Strangerland (2015) Script

Touch in the dark.

No-one can see.

Touch in the dark.

You... touch me.

Records are being broken as eastern Australia bakes in extreme heat.

Did you walk last night?


You have got to stop doing that.

Oh, hello, Mr Parker.

Morning, Burtie.

I got the varnish you asked for.

Great. Do you want to go out the back, get started?

Hi, Burtie.

Hi, Lily. Catherine!

Out the back, Burtie.

Would you put some clothes on, please?


I thought I threw that out.

I rescued it.

Well... come on, you're going to be late.

Can't you drive us, Mum?

Isn't there a rule that says school's cancelled if it's over 40 degrees?



Catching the bus is a good way to get to know the other kids.

I don't want to get to know them.

You want to have friends, don't you?

Not from this shithole of a town.

Uh-uh. You know the rules.

Can I have some money, Dad?

Where's your sister?

She's outside, waiting.

We thought we'd get an ice-cream on the way home.



That's it.

Don't let her out of your sight, OK?

Is that all?

Thanks, Dad.

Hello. Hi.

Can you give my brother a cigarette?

Yeah, sure.

You do that yourself?


I like it.

Come with me.


Oh! Go, Stevie!

Shit. Jarrah! Jarrah, what are you doing home?

Uncle Burtie picked me up.

G'day, Jarrah.

Mum, what are you doing with the pig?

Shh! He's not a pig.

Come on, get out.

Hey, Burtie.

Hey, Rae.

Hey, mate, next time you decide to pick up Jarrah early... you give us a heads-up?



Never mind, mate.

I've gotta go back to work.

Do you want to watch the footy after?

Yeah, sure.

Lily, you in there?


You need anything washed for the morning?

Just these, thanks.

Where'd you go after school?

To the skate park.

Did Tommy go with you?

Can't keep calling him Tommy anymore.

Did he?

What? Go with you.

Yeah. Of course.


Stop it!


I just thought he was born that way.


He was hit by a car when he was a kid.

Who was? Burtie.

He's got the most amazing scar on the back of his head.

Well, I just don't want you distracting him from his work.

Yes, ma'am.

Dad? Mm-hm?

There's a concert coming up in a couple of weeks in Coonaburra, and some of my friends are going, and I was thinking maybe I could go too.

You must be joking.

No. Why?

I think you know very well why.


Lily, you know we can't allow you to...

Oh, for fuck's sake.

Hey. That's enough.

It's just a concert.

How long do we have to stay here? Oh, come on. You love it here.

Shut up. It's all your fault we're here.

Thanks, guys. Lily...

You know, you can be a real arsehole sometimes, Dad.

I'm just saying she does whatever she wants.

She's almost as out of control as you were.

Never cares how it affects anyone else.

Well, you married me.

Sleep here tonight.

It's too bloody hot. Neither of us will get any sleep.

Mmm. Please?

What are you doing?

Come on. You used to like it when I did this.

Don't. Don't.

I'll see you in the morning.


I hate it here.

What do you think we should have done, Catherine?

Step backwards for me, this bloody town. You know that?


Yeah, we all know that.

What's that supposed to mean?

What is that supposed to mean?

Oh, God.

Hey, it's me.

Did the kids go in with you this morning?

No, I left early. Why? Anything wrong?

I guess... I guess I just missed them.

I slept late.

Oh. They must have left just after me.



There's... talk of a dust storm running through later.

So, just make sure everything's shut up good and tight, OK?

Sure. I will.

Bye. - Bye.

But... but let me just get this right. So, you... you say they haven't been going to school regularly?

That's correct. You need to talk to your kids.

I know, but... I mean, surely that's not just our responsibility?

Well, you're their parents.

You realise we can't enforce attendance, can we?

Yes. Yes, I understand that.

Hi. It's Lily. I'm not here.


Neil. It's Catherine.

What do you want?

Is Lily with you? - What? No.

Come on, tell me the truth.

- She's not here. Just...

Please. Come on.

She's not here. Leave us alone.


Hi, love. Coreen, this is my wife, Catherine.

You have to come home now. This is Burtie's sister.

It's OK. It's just a dust storm.

The... the kids aren't at school.

They aren't anywhere. You have to come home.

Excuse me.

What's going on?

The kids, they've gone.


Please, you have to come home. No, I don't have to come home.

We don't have to do anything like that. You just go home. You wait for me.

I'll be there as soon as I can.


Thank you.

Sorry about that.


Have you closed all the windows?

Yes. Yes, I've done it.

You phoned the school?

They haven't been going to school.


Not just today.

I told you... their schoolbags are still here.

I really think we should go to the police. No, I'm not going to the police.

Well... I'm not just staying here.

They could be out there in that.

I'm not going through it all again.

Everyone knowing our fucking business. We're just getting settled here.

Come on, Matthew. This is different.

Tom is gone too.

This is ridiculous. They wouldn't be stupid enough to be out in this.

They may not have had a choice.

What the...




Is there anyone... any friends, family, they might have gone to?

What about from your last place of residence... Coonaburra?

I called a couple of people, and they hadn't heard from them.


Are they on any social networking sites?

They used to be.

Not anymore.


Lily's been missing before?

That's... oh, that's in there?

Well, this is the missing persons database.

If she's ever been reported as missing to police, then she'll be in there.

Yes, she... well, no... I mean, she just... It was for two nights, and I panicked and I went to the police, and...

and she came back.


And where did she go then?

She stayed at a friend's house.

Have you called the friend?

Yep. Yep, I have.

Is there anything else?

Anything else you want to tell me?

Any... personal problems? Medical issues?


Tom walks.

He walks sometimes, at night.

He can't sleep, so he goes out walking.


Do you know where he goes?

Um... I mean, he just really... he doesn't go far.

He just sort of goes around the neighbourhood, really, so...

And further sometimes.

What, out into the desert?

And the gorge.

Um... Lily's never been out with him.

Doesn't mean she wouldn't have this time.


Look, 95% of the time, they'll come back within 24 hours.

We don't usually get emergency services involved until then.

Who'd you call?

Oh. Melissa and Kylie, and Tom's friend Jack.

That all?


He said she wasn't there.

Hi. It's Lily. I'm not here.

Any word?


Come in.

Can you tell me something more about why you left Coonaburra?

Mr Parker?

My daughter had a sexual relationship with one of her teachers.

Neil McPherson.

Have you tried contacting him?


Is that because of the restraining order?

I'm told you beat him up pretty bad.

You have kids, Detective?

Well, I'm not really here to talk about me, Mr Parker.


Why didn't you press charges?

I didn't want our daughter's name to be dragged through the mud.

Thank you.

Why did Lily run away the first time?

I don't believe they have run away.

Was it because of the teacher?

I've already answered that.


We wouldn't let her see him anymore, so...

Thank you.

And what about Tom? Was he involved in any of this?

We were all involved.

Look, my kids are out there somewhere.

Why are you here? Catherine.


Hello? - Hello. Is Mr Parker there?

Yes. Yes, he's here.

Hold on. - Thank you.


- Mr Parker? Mm-hm.

Do you think Lily could be seeing someone in town?

Look, the thing with the schoolteacher, that wasn't her fault.


Need to open up the pharmacy. Oh, come on.

Oh, please. You're not going to do that now?

A kid's had an asthma attack. Come on, Matthew. Not now.

I don't have a choice.

Excuse me.

What are you doing? I don't have a choice, Catherine.

I'm sorry. Would I be able to have a look at their rooms?

If they're out there, how long would they last?

Oh, it's hard to say.

How long?

If they're out there in this heat, two or three days.

But longer if they have access to water.

You got your work cut out there, Al.

Oh, mate, it is a real shit fight.

Have you heard about those kids gone missing?

Yeah. Going to go out looking after we deal with this.

You two guys know Tom and Lily?

Yeah, we've seen 'em about.

It's hard to miss her.

How well do you know her?

He knows her.


You any idea what's going on?

Like, when was the last time you saw her?

Yesterday at the skate park. Yeah?

What time would that have been?

In the arvo.

You know she's only 15?

Hang on, Rae.

Are you about to accuse my son of something?

I'm just doing my job, Alan.

Why don't you talk to Burtie, Rae?

Isn't he working up at the house?

I'll see you boys out there.

Do you think maybe one of us should have stayed at home?

In case they come back?

I thought this is what you wanted to do.

What's this? A fucking search party?

Great. That's just great.

Oh, come on, Matthew. These people are trying to help us.

Well, they're not going to find her here.

They'll find her shacked up with some guy again, and she'll probably have dragged Tom with her too.

Wait, what are you doing?

Stop the car. Stop the car.

Stop the fucking car!

This is exactly what she wants.

Look, Uncle! Muni muni!


Hey, Rae. Hey, Burtie.

Hey, Jarrah.

Hey, Rae.

Coreen's inside.

Yeah, no, I'm not here to see your sister, Burtie.

You know the Parkers?

Are they... they good people?


You heard what's happened?

I mean, you've been working there.


But I don't know anything.

Touch in the dark.

No-one can see.

Touch in the dark.

You touch me.

Only light and dark.




Dizzy... from beer.

Spit on your hand.

Hold hard.

Skin scrapes.

Back burns.

Close my eyes.

Hold hard.

You inside me inside you.

Uh, Rae, yeah, I've just passed over Cunningham Gully now, and, uh... just looking down there, there's more searchers out here as well.

We're going to head back to the fire station now, where the command post is setting up. Over.

Hey, mate, what's the mother doing here?

She wants to be involved.

I think we ought to get you home now.

Someone should be there in case they call.

Matthew's at work, right?

Yeah. Yeah.

Do you want some water?

Hey, Floyd.

Come here.

I've been talking to a number of people in town, and, uh...

I can't ignore...

You know, there's talk that...

Lily had relations with some of the young men.

I'm sorry. I'm not saying it's true.

Around here, some of the blokes can't even look a woman in the eye.

But can you remember anyone she might have mentioned?


I found this... last night.

Matthew can't know anything about it.




Coreen. Burtie's sister.

Oh. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

We thought you may need some supplies.

Oh, right. Thanks for that.

Just some sandwiches.

This is my son, Jarrah.

Hey. Hi.

Is there anything else you need?

No. No, no.

Maybe Ngatyi swallowed your kids, missus.

You should sing to him.

That's how they rescued the women.

Who's Ngatyi?

The Rainbow Serpent.


His nan's been telling him the old ways.

The old stories.

I think we should leave Ms Parker now, yeah?

You've got Burtie's number.

If you need anything, just give us a call, yeah?


Stevie. Stevie!

You say nothing to this prick, you hear me?!

Al, come on. Take it easy.

It's a fuckin' joke, Pete. Alright.

And you know it! Just calm down. Take it easy.

Rae! Rae!

You know it's bullshit.

It's fuckin' bullshit.

Are you Steve?


Which one of you's Steve?


Is anyone Slug?

I wouldn't have minded a ride on her daughter.

This is my boy. This is Tom. He's...

He's missing. You know him?

And this is Lily. You know where she is?

You check The Box?

Heard she spent a lot of time in there.

The what?


If any of you see my kids, you let me know. You got it?


Yeah... just a sec.

Thought you might want a beer.


Sorry, Catherine. You were saying?

Yeah, well, the problem is if her phone's switched off or out of battery, then there's just no way we can locate it.

OK. Yep. I'll be in touch if I hear anything.

Thank you.

And, Catherine, try and get a bit of sleep, OK?


I will, thanks.


Sorry about that. No worries.

We went over there today.


The Parker place.

What for?

Just being neighbourly.

Jesus, Coreen. I'm the investigating officer.

We just took some food over there.

God. Keep your shirt on, dude. Far out.

She's kind of pretty, isn't she?

Who, Lily?

No, the mother.


So, what do you reckon happened?

I can't talk about it.


It's not like I've told anybody anything you've told me before.

You hungry?

I've got some leftover Chinese.

I like, um... eating.

And I like swimming.

And I like annoying my little brother...

Oh... who sometimes walks into my room without knocking.

He sounds like a very handsome fellow.

No, he's not.

And I like hanging out at the skate park...



Tom? Hello? Wh-who is this? Tom?


You... can't be here. Lily!


Neil? What the fuck's he doing here?

I don't know. Get away from my family!

I'm calling the police.

Have you seen my daughter?

No. I haven't seen your daughter.

Where is she?! Where is she?!

I haven't seen your daughter.



Don't you ever come back here! You hear me?

You hear me?!

Burtie. What the fuck?

I have to tell you something.

What? Come inside.

It's about the Parkers.

I know about you and Lily.

Do you know something about her disappearance?

No. No.

I'm a police officer, Burtie.

I know that.

I'm not fuckin' stupid.

No, of course you're not.

Have you done something to her?

Me and... Lily...


I just...

I didn't take her away.


She's a minor.

Yeah? Do you understand that?

I can't... I can't know anything more about it.


OK, Rae.


I get it.


Something else you want to... you want to tell me?

She didn't tell me she was going.


She's out there.

How do you know that?

I don't know.

I can just feel it.

You're unbelievable.

What's up?

We think Darel's found something.

So it's his?

Yeah. It's his.

You didn't listen to me.

We're doing the best we can, Catherine.

Now that the SES are helping us with the search, we've got a lot more resources to call on.

I've notified Matthew.

He didn't listen to me.

I kept saying they were out there.


You know, I had a phone call last night. It was a hang-up.

OK, I'll get a trace.

What...? Do you think it was them?

I don't know.

I made a copy.

Did you talk to those boys?

Look, they don't have anything to do with Tom and Lily's disappearance, Catherine.

I'm pretty sure of that. I mean, Slug is just full of hot air.

Yeah? And without Lily here to make a claim against Steve, there's no real case against him, so I've had to let them go.

And Burtie?

Yeah, I spoke to Burtie.

Look, he wouldn't hurt a fly.

I need you to take me back out there.

You know, we had these red feather fans from a Christmas costume.

Lily found them and she...

I don't know. She was six or seven at the time.

She took off all her clothes.

She was dancing around naked and...

It was so beautiful.

It was all just coming from within her, you know, and she was free and...

But I think it frightened... it frightened Matthew.


It was about then that I think things started to... to change.

For him.

With us.


Do you have kids?

Two girls.


So, you're married, then?


I was.

I'm sorry. No. Uh...

No, no. It's none of my business. I should...

No, we, uh...

It's complicated. She...

My wife left me. She, um...

She took the girls, and...

I haven't talked about it for, um...

You know.

I miss them. I miss... I miss...

I don't know. I miss having them around.

I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking.

It's alright, truly.

Could you stop the car, please? Yeah.

I just need to get out of the car. Yeah.

I'm so sorry, Catherine.

It's OK. It's OK.

I'm sorry.

Look, it's alright. It's alright. It's alright.

It's alright.

We have to keep looking.

We have to.

Maybe you should look at home.

What do you mean?

That's what they do sometimes.

They leave of their own volition.

Because they have to.

Are you talking about your wife?


Maybe I am.

You right?

Was it Tom's hat?


Did they find anything else?


What are you doing about it?

We're doing everything we can, Mr Parker.

Neil McPherson's made a complaint against you.

You're lucky I didn't let them charge you.

It's from the storm.

I need to install one of those new flush converters.

Listen, Cath...

Rae thinks Lily's been abused.

Since she was a child.

That's why she's behaving like this.

Because of the teacher.

Before the teacher.

Did you ever touch her?

Did you?

Stop it. Catherine, stop it!

I never touched our daughter.

Why did you go out in the middle of the night?

Why are you doing this to me? Just answer the question.

Why did you go out in the middle of the night?

Look at me. Why are you doing this?

Because you're not doing anything!

You're not doing anything!

You know, it wasn't just Neil. There's been other boys.

