OUT OF CONTROL

OUT OF CONTROL

A Screenplay by coopdville
"

A SCENE FROM "THE CAROUSEL" “Mysteriously, the carved horses’ expressions change, at first to sinister sneers and scowls, and then contorted into frightening anger and fury”.

"
EXT. HAPPYLAND " THE MIDWAY " NIGHT


Young Ethan is back on the midway, turns away from The Fun-house and sucks a deep breath of night air. Young Ethan checks his watch; it is almost 10:00PM. He walks up the midway in the direction of the music. The pleasant CALLIOPE SONGS are overwhelmed by a BRASSY, PERCUSIVE band organ playing RAGTIME MARCHES from the 20’s, which gets LOUDER as Young Ethan reaches its source.


EXT. HAPPYLAND " THE CAROUSEL " NIGHT


Young Ethan faces a magnificent turn-of-the-century carousel lit to its full glory, an ancient masterpiece restored to its original splendorous condition.


Though the park is colorless and gray, the carousel is bursting with eye-popping, festive colors.


Young Ethan’s mates arrive and hop on the carousel steeds without hesitation. Unnoticed is Young Ethan in the shadows observing from a forty foot distance. His red-cheeked classmates spur their gallant mounts to action and beam with confident anticipation.


The steam engine and band organ are on the inner circle where Young Ethan notices a strange, tall figure, dressed in a long hooded robe with a rope sash around his waist.


The man stands with both hands on six-foot high levers, but is unrecognizable, his face shaded by the hood. The hooded one leans back with all his weight and pulls mightily on the controls. The carousel begins to turn.


The children appear younger, rosy complexioned and happy.


The band organ plays BRIGHTLY the happy tunes of yesteryear.


The giant levers make a LOUD CREAKING noise when pulled back again and the powerful steam engine CHUGS STEADILY to power the organ and carousel, very slowly.


Gracefully the horses undulate, each with a unique stride, some prancing, trotting or in a gallop. A menagerie of animals and gilded chariots follow in waltz time.


The children are carefree, joyful, and clamoring for more.

MICKEY, MARTY, ELVIN, WILBER & PEEWEE

More speed, faster, faster!


The hooded one grabs his man-sized controls and pulls them back another few notches, making a CROAKING noise. The carousel spins slightly faster.


The children beam with excitement.


The carousel gains momentum as the music takes on a more OMINOUS TONE. Instead of nostalgic waltzes or love songs, it plays the more abstract music of the modern era.


Still, his classmates LAUGH and SCREAM with delight.


Young Ethan moves to within twenty-five feet and watches, transfixed by his friends in a state of unbounded delight. His friends laugh with abandon and scream for still more.


MICKEY, MARTY, ELVIN, WILBER & PEEWEE Faster, faster, more, more!


Leaning back even harder than before, the hooded man struggles to yank the controls a few notches more. The carousel accelerates, the noble steeds gallop more wildly and the boys grasp their poles tighter.


Young Ethan is wooden with dread, as he sees the first expressions of concern on his friends’ faces.


Now, the man pulls the levers without the children asking. The carousel spins dangerously fast as its old steam engine PUFFS and BELCHES to maintain the pace. Its wood platform RUMBLES and CREAKS from the strain.


The treacherous speed paints the boys’ faces red with fear.


Mysteriously, the carved horses’ expressions change, at first to sinister sneers and scowls, and then contort to frightening anger and fury. The music increases in TEMPO and ATONALITY, rendering a bizarre and SURREAL EFFECT. The engine STRAINS, the platform RUMBLES louder.

MICKEY, MARTY, ELVIN, WILBER & PEEWEE

No, please stop. We’ve had enough, no more! Let us off. Stop, stop!


The levers are pulled back another few CLICKS and the carousel accelerates to a whirling white blur. The music escalates to a high-pitched WHISTLE; the engine SCREAMS a SHRILL WHINE as it goes at top speed, the carousel’s platform THUNDERS like a FREIGHT TRAIN.


With a COUGH and a POP, the steam engine grinds to a WHEEZING halt, emitting billows of gray smoke. The carousel rotates freely, silently, as the WHISTLING organ fades from within the gray fog that had engulfed it.


The merry-go-round slows down very gradually until finally stopping with an unearthly GROAN. The smoky cloud clears and Young Ethan scans the carousel looking for his friends, but is unable to find them. In their place are cadaverous ancient ones, who are most peculiarly, wearing the adolescent clothes of his mates.


The oldsters, looking dazed and ghostly, BABBLING INCOHERENTLY, slowly dismount on unsteady limbs to wander randomly, eventually disappearing into the shadows.

Young Ethan senses that he’s been noticed.


The hooded man turns and faces Young Ethan directly.


The hooded-one’s face is illuminated by the carousel lights, revealing a fiftiesh man with eyes like embers, brilliantined black hair and a pencil mustache.


Slowly, the man waggles his finger back and forth for Young Ethan to take his place on the demonic ride.


Young Ethan backs away and the mysterious man walks toward him with his outstretched arm beckoning. Young Ethan backpedals as best he can, but his legs are heavy from fear and he staggers, unable to flee.


