Dead Season by Arin Leviti | Script Revolution

Dead Season

A young illegal immigrant discovers that the Alpine hotel resort where she works functions as a meat processing facility for wealthy cannibals.



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Dead Season is an eight-hour horror thriller story, a blend of Twin Peaks’ macabre-meets mundane settings, American Horror Story’s disturbing idiosyncratic characters and Riverdale’s teen appeal.

In the meadow of Schwarzenstein, a town in the German speaking region of SouthTyrol stands the magnificent Grand Hotel, built at the beginning of the 20th century. Surrounded by the Dolomites mountains, it once attracted nobles, artists and writers from all over Europe.
Today, the locals are still affluent but ever so mysterious, the kind of people that value, above all, anonymity and discretion. After WW2, the town had disappeared from the maps.
The hotel also shelters a diverse group of employees, who have illegal immigration status in common. Christa Denke provides them with a job, food and protection, in exchange for their complete silence.
What happens in Schwarzenstein, stays in Schwarzenstein.

The town has one hotel, the only vestige of a glorious past. The town is off the beaten path, a one hour drive from the main road. It is not your typical middle-of-nowhere town: perfectly maintained resorts and lodges with geranium flowers on every balcony and window, line the empty streets. Beautiful colored houses, each with a coat of arms frescoed above the door, paint the picture of a utopian Alpine town.
Each household owns a German sport car and a wardrobe full of designer clothes. The locals have also bought the silence of the local authorities, so no one ever bothers them.
Out of the 500 residents, there are only a few teenagers in town.
The Grand Hotel, run by the grotesque Christa Denke, is where our story unfolds. Twelve families have run the town of Schwarzenstein for decades, on the outskirts of civilisation, religion and sanity. These conservatively fashionable families are part of the Thule Society, a vestige of the Third Reich, comprising of wealthy cannibals that prey on undocumented immigrants.

The hotel is surrounded by an uncrossable 12” high wrought iron fence topped with a discreet high voltage wire. Three Dobermans with long leashes complete Christa’s security system. The town takes its name from a unique mineral called “Schwarzenstein” (black stone) that can only be found in that region. When ground into a powder and mixed with human flesh, this mineral turns into an elixir of eternal youth. When injected into a recently deceased corpse, it
has the power to bring the dead back to life.
This is a secret that the families of Schwarzenstein guard with their lives. Housekeepers are supplied by the foreign smuggling mafia, brought to the Grand Hotel, and employed by Christa as maids and cleaners. This is just a cover-up for a sinister scheme: the establishment promises them that after six months of free labour, they will be granted access to Germany without border checks. (This country being Europe’s ‘promised land’, many illegal immigrants
risk their lives in order to reach it).
In reality, at the end of their stay they are killed and eaten by the town’s cannibals, in one of their quarterly gatherings at the Grand Hotel.
The Hotel’s secret basement is the opposite of what Schwarzenstein appears to be to the untrained eye. A mix between a slaughterhouse, a prison, and a rundown clinic. This is where human flesh, both dead and alive, is kept. And this is where Christa carries out her experiments.
Newly employed Nigerian girl Aretta (30), is not quite like any other. She quickly understands that she and her colleagues are not meant to leave in one piece and begins to plot her escape.
When she realises her new friends have become her family, she decides to stay and fight, to honour the promise she made to herself before escaping her country: be free no matter the consequences.
On the other side of town, young outsider Elisa (20), is coming to terms with her mother’s untimely death. When she discovers that her mother Angela was plotting against the Thule Society and was subsequently killed, her efforts to fit in with her privileged friends are replaced by a hunger for revenge.
The families stopped having children in the 50s, when it seemed that one of the side effects of the Black Stone was infertility. In the late 90s Maria and Christoper Ghetta managed to have two children, Remo (23) and Will (24), respectively Elisa’s best friend and Elisa’s boyfriend.
© Arin Leviti 2020

Submitted: June 14, 2021
Last Updated: October 14, 2022

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The Writer: Arin Leviti

Italian/British Screenwriter/Editor speaking fluently Italian, English and French. I worked in development in the UK, France and Italy and I'm now working freelance as a script doctor and editor. I also have experience as a 2AD on shorts and commercials. Go to bio