Mercy Black (2019) Script

Can you remember anything from that day?

You said she has a house.

A house you cannot see and a book you cannot read.

That she wanted you to do things.

You know, sometimes, when we're lonely or confused, we create imaginary friends. And they can seem so real...

Her name is Mercy.

Thank you, Arden. And no more stealing pens. Okay?

Oh, that kid steals all my pens.

You look great. Thank you.

You've been sleeping? You sleeping better?

The dreams? Better, usually. Yeah.

Good. You've done the hard work. You've come so far.

When you first came here, you were just a...

Suffering from undiagnosed juvenile pre-schizophrenia with a tendency toward self-induced hallucinations.

And... a lot of other things.

Well, look at you.

No, I was gonna say a confused little girl.

But that is not who you are now.

Sometimes I miss believing in something.

Does that sound crazy? No. No, it's not crazy.

We all need to believe in something.

Hell, I believed in Santa till...

I still believe in Santa.

We all need to believe in something, whether it's religion, another person, our own intellect.

It's all part of the human condition.

How do know what you believe in is real?

Well... you don't.

You have to choose.

I have filed the papers for your release.

What? It's okay. It's okay.

You're ready for this. This is such good news for you.

I don't think that's such a good idea.

If you stay here your life will be defined by your past, whether you remember it or not, and you were meant for so much more.

Doc... Dr. Ward... Etta...

Do you really believe in that? Yes.

I choose to.

Hi. Hi.

Hi, it's so good to see you again.

Hey, sis.

Do you want me to take your bag?

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah.

Well, this is it. Oh.

This is good. This is good.

Okay. I'm gonna miss you.

So Bryce is eight now.

Well, eight and a quarter, he'll insist.

His dad didn't stick around for long.

I mean, no cards or birthday, for anything.


I am dating again. I'm seeing this guy, Will.

I think you'll like him. Do you like chicken?

I didn't even, I didn't even think to ask you, but I planned chicken for your first night back.

Is that okay? Yeah. That sounds great.

Okay, good. Yeah.

And after mom died, dad didn't really keep the place up.

I didn't think I'd ever see this place again.

I know it's not what it used to be, but...

Hey, beautiful.

That's Rowlf. Like the Muppet. Hi, Rowlf.

Welcome home.

Damn it.

Bryce? Hey, bubba. You home?

He walks from school, so he should be here.


Hey, your Aunt Marina's here.

Here... here's your bag. Thanks.

Same bed.

Alice. Thank you... for everything.

Well, I'll... I'll go get that chicken started.

Don't tell him I'm here.

Oh. Hi.

You must be Bryce.

I'm sorry I scared you.

Found you!

Ow! Loser, loser!

Bryce! I said no friends today.

I didn't invite him.

I never invite him.

Hmm. Are those pictures of your mom?

And my dad. He works for NASA.

He's on a secret mission.

I can't really talk about it.

Oh, okay.

My mom's really glad you're here.

Me too.

One, two, three, four, five.

Not real, not real, not real, not real.



Oh, shoot.

Oh, you scared me.

You were having a nightmare.

Oh. Are you okay?

Yeah. I just have bad dreams sometimes.

I brought my nightlight. Oh.

Won't you need it? I'm almost nine.


Thank you.

Good morning. Good morning.


You could've slept in, you know?

Where can I find the Wanted Ads?


Just type in "Bowsman Jobs."

I'm looking for a job that I can walk to.

Just click on any one you want.

Wow, you can find anything in here.

Didn't your art school have Internet?

My what? Your art school. In England.

Hey, Bryce, would you go take Rowlf for a walk?

He's going nuts outside. Sure, mom.

Thanks, bubba.

I... I just thought it would be easier on everyone.

I... want to protect him.

A... and you. Oh, sure.

I... I just hope he doesn't see me draw anything.


So, I told him, twice, I said, you g... you got... you got to p... pump the thing or your whole house is gonna smell like this.

Oh, no.

So, not even two weeks later...

I'm not kidding. Oh, no.

