The Keys by Paul Grammatico | Script Revolution

The Keys

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Page Count: 
93pp

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Logline: 
As a family cleans their dead grandmother’s house, they come across a jar of keys which reveal each of their darkest and deadliest secrets.
Synopsis/Details: 

Alexis, Kim, and Dante come to their grandmother’s house to clean and tidy it up following her death, with Jan, Dante’s wife, joining them. After suffering a terrifying incident in the bathroom, Alexis decides to push it back while Dante ignores the cleaning duties and convinces them to explore the house to find out which keys open which doors, offering a jar of them around. They first find a room filled with paintings, although some of them, the ones with creepy shadow people in them, seem to have been attacked by the grandmother.
Dante finds a door that inexplicably has their youngest sister Krystal behind it. Dante suffers a flashback of when his taunting of her caused her to commit suicide, and he is then violently sucked through the keyhole, leaving only a trail of blood oozing under the door. Jan finds a room impossibly identical to her childhood room, filled with dolls that begin talking, reminding her of when she used to tear them apart with all manner of implements, only for her father to fix them. She then later poisoned her father in retaliation, and suffers for it as her own face begins to become mutilated in the same ways.
A creature of some unearthly kind begins chasing the remaining Alexis and Kim through the house, until Kim breaks a key in the locked door to the cellar, triggering her own flashback. As a child, during a bit of fun she locked her friend in the cellar, triggering an asthma attack that she couldn’t help with after the key broke in the lock, causing her death. Confronted by the friend, she apologizes and Alexis discovers that the creature cannot claim her like the others because she has genuine remorse for her actions.
Alexis runs from the creature again and finds her grandmother, who admits that the creature(s) are with her after she prayed for help one day, using them to let her keep the house by murdering a taxation inspector. Because Alexis also has the same Sight as her grandmother she can see them too. As she runs back into the fray, she tries to convince Kim to escape with her, but she is rooted to the spot by her guilt, caught in her own personal torment despite the creatures being unable to touch her.
She gets out of the house and is stopped by two police officers, who turn out to be two creatures. They reveal that the grandmother’s bargain with them was to save both her and Alexis from a hurricane that killed the entirety of the rest of the family, in return for Alexis when the time comes – which is now. She shoots the creatures and drives away.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Gold Award - Grand Prize Winner - Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival - 2020
Grand Prize Winner - Best Feature Screenplay - Oregