Boys in the Trees (2016) Script

'Tis the night...

...the night of the grave's delight.


Get up.

Hey. They're not your mates. Your mates are over here.

Go on. Go.

You think I give a shit, Corey?

Ready for the money shot? Yeah, man.

The fuck? Are you blind? Faggot!

How many times have I got to tell you you are not welcome here?

Are you fucking mute as well?

Get the fuck up. Go. Go!

Yeah, run, you little fag!

Fuckin' freak gives me the creeps.

What a dickhead.

Mr. M. Boys.

How you going?

Mr. M.

I've been trying all afternoon to get this damn printer to work.

Have you tried... plugging it in?

It's fixed. What? What did you do?

Show me what you did.

Mr. M.

No pop-tarts. I guess you didn't know I was coming over?

So, how was your final day?

Must be a bit sad leaving school behind.

That's not the word I'd use. You home for dinner?

I'm sure you can microwave your lean cuisine on your own.

Having dinner together isn't just about eating.

It's about... Spending quality time together.

Wait. What'd... what'd you want to talk about?

Oh, well... what are you doing tonight?

Skating. Trick or treating. Thought you hated Halloween.

Shouldn't you be studying? Well, exams don't start till next week.

Every grade counts if you're gonna get a scholarship to New York.

Have you been in my room again? This came in the mail today.

They're on the other side of the world, mate.

I thought you were going to study here, like your old man.

You might have thought that.

Photography's a fun hobby.

But it's hardly gonna pay the bills, is it? Can we talk about this another time?

Maybe, I don't know, my 18th?



I thought we might go away for the weekend.

Up to the lake for a bit of fishing. What do you say?

It just sounds like great fun. Don't you think?

I think I have to study.

Man, kill me if I ever end up like him.

Amigo, it's a promise.

Is that a whole bottle of vodka? Yeah. Here you are.

He's gonna notice that's gone. So? What's he gonna do?

Bore you to death? The guy's a numbnut.

Off the bed, dickheads. What the hell?

What's the plan for tonight?

A little trick. A little treat.

Then a whole lot of tits at the tower.

So we're finishing high school the way we spent it.

What's the matter, New York? Too good for it?

What is this shit?

You actually pissed about that?

Well, I thought we were all going to Box Hill.

The world is bigger than that.

So, what, you're just gonna ditch... us?

Well, come on. It's not like we can hang out at the tower forever, smoking billies.

What the hell is wrong with that?

Yo, Dave Grohl!

Shut the fuck up.

It was just an idea.

If it means that much to you...

...don't get your panties in a twist.

My panties are fine, fuck knuckle.

I don't like it when Mum and Dad fight.

Hi. You're letting light in.

Want a hand? I don't need your help.

Not bad, man. Some choice cuts.

But your prime, A-grade, numero uno...

...pièce de résistance... gonna have to be...


This shit's got a date with the local photocopier.

Yeah? What are you gonna do?

You want to live the dream, don't ya?

Want the world to see your amazing photography?

Well, lucky you got friends like us, even if you're too stupid to realize it.

Dude, New York had nothing to do with you.

You don't ever get bored?

Same old shit every day?

Don't you ever want to get out of here?

Hombre... I'm a god here.

Weed to smoke, bitches to fuck.

Fags to bash. What's he done to you?

Let me explain to you the law of the jungle.

You want to run with the wolves, you gotta kill a few lambs.

So which one you gonna be?

Fine. Go nuts. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!

Now, can you stop being a buzzkill?

Please? It's Halloween.


Care to do the honors?

Law of the jungle, huh? We all live by it, mate.

What are you meant to be?

A sheep in wolves' clothing?


Halloween's just an American invention to sell lollies.


Oh, yeah? Enlighten me.

'Tis the night, the night of the grave's delight.

And the warlocks are at their play.

Ye think that without, the wild winds shout...

...but no, it is they, it is they.

Nice pic. But not your finest hour.

The boys think it is.

'Cause I know they're the first ones I'd turn to for an art critique.

What's the problem? Who said there was a problem?

You only fry your brain when there's something on it.

My brain's fine.