There's been boys here.

There's been boys at the skate park. Burtie.

Burtie! Do you hear me?

Burtie, who you let paint this bloody house! Burtie!

Burtie? Yeah.

Rae told you this? Hmm?

Rae knew?

Mr Parker.

Is she in there with you?

My sister? Not your fucking sister!





Just come out!

What are you doing with this?

Did you touch my daughter?

Talk to me. Tell me. Did you touch her?

Please, Mr Parker.

Why don't you fucking answer the question?

Did you touch my daughter?

I don't know where they are.

Wake up.

Wake the fuck up! Wake up!


So, what's the big problem?

He beat up Burtie.

Who did?

That fuckwit Matthew Parker!

What are you gonna do, Rae?

Well, what does Burtie want to do? Is he alright?

Jesus, Rae! Never mind Burtie!

I want to know what you're gonna do about that fuckin' psycho!

No, he's not a psycho.

He beat my brother up for no reason.

No, he had a reason.


Well, I want to know the reason.

Jesus, Rae, are you taking their side on everything now?!

I'm investigating the disappearance of their children, right?

It's my job.

There's something else going on!

It's because of her, isn't it? Oh, Jesus Christ.

Every breath they take is a breath without their kids!

I mean, can you even begin to imagine what that feels like?

Yeah, Rae.

I can.

I have a child, remember?


You know, people are saying they murdered them.

Oh, Jesus Christ, Coreen.

Burtie was having sex with their 15-year-old daughter.



Tom! Tom!

Lily! Lily!



Hi. It's Lily. I'm not here.


Lily? Lily!

Who is this?




Your daughter's a whore.

Mr Parker?


Hey, Burtie.

Is Mr Parker in? No. Why?

What happened?

Well, um... I think I...

I need to talk to him.

Come in. Sit down.

Come on.

I'm gonna put something on it.

It's alright.

Looks swollen.

This is Lily's top.

I know.

Do you like it?


Stand up.

Come on. Stand up.

Do I smell like her?

Do I?

Do I look like her?

Sorry, Mrs Parker.


Don't tell Lily.

Where is he?

Where is he? In here.

Where? Here.

What about Lily? No.

Cath. Cath!



Oh, my Tommy!

Oh, my baby!

Tommy! Oh, my baby!

Tommy! Oh!

Baby Tommy. Huh?


What is wrong with him?

I don't know. He can't talk, he won't talk.

It's the dehydration. It causes delirium.

Shock, maybe.

It's your mum.

It's your dad.

Come on. Look at me.

It's me.

Tommy? Where's Lily?

You need to show me where you found him right away.

Tommy, where's Lily? Where's your sister?

Where's your sister?

If she's still out there somewhere, we haven't got a lot of time... less than 24 hours.


I just have to ask myself how it is you found him.

I just assumed you lot were incompetent.

So I started looking in the opposite direction.

And guess what.

I know you beat up Burtie.

You're going to arrest me for that?

No. No.

No, you're more interested in whether or not I molested my daughter.

Did you?

Did I?

You disgust me.

Well, you know that's what a lot of other people are going to be thinking.

You know damn well who has.

You knew Burtie was having sex with my daughter and you did nothing.

Actually, I didn't know. Bullshit.

You knew and you did nothing.

We've covered about 5km so far today.

Pretty rough through the valley.

We don't know what we're going to find...


Any change?

Someone's been calling.

What do you mean, calling? Oh...

They've been hanging up, and it's...

A few times. When?


Yesterday. Yesterday, I think.

You tell Rae?

They said she was a whore.

Are we bad parents? Are we?


Did I do something wrong?

Did I?




Well, she didn't get it from me.

Did she?

Did she?

She didn't get it from me.

Can you let me out?

Stop the car.

Have you heard about all those UFO sightings out by Belconnel?

I reckon it was aliens who took those kids.

They love the desert. They can land their shit there.

I reckon that girl's a goner.

She's totally fucked.

Don't they usually reckon it's one of the family?

Excuse me. Excuse me.

