1 Written by Mike Arrani
2 The story takes place in a small town, mainly in two flats located across the yard of each other. FADE IN: INT. WORKROOM - NIGHT We see a window of a small apartment building with some dimmed light inside. Judging by the shadows, there's some strange movements inside the flat, which make the whole picture strangely hypnotizing. There's something weird happening in that apartment. Then we see, our main protagonist. He's a middle class man in his late 20s, maybe a bit chubby, maybe has a bit of stubble, could wear glasses too. Max's flat is right opposite that window. Right now Max is drinking his coffee and looking at that window with curiosity, as it's the only window with a light in the whole building. Seems like I'm not the only night dweller here anymore. He finishes up his coffee and tries to look closer. (CONT'D) The hell is going on in there though? He turns around and starts going out of the room, which is pretty dark, and lit only by his computer and maybe a small lamp. (CONT'D) Anyway, gotta eat something and get back to work. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT The kitchen is a much lighter place. Max walks in, in a very relaxed manner, turns on the TV (the news channel) and starts preparing food. NEWS REPORTER (ON TV) Police have been searching for six supposed victims, although the real
3 number is still unknown. Thankfully, tonight, the killer has been caught red-handed. The report catches Max's interest. He looks at the screen. POLICEMAN (ON TV) The arrested is very non-cooperative, he refuses to talk, or even say his name. We suspect he might be suffering from some mental disorder. They show the footage of the criminal. When Max looks at it, he finds it so creepy, and yet so unusual and weird, that he keeps staring at it, as all the sounds of the TV become muted. The criminal indeed looks weird, he has a very focused, penetrative sight, little to no hair (even in eyebrows), his ears are subtly pointy, and he's smiling with a light, almost archaic smile. All in all, he looks kind of abnormal. NEWS REPORTER (ON TV) Now we ask all faint-hearted to refrain from watching, as the following images are very graphic. Max is unsettled by what he sees next. Max changes the channel. Jesus! What is that? It's like their faces were eaten out from the inside. Oh, god. What is wrong with people today? INT. WORKROOM - NIGHT Max comes back to his room, starts working on his computer. As he's working, we can see some details about his life. There's pictures of his family, of his wedding and trips abroad. Signs of an average life of a family man. Hours pass. At some point Max zoned out and has been staring at an empty spot. It's around 5 or 6 in the morning now. Why can't I get this face out of my head? I must've overworked, if I keep thinking
4 about such things. Max's pregnant wife,, comes into the room. Talking to yourself again? Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you up? No, I just had trouble sleeping tonight for some reason. I've woken up the third time already. Kim sits down at the edge of the table. Kim strokes Max's head. This night is somewhat unusual. So, what were you talking to yourself about? I've already told you, I don't talk to myself, I just think aloud. But why? I don't know. I just feel like it. I think you're just lonely. You spend all your time in solitude... I miss you, you know. Come on, you know it's temporary. In half a year they're gonna hire me in-house in the capital. This work is our only chance to get out of this town.
