FADE IN: EXT. WOODS - NIGHT. Lifeless trees fill the dark forest. Their limbs carve menacing shapes from within the nocturnal shadows. The amber glow of a small FIRE appears behind the trees. SHADOWS move about. EXT. WOODS - CAMPFIRE - CONTINUOUS Three teens sit around a small campfire. Their faces are illuminated with the scarlet flames. The first teen, RACHEL, is barely seventeen. Although beautiful, she has a plaintive smile. Auburn hair falls to her shoulders. She REACHES outward, moving her hands closer to the fire. Rachel sits beside her boyfriend, BEN. Not exactly a jock. His clothes, hair, and eyes are all tinted with black. They are listening intently to their friend, JAMES, an intelligent face with ebony skin. He is telling a story. Rachel appears bored. JAMES ... The man with the ax came at the girl, but she stood her ground and as he moved the blade of the ax towards her she moved out of the way and knocked him to the ground andRACHEL This is bullshit. I mean, really? Why does every scary story have to have a final girl who is small and meek in the beginning of the story and then all of a sudden she becomes Miss Badass? How can this killer get by the annoying Jocks but when it comes to this girl he just turns into this man-bitch and she kills him. It's completely ridiculous. BEN Totally, we need a good story. know anything true?
2. JAMES How about the one with the escaped murderer with a hook? BEN (Sarcastic) Not like that's been done before. JAMES It has! All these stories are based off of true events. BEN Oh yeah, now I remember! That one happened to my cousin's best friend's brother-in-law's adopted sister. They all LAUGH. RACHEL On a serious note. I got a story for you guys. It's also true. BEN Please, enlighten us. RACHEL Have you guys heard the story of the Jackal? Ben looks at her curiously as James's eyes widen. JAMES I haven't heard that story since I was a kid! My mom used to tell me not to go out at night cuz the Jackal would get me. BEN Who is this jack-o'-lantern guy? RACHEL You seriously haven't heard of the Jackal? BEN No. JAMES He's a local legend. BEN Remember I just moved her last fall? Sorry I'm not up-to-date with my town history.
3. JAMES Rachel, would you like to tell him? RACHEL Alright, here we go... Jack Anderson, also known as the Jackal, was born here in Black Creek, Pennsylvania back in 1978 or something like that. His mother was crazy! She was a follower of this crazy backwoods cult who worships this God who gives them things as long as they follow the rules. The red "x" is a symbol for their gift to their God. She painted this "X" on her son's head. Giving him up to their God. Rachel looks over to Ben who gives her an unsure look. JAMES Tell him about the Jackal part! RACHEL Alright, jeez! Fifteen years later, he was given the gift of the Jackal, which makes him the hands of this God, if you will. He is to kill everything that enters the land that is full of sin, to bring their souls to this God to be judged. Giving him the title of The Jackal. In 1993, this couple moved into the woods in a trailer. They were ten years apart, and not married. They had a daughter who was 4. Ben's bent legs tighten close to his chest. He is uneasy, looking casually around at his surroundings. RACHEL (CONT'D) This didn't fly with this cult. The Jackal was sent in to destroy this family. I don't remember what else happened, just that he killed the couple and the little girl. Ben LAUGHS. BEN What a load of crap! Rachel rolls her eyes.
4. RACHEL Ben, believe what you want, but this is true. BEN Yeah? How come this guy wasn't arrested? How do people know about it if no one was there to witness it? JAMES I heard the little girl survived. BEN See? The story is even screwed up. Who knows how many versions of it are out there. RACHEL It was passed down from person to person. I can't tell you who started this story or the exact details, I mean, you could always go find the Jackal and ask him yourself! BEN No thanks! This story would be more believable if you could explain the cops in this situation or lack of. RACHEL We live in Black Creek! do we really have?
JAMES Our town is the perfect setting for a horror movie. Small backwoods town, almost no cops, woods where no one can hear you scream! They all LAUGH. Ben takes out his IPHONE from his pocket. his fingers on the screen.
He starts PRESSING
BEN And of course this town also has shitty service! RACHEL We should start heading back to the car. It's getting late and we have school tomorrow.
5. BEN Screw school! JAMES Hold that thought, I gotta pee. James stands up and walks towards the dark trees. BEN Be careful! You know in horror movies black people are the first to go! JAMES You know in horror movies, black people are almost never present because we know how to stay away from these dumb ass ideas you white people come up with. Most of the time, black people are just added to mix up the all white cast of big titted girls and dumb mutha fuckin white boys. James continues towards the trees, out of sight. BEN I got an idea! Rachel rolls her eyes. RACHEL Oh jeez.
He reveals his iPhone again. He stands up and walks towards the direction James went. Ben OPENS the CAMERA APP on his phone. It scans the woods around them. flash.
He ZOOMS in, turns on the
Nothing. BEN Where did he go? RACHEL He's peeing, leave him alone! THROUGH PHONE CAMERA: Grainy footage.
Nothing but trees.
6. The tint is in night vision. Everything is amplified. picture is jumpy, somewhat distorted.
James's image appears walking toward them. JAMES Really? You that sick you wanna see my junk? You're a nasty mutha fucker. Ben LAUGHS. BEN Just making sure no animals were sneaking up on you while you pee, man, that's all. Suddenly, a figure MOVES through the woods behind James. Ben STUMBLES back, DROPPING his phone as his muscles contract. RACHEL What? He quickly PICKS UP his phone and MOVES back a few feet. BEN I, I saw something! out there!
James is terrified as he rushes towards Ben. Rachel MOVES towards him as well. JAMES Did you see an animal or something? Ben's face is screwed up in shock. his forehead. BEN It was no fucking animal. too big.
Nervous sweat splashes
RACHEL Could be a bear? No.
BEN It looked like a person.
Rachel CLAMPS a hand over her mouth. A SHADOW forms in the woods in the shape of a tall built man. They panic.
7. JAMES Oh shit! The three of them RUN away. CUT TO: EXT. WOODS - ROAD - MOMENTS LATER They APPROACH an awaiting vehicle that stands shrouded in shadow. Ben jumps into the driver's seat. Rachel and James wait for him to unlock the doors. RACHEL (Panicking) Come on, Ben! Please! JAMES Hurry! Just as Ben sits down, a SHADOW appears from the back seat. Rachel SCREAMS for Ben. IN THE CAR: The JACKAL WRAPS a chain around Ben's neck, cutting off his air supply. He KICKS and STRUGGLES. His lips slowly turn blue as he tries to find oxygen. The Jackal PRODUCES a HUNTING KNIFE and DANGLES it in front of Ben's face. Ben COUGHS, attempting to beg for mercy. The glint from the knife's blade is caught on the distant firelight. Tears leak away from the corners of Ben's eyes, just as the Jackal DRIVES the knife forward. Blood is everywhere, Ben goes LIMP. chest.
The knife juts from his
OUTSIDE: James and Rachel go inane with fear, They turn from the vehicle and RUN back into the woods. The Jackal EXITS the vehicle and RUSHES after them. James looks behind him and sees the Jackal is close.
8. JAMES (CONT'D) Oh, shit! Rachel looks about in desperation. RACHEL We need to get to the road! Please God! Let us get to the road! The Jackal is dragging the CHAIN with him. It rattles and SCREAMS with every bump and crevice along the earth. He LIFTS the chain and WHIPS it at Rachel, HITTING her hard in the back. She FALLS. James looks back at Rachel as she cries on the ground. The Jackal MOVES closer to her. RACHEL (CONT'D) James! JAMES Rach, get up! Hurry! Rachel painfully STANDS. She TURNS around, the moonlight catching her face, just as the Jackal's outline can be made out behind her. James GASPS, just as Rachel SPINS around. The blade of the knife SLICES through the night air and SINKS into Rachel's neck. CRUNCH, the bones break from the cold steel. James SCREAMS, BACKING away. and FALLS.
He STUMBLES over a tree root
Rachel remains upright. Blood rapidly flows from the wound in her neck. Her eyes roll back. She FALLS to the ground in a convulsive fit. The Jackal BRINGS the knife down once again, into her skull. She dies immediately. James WRIGGLES in a pile of leaves as the Jackal MOVES over to him. Please!
JAMES (CONT'D) Leave me alone!
The Jackal SLAMS the chain downward like a whip. over to dodge the hit.
