Rain Dogs by Robert Bruinewoud | Script Revolution

Rain Dogs

An estranged father, his ex and their 10-year-old daughter struggle to escape from a secluded valley infested with vicious, otherworldly monsters ... monsters only the young girl can see.

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Page Count: 
117pp

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Age Rating:

Synopsis/Details: 

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SHORT SYNOPSIS:

When Dan is enlisted by Mo, his ex, to babysit Casey (their 10-year-old daughter), he feared it would be difficult. And that was before a weird storm inundated their secluded valley with vicious, otherworldly creatures ... creatures only Casey can see.

Trapped, Dan suspects he and Casey are doomed, until Mo unexpectedly returns. However, his new-found optimism soon evaporates when they discover that escaping the valley will be far more difficult than they anticipated ... if not impossible.

After barely surviving a series of encounters with the creatures, they are forced to take refuge in a fortified house, hoping to survive long enough to be rescued.

But then Casey is abducted. Dan and Mo must now confront the creatures, only to discover that something far larger and more malevolent lurks behind them.

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LONGER SYNOPSIS:

Deep in the Tatra Ranges in S.E. Australia, it is a weird and stormy night.

DAN (30s) is there to babysit his daughter, CASEY (10), while her mother deals with a family emergency. Dan and Casey are not close.

Dan chooses to sip his wine as he watches the howling chaos from the veranda. While Casey stays inside, ignoring both Dan and the storm.

Despite the constant thunder, Dan realises there is no lightning, just a weird purple glow. His investigation is interrupted by a massive crash of thunder that plunges them into darkness.

Next morning, the weird weather continues. Drizzle falls from bruise-tinted clouds.

Casey goes out "to assess the property for damage". Later, Dan finds her by a fallen tree. Casey tells him it's not the tree she's interested in, but the "dead thing" in its branches. Humouring her, Dan probes the tree with a twig. Suddenly the twig bumps to a stop in midair and an invisible creature appears before his eyes!

Dan struggles to stay calm. But then Casey tells him there's another creature, alive and watching. It attacks and, after a desperate chase, they find temporary safety in the garage.

Around the Tatra Ranges, the skies are clear and the land shimmers beneath the sun.

Military helicopters rush toward the Ranges while far below, MO (30s, Casey's mum) is returning home early.

She takes a short cut into the mountains along a crumbling track, where she narrowly avoids being attacked by a creature. She drives on, unaware of her close escape.

Back home, Dan and Casey show her the dead "Wokker" (as Casey has named them). They immediately decide to flee. A Wokker attacks and Mo runs it down with her car.

They find their escape route blocked and so return home, as Mo is unwilling to chance the other route at night.

Back at the farmhouse, Casey tells them the Wokker they ran over is now gone. They find it in the kitchen and manage to kill it using garden tools.

They gather their supplies and barricade themselves in the garage.

As Casey sleeps, Dan and Mo discuss their situation and argue over Casey's role. Dan thinks her eyes are vital to their survival, but Mo wants to shield her from their situation. Mo then forces Dan to reveal that he believes the Wokkers' very existence threatens to undo the fabric of reality.

In the morning the weird weather continues. They escape in the car, smashing through a pack of Wokkers in the process.

They head into the mountains, searching for fuel and supplies, on their way to the other track.

Along the way they fend off Wokker attacks and make a number of disturbing discoveries – including evidence the Wokkers may be more than "just animals".

Later, tired and disheartened, they creep into the village and break into the General Store for food and supplies.

As Dan and Casey load the car with supplies, a Wokker crashes in through the store's windows and attacks Mo. She tries to fend it off, but suffers gashes and cuts in the process. Dan rushes in and blasts the Wokker with a shotgun, splattering her open wounds with Wokker gore. Mo quickly realises she can now "see" the Wokkers. She warns Dan just in time, allowing him to kill another.

With Mo unable to drive, Dan is forced to deal with the ancient stick-shift. He manages to get the car moving, just as a Wokker lands on its roof. He and Casey struggle to free the car of the Wokker, eventually cutting loose the wire fence that was lashed across the space where the windscreen used to be.

They are now free of the Wokker, but completely exposed.

In the forest beyond town, Mo's condition worsens. Casey becomes distraught. Dan tries to calm her, but when that doesn't work, he berates her for putting Mo's life in danger. This does work. Casey goes back to her job, hating Dan, while he attends to Mo.

They arrive at an old, brick house with barred windows, and are admitted by the owner, EDNA (60s). Edna helps them tend to Mo. She appears to be unaware of the situation outside her house.

During afternoon tea, Casey falls asleep. Dan takes her to the guest room to be with her mum. They are both relieved to find Mo sleeping naturally. Dan and Casey reconcile.

Mo wakes from a nightmare to find her and Dan alone. Disoriented and alarmed she urges Dan to help her find Casey. Dan tries to calm her. He stands and falls flat on his face. Edna has drugged him.

With Mo's new ability, she senses there is a Wokker in the house. Unable to find weapons, they use a can of spray paint as a flamethrower and discover that Wokkers are highly flammable. It explodes into flames, setting the house on fire.

They escape the burning house and discover the body of Edna's brother, stabbed with a letter opener. Convinced that Edna is in league with the Wokkers and has abducted Casey, they collect what weapons they can and set out to rescue her.

Back at the general store, Dan discovers that, by simply holding a Wokker's claw, he is able to see them. They make Molotov cocktails and argue over who should rescue Casey and who should destroy the Wokkers.

They split up at the picnic area by the waterfall. Mo goes to destroy the Wokkers. Dan goes to rescue Casey.

Things do not go to plan. Dan is shot by Edna and Mo falls into a disused mine shaft. However, despite things going from bad to worse, they do manage to rescue Casey and destroy the Wokkers! But, with the valley engulfed in flame and fire raining down from the stars, it is difficult to see how any of them will survive ...

Weeks later, the Tatra Ranges shimmer in the sun. Mo's partner, JILL (40s), passes through a military checkpoint on her way home.

Back at the farmhouse, there's a happy, tearful reunion.

That night, Mo and Jill snuggle together on a couch before a fire. While across from them, Casey sleeps in Dan's lap, safe and secure.

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THE VIBE:

Family-based horror like Poltergeist, Gremlins, A Quiet Place, Bird Box etc ... y’know, fun stuff.
Readers have also mentioned movies like Tremors and Attack the Block, which is flattering.

*By “family” I don't mean to imply it’s suitable for 10-year-olds. That said, I would’ve been happy to watch this with my kids, back in the day. But that probably says more about my lax parenting, than the screenplay’s “suitability” for younger audiences.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

You can read the three Black List evaluations (and my comments) in my blog post here: https://assortedprojects.net/the-blog/2020/7/18/the-journey-so-far-part-two

Unlike the above, a known Australian producer-director was much more effusive when they wrote after reading the screenplay:

"I did enjoy it - it's really cool. Really cool concept. Love the monsters and characters and great writing.
Love to hear more about it, has it been out to the market, is anyone attached, etc etc etc."

Submitted: September 4, 2020
Last Updated: May 9, 2022

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This Script Is Loved By 2 Readers

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The Writer: Robert Bruinewoud

Melbourne, Australia 1982. I submit my first "screenplay" (and I use the term very loosely) to the BBC. It was a hugely expensive Doctor Who saga. Needless to say, it wasn't picked up. You can read all about it here . Now, I’ve been advised that the above is not the way to sell myself as serious writer. I’m not sure why. The fact that any screenwriters’ first screenplay doesn’t sell is, I would’ve thought, to be expected and so not something anyone should hide. Nor is the fact that I’ve been writing screenplays (off and on) for forty years, something to be shy about. During that time I had my paying job (graphic designer and advertising art director) distracting me, but over those years I... Go to bio

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