5 You know, sometimes I feel like, maybe we shouldn't. Maybe life here isn't that bad. It's quiet here, not a lot of people, plus it's closer to nature, and somewhat safer. You've seen how many crazies there are in the cities. Max remembers the report. (NODDING) Yeah, I have. Kim touches Max's face. Max touches Kim's hand. Besides, here I feel more intimate. (CONT'D) It's like there's only you and me, on an uninhabited island, isolated from the civilization. It's difficult to disagree with you, but... Max clasps Kim's palm with both hands and looks her in the eyes. Max kisses Kim's palm. (CONT'D) You probably haven't got used to this town yet, but I grew up here. I want you to understand me, I'm really tired of living in a place, where nothing happens, where there's no jobs or opportunities for growth. (CONT'D) We're about to have a baby... Max caresses Kim's tummy. (CONT'D)
6 And I want it to have a better life, than I had. Kim's smiling, her face expresses love. They start making out. You're gonna be a great father. Not without such a great wife. FADE TO BLACK INT. BEDROOM / KITCHEN / WORKROOM - NIGHT Max wakes up. It's dark. Kim is sleeping nearby. He gets up. He comes to the kitchen, puts the kettle or the coffee machine on. He comes to the workroom, turns the computer on, and while it's loading, he approaches the window and looks through it. Down at the yard, he sees two guys walking along the sidewalk. One of them has a weird gait. Not really normal. Who is that? Max looks closer. He finds something familiar and unusual in that weirdly walking man. The couple approaches the entrance, and the strange man opens the door for the other one. Then Max hears the kettle/coffee machine and goes to the kitchen. After coming to the kitchen, he gets his mind off of what he's just seen. He calmly makes himself tea/coffee. Maybe even whistling some song. As he comes back to the workroom, he sees that dimmed light again, in the same window. He steps closer and sees the weird shadows in that window again. He's watching it like hypnotized. (CONT'D) It must be those people... He's watching for some time, before forcing himself to snap out.
7 (CONT'D) Can't waste any more time on this. Max goes to his computer and starts working. Again, a couple of hours pass, but this time, while working, he keeps looking back at the window out of curiosity, to see, whether the light is still on. Some time later, Max is staring at the screen with blank expression on his face. The time is around 3 AM. Max hears the sound of the intercom, signalizing, that the door of that entrance was opened. Max rushes to the window with immense curiosity. Max sees that one of those two guys came out. Strangely enough though, he has that weird gait, but he's dressed like the other guy, the average-lookin one. (CONT'D) What the hell? Did they exchange clothes? Max keeps watching that person leave. INT. KITCHEN - MORNING Kim's making a breakfast. For example, fried eggs. Max walks into the room, looking very tired. Hey, how was your work today? Max sits down at the table. To be honest, pretty bad. I had to translate a report, but I just couldn't make myself work, my mind was occupied with other stuff, so I barely even touched it. When do you have to submit it? Well, I have a week left, but there's more than just this report, it's... It's complicated, never mind. Don't worry so much, dear. Once you have
8 too little time left, your adrenaline levels will rise, and you'll have much higher productivity. I'm sure you'll make it in time. Now, do you want some fried eggs? Max is thinking about something else, not hearing her. Max! What? (CONT'D) I said, do you want fried eggs? Oh, yeah, wouldn't mind. Okay. Look, can I ask you something? Can you take out the trash in the meanwhile? Yeah, sure. Max gets up, and goes to the trash bucket. EXT. YARD - MORNING Max goes to the garbage bins, throws out the trash and only starts going back, when he sees a person that looks suspiciously similar to the murderer from the news. Max does not remember it though, and he recognizes this person by his weird gait. Max assumes, it's a new. The Neighbour is carrying a bag of trash too, but that bag is much bigger, and it looks there's meat inside it, or something of similar consistence. Max can't resist his urge to talk with him, to settle his curiosity. Excuse me! Max quickly runs up to the Neighbour, just before he manages to throw his bag into the bin. (CONT'D)
9 Are you new here? I haven't seen you before. The Neighbour is staring at him with his unearthly wide eyes. Not blinking. Yes. Hi, I'm Max. Max stretches out his hand, offering the Neighbour a handshake. (CONT'D) I live in the house across the yard. The Neighbour keeps staring at him with apparent unfriendliness. Will you step aside? Max realizes, he's standing in the way. Oh I'm sorry, of course. Max steps aside. When the Neighbour is in the process of throwing out his trash bag, Max notices how suspicious the bag looks. The Neighbour goes back right away, but Max doesn't leave him alone. (CONT'D) You know, I've never really noticed any other "owls" in this district before. As far as I know, I used to be the only one here, who didn't sleep nights. You know, I'm just... glad, I'm not the only odd one anymore. The Neighbour stops and turns to Max with surprised, yet threatening look. Odd? That frightens Max a bit.
10 Well, I didn't mean it in a bad way, we re just the only 2 people, who are awake at nights, that s all. The Neighbour looks even more clod-blooded and threatening. Who said I was awake? Max starts to get a hint, something isn't right. Well, I guess I was mistaken then... The Neighbour's eyes widen. You should be careful. The lack of sleep at night can mentally derange you. The Neighbour keeps staring at Max with maniacal look, so Max lowers his head, because he can't bear it. When he looks up again, The Neighbour is already walking away with his inhuman gait. INT. WORKROOM - NIGHT The scene begins with a close-up of a clock. Then we have the close-up of Max's tired eyes. Then the shot widens, and we see Max obsessively watching the Neighbour's window and the yard. The yard is empty, there's only a few street lights. Come on, where are you, you fuck? Max steps away from the window, rubs his tired face with his hands. (CONT'D) What if I scared him away with my questions? What if he's left, fearing that I'll uncover his secrets? (V.O.) (WHISPER) What if I've gone crazy?
11 A bit startled by such thought, Max thinks about that possibility for a second, before going back to questioning. Maybe he's just sleeping? Maybe he's just a weirdo, and all his actions have simple explanations? Max approaches the window again, sighs heavily and looks at the Neighbour's window for the last time. It's still dark. (CONT'D) I need to get back to my work. But, as soon as he gives up, he notices something. A couple of people has just entered the yard from behind the corner. One of them Max recognizes as the Neighbour by his weird gait. The other one is a woman either in her late 20s or early 30s. This livens Max up, so he leans on the window in obsessive curiosity. (CONT'D) I fucking knew it! Like previous time, the Neighbour opens the door for her, lets her in. The window lights up with that dimmed light, and that devilish dance of shadows starts again. (CONT'D) You bastard, what're you doing there with them? Max looks closer. For a few seconds, we see a shot of that window. Suddenly, somewhere from below the bottom edge of that window, appears for a second, what seems to be a screaming female face in a grimace of agony and fear. That startles Max, he flinches and backs down. When he looks at the window again, there's nothing there. It happened so fast, that he's not sure what happened, if anything at all. (CONT'D) What the hell was that? Was it her face? Should I call the police? Nah, I shouldn t, I have no proofs, and not even sure if anything happened or if I m just hallucinating. INT. WORKROOM - NIGHT
12 Hours pass. Max is still watching the window. The dimmed light in it goes off. Now though, there's two people leaving the house, but something is wrong. The guy, Max assumed to be the Neighbour, is still the same as he was, when entering the house. The woman though, appearing to look the same from this distance, now also has that exact unnatural gait, that the Neighbour has. This genuinely creeps Max out, to the point of goosebumps and "cold sweat". Suddenly though, bot of the strangers synchronously stop and slowly turn their heads towards Max. This frightens Max even more, so he takes a step back to step out of their field of view. Now, in his own field of view is the Neighbour's dark window. However, even in darkness, he accidentally notices a "human" silhouette, that also looks a lot like his Neighbour's. That person appears to be standing still and staring at Max. Terrified beyond comprehension, Max slowly curtains the window. EXT. YARD - MORNING The dark night's sky changes into the light-blue morning sky. Max is confidently moving across the yard. The yard is still empty, save for the yard's janitor, JACK. It's a middle-aged man, a bit rough-looking, with a stubble and an unhappy facial expression. Max approaches him. Hey, Jack. JACK Max. Haven't seen you in a long time, how's it going? Well, you know, working nights, don't really have time for anything else. JACK That's not good for you, Max. A young man, like you, should spend more time outside. Go out for a walk, go to some restaurant with your wife. How is she, by the way? Good-good. You know, she's pregnant and all. JACK Really? Oh, that's wonderful! How l--
