Climb by TERRENCE KELSEY | Script Revolution

Climb

Several months after a devastating accident, a recovering PTSD-prone Rock Climber and her Friends find themselves trapped alongside the same cliff - this time as the targets of a Sadistic Sniper.

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85pp

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Several months after a devastating rock climbing accident with 4 friends (boyfriend DARIUS, sister NAOMI, Naomi's husband SCOTT and DARIUS' adopted younger brother CHRIS), SHEILA returns to the same cliff with them to overcome her newfound fear and conquer this rock. Complications arise during their climb when they are attacked from silencer gunfire by THE SNIPER hiding somewhere in the forest trees behind them. Scott, the group’s videographer, barely manages to escape on foot with a sprained ankle and the navigation controller for his camera drone. He looses his phone during the attack.

Sheila's friends urge her to call THE RANGER, since she has The Ranger's card in her possession. Still stricken with PTSD, Sheila is too shaken with fear to do anything. Instead, Naomi calls The Ranger. When The Ranger arrives, she too is attacked by gunfire. She retreats back into the forest with her Jeep, which she crashes while backing into a tree. Scott, via his camera drone, sees The Ranger is incapacitated or dead. Chris attempts to call the police, until Naomi is shot dead. Chris is then shot at, resulting in him dropping his phone down the cliff side. Sadly, Scott witnesses Naomi's murder via his camera drone, making him heartbroken.

Darius climbs over to assist Sheila in lowering Naomi’s body. Given the length of the rope, they agree to leave Naomi dangling on the cliff face for the time being. Simultaneously, Chris attempts to free climb upwards until he is attacked again by gunfire. The Sniper makes him climb sideways over to Darius and Sheila, then he fires multiple shots at Naomi’s body and her rope/cable until it snaps. Naomi's body falls, crashing against the cliff side on the way down. Sheila suddenly receives a phone call from an unknown number. Assuming it's from The Sniper, she asks him in frustration to clarify. He does not answer back. Instead, he whistles Chris's melody for a taunting confirmation.

Meanwhile, Scott regains composure. Now immobile due to his sprained ankle, he relies solely on his camera drone to find help, while resting against a narrow tree. He almost catches the attention of a passing helicopter, but a confrontation with The Sniper prevents that from happening. Next, Scott's drone finally finds help in a family of three - a MOTHER and her two kids plus family dog, only to have The Mother change her mind, fearing suspicion of the drone over the safety of her family. When Scott tries to get her to follow again, she pulls out a gun and fires at the drone, causing the Sniper to leave his tree perch to investigate. Soon, a face off occurs between Scott’s drone and The Sniper. However, Scott flies the drone back towards his friends on the rock. Realizing that, The Sniper runs back towards his tree perch.

Back on the cliff face, Chris takes charge over the group’s climbing tactics as they attempt a "three person multi-pitch" climb. Unfortunately, Chris is fatally hit by multiple gunfire. Sheila tries to help him as he bleeds out. He pleads her to cut him loose with his knife. She reluctantly cuts his cable as Darius yells for her to stop. He sees Chris extend his final goodbye gesture towards him. The cable snaps and Chris falls to his death. Darius cries over the loss of his brother.

Scott's drone returns to the cliff face and discovers that Chris is dead. He regains his composure once more and assists Darius and Sheila by checking to see if the coast is clear on top of the cliff. Afterwards, the drone returns to focus on Darius and Sheila as they attempt to resume the climb. Suddenly, a camouflaged sleeved arm grabs Scott from behind the tree he’s been resting on while the other hand cuts into his throat with a knife. Darius and Sheila see the drone crash into the cliff face, just missing them.

