Arbor Demon (2016) Script

You're doing it again.

You're interrupting.

You woke me up twice last night.

I don't know how the guys are gonna put up with you for three months.

Was I good?

Think you're getting nervous about going on the road.

Come here.

You guys are gonna be great.

Don't worry about it.

I know what I'm getting into, nails.

You're gonna stick with "nails," huh?

You can't call me something more traditional, like "babe" or "sweetheart" or something?

I don't know.

I'm not traditional. Neither are you.

Come back to bed if you want something traditional.

Oh, god, oh!

You call me nails one more time...

It's an amazing name.

Do you know how awesome it is to have a nickname like that?

You would like "dickface," et cetera?

Oh, really?

You don't like "dickface"?

Mm, I like "nails."

I like "dickface."

I'll stop for now.

I'm gonna miss you.

You'd better.

I had that dream again last night.

Oh! About the woods?

The woods. The far woods. It was special.

It was peaceful.

We could stay in bed the weekend instead.

Come on, you love camping.

We can connect to our inner caveman and cavewoman.

Oh, god. Sorry. Give me a second.

You ok?

Yeah, I just need to take a shower.

These are really good.


Hi, this is Dana Baker calling to confirm her appointment for Monday.

Right, I need a ride. Right, of course.

Um, and if I change my mind...

Uh, yes, I have.

Yes, I do understand. Ok, yeah.

Ok, thank you.

Who was that?

Oh, I just double-booked myself for Tuesday.

You overpack?

Whatever it takes.

Happy anniversary.

I thought we said no presents.

Well, I can't take it back.

Is it a compass?

I love it, it's perfect.

You're always such a shit.

Thank you, baby.

We could just pitch a tent here instead.

Where's the fun in that?

Don't forget anything.


Wait, wait, wait.

You're so weird.

Now...

Think you love that camera more than you love me.

Maybe.

Did you reach out to Jenny?

No, but I will.

Nails, you need to make more friends.

I don't want you moping around the house for six months all alone.

It's sweet that you're worried about me. I'm fine.

That bad?

You're so fuckin' photogenic.

You know, maybe when you come back, we can have a conversation about having a little rock star.

Dana.

You could teach him how to play guitar.

Dana, we're not that couple.

What couple?

Double deep in poop and preschools.

I don't know, you love your brother's kids.

Because I'm the cool uncle and you're the cool aunt.

We're the exciting couple that travels and has adventures.

Well, having a family is an adventure.

Dana, we talked about this when we got married.

You were always the one that said no kids.

"Nails" suits you.

"Mommy" doesn't.

Sorry, I just...

I don't know why you're bringing this up now.

Let's just enjoy the time we have together, ok?

All right.

No stress?

Did you make the boat reservation?

Shit.


Hey. You ok?

You got it?


Let's do it.

It's overgrown.

Yeah.

You ok?

You ok?

Yeah. Just gimme a sec.

We can stop.

You remember the echo? Coo-coo!

Oh!

Man, it's beautiful up here all alone.

We're not alone.

What is that, a four-Wheeler?

I guess.

They got a shitty taste in beer.

God.

Let's head this way.

Here.

Come on.

Come on!

The guys... If we went down to your studio for like an hour, just got a group shot in the Van, we could put it on a t-shirt.

Each venue, I don't know, the guys are saying we could make a couple hundred bucks.

Might come in handy.

Yeah. Yeah, I could do that. Sure.

Watch out.

I don't know what is wrong with me.

Never used to stop.

You're getting old.

Watch the water. All right?

Yeah.

You good?

Yeah, I'm good, babe. I'm good.


Damn it.

Are you sure you don't want any help?

I got it.

There's instructions.

I am the tent wizard.

Mm-hmm.

It's ready.

Arrggh!

Gotcha!

Stop it.

Don't look at me. Stop!

I wanna see what I'll be missing the next few days.

I'll send you pictures.

Dirty ones?

Maybe.

It's nice we're so disconnected from cell phones.

Disconnect to reconnect, right?

I guess.

It's a great name for an album cover.

I love this.

I think you need it more than I do, though.

I have a great sense of direction.

Yeah, sure you do.

Maybe we'll get lost together.

Ah, you're safe with me.