You're Jarrah's grandmother, aren't you? Yes.

Uh, Jarrah... Jarrah told me a story.

He told me about the, uh... the Rainbow Serpent.

And how the women... the women were saved.

Can you help me find my daughter?

I don't know anything. No, no, no. Yes, you do.

That Jarrah, he's got a big imagination.

No. Please, please, please. Help me.

Help me.


What? What?

First it was the white ones.

Then it was the black ones.

Kids go missing out here.

It's the land.

What does that mean? What does that mean?


What are you doing?

I took him out. Here.

Hold on to these.

Look, I know what I'm doing, OK?

Are you hungry?

You need a drink?

Is there anything for him to eat?


I have to run to the supermarket.

Keep an eye on him, OK?



It's alright. There's no news.

I thought I'd give it one more try with Tom.

Go for it. He's in there.

He won't say anything.

Now, Tom, we all really need your help, mate.

He's not going to help you.

Yep. Want to leave me alone with him for a minute?

You know things.

You... know things.

Mate, did you and Lily leave here together?

Were you going somewhere?

Did you meet someone?


Or did you just get lost down there, mate?


Tom, Lily... Lily won't make it past today if she's out there.

You understand that, don't you?

OK, mate. Thanks. You take care of yourself.

I'm really sorry, Catherine.

I don't...

I'll let myself out.

You be patient with him, eh?

You need to talk now.

You look at me. You look at me.

Look at me.

Was she meeting someone?

Talk to me.

Your sister needs you to talk.

Where were you going? Hmm? Hmm?

Why won't you speak?

Speak to me, you...

Speak to me now!

Your sister is going to die! You speak to me now!

You hear me?! Catherine!

You speak! Get off him!

What are you doing?! Get off! No!

Leave him alone! Get a hold of yourself!

I'm sorry. He knows.

It's OK. It's OK.

It's going to be alright.

It's OK. She got into a car.

What car, Tommy? Hmm? What car?

Did you see the driver?

Hmm? The licence plate?

It was too dark.

Tommy, why didn't you say something?

I was scared.

I should have gone with her.

No. No.

It's not your fault.

No, it's not your fault.

It's not your fault.

Mr Parker?

Are you still there?


I asked you about the car she got into.

He doesn't know. He said it was too dark.

OK, then we'll get a police officer over to talk to him.

Don't. I don't want it to be Rae.


Something happen?

I was just about to go back out there. You alright?


Don't, don't, don't, don't, don't.

Please! Please.

Please. Please hold me.

Hold me, please.

I can't. I can't. I can't.

What? Catherine...

What is it?!

What's wrong with me?! There's nothing wrong with you.

What? Why? Why?

What? What?

What is it?


It's Matthew.

Is Catherine with you?


Do you know where she is?

No, she...



Lily! Lily!


Bring her back! Bring her back!

Bring her back!


Touch... Touch. the dark.

No-one can see.

Touch in the dark.

You touch me.


Fuck me sideways.

Oi, Steve. Oi!

Oi, Dad.

Mum, Mum, Mum! Mum, come look.

Stevie, get the doc.



Hey, Mrs Parker. Are you alright?


I got you. I got you. I got you.

I got you. I got you.

I got you. I got you.

Is she alright? No, I don't need your help.

I've got you. I've got you. You're safe. You're safe now.

Watch your head.


saw Lily leave.

She got into a car.

That's all we know.


We need you back.

Catherine, you need to come back.

Tom needs you.

I need you.

There's something I have to tell you.

I saw them leave that night.

I was so fucking angry.

I went inside to get my keys to go after them, but then I stopped.

I just stopped.

I wanted to punish her.

I'm sorry.

You want me to go?

Maybe she has run away.

She left her diary.

I kept it from you.

I shouldn't have done that.

Tom, I'm sorry.

So sorry.

You sleep.


Looks like it's gonna rain.

If I could just take back that moment...

There is a stillness in the air... and I am in it.

There are no sounds.

No whispers.

No shadows.

No darkness.

And just for a moment... there is no you.

No me.

And I'm not lost.