At least nangs don't give you cancer.

It's worth it.

Hey, why don't you come down from there?

I hate heights. My bedroom's on the first floor, and even that freaks me out.

There are way more scary things than falling.

Sort of closing, circling around her, and then...

You know, you're a much nicer guy when you're not around them.

We all do shit to fit in.

Is it worth it?

Just 'cause they're good with a sodastream, doesn't make them...

...amigos para siempre.

How about you back off my mates? These guys don't get you.

We're teenagers.

Nobody gets us. That's half the fun.


Everyone has somebody who understands them.

You're not the only one who wants out of this town, you know.

Who said I want out?

Got everything I need right here.

Weed to smoke, fags to bash, bitches to...


Spliff's up.



What about you, coz?

Another toke?

I'm good.

Corey! Where are you going?

Oh, shit! I'm late for work.

Skip it.

Wait. Some of us gotta earn a buck.

Yeah, like daddy wouldn't buy you anything you asked for.

What's wrong? You scared the baby birds are all grown up and leaving the nest?

Poor Jango.

Hey, hey, hey, hey. Move! I've got graveyard shift.

Then you're... right where you need to be.

Boys! We're moving out. Get up.

Quicker! Let's go.

Trick or treat. -Hey, Deirdre, you coming?

Hey, you okay?

Are you trying to kill me?

Oh, fuck!

Why can't you arseholes leave me alone?

You don't own the park.

Shouldn't you be with your wolves gang-banging some mental defective...

...from the drama class?

At least I got mates. Yeah, I'm sure they're awesome...

...once you get to know them. Yeah, they are.

Then why are you here?

You're bleeding.

Oh, shit!

Still gullible. Oh, you fucker!

And then you wonder why nobody likes you.

Got anything to eat? Do I look like a servo?

You must have scored trick or treating. It's kids stuff, man.

We're kids. Well, you, maybe.

Right. I forgot, gramps. That's why you're dressed as teen wolf.

And what are you supposed to be?

Your mum?

What? Jonah. Hey!

Hey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Wasn't cool. You can hit me if you want.

One free hit, anywhere you want.

Walk me home.

I'm not gonna hit you.

You're gonna walk me home instead.

Get fucked. I'm not going anywhere with you.

Maybe I have a concussion.

Maybe I'll get lost.

Maybe I'll fall and never wake up.

Or maybe, you owe me...

...old pal.

If I knew they were coming, I'd have baked a cake.

Fine, but we're going now. Alright? Move it.

But aren't we gonna say hello first? Hurry it up, dickhead.

Hey. Notice where we are?

A bridge?

Not just any bridge.

The bridge over Cocytus.

Where the veils are thin...

...and once we cross, we leave the mortal realm.

Once we cross, we leave the mortal realm.

And enter the world of enchantment, where we see things as they really are.

Where dreams are true.

Stories too.

I miss that game.

Everything was simpler then.

And boring. "Boring"?

We saw zombies and ghosts and werewolves.

I was never bored. It was just a stupid game.

It was kids, trying to spook each other with a bunch of fairy tales...

...and chickenshit dares.

Well, let's play again.

We're not kids anymore. We're not grown-ups either.

Not yet. And besides...

...I have something to show you.

Believe me, there's nothing you could show me that I'd possibly give a shit about.

You sure about that?

Your head still hurt?


This thing that you wanted to show me, it'd better blow my mind, alright?

It's a promise.

This is just for tonight. Don't think 'cause we're talking, we're friends.

I wouldn't dream of it.

And remember the rules. Game isn't over till we get home.

No wimping out midway through. I know.

Ready to cross?

You're on.

'Tis the night...

...the night of the grave's delight.


Short cut.

It rained last week. I'm not going in some deathtrap drain.

Come on. This is Cocytus.

It's more than a drain. It's a passageway.

It could lead us anywhere. Where's your sense of adventure?

Where's your common sense? I don't want to go in there.

Scared? Scared certain death lurks within?

It's not death I'm scared of.

Jeannie was scared.

Is this part of the game?

Haven't you heard the stories?

Once there was...

...and once there was not.

A girl called Jeannie who was afraid of the dark.

She played Cocytus too with her older sister.

In her fantasy, they were princesses living in a castle far, far away.

Two dreamers, united against the world...

...waiting for their lives to begin.

And one day, the knights came.

But they weren't valiant or brave.

And though they were pretty, the girls weren't wise.

For wolves may lurk... any guise.

She didn't want to be left behind, so she followed.

But the distance between them grew and grew...

...until she could barely see her sister anymore.

While Jeannie was afraid of the dark...

...she was more scared of being left behind.


But Jeannie didn't know that there are some dark places... should never walk alone.

For tunnels can be longer than they appear.


And there are things in this world we don't read about in the storybooks.

Not everyone can survive the dark.

Did she die?

Can't have a good story without a dead body.

Now she's just another lonely ghost haunting these tunnels.

The saddest part...

...she doesn't even know she's dead.

Ghosts, huh?

Suppose you believe in the tooth fairy too.

Light a match.

Only when she sees light does she realize she's dead.

And her scream will stay with you till the day you die.

You're trippin'. Light it.

You're retarded. You're scared.

Least I'm not the only one.

Be ready.

Yeah, Kurt Cobain. You don't know who Kurt Cobain is?



Who wants to go hunting?

Miss Susie had a steamboat.

The steamboat had a bell.

Miss Susie went to heaven.

The steamboat went to hell.

I wish you'd go away.

We taking High Street or Cotham?

I'm not falling for your shit again.

Yeah, I am.

Suppose you want to walk on the other side of the street.

This place doesn't scare me anymore.

Yeah, right.

You used to wet yourself when we passed Boo Radley's.

His name is Edward.

It's open.

I'm not going inside.

You have to. We're playing Cocytus.

When exactly did someone shove a straw up your arse and suck out all the fun?


Hey. Can I borrow your board for a second?

Guess you'd better go get it. Fuck!

This is where it happened. What? Let me out.

Poor Edward. He was only ten years old.

I'm gonna kick you really hard in the face.

Edward's dreams were so big.

They were like universes unfolding forever.

In Edward's world, a paper plane...

...could be a turbojet...

...fighting the forces of darkness.

The trees were allies, hiding you in their branches.

And Edward ruled it all from his island base.

And then, one summer's day, Edward made a promise... in the presence of the masters of the universe...

...the sea monkeys and the galactic army.

He swore an oath to follow his dreams... matter how ridiculous... explore the shadows, no matter how scary.

And his vow was heard.

You absolute muppet!

When you're a kid, you want to explore and see what's hiding in the shadows...

...even if it scares the shit out of you.

You'll cross the bridge over Cocytus.

But... people grow older, they lose that wonder.

Scary things aren't fun anymore, just scary.

So they shut them out.

The dreams he once promised to live were stored away in boxes...

...stored away for another day...

...and the days passed, and the dreams were quickly forgotten.


...abandon your dreams and they can become...


And as poor Edward let life's little compromises accumulate...

...the gap between who he was and who he wanted to be...

...grew larger.

And as his dreams turned to darklings...

...the sparkle faded from his eyes.

Now he sits there... front of the TV, late into the night...

...with the volume turned way up.

And he knows that one day, he'll have to pay the price...

...for breaking his promise and abandoning his dreams.

And that price... why I don't ever...

...want to grow up.

Shit! Get off!

Do you expect me to believe that?

Sometimes you have to pull back a piece of reality when it gets in the way.

I think you're full of shit.

Take a look in the window.

You look in it.

I'm not the one that doesn't believe.

It's, what...

...twenty meters?

Then I'll let you out.

Trick or treat!


Why the fuck did you do that?

Come on. It was funny. You know I hate being scared.

No, I don't.

The Corey I knew loved being scared.

Halloween was his favorite day of the year.

His head was full of dreams he was gonna live.

What happened to you?

It's called survival.

Law of the jungle.


You clearly don't have a concussion.

Find your own way home, right?

Okay, truce.

I'll stop trying to freak you out if... stop running away for once.

I'll even make it up to you.



Best years of our lives.