Unless a snake slithers into the tent. Then you're on your own.

What about a bear?

I can handle a bear.

Or you could beat up a little bear.

That's true. I could.

You know, nothing's getting into this tent.

Unless it's my snake ready for round two.

You dork!

Oh, god, stop, go to sleep! I don't feel well, babe.

Oh!

Sweet dreams.

I love you.

Good night.

Good night.

Love you.


Hey.

Hey, Charles.

What is that?

It's your thumb.

It's not my thumb, I'm a professional.

Go to sleep.


Dana!

Dana?

Dana?

One minute!


The neighbors were horrible last night.

I guess I didn't hear 'em.

Too many years next to a bass and drum man.

Never understood why people shoot guns into the air.

It's like, "look at me, I'm so masculine."

Assholes.

Come on, let's go deeper in.

Wanna go deeper in?

Wait up!

It's peaceful up here.

May just come out here on my own.

That's why I keep telling you to make friends.

No, thank you.

I thought you liked marshmallows.

You packed 'em.

You know what this reminds me of?

What?

Our first night out here.

When I convinced you to marry me?

Oh, smoke.

You know, you could stay if you wanted.

John would take you back. You're a great paramedic.

Look, I'm not changing my mind, ok?

Something I've always wanted to do, just go on tour.

You're not taking that away from me.

I get it, you're right. I'm sorry I brought it up.

Do you have to be such a fucking buzz kill?


Hello?


What the hell is that?

Assholes!

Hey!

Charles, don't. Just leave it alone.

Probably locals.

They have a campfire about 200 yards away.

How many of them?

Ten or so.

They like their gunfire and booze.

Hey, great combination.

I'm gonna kill 'em!

Assholes! They're crazy.

Charles, you brought a gun?

I'm not gonna let 'em go all crazy redneck on our ass.

Charles, are you crazy? Goddamn it!

What is that?

What is that?

What is that?

I don't know.


Oh, shit! What the fuck!

Shh!

Help me!

Help me!

Charles, what are you doing?

We can't just leave him out there.

Yes, we can!

He's close. Are you crazy?

I'm gonna go with you.

No, I'll be right back.

Charles, you're crazy.

Charles!

Charles!

Fuck!

Shit.

Shit.

Stop fucking with me!

Oh, shit.

Hello?

Charles?

Charles.

Charles?

Charles?

Charles?

Shh! You're gonna be ok. Shh!

Keep him still.

It's ok, it's ok.

Hold him down!

I'm trying!

I can't stop the bleeding. Whatever it takes, ok?

Uggh! Fuck! Fuck!

That hurt.

Hold him right here.

I mean...

You think it could be like a black bear?

They're normally not that aggressive.

I just... I wonder.

I don't know. That's tight enough.

What the...?

What is it?

Is it a claw?

Looks like a fingernail.

We just need to get out of here.

We can't save him.

Ok? Look at him.

He's getting worse, but we do need to get him out of here.

We need to get us out of here.

One of those four-wheelers might be our only way.

Good, let's... Go get on one now.

The trick is not injuring him more on the way back down.

Look, look, maybe we can just go and get help back.

Ok?

The ranger station's not far.


Ok. It's ok.

That thing is gone.

Don't even start.

I don't need to be right, ok? I just...

I think we need to get out of here.

Charles. Look. What?

You have an open fracture.

Movement of the broken bone will increase pain.

Listen to me, you've lost a lot of blood.

Dana, whispering: Please! Please be quiet.

Hey! Sorry. Listen to me. I know you're in pain but you really need to be quiet for me.

Relax, we're gonna help you. We gotta get out of here.

I know.

What's your name?

Sean. Sean Ramsey.

My name is Charles, and this is my wife, Dana.

I need you to take these.

They're gonna help with the pain.

It's the strongest thing I got.

I'd take 'em if I were you.

You're lucky he's a paramedic.

Now, tell us what happened.

What attacked you?

We can't be here.

Just... Tell us what happened.

A week or so ago...

My brother and some them boys were coming up...

They come up here, just hunting.

I was supposed to be with 'em, but I wasn't.

Anyway...

After about a week, we started thinking maybe they...

Stayed to hunt for another few days.

Then a week turned into two...

We started worrying about 'em.

Then, uh...

Then they found my boy Kevin...

He was stumbling down the middle of the street.

He'd been attacked...

Something attacked him.

He couldn't talk, he was so scared.

Then what happened?

What about your brother?

He never came back.

Kevin said he got attacked by whatever it was.

The folks around town...

Started saying that it was Kevin.

I knew better.

We came up here and we thought we'd get retribution.

Get some payback on whatever the hell it was that did that to him.

It was a stupid idea.

Sounded more like a party.

Charles.

We were blowing off some steam.

Oh...

What happened to your brother?

Oh, can I get some more of that water?

What was that? Did you hear something?

I heard something. Is it out there?

Oh!

We can wait till morning, get him out of here.

I think we should make a run for it now.

That's it, that's your plan?

You got a better one?

Yeah, go ahead and shoot me now!

It's the best plan I got.


Just stop humming, ok?

Sorry.

Been doing it since I was a little kid.

I might as well die with a sweet tune in my mind.

You're not gonna die.

Brother hated it, too.

Don't move.

It's a bear.

Just kill us, already.

Shut up!

Know how to use that? You're better off letting me.

I know how to use a firearm.

Did you hit it?

I don't know.

Might as well save your bullets.

Baby, turn the light off!

Oh, my god!

Big bad wolf.

Did you see that?

It saved us.

No...

It's just more patient than a bear.

You oughta save some of them for better use.

What do you mean, better use?

Turn the light off.

I mean...

Save one bullet for each of us.

In case we don't make it till the morning.

You think we'll be safer when we get to daylight?

No.

It's just easier to run from it when you can see it comin' at ya.

Whatever it takes, we'll beat it.

Whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes.

I'm sorry.

But you don't have what it takes.

Nobody does.


What are you smiling about?

Nothin'.

Think that thing wants to finish you off.

Yeah, you're probably right.

Could have ripped this tent to shreds and it didn't.

Maybe it's scared.

It's just messing with us.

Quiet.

Like a cat.

A cat messing with a little bug.

Can you please just stop?

He's just waiting to see what our next move is.

So...

What...

Are we gonna do next?

We're gonna just wait till the morning.

Get one of those four-wheelers out there.

God, good luck with that.

Are any drivable?

Maybe.

Charles, scoffing: Maybe? I don't know.

Do you think one of them can still drive?

Four-Wheeler can only carry two people.

So, what's your plan? Huh?

You gonna take off and leave me here, huh?

I can do it.

You're gonna run halfway to those four-wheelers, and that thing is gonna tear you in half.

Hey. Do you have any more of those pills?

We need to save some.

Can I bum a smoke?

A cigarette?

Yeah.

They calm my nerves.

We don't smoke.

Do you guys have anything to eat?

Chocolate or strawberry?

Oh, oh.

I'll take chocolate.

Oh, no, no, wait, wait. Strawberry.

Ha ha!

What are you guys, like health nuts or something?

Yeah, something like that.

Healthy.

So, what brings you up to the woods?

We might as well get to know each other.

It's our anniversary.

No shit, huh?

Come out to the wilds to get wild.

Answering the call of nature.

Jesus Christ. God, you're a charmer.

Sex is natural.

Actually, this is... Where I proposed to Dana.

No kidding?

Romantic.

Not a lot of romantic guys walking around these days.

You know.

Never a dull moment with this guy.

Me and my wife...

My ex-wife...

Uh...

We never did anything romantic.

You got yourself one hell of a decent guy there.

I know.

You ok?

You can sleep.

Yeah.

You take it.

Just relax. It will soon be morning.

I'm sorry.


"Nails," huh?

It's a stupid nickname.

Tough as...

Oh. Tough as nails.

I suppose I owe you a thank-you.

You shouldn't thank me, you should thank my husband.

I was fine leaving a man behind.

Yeah, he could have left me out there to die, but he didn't.

He tries to do the right thing.

You, not so much.

He complained about my singing, but...

I'm guessing you think it's adorable.

Right?

Sure.

How long have you two been married?

Two years.

That's not very long.

No. We've been through a lot, though.

That's about how long my wife and I made it.

Look here. See that?

Right there, she got a matching one.

Think hers might have been a little deeper.

Marriage is complicated.

Yeah.

Well...

Mine was kind of simple, really.

She left me and took my daughter with her.

Should have seen that coming.

Yeah.

You remind me of her.

Your wife?

My ex.

You're very pretty.

You have the same...

Blue eyes.

Wanna see a picture of her?

I got one in my wallet.

Help me out. It's...

My arm isn't working all that good, really.

Could you just give me a hand?

Take a look at her.

I won't bite.

She's pretty.

Yeah.

You must still like her if you're carrying around her picture, wearing the ring.

Yeah.

Well, you know...

How old's your kid?

Nine.

You ever see her?

They need a dad, right?

I mean...

They're supposed to have a daddy.

Even if it's a shitty one, you know?

Do you have any kids?

No. What are you doing?

Can't blame a guy for trying, right?

Yes, you can.

Help me!

One of your buddies.

Describe him to me.

Dressed like you. He has a beard.

Oh, that's Howard.

Help me! We have to get him.

Please wait!

Howard! Howard, we're coming for you!

Help!

Is it setting a trap?

Howard, hang on, buddy!

Howard!


Well...

Howard was pretty high all the time so he probably didn't feel much.

Sounds like he felt everything.

Yeah, meth makes you fearless.

Right.

Fearless.

What do you know about it?

Tell me what you know about it.

I know you know something.

Why hasn't it attacked us?

Is it afraid of something?

Why is it waiting? What the hell is it?

I guess you could say I've heard about it.

My whole life growing up, I heard tales about what happened out here.

People not coming back.

My friends all thought they were bullshit stories just to keep us fools from wandering off, but...

I had a crazy grandma, Millie.

Millie ray.

She used to tell some crazy stories.

All kinds of crazy stories.

She said she knew the truth.

The truth about what happened out here hundreds of years ago.

Before everything went white.

I believed her.

I mean, I was a kid. I believed anything, but...

She told me a story about a Gullah woman.

These warriors went and captured a teenage girl from a rival village.

Course, she had to be beautiful.

But the young thing, before she knew it, was tied up to a...

Wooden frame stuck in a bear den.

See, there was a drought.

The sacrifice was to cause as much blood as possible to rain down upon the earth and fertilize it.

But this girl was pregnant.

She survived long enough to deliver the baby.

But she didn't last very long in that bear den.

And a few years later, some women from that tribe, some pregnant women... Disappeared.

Legend has it that anyone who goes out there and tries to find them doesn't come back.

Grandma Millie says her spirit still lives out here and it still happens to this day.

I know it sounds pretty crazy.

I mean, grandma Millie was pretty nuts.

She convinced the taxidermist to stuff grandpa.

Now, he sits in the la-z-boy chair watching reruns of jeopardy! With her all the time.

I don't know.

So here we are.

Here we are.


Hey.

Hey.

Can you... Scratch my back? I got an itch in my back.

Can you scratch it? I can't reach it.

Right in the middle.

No, come up, get closer. Yeah, there you go.

Not so hard. Yeah.

The book is not mine.

It's not your book.

And I suppose those horse pills aren't...

Mind your own business, ok?

So, does he...

Please.

Stop hitting on my wife.

Thank you.

It's all good. We were just talking.

Just having a little conversation about life.

Oh, nails, you're gonna make a great... oh, wife.

You're a lucky man, Charles, to have such an honest, compassionate woman.

Much better than mine.

Rare.

Very rare.

Hey!

No one's trying to be a hero! Are you insane?

No. I'm just gettin' out of here.

You son of a bitch, we saved your life.

No, he saved my life, remember?

Come on.

What do you mean?

You think the tent is some magical safe zone?

No. You're my ticket out of here.

What?

That thing's not attacking us because it knows...

What are you talking about?

It's not the tent, you idiot.

The thing knows you're pregnant.

She's not fuckin' pregnant!

Are you?

Are you?

I'm sorry, baby, I was gonna tell you.

I knew you didn't want it and...

Fuck.

Ok, good.

Now that everything's out in the open...

You asshole.

We'll send somebody back for him, but right now, you're my ticket to ride, mama.

Ok, look, I'll come with you, but Charles has to come.

He can fit on the back.

He's only gonna slow us down.

Please! There's safety in numbers.

Do you want me to shoot him right now?

Ok!

Good choice.

Nails...

Get going.

Ow!

What do you wanna do?

What do you want to do?

We're gonna tie him up.

Outside.

We're gonna use him as bait.

I'd be quiet if I were you.

You don't have to do this, you know.

You left me no choice.

You always have a choice.


Why didn't you tell me?

We're not those people, right?

You made it very clear.

Just wasn't in the cards for us.

We're the cool ones, right?

So, you were just never going to say anything?

I didn't know, Charles.

Dana.

You know, I'm having it.

We can get out of here.

If you can just get to it.

And him?

That thing will have something to chew on while you run for it.

Oh, shit, Charles.

Look.

Good, now I don't have to feel bad.

You think he got...

No, we would have heard it.

He's on his own. Let him protect himself out there.

You think he's gonna come back for us?

He won't last long in his condition.

Neither will I.


Oh, shit.

I'm gonna do it.

I can't let you do this.

I have to try.

We're no good to him.

That thing's staying away from us.

We gotta try, baby.

I won't let you do this.

Baby, we have no choice.


Come on!

Come on.


Ahh!

Ahh!


Sean may still be out there.

Get to the four-Wheeler.

Go!


Come on!


Goddamn it!

Ohh!


Dana!

No!

Please!

Dana!

Run!

Dana! Run!

You're...

Oh, my god.

What the fuck.

Dana, gasping: Oh, god!

I think something happened when it touched me.

Are you ok?

No, I'm not ok!

Baby!

We need to get out of here.

Yeah, we will... Can we get out?

I don't know. It was stuck in the dirt.

I think we need two people to move it.

My leg and...

Your...

You mean our baby.

Your hand.

Oh, my god.

Oh, baby.

What's happening to me?

Oh, god! Fuck!

Aaah!

Oh.

I'm so sorry.

I could be a good dad.

I could.

I'd figure out the whole dad thing, you know?

Charles, please.

We're gonna get out of here.

Together.

Peekaboo.

Sorry. I hate to interrupt a touching family moment.

But I need my ticket out of here.

What the fuck?

Hey! Easy there, daddy.

We just wanna get out of here alive, ok?

Come on, let's go before it's too late.

Too late for what?

I think you know what, honey.

So let's go!

It wasn't a search party for your brother, that was for your wife.

One of those things was wearing that ring.

Ah, so you met my old lady, huh?

What the fuck are you talking about?

I bet she looked pretty pissed, huh?

What happened to her?

She started hearing voices.

In her head.

Crazy voices.

Something calling her out to the woods.

I called bullshit on it. I told her to take care of it.

Take care of what?

The baby. Jesus, wake the fuck up!

Go ahead, tell Charles.

You hearing the voices yet? Hmm?

Yeah. You didn't pick this spot, your little romantic honeymoon rendezvous.

This spot picked you.

I don't understand.

Grandma Millie wasn't full of shit after all, huh?

Dana!

Enough of this bullshit, let's go.

Hey! Hey, you!

I was thinking about killing you and throwing your body outside to use as a decoy, but then I realized, all this time you've been thinking it's you two against me.

Yeah.

Well, it's really you and me against them.

All them bitches out there, they don't like me very much.

Here. You know what to do with that.

Now, mama, you're gonna escort me out of here.

Now, let's go.

Do it.

That's right, good girl.

When this whole night is over, I'm gonna let you go, and we're just gonna pretend this whole day never happened.

No.

No, no. No!

No?

No, you can take both of us.

All three can fit on the four-Wheeler.

Just go with him. Save yourself. No!

Get up now or I'll shoot you both, starting with him.

Go.

Good girl. There you go.

Go.

What are we doing?

We're gonna go reclaim what's mine.

Help!

Ow!


Oh, my god!


Looks like they want you to finish me.

I guess I'm your initiation. Come on, nails.

Don't call me nails.


Come on! Come on, nails!

Don't call me that.

Let's show 'em some action.

No.

Where is she?

Where is she?

Dana! Where is she?

Where is she?

Where is she? Huh?

Clara.

Clara.

Clara, it's daddy.


Clara...

Hi, sweetie.

Clara.

Hi, baby. Hi, baby.

Hi, baby.


I love you.