In the distance, he hears the YELPING of wild dogs approaching from the direction of the fun-house. Shocked into clarity by the HOWLING hounds, he untangles his feet and runs toward the exit.


EXT. HAPPYLAND " THE MIDWAY " NIGHT


Young Ethan zigzags down the midway, searching frantically for the exit he stumbled upon to get in. The dogs are within sight and closing in, when he spots the exit. The hounds are close, so close he can hear the PANTING and CLICKING of their claws on the pavement.




Young Ethan hurdles through the exit alley, leaps over garbage cans with the dogs nipping at his heals. Just in time, Young Ethan squirms through the boards he’d removed earlier and escapes to the parking lot.

EXT. HAPPYLAND " PARKING LOT " NIGHT


The hell-hounds BARK through the opening of the park’s exit.

Oddly, they don’t follow Young Ethan into the parking lot.


Young Ethan falls to his knees and SOBS BITTERLY into his hands. With his back to the park, he is silhouetted against the backdrop of colorful signs and chasing lights. The park is a dark shadow behind the signage and lights, which are throbbing with glowing color.


An ELECTRIC CRACKLING with a deep, resonant HUM splits the air followed by a SIZZLE and a POP. The lights go black. All is dark, even the street lights for a few surrounding blocks, only the slightest bit of moonlight remains.


EXT. PALISADES PARK, NJ " RIVER RD " NIGHT


Young Ethan gets up wearily and walks to the street.

He stands in the middle of River Road and turns to look ahead the six blocks to Baumann’s Ice Cream Parlor. His mind in a fog, Young Ethan begins his trek up the street.

He mechanically puts one foot in front of the other, unconsciously walking through a world gone silent. His shoes SLAP the pavement and his FOOTSTEPS REVERBERATE through the tall buildings. Occasionally, a car WHOOSHES by unexpectedly. Young Ethan neither hears its approach, nor notices its passing.


Young Ethan walked past Baumann’s, careful not to let anyone see him, because who could tell? What could he tell? Who would believe him? He knew that this knowledge would be his burden alone, a black spot lodged in his heart, not to be removed, even on the day he died!


© 2016 coopdville



Author's Note

coopdville
Scene from THE CAROUSEL, An original screenplay by Ross E Cooper

Registered Copyright/ WGA registered



My Review

Would you like to review this Screenplay?
Login | Register




Reviews

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Cyd
So I take it this is a scene from something longer and that Ethan is an established character (I assume he’s the lead).

It’s a little chunky, less is more. You want space and air, it should be a breeze to read and the first piece is a little thick.

“Young Ethan is back on the midway, turns away from The Fun-house and sucks a deep breath of night air. Young Ethan checks his watch; it is almost 10:00PM. He walks up the midway in the direction of the music. The pleasant CALLIOPE SONGS are overwhelmed by a BRASSY, PERCUSIVE band organ playing RAGTIME MARCHES from the 20’s, which gets LOUDER as Young Ethan reaches its source.”

I did this quickly and badly but you get the point, basically the facts are the same but more breezy.

“Ethan is back on the midway, turns away from The Fun-house and sucks a deep breath of air. Ethan checks his watch; it is almost 10:00PM.

He walks up the midway in the direction of the CALLIOPE MUSIC, it gets LOUDER as he reaches its source.”

I don’t know why you are calling him Young Ethan but if this is a flashback we know he’s young, if this is one of two Ethans and it’s important that they have the same name, fine, write it.

The scene header says night so the only air he will get is night air.

Space is your friend, it helps the rhythm and the “look” of the page.

The description of the song is a little much, unless there’s a good reason to be very specific, don’t be.

“EXT. HAPPYLAND " THE CAROUSEL " NIGHT

Young Ethan faces a magnificent turn-of-the-century carousel lit to its full glory, an ancient masterpiece restored to its original splendorous condition.

Though the park is colorless and gray, the carousel is bursting with eye-popping, festive colors.”

Here we see the colorful carousel first, think of it, COLORS EVERYWHERE and then we see something colorless? What if we first see grey hues and then BANG, the colorful carousel. Perhaps more of an impact.

“Unnoticed is Young Ethan in the shadows” we see him so he’s not unnoticed.
You need to strip the text a little, it’s too much of a book. Cliché but true, write what we see and nothing else (I do at times write things we don’t see but not very often).

BIG LETTERS when introducing a new character.

To read, “MICKEY, MARTY, ELVIN, WILBER & PEEWEE” makes them all seem pretty anonymous (perhaps you have presented them more earlier), if we were to see Mickey hold on to his horse with widened eyes and Peewee crying, it might make it feel more real. Now it feels like I am watching from afar and not really engaged in the story.

You could use a few more scene heads, it’s a little much action here. Perhaps a few on the carousel where we see Ethans friends for example.

It’s dreamlike and creepy, it does seem very pretty. If I saw stills I would want to see the movie. Is this part of a short film or, what’s the plan here?

Posted 1 Year Ago


coopdville

1 Year Ago

Hi Cyd,
This is just a scene from a complete screenplay, "The Carousel". The climax of this .. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

107 Views
1 Review
Added on April 13, 2016
Last Updated on April 13, 2016
Tags: carousel, horror, amusement park, drama