This guy, he calls me in the morning.

"Jesus! Jesus! My... my house, my house!"

"It smells like shit! I need you down here! Huh?"

Language! Okay, I'm sorry.

Poo? Poo, okay? Better.

"My house! It smells like a shitload of poop!"

"I need your help!"

I... I can't do anything, you know?

I could go over there... Alright, alright...

On that note...

It's time for bed, bubba. Really? It's a special day.

Come on, bubba. No arguing.

No arguing. Come on. Up you go.

You forgettin' somethin'?

Put 'em up. Oh! Oh! Oh! He go... He goes for the chin.

He goes for the gut. Put your hands up by your face.

Duck! Duck! Duck! Okay. Enough cage match.

Come on. Okay.

Alright. Alright. Little pound.

Oh, no. I'm okay. I'm actually, I'm feelin' a little dizzy.

Oh, sure. Yeah, I mean, it must...

This must be your first drink in...


Right. Well, like the kid said, you know, special day.

So... Okay.


Heavy hand, I guess.

To a special day Cheers.

Must feel pretty good to be out, huh?

It's strange. I keep expecting someone to tell me what to do.

Well, give Alice a couple days, she'll have you sand the stairs.

She will.

Ah. So, uh, what's, what's next for ya?

I was thinkin' about applying for jobs.

Oh, nice. Maybe going back to school.

I was thinking about doin' something in child psychology.

What? Is that funny?

No one's gonna call your resume boring, you know.

I'm sorry. Uh, was that rude?

I was just, uh, I was just tryin' to break up the tension.

You know. Uh...

You must think about it though, right?

I don't really remember.

Oh, sure. Yeah. It happened a long time ago.

But, I mean, you got to remember some of it...

I don't really like talkin' about it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Of course. Of course.

It's just I'm a true crime buff, so I just wolf those books down.

I mean, like Andrea Yates, Bundy, Black Dahlia, so to me... it's like talkin' to a... celebrity.

I mean, two friends lure a girl into the woods...

stab her seven times all for Mercy Black.

Can you please not say that name?

Sure. Yep. Yep. I'm sorry. It's...

You're gonna have a hard time avoiding it because it's, it's popular.

It's popular?

Yeah, Mercy Black went viral.

I mean, she spread like a virus.

You know, photos, stories, copycat crimes.

I mean, you...

You brought the world a whole new nightmare.





Are you hiding again?


Hey. Hey.

Hey, it's just drunk assholes trying to be funny.

Will probably knows 'em. I'll talk to him about it.

So, look, I tried to get off today, but no one could cover for me.

So, I'll pick Bryce up from the library on my drive home. Okay?

Are you leaving?

Yeah, but I'll be back by 5:00, 5:30.

Uh, you'll, you'll be fine, right?

Yeah, I'll find something useful to do.

You could always sand the staircase.

Hey, Bryce? Bryce. Come on, bubba.

We don't wanna be late for school.

Alright. Let's go.

I just wanna be on time once this year.


Who's Mercy Black?

Where did you hear that name?

Hey. I don't want you talking about that, okay?

We're going to be late.

Hi! Welcome to the Wood Nook. So you want to do some sanding?

In this video, we'll take you step by step.

Let's get to it.



It is a tragedy how other people treat library books.

It's like... they can't respect a thing unless it cost them somethin'.

Mrs. Bellows...

do you know who Mercy Black is?

I don't think so.

I think she's living in my house.

Oh. I see.

You know where librarians go when they have a question?

The internet.

Want to go check it out?

Yeah, okay, come on.

Oh, uh, you know what?

Maybe this is not a good idea.

I think that... Is she a ghost?

Um, no. See, right here.

She's like more of a, a guardian angel.

She seeks out sad kids and she takes away what hurts them, but not for free.

"A perfect offering that will make her flesh and blood."

Flesh and blood? Bryce.

Buddy, buddy, it's, it's only a story. Okay?

You know what?

Um, w... when I was a kid, I, I used to ask questions all the time.

I used to dream that they would build a library that was big enough to hold every book, every fact ever written.