9. He KICKS out with his feet, HITTING the Jackal in the stomach. As James STANDS up, the chain FLIES at him, WRAPPING around his legs. The Jackal PULLS the chain towards him, making James FALL, SLAMMING his face into the ground. He cries, mouth and face trickling with blood. With ease, the Jackal DRAGS James back into the woods with the chain. James SCREAMS one last time. SMASH CUT TO BLACK.
CUT TO: EXT. WOODS - ROAD - DAY. A van is parked along the side of a small dirt road. GWEN STARLING, a young and beautiful girl with a modest and proper look, PULLS a bag from the TRUNK of the van. C'mon guys!
GWEN Move it!
STEVE DEKKER, a tall semi-built guy with dark hair and a sense of humor, appears behind her. STEVE Jeez, Gwen! Relax! We're here the entire weekend, no need to rush the fun. She rolls her eyes. GWEN If we stay on schedule, the more there is to do! Steve smiles at her and GRABS a bag from the trunk. SARA (O.S.) You guys are too much. SARA BECKER, a pretty girl with dark flowing hair and a bad attitude, APPROACHES the trunk of the van.
10. GWEN Well if he would just for once grow up and be an adult, we wouldn't have any issues. STEVE Well maybe you need to just have a drink for once and lighten up. Maybe get that stick out of yourSARA Guys, chill! Remember? We came out here for the weekend to get away from the shit in the city. Don't bring it with you. They NOD at her. GWEN Whatever, let's just get moving, please. STEVE (To Sara) She can't resist this package, I mean, who can? Sara SCOFFS. SARA Please, Steve, your ego alone makes me want to puke. Sara?
KATIE (O.S.) Can you come help me?
Sara PEEKS around the van to the the passenger door where KATIE MYERS, a pretty dumb-blonde, is SHOVING things into a BACKPACK. JAKE BURKE, a friendly charming face with only eyes for men, stands LAUGHING at Katie. MIKE BELTRAMI, a tall guy with a punk look, and MATT HARRIS, a cute guy with charm and brains, are talking out of earshot. She walks over to her. SARA What, Katie? KATIE Well I'm trying to fit everything into this bag and it won't work! Sara rolls her eyes, trying to be patient.
11. SARA What do you have in there? KATIE Marshmallows, Graham crackers, chocolate bars- which are melting, my mp3 player, my pillow and toothbrush and toothpaste. SARA Can't you just put it into another bag? KATIE But my other bags are stuffed with clothes, shoes and magazines. SARA You've got to be kidding me! We're camping, not staying in a hotel! JAKE Sara, take a midol. SARA Jake, I'm tired of your anti-girl remarks.. Just cuz you're a gay, doesn't make you superior to other men. Just means you're a nicely dressed, simple-minded moron. JAKE Yeah, whatever. SARA Can you get off your phone? We're camping in the woods. You don't need a cell phone! JAKE Hang on, I'm trying to check in on foursquare. He HOLDS his CELLPHONE in the air, PRESSING a button. JAKE (CONT'D) There's like no service up here! Can we go back? Really?
SARA You can survive.
JAKE (Joking) I don't know about that. (MORE)
12. JAKE (CONT'D) (pause) It works! Okay, where are we again? Mike and Matt APPROACH them. MATT Black Creek. KATIE Is it really black? Sara SHOOTS her an angry glare. SARA Just as black as the space between your face and the back of your head! Mike, can you help your girlfriend? He smiles. MIKE Sure, what's wrong, babe? He WALKS over to her and helps her with her bag. STEVE Matt, can you come grab a tent bag? MATT Sure, no problem. Matt GOES to assist Steve. JAKE Okay, Black Creek... Yes! in!
He looks at his screen closer. JAKE (CONT'D) Tips and warnings... Don't go into the woods. He LAUGHS JAKE (CONT'D) (Nervously joking) This isn't creepy at all! SARA It doesn't say that!
She looks at the screen but he quickly puts it into his pocket.
13. JAKE Lost service. GWEN Come on guys! We're going! Everyone MOVES over to the truck and GRABS the remaining BAGS. STEVE Hopefully we don't die or anything. No service and no one can hear us scream! Sara NUDGES him in the gut.
He MOANS, LAUGHING.