You have a funny way of making it up to people.

Chuck us your board.

What about security?

Is there anything you're not scared of?

I didn't say I was scared.

I just have a cautionary nature.


See? Easy as.

You know, most people aren't really scared of heights.

At least... not of falling.

What are they scared of, then?

They're scared they'll jump.

Is this the thing you wanted to show me?

This is a thing I wanted to show you.

Shit. What's with all the birds?

They say animals know when they're gonna die.

So they come here for their final moments.

I like to keep them company.

Nobody should die alone.

When my dog died, he knew.

Went off behind the rubbish tip at the back of the yard.

Took us, like, three days to find him.

My mum knew.

She was always worried, 'cause she had me late, that she wouldn't always be around.

That's why she always used to tell stories about fantasy lands where I'd be safe.

It's one way to survive, I guess.

Is that why she always played that song?

You remember that?

When you walk through a storm Hold your head up high You shouldn't sing.

It's bullshit, anyway.

"You'll never walk alone."

I'd rather be alone.

No one to rely on but yourself.

No one to drag you down.

Nobody to have your back either.

I remember this exhibition at the museum.

There was a quote.

"Man is by nature a social animal.

Anyone who does not partake of society... either a beast...

...or a God."

Jango would say you're a little lamb.

At least I'm not a beast.

Can you say the same, dances with wolves?

If there's one thing I won't miss, it's these corridors.

Feels like we should do a nudie run.

Or you too scared of security?

It's not security you need to be worried about.

It's the wolves in the walls that'll get ya.

I hoped we were done with these stories.

This isn't a story.

Everyone notices different things.

Some notice the moment you change your hair.

Others always notice what shoes you're wearing.

I noticed them change.

It was the smell I noticed first.

The stench of twisting, multiplying hormones.

It always preceded them.

No amount of cheap safeway deodorant can cover that odor.

I saw skin disappear beneath unwelcome hair...

...voices deepen into growls.

Like a virus, it spread.

And once that toxin poisons you...'re capable of doing things you never thought you'd do...

...all in the name of survival.

No matter where you hide...

...they sniff you out.

And for those that didn't change...

...those that were left behind...

...those that didn't have the taste for blood...

...there was only one thing you could do.



There's only one thing you can do.

Welcome to the library, the sanctuary for geeks, freaks and outcasts.

Guess you're one of us now. One of us! One of us!

Why'd you disappear? To see how you liked it.

I didn't. Well, color me surprised.

Is there another way out of here? In a coffin?

You really are no help.

Well, I guess we're saved, then.

Wait. What?

They're your friends. What's the worst they could do?

How's this for a chaos theory, arsehole?

Yeah, Jango.

He decked you sober. You don't want to see him pissed.

There you go.

Cheers. Wear that.

He won't hurt me if he knows I'm with you. Right?

You still don't want to be seen with me.

Nobody means anything to you, do they?

Shitty books that you love so much.

Shove these fireworks...

I've got an idea.

Shut up.

Did you hear something?

Wait, what?

Come out and play.

Where are you?

Thank you.

Do you know Laura Premble? This place kinda reminds me of her.

This isn't one of those "Penthouse forum" stories, is it?

Well... she was the first person I, you know...

...fooled around with.

But no, a bunch of us came here after year 11 formal.

I barely knew her, but... everyone was pairing up.

I remember thinking...


You liked her?


But, man, she could drink.

She drank so much.

She just got kinda quiet.

She just sat there staring off into the dark.

And she dropped a bottle. It smashed on the concrete. She didn't even move.

It's like she wasn't really there.

It's not much of a story, I guess.

What'd you do after formal?

I didn't go.

Oh, well...

...I guess you didn't miss much.

Miss Susie had a steamboat, the steamboat had a bell Miss Susie went to heaven, the steamboat went to...

Hello, operator, give me number nine

- If you disconnect me I'll chop off your...

Behind the refrigerator, there was a piece of glass Miss Susie sat upon it, and broke her little...

Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies The boys are in the bathroom Zipping up their... flies are in the meadow Bees are in the park Miss Susie and her boyfriend are kissing in the D-A-R-K D-A-R-K, D-A-R-K...