And then boom.

They did.

But, but, but, when you know all the answers, then you lose all the mystery.

There's nothing left to make up.

Yeah, see, Th... Th... that's why people tell stories like, like Mercy Black.

They, they want some mystery.

They want questions that they can't quite find the answer for.

So, you see, she's just a story.

But some stories are true.

They are.

How can you tell the difference?

W... well, I mean, just...


Wow, that's a, that's a, That's a really great question, Bryce.

Oh, well, well, Mr. Crosby has his weekly reading, and I, uh, I think you've got some homework you should be workin' on, okay?

So, let's, um, let's log off of Mercy Black.

Shut it down. Okay? Okay.

Alright. Thank you. Hi, Mr. Crosby.

Sorry about that. Ooh. Quite a picking, sir.

Sorry. Sorry.

Uh, sorry.

What are you doing here? Oh, I knocked, albeit lightly.

The backdoor doesn't really lock, so, yeah, uh, basically, I was just, you know...

Alice told me to stop by.

She wanted to see how you were holdin' up.

So she got you sandin' the stairs?


Look, I, uh, I heard about last night, and, uh, this town...

You're... you're shakin'.

Here, sit. Sit down, and I... I'll make the...

What, what were you makin'? Tea.

Yeah. Tea. Yeah.

Look, I, uh...

I know it's rough, but it will all calm down.

You know, you may not remember much, but they do.

We were just little girls. Oh, oh, oh, I know.

And, and, and Rebecca Cline, she manipulated you.

I can't believe they let her out before you, which is like...

They let her out? Rebecca?

Oh, they really didn't tell you much, did they?

Look. Ah, forget it. This is...

Maybe instead of... running from it...

you embrace it.

You... you could do some talk shows.

Talk shows? Yeah.

Yeah. Get your side out, or sooner or later, someone else will.

I'm surprised "Dateline" isn't here knockin' at the door...

I... I told you. I... I don't, I...

I don't really remember.

It's like, it's like that wasn't me.

Yeah, but it was you.

You've paid your debt. And all that.

It's time to make a profit.

I think you should go.

Look. Hey!


Come on. Let's just talk about it.

Look, I'm sure the late-night visitors sparked a few memories, huh?

Come on. Would you just listen to me?

It's easy money.

We'll collaborate.

Get away from me! Aah!

You crazy bitch!

Hey, we're ho...

Will? What's going on?

Uh. Nothin'. Nothin'.

Wait, Will, hold up. What happened to your hand?

Your goddamn sister cut me!

She's crazy!

And you think your son's safe? He's not!

Goddamn dog! Hey! Get off my property.

Nice. Nice.

Come on, guys. Let's go.

Get inside the house.

Hey. Um, I'm sorry about Will.

Don't be. He's an asshole.

Um, Alice, I think maybe I should find my own place.

Absolutely not.

You just got here, and besides your doctor said that you shouldn't be living alone.

I've ruined so many people's lives, and I don't wanna ruin yours, too.

You're not going anywhere. A... Alice...

I don't wanna hear any more about it.


Marina! Marina, I need you!

No, stay back, Bryce! You stay right there!

Oh, my God.


You watch Bryce. Alice. You're going?

Will did this.

Either that or he put his drinking buddies up to it.

A... Alice, just go to the police.

Damn it, Marina, do you think the police are actually gonna come down here?

For you? Bryce, it's time for bed.

Aunt Marina's gonna watch you.

Was it Mercy?

You never went to art school, did you?

I searched your name. I found some stories.

You know, when I was your age... when I was a little girl... my mom got sick.

Your grandmother.

She got very sick, and I was worried that she wasn't gonna get better.

I had a friend named Rebecca, who was very smart, and we played a game.

We made a friend, someone who could protect us... and I pretended that she could help me, and help me make my mom better.

Did she?

She wasn't real, Bryce.

Rebecca made her up, and... I believed her.


Because I was lonely and sad, and I was a little sick.

Like the flu?

Like the flu... but in my head.

You know, that's why I was away for so long, because I was just trying to get better.

Did you do something, something that made them send you away?

I think you already know the answer to that.

And your mom, did she get better?

What if I see Mercy Black?

You won't.

What if I do?

When I see something... something that I know isn't real...

I close my eyes...

...and I count to five.

One, two, three, four, five.

And when I open them... everything's fine.

But you won't see her because she is not real.

All these people were frightened.

How can she not be real?

Will! Will, you son of a bitch, where are you?

Oh! Did you... Did you put them up to it? Huh?

Alice, calm down, no. Alice! Were you there with them?

I don't know what you're talking about.

What is going on?


What is this? Okay, don't freak out.

It's, uh... research.

Do you know how much money you can make off a true crime book?

How much money we can make?

Oh, you've got to be kidding me.

No, Th... think about it.

We write the book. I... I... I... I... I'm writing the book.

We put your sister's name on it.

Look, I've... I've done the research.

Kids are going crazy. I... look, look.

"Russian boy cuts out sister's tongue."

"Teen mom drowns baby for Mercy Black."

You talk about her like she's real.

She's real enough.

This is my sister's life, you dick!

Yeah, this is my work! Huh!

Hey! You know what, fine!

I'll write it without you! Yeah?

Well, have fun being poor!


He wanted to wait for you.

Thanks for watching him. Mom?

Ready to hit the sack? Alright. Let's go.

Mommy, are you afraid of her?


I think she's all better now.

Yeah, the research was, uh, was hard, you know.

More d... disturbing, though, than anything.

You know, I just felt like, uh, the Mercy Black story had to be told.

No, thank you, Terry.

No, no. No, thank you, Terry.


Get your stuff together, Will. Get it together.




Where are you, huh? This isn't funny!



Very funny, guys!

Oh, screw this.

Not real, not real!

One, two, three, four, five.

It worked.

Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!


Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!

Bryce, are you okay?

Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!

Mom! Mom! Mom!

I saw her, I saw her!

It was just a dream, it was just a dream, bubba.

You're alright, you're okay. In the vent.

You're okay. It's okay.

She was watching me.

Touch her.

She's still breathing.

It won't be long now.

Wet your hands in the lake.

The book says to.

Marina, move!


He says he saw her.

It was a bad dream, that's all.

He saw her, like I saw her!

Marina, hold up.

All my life, I've been told what to think and what to believe, but what if they're wrong?

Hey. I got a little boy up there who's so freaked out, he's screaming in his sleep.

He's scribbling on the walls, because of stories you told him.

Alice, what if I didn't make this up?

Marina, stop.

Everyone loves telling me that I'm crazy, or that I'm sick.

What if she's real?

What if there really is something that is out there?

They searched those woods.

They found nothing.

No hidden house, no magic book, no Mercy Black.

Just let this go.

What, and pretend like it didn't happen?

Like I went to art school, or that his dad is on some NASA mission?

That's not fair.

I'm sorry, Alice, I just can't keep pretending.

I have to see if she's real.


Hi, Mrs. Cline?

Yes? I'm Marina Hess.

Rebecca's friend?

You're little Marina?

How have you been?

I'm fine.

Is Rebecca home?

Of course.

My golly, it's good to see you here again, all grown up!

Ah, oh, Rebecca was the model guest, they say.

Just got along with everybody.

Of course, sh... she always did.

Aw, Henry.

Henry passed before she came home.

Oh, it's probably for the best.

He wasn't the most gentle father.

You know, I'm surprised you and Rebecca didn't keep in touch.

You were such close friends, just bugs in a rug.

Would you like some tea?

Mrs. Cline, um...

I really do need t... to talk to Rebecca.

Of course.

Of course.

Um... the... the trains... they're... they're so loud they upset her.

Home was hard for her, at first.

She... she did something rash.

She took one of Henry's best ties and wrapped it around her neck.

Hm. I cut her down.

Saved her life.

Rebecca, your friend Marina is here to see you.

You never stop being a mother...

do you?

I'll just get that tea.

Uh, Mrs. Cline...

did Rebecca ever talk about what happened when we were children?

Oh, but you'll always be children in my eyes.

I'll let you two catch up.


Rebecca, it's me, Marina Hess.

Do you remember me?



I need to find out if she's real.

A house you cannot see. I remember.

Let her go, dear!

Let her go, dear! Let her go, dear!

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

You just hush. Hush, hush, hush, hush, hush!

Mama's here! Mama's here! Mama's here!

Honey, honey, honey, ma... mama's here.

Give the blood to her.

This is for you!

This is our offering to give you life!

There! Where?

She's there!

Please, Rebecca!

Marina, look!

No, don't! No, no!

Marina... she's here.

Bryce, what are you doing?

Stop, stop, stop! Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Are you okay?

Do you wanna talk about it?

Hey, how are things goin' at home?

Do you want me to come by every once in a while?

Maybe check in some time?

My mom's a good mom.

Oh, I... I... I... I know.

Or we'll smash it on the ground.

No way.

Yeah, my girlfriend goes to, like, the other school, so no one sees her, you know?

Oh. Bryce, perfect timing.

Look who just showed up. Hey, dude.

Hello, Dr. Ward, it's Alice Hess, Marina's sister.

Hi! Alice!

How are you?

How you guys holding up?

Well, we're managing.

Last one in's a loser!

Ah, you lose, I win! Ah!

This place sucks.

You think your mom has sex with her boyfriend?

I don't know. I do.

My dad tells me she has sex with lots of guys.

Bet that's why your dad left.

I'm bored!

I know a game.

Have there been any episodes or concerns you'd like to discuss with me?

I... I think she's seeing things, doctor.

I... Hearing things.

I'll never tell you where the detonators are!

I'll die before I tell you anything!

H... hey, you got to make this loose, or I can't escape.

Come on, dude.

You're not playing right. Bryce!

I don't like this, Bryce.

I wanna go home.

Then you better yell for help.

Miss Hess!

Miss Hess!

My... my son, he... he's...

I'm worried about him too.

I can always arrange a visit.

Maybe we can all sit down and talk about this a... and... and find... find ways to ease the transition...

Miss Hess! I have to go.

Of course, of course, and always, you can always...

Bryce? Guys?

Miss Hess!

Mom, help! We're in here!

Bryce? Sam?


Let me in the door!

Mom, quick!

M... Miss! Bryce!

I can't, can't get in.

Open the door!

Hey, Bryce!

Open this door right now!

Bryce, you have to let me in this door right now.

Bubba, open the door, okay?

Hey, bubba? Come...



My God!

She told me to do it.

You can never tell anyone where she lives.

A house you cannot see.

She hides here.

She's already here.

She's always been here.

But she needs a body.

Can she make her better?

Can she do that?

Only if you believe.

Only if you promise.

I promise.

A book you cannot read.

We built her up.

We made it all up.

These are my dad's.

He takes me hunting, just him and me.

My mom gave me this at the hospital.

She said I could wear it until she comes home.

This is what I saw.

You're nothing.

No, I... I... I... I'm just furious!

Look, again, I am so sorry. I don't even know what happened.

Sam said what happened. You calling him a liar?

No, of course Sam's not lying. I... I'm only saying...

I know it was an accident. Bryce is...

That is a disturbed little boy.

Hey, that's my son you're talking about.

Well, my husband's ready to sue.

Well, fine. He can call my lawyer.

If I had a lawyer.

Hey, Bryce...

He... hello?

Alice Hess?


This is Officer Hamilton of the Bowsman Police Department.

Uh, do you know a, a William Nylund?

Um, y... yeah, uh, we used to, we...

Yeah, I... I know him.

Do you know the whereabouts of Marina Hess?

Uh, your sister is currently living with you, correct?

Why, what's this about?

Could you come down to the police station and answer a few questions?

What's going on?

William Nylund was found... dead earlier today.

If you could just come down to the station and answer a, a few questions.

M... Miss Hess.


Uh, to... tonight?