SARA Don't be an asshole. He SLAMS the trunk SHUT. CUT TO: EXT. ROAD - DAY. A small old sedan MOVES quickly down an empty road surrounded by trees. CUT TO: INT. CAR - ROAD - DAY. AMANDA RICHARDSON, a pretty girl with light brown wavy hair, sits in the driver's seat looking confused at the road ahead of her. HOLLY CAMP, a small girl with short auburn hair, sits next to Amanda in the passenger's seat HOLDING an unfolded MAP as she stares closely at it. AMANDA Holly, I think we're lost! HOLLY No, I just don't think this road is on the map. Just keep driving till we find a gas station. It's no big deal, sun's still up for a while. Holly FOLDS the map and looks down the road. HOLLY (CONT'D) Amanda, gas station, up there, see it?
14. AMANDA Yeah. I hope it's open. I could use a bag of chips or something too. CUT TO: EXT. GAS STATION - DAY The car TURNS into the Gas Station lot. It drives up to a glass door and STOPS. off.
It's engine is turned
Amanda and Holly EXIT the car and walk towards the door. Suddenly, NOAH WILLIS, an older man, APPROACHES them from the side. They JUMP, startled by his approach. NOAH Didn't mean to frighten you. What can I do for you lovely girls? AMANDA It's okay. Um, we're lost. trying to find Black Creek. meeting some friends to camp the weekend in the woods. I they said it's a mile before town.
We're We're out for think the
NOAH That is correct, but I must tell you, bad things have happened in those woods, I wouldn't recommend you going out there. Holly SCOFFS. HOLLY Oh, please. Thanks mister for the advice, but can you just tell us how to get there, we really don't wanna be any later than we already are. He shoots her an evil glare. NOAH Five miles back, you will see a small road on your left. It's the only road within five miles. Turn onto it and you should see the trails for the woods. AMANDA/HOLLY Thanks!
15. They MOVE back to the car. NOAH You will regret going into the woods. HOLLY (Sarcastically) I'm sure! Thanks again! They GET INSIDE the car and TURN the engine ON. off.
NOAH (To himself) I hope God is on their side. CUT TO: EXT. WOODS - DAY The group is WALKING along a small trail in the woods. Each of them are HOLDING bags and various camping gear. Steve is leading the group. KATIE My feet are killing me! yet?
Are we there
STEVE Almost. (takes a deep breath) Doesn't nature smell great? SARA (Sarcastically) Wonderful. MIKE Kinda reminds me of a horror movie. Buncha young people camping in the woods, now all we need is a crazy killer and we're good! Suddenly, VIRGINIA ANDERSON, a tall slender woman, about iffy-three, wearing a sheriff-like outfit, appears from the woods. Everyone GASPS. VIRGINIA What are you doing in these woods? STEVE Just camping, ma'am.
Is that a crime?
16. VIRGINIA No. But camping without permission in here is grounds for taking you all to my station. Gwen SQUEEZES between Virginia and Steve. GWEN We do have permission. I spoke with the caretaker prior to coming here. VIRGINIA I recall now, him saying something about a bunch of kids camping here this weekend. I'm sorry. MATT Ma'am, I don't mean to be rude, but who are you that we should be answering to you? She shoots him an angry glare. VIRGINIA I'm Virginia. Sheriff around these parts. I'd appreciate you speaking to me as an elder and law enforcer and not as one of your friends. Matt BACKS AWAY timidly. STEVE Anything else, Sheriff? VIRGINIA Don't litter, keep your fire controlled, and don't be getting yourselves into trouble. Any questions before I leave? KATIE Is there a bathroom? Jake lightly SMACKS her in the arm. She realizes her mistake and LOWERS her head. VIRGINIA My station isn't too far down the road from here. If something should arise, you may come get me. She WALKS away.
17. JAKE Holy shit! She's like that crazy sheriff in the texas chainsaw massacre remake, except with boobs! Sara ROLLS her eyes. GWEN Jake, I know how much you love horror movies and love making them for your school projects, but this is real life. There's a big difference. MIKE Not really. Oh yeah?
GWEN Give me an example.
Mike RUSHES ahead of Gwen as everyone still WALKS. He quickly FARTS in front of her. MIKE Gone with the wind, baby! He FALLS back to Katie's side and they LAUGH together. GWEN (Annoyed) So immature! I don't know why I agreed to this. SARA Agreed? You were the one that came up with this idea and even scouted this place out! STEVE Less talking, more walking! I see a clearing ahead we can set our stuff up in. They continue WALKING. CUT TO: