Jawbreaker by Paul Rowe | Script Revolution


A mute young man with a penchant for hard candy seeks revenge on the social media influencers he blames for the death of his parents.



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In a bustling candy shop, YOUNG DAMON chokes on a jawbreaker as his oblivious PARENTS smoke cigarettes outside the shop, while an OLDER WOMAN saves Damon’s life with a boxcutter. Years later, Damon walks along a rundown street to his dilapidated house, a flashy car parked in front, ignoring his parents’ demeaning remarks, darting upstairs to his room. Meanwhile, Twentysomething EMILIA streams her workout in the backyard, parents KATHERINE and ROGER inside. Roger and Emilia discuss her career as an influencer, one that hasn’t taken off the way she anticipated, since she’s still finding her genuine self. Later, her manager, WIND, brings this up, suggesting she keep working on her brand, try to be more authentic. In the meantime, however, Wind’s got a job for her: a local gig, a hundred bucks. At the gig, Damon’s gig at Angel’s Antique & Flea Mall, Emilia meets the other influencers participating in the photo shoot, cocky PHARAOH with a BDE complex, seductive Inanna, who gives no fucks, and YOJI, who bails as soon as the gig looks sketchy, which is immediately.

Damon’s creep vibes don’t help. The trio recognizes him immediately as a famous influencer, one whose parents capitalized on the media attention Damon’s jawbreaker incident evoked. Having had surgeries that left him incapable of regular speech, Damon’s sign language videos were particularly popular. At the shoot, Inanna, Pharaoh, and Emilia, despite their misgivings, pose for various photos in a giant warehouse of individual stalls, each its own antique, picture-ready setting. Sensing his upbringing was dysfunctional and one-sided, Emilia is friendly with Damon, letting him know she learned sign language from his videos. He admits to her his videos, even this shoot, is not him. He’s never wanted to be an “influencer,” suggesting his parents still run the show. As they wraps up, the trio are in a 70s porn-style stall, where Damon requests Innana pose while chained. Damon’s parents arrive, urging him to “put his big boy pants on” and do what they came to do. Meanwhile, the trio scrambles to get Inanna out of the chains, growing uneasy with Damon’s demeanor. Unable to find the key, Emila tries calling Wind, who picks up and informs her she’s currently streaming. The trio finds videos of Damon’s parents’ channel, including the detrimental messages the trio individually left about his mom and dad. Suddenly, Damon’s motives become clear as the trio watch a video of Young Damon finding his parents dead from suicide. He’s been hallucinating the two since then.

Meanwhile, thoroughly demeaned by his parents’ goading him to “do it” and get revenge, Damon returns, unmoved by the trio’s apologies. Damon puts a mask on, covering his face from Emilia’s pleading face. Pharaoh attempts to escape, mangling his feet on tiles with pop-up spikes, a trap set by Damon. Meanwhile, Innana’s still chained in the stall, screaming for help. Damon enters, killing her with a jawbreaker to the throat. Emilia and Pharoah find each other again, making a plan to escape. Pushing the wounded Pharaoh in a wheelchair, the two come across RANDY, a tied-up employee who informs them they’re in an urban legend: a rumor of a killer offing small-town influencers then streaming it, which the internet thinks is a hoax. Emilia attempts to make a run for it, leaving Pharaoh and Randy waiting. Damon finds the two, sloshing them with gas before killing Randy with an automated fishing net. Meanwhile, Emilia comes across Inanna’s body. Damon, pushing Pharaoh, rushes to find Emilia, then catapults Pharaoh out of his wheelchair and onto a floor of spikes. Witnessing it all, Emilia pleads with Damon, who struggles with visions of his goading parents, urging him to finish her. The two fight, Damon shoves a jawbreaker down her throat. She fades as he cries, lamenting his predicament, his behavior. With his back turned to her, Emilia chokes up the jawbreaker, stabbing Damon with a pair of scissors. The horror behind her, Emilia has found her calling: being a “scream queen.” With her unfortunate events streamed for millions, the film closes with her happily signing autographs for fans.

Submitted: May 19, 2022
Last Updated: May 20, 2022

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The Writer: Paul Rowe

Paul is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer out of Columbus, GA with notables in Austin, Page, StoryPros, Save the Cat!, and more. He is a member of Columbus State University's Rankin Screenwriter's group which focuses on amplifying the local film community and immersing new writers into the craft of screenwriting. Go to bio

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