I can send down a squad car, if that'd make it easier.

No, no, that's fine. I...

I'll come right away.

Yes, ma'am.

Hey... hey, Bryce?

Hey, come down here right now, I'm not kidding.


Please don't hurt us.

Hey, is someone with you?

Please answer me, bubba.

Please don't hurt us.

Please don't hurt us.

Okay, just please don't hurt us.

Just please don't hurt us.


Who were you talking to?

I was talking to her.

To Mercy.


Look, I know things have been tough. I know.

And I know you miss your dad, but...

She's in the house.

No, she isn't, Bryce.

She's just outside the door.

Bryce, there's, there's nothing there.



No, mommy.


There's... there's nothing. See?



You stop that.

Stop it, Bryce.


Alice! What happened?

Ma... Marina.

What happened? Mercy.

Hello. Roger! Hey, it's Etta.

Etta, long time. Listen.

I'm calling because I need some information on an old case.

Okay, there we go.

Bryce, how did your mom fall?

I'm not allowed to say.

I wanna show you something.


That is Mercy Black.

We made her out of paper, old clothes, and glue.

She's a lie... and lies cannot hurt us if we don't believe in them.

Will you stay until I'm sleeping?

Sure. I'm not going anywhere.





I know that you are scared.


I know the voices that you're hearing, and the things that you're seeing.

I held onto so many secrets for so long, and I didn't tell anyone because I knew that they wouldn't believe me.

And I didn't say anything until it was too late.

But, Bryce...

I want you to know that you can tell me anything.

Anything at all and I will believe you.

Mercy Black! She's coming!

She's trying to get my family...

Shh, shh, shh.

It's alright.

I'm here now, I'm gonna help you.

I'm gonna tell you exactly what to do.

I have some things I need to do.

You wait in here.

Hey. Huh!


You do exactly as you promised, and nothing will happen to your mom.




What the... Marina?

Marina? Marina, can you hear me?

Bryce. Are you okay?

Where is he? What happened?

She attacked me.

I have to find my nephew.

She? She who?

She who? Was it Lily?

Was she here? Lily.


She fell off the grid years ago.

She's changed her name, and she's back.

You have to give her something.

I promise.

I know where he is. I know how to find him.

You can't do this!

For once, will you just believe me?

And this...

This... This is the house?

Marina. Stay here.

And if help comes, show them the way.

Come on, pick up.

You should have left her alone.

9-1-1. What's your emergency?

9-1-1. What's your emergency?

Bryce, Bryce! Hey, hey!

We got to get out of here. You okay?

We have to go.

Hey, Marina.


What did you do?

I had to make you remember.

I had to make you believe again, so you could see her.

We agreed.

We agreed.

I would be the offering.

She chose me, but you couldn't finish the job, and your mom died because you didn't hold your promise.

She died.

I had to break into your house.

I had to do things to people.

I had to make you remember, Marina.

Bryce, go! Run!

So when you both left me I was growing up without you.

That was the hardest part.

For so long, I was the only one who could see her, the only one that could believe.

You left me. You left me alive.


It wasn't real.

It was never real!


The minute the damn knife touched my skin, she was real!

Marina, do it!

You Promised! Do it!

Do it, you promised!

And now I'm gonna leave you, the way you left me.


And I'm gonna find Bryce, and I'm gonna slice his throat.

Unless you stop me.


Marina, you never had enough faith.



Help! Help! Help me! Shh.

Bryce. Bryce, stop. Stop.

Every time I saw you...

I'd close my eyes but I'm never closing them again.

I made you, from pain...

And I'm taking it back.

Oh. Come on. Ugh!

Ugh! No!

Help! Help me!

We do this for you!

We do this for you!

Agh! Bryce.

You want this, don't you?

You wanted me to kill you.


You still want to be the offering?

We... We could do it right this time.

We could make her flesh and blood.

Look, you promised me. You promised her.

It's over, Lily.

It's over.

I made a promise.


Marina. Marina. Marina. Promise.

She's here. No!

For Mercy.