13 (INTERRUPTS) Look, Jack, I'm sorry, but I'm in a bit of a hurry right now. I need to ask you a favour. JACK Oh... Well, sure, go ahead. Max points at the Neighbour's entrance door. See that door? I heard you know codes to all the intercoms in this yard, that can open any entrance way. Could you give me the code to that one? JACK Well... It's against the rules... Come on, Jack, please, I really need it. It's very important. You've known me for years, you know you can trust me, can't you? JACK Well, yeah, I suppose. CUT TO: INT. STAIRWELL - MORNING Max enters the stairwell. It's dark inside. Max gets to the needed floor. There, he needs to guess, which door is the one he's looking for. Near one of the doors he sees black spots on the mat. He pushes aside the mat and it seems like some kind of black liquid has dried up there. Then he notices that there's no bell button, but it's clear that it used to be there, but was torn out, and left a trace. Max summons all his courage and knocks on the door. At first he does it lightly, as if his instinct of self-preservation restrains him. Then, seeing that there is no reaction, he knocks too hard. We can hear the steps gradually increasing in volume. Max looks at the peephole, and sees that it darkens, and it stays so for a few seconds, unsettling Max. Finally, we hear the door unlocking, and then it starts to slowly
14 open. But it does not open entirely, of course, the Neighbour is holding it. Sooner or later, the upper part of his abnormal head with crazy eyes appears in this space between the edge of the door and the doorway. The interior of the apartment is not visible, because it's dark. Surprisingly, the Neighbour speaks with a completely different voice, than he had before. This time it's deeper, lower, bassy, and a bit less manly. I knew you would come. Tell me, what s going on? The Neighbour's eyes widen. Why don't we talk inside? N-no Let s talk here. I want the answers. Mmm.. There's always someone like you. You've seen me last night, didn't you? And you know I ve seen you. So stop playing games. The Neighbour opens door entirely now, and makes a step forward, while, sort of correcting his jaw with his hand, as if it wasn't in its place. When he lowers his hand, it becomes apparent, that half of his face is smeared with blood. He is wearing that same archaic smile, as the murderer from the news. Max is shocked and makes a step back. But I like playing games. If not for games, what s the point of life anyway? (WHISPERS) Jesus Christ...
15 Do you wanna play, Max? A terrifying realization dawns upon Max, or so he thinks. I think I know what you're doing. You re eating people! When I first saw you, I thought you looked familiar, now I know! There was that guy on the news, a serial killer. His victim looked like it was eaten from the inside. Like all the life was sucked out of it! That killer looked exactly like you It s amusing. You think you know what s going on, but you have no idea. Max starts slowly walking backwards. I'm gonna tell the police. Go ahead. Nobody s gonna believe you. Either way, there s so many of us already, we will soon be the police. Max stops and looks at the Neighbour with shock. We? I told you, you have no idea. And, unfortunately for you, it s too late. The neighbor's eyes begin to twitch uncontrollably in different directions and blink. He corrects them with his hands. Just what are you? If you're so eager to know, I shall show you. The neighbor rolls his eyes and his mouth begins to open wider
16 than any human body can allow. But the camera immediately switches to Max's reaction, and only the sounds of some disgusting transformation can be heard. Max looks at it in horror and steps back to the stairs. Then he forces himself to turn away and runs away. INT. BEDROOM - MORNING Max enters the bedroom, where Kim is sleeping on her side. He lies beside her, and hugs her from behind. (SLEEPY) Mm, what's the matter, honey? (WITH SHAKING VOICE) Nothing. I just wanted to be close. Kim reaches out to Max's face, and slides her hand over it. (FROWNING) You're breathing heavily. Did you go somewhere? Do you know, there's a new tenant across the yard? Yeah, I've heard of him. They say he's a weird guy. We will leave this place very soon. Until then, I want you to stay away from him, okay? Okay. Promise me.
17 (FROWNING) Okay, I promise. What's the big deal anyway? Max remembers the Neighbour's face. He's not all there. FADE OUT EXT. YARD - EVENING At the end, perhaps even during the credits, we see the panorama of the district. At first there is a dim light in one window, but gradually it starts appearing in others.