her. It’s Tim (Aarron Taylor Johnson.) After confirming that she is feeling okay Tim asks Lilly what she thought of the race. At first Lilly is mad at Tim saying that she was going to win. Tim doesn’t refute just listens, until Lilly breaks down in tears admitting that the race was grueling and in that moment under the water she was not sure that she was going to survive and that she is embarrassed about how she did.



Tim tells her not to be embarrassed and gives an empowering speech over a montage showing many of the fallen competitors in the race as they recover from whatever injuries they may have suffered. He tells Lilly that they have a story to tell that will change the sport for good and they’re not going to let anyone stop them.  




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Studio: Horizon Entertainment 

Genre: Superhero/sci-fi

Director: The Duffer Bros.

Composer: Junkie XL

Rating: Pg-13 for sci-fi action and Thematic Elements

Format: Imax 3d, Imax 2d, 3d , 2d

Runtime: 2 hr. 5 minutes

Theater Count: 5,000

Budget, 185,000,000 USD

Release Date: 11/27/y8


Major Cast: Yara Shahidi as Natalye Arrowood/Astra

Jack Lowden as Victor Regio

Simon Pegg as Helmsley

Bill Hader as Calvin " The Octopus " Bagwell

and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Pandora


Paragraphs indented with a * indicate filmed with I am cameras



Edited by Reddroast
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