The Sniper calls Sheila again and FINALLY speaks to taunt her psychologically, getting her to relay personal information about her and Darius’ relationship. At this point, he only wants Sheila to climb, so he shoots Darius in the thigh. Despair now turns to anger for Sheila, as she uses Darius’ shirt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The Sniper orders her to throw Darius’ phone off the cliff. When she tries to retrieve it, she unexpectedly finds an engagement ring in Darius’ pocket. She refuses the let The Sniper force her to give Darius an answer, so she carefully puts his ring back into his pocket, hoping he understands. She gestures to Darius with their secret code for “I love you”. He responds in kind. The Sniper then allows Sheila to complete her climb, telling her she must now run and try to evade him in the forest. She agrees to his demands, dropping her phone off the cliff at his request.

As she runs, the sky becomes darker. She suddenly finds herself confronting a mountain lion, which she miraculously scares away. Moments later, The Ranger rescues Sheila, taking her back to her cabin to call The Sheriff. While The Ranger is on the phone, Sheila snoops around, noticing two mountain lion skins pinned up and the stacks of moving boxes along the wall. She opens one box to see a large folded Confederate Flag and a Confederate Flag emblem for the State of Kentucky, raising more suspicions from Sheila. She sneaks outside to see what is underneath the bloody tarp in the back of The Ranger’s jeep. She stops when she hears another vehicle driving up and she hides under the jeep. Recognizing the voice of the other driver as The Sniper, Sheila now realizes that The Ranger and him are working together as a couple. The Sniper is revealed fully for the first time - a tall, husky, burly man - as he lifts the tarp and sees Scott’s decapitated head on top of his body. The Sniper spits on it then notices Sheila’s tracks leading underneath the jeep. When The Ranger and The Sniper check under the vehicle, they see Sheila has taken off into the forest behind their cabin. They grab their hunting gear and proceed after her.

Eventually, Sheila takes The Ranger by surprise and fatally wounding her. After taking The Ranger’s gear, Sheila leaves The Ranger to the hungry mountain lion who returns to pounce. The final cat & mouse showdown has Sheila trying to evade The Sniper until they wind up wounding one another with gunfire. The Sniper now must rely on his knives to help him climb up to reach her on an incline, while Sheila attempts to do the same to get away from him. After much pain and bloodshed inflicted on one another, The Sniper tries to choke her to death. But she jabs her thumbs into his eyes sockets, blinding him. He let’s go her and grabs his eye wounds. With The Ranger’s knife, she stabs The Sniper repeatedly in the face and lastly jams it into his skull, breaking off the handle. The Sniper finally dies. She finds the Sniper’s phone and calls 911.

Later, Darius is rescued from some helicopter pilots only for him to go into cardiac arrest as a wounded Sheila panics.

Flash forward. Darius awakens in the hospital with Sheila seated at his side in a wheel chair, wearing his engagement ring, signaling she accepted his intended marriage proposal. They are joined by The Sheriff who informs them of the identities of The Sniper and The Ranger and their possible connection to some murder/disappearances in Kentucky. Sheila wonders if they were serial killers. The Sheriff replies that it’s too early to tell, but she is very lucky to have defeated both of them.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

QUARTER FINALIST - ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL 2021

QUARTER FINALIST - STAGE 32 SEARCH FOR NEW BLOOD SCREENWRITING CONTEST 2021

QUARTER FINALIST - ATLANTA SCREENPLAY AWARDS 2021

QUARTER FINALIST - SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY AWARDS (FALL) 2021

Submitted: October 23, 2020
Last Updated: November 16, 2021

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The Writer: TERRENCE KELSEY

I am an an established filmmaker with several award winning shorts and a slate of projects in development, including a television series and a horror feature. Currently, my Adventure Horror screenplay CLIMB is a QUARTERFINALIST in 5 Festivals: ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL 2021, STAGE 32 SEARCH FOR NEW BLOOD SCREENWRITING CONTEST 2021, ATLANTA SCREENPLAY AWARDS 2021, SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY AWARDS (FALL) 2021 and WESCREENPLAY DIVERSE VOICES (SPRING) 2022. Go to bio
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