You still hungry?

What the fuck? It's just me.

I thought you hated Halloween.

Twick or tweat.

Here. You stink.

It's not my fault there's a heatwave.

It's the hole in the ozone layer. Those spray cans don't help.

You know in some places it snows on Halloween?

You like snow?

I've never seen it.

That's why I'm saving up all my slave wage from this dump.

So I can fly away to Canada.

Get a log cabin.

It snows most of the year there.

The rivers are so frozen, you can skate on them.

It snows quite a bit in New York too.

You're gonna go, aren't you?

Did you ever let down a friend?

Like stand someone up?

Sure. If I had a dollar for every person I left waiting...

...under the clocks at Flinders Street...

...I'd have nine dollars.


I mean...

...did you ever say that you'd be there for someone no matter what...

...and then you weren't?

I had this one friend in primary school.

She even joined me at callispastics, even though she was a total unco.

What happened to her?

Never really thought about it.

I went to a different high school...

...started hanging out with other girls.

The cool kids, you know.

I just couldn't keep playing with my little ponies forever, right?

I guess I didn't notice when the gaps between us got bigger and bigger.

I haven't seen her for years.

She was just a friend.


I guess sometimes you don't realize who you've left behind.

Or who's right in front of you.



Or maybe you could get out of your fucking diapers for once.

You think you're frustrated here? Try living in the same world in a skirt...

...surrounded by a bunch of babies who don't even notice you.

Why can't you guys just grow up?

Girls do! We just stand here...

...waiting, while you guys are stuck with your heads in the... trees.

Is this 'cause I didn't thank you for the slurpee?

I don't under...

We do want to grow up.

There's just a part of us that doesn't want to stop.


Climbing trees.

Trick or treat!


Well! Ring-a-ding-ding, cozza.

You sly hound. Thought your head was hurting.

Turns out you were just hurting for head.

Real smooth. Thank you.

So? Where have you been?

Looking everywhere for you. Don't tell me you were getting bored?

Hey, Bobby. Want to go for a ride?


You're not...

...pissed about before, are ya?

I mean, any hole's a goal, you know.

Maybe you shouldn't talk about her like that.

Is this true love? It is, isn't it?

Anyway, we're not done yet. The night's not over. Copies ready?


Forget something?

Hey, guess what we found at the cemetery.

What? The little fag's mother.


And wait till you see what we did to her tombstone.

We're gonna need photos of it.

So... grab your shit. Let's go.

Got everything?

Slushy. Did you get me my slushy? Yeah, yeah. I got your slushy.

Thank you.



What's the problem, cozza?

Is he your boyfriend or something?

I don't want to be like that. Like what?


Didn't know you batted for that team.

What if I did?

Would you still be my friend?

Or would you throw dead animals at my house?

Alright, what... what are you saying, man?

Maybe I'm not one of you anymore.


You are one of us.

Or you're nobody.

I guess you're friends with nobody, then?

Fuck you!

Fight! Fight! Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!






Jonah? You in there?


Now he sits there, in front of the TV...

...late into the night, with the volume turned way up.

Turn off the light.

Why'd you leave?

You're the one who left.

Come outside.

Why? 'Cause I want to explain.

You can't.

Keep it.

You're breaking the rules, you know.

What rules?


Game doesn't stop till we get home. That's kids stuff.


We're kids.

At least for tonight.

You can be such a dick sometimes.


Come on. Best way to keep the wolf from your door is to go to his.

One thing's for sure.

Jango and I are no longer friends.

Thank you.

Got time for one more house call.



Are you trying to kill yourself? You'll fall.

People aren't really scared of falling.

They're scared of jumping. I'm scared my dad will kill you.

What are you doing here?

Is your face okay? Yeah, yeah.

I just thought you might want some snow on Halloween.

That stuff's toxic. So?

It'll give you cancer. It's worth it.

Romany, are you okay in there? I'm fine. Go back to bed.

You should go. One more thing.

I owe you an apology. I've been a real dick tonight.

Just tonight?

Maybe for a while.

But I did notice you.

And sometimes the boys just climb the trees to get a better look at the view.

Happy Halloween.

You'll catch your death if you stay in the snow for too long.

So, what happens now?

I think this is where you show me one of your callisthenic routines.

I will punch you in the face.

I guess you go back to the company of wolves...

...and I get to escape to the wilds of Canada.




...I don't know for sure, but...

...I imagine there are some pretty good photography courses in Canada.

There would be a lot of beautiful things there to capture.

Do you really want me to come?

Sometimes it's just easier to live your dream if you have someone to share it with.

And... maybe you don't come to Canada, but...

...we can make sure we both get out of here.

What, if... if I live my dream, you'll live yours?


Want to swear?

Sure, motherfucker. No, I mean it.

Let's do this.

If you go back on this, I will come at you in the black of some terrible night.

And I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.

I'm through with breaking promises.

Don't fall. Too late.

Shut up. Okay.



Rex! Hey.

Oh, now feel it coming back again

Like a rolling thunder chasing the wind

Forces pulling from the center of the Earth again

I can feel it

I can feel it

I can feel it Come on. I can feel it Let's get out of here.


Jonah! Stop!

What was that place? Who is that man?

I don't know him. He looked familiar.

We meet him twice. First time, you don't remember.

The second time, you never forget.

What if I lied to you?

When I said I didn't want to grow up?


Run! Run!


We need more light.


They can't hurt us if we stick together.

They won't let us go forward.

Then let's go back, where the dreams are true.

The stories too.

Jonah. Jonah.

We need to go higher.

My best friend.

Why did we leave all this behind?

We needed more. Did you?

Do you remember that day?

Like it was yesterday.

It kinda was, since we kept it so close.

It was Halloween then too.

We were all dressed up. I still had my first camera.

Don't make it too real.

It was getting late. And it isn't midnight when young boys turn into pumpkins.

It's when the street lights turn on.

It was a bad idea.

The boys knew that from the start, but...

...nobody wants to be the one left behind.

Even though tunnels can be longer than they appear.

And there are things in this world we don't read about in storybooks.

Wolves may lurk in any guise.

And only in the dark... we learn how far we'll go to survive.

Even if it means running as fast as you can...

...and leaving behind everything you value.


And that was the last time that they played Cocytus.

It'll be morning soon.

Is it getting cold?

Think so.

We have to go home eventually.

Then the game will be over.

What would happen if we change the ending?

What ending?

To the story in the drain.

What if I...

...what if he stayed? He left.

Maybe he didn't.

Maybe it just seemed like he did.

And as he was walking away, he turned back...

...'cause he realized who his real friend was.

'Cause together, they could do anything. They could cross the bridge to Cocytus.

They could outwit the darklings. They could outrun the wolves.

Why couldn't they defeat two bullies?

And then?

And then they live their dreams like they promised each other.

That's what should have happened.

I like that ending.

But that's not what happened.

I'm ready to show you now.

This is where we say goodbye.

This where you live now, homey?

Yeah, real mature, smart-arse.

Thought you were in a hurry to grow up.

Maybe I was a bit hasty on that one.

Good to hear it.

I'm sorry.

For leaving.

You know...


...kind of made up for the rest of it.

Turn around.


Hey, Jonah!

Oh, fuck! Fuck! Jonah!


Dad, are you there?

Dad, I need you.

Judging by the state of his...

...the... condition...

...he's in, they think he must have been in the water...

...since late afternoon.

He must have...

...fallen while he was crossing and...

...hit his head.

We climbed trees together.

That was a long time ago.

Are we still going to the lake this weekend?

Only if you want to.


I do.

Are you ready to go?

I just want to stay here a little longer.

Your friends are here.

Forget something?

Hey, you there? Can you hear me?

You're cutting in and out a bit.

Yeah, this Wi-Fi's bullshit. Dude, how are the performances going?

Full houses so far. Really?

Hey, look. Can you see it?

Is it snow? Yeah. Happy Halloween.

Where are you heading tonight?

The voice are paying me to get shots of the parade in the village tonight.

What are you gonna be?


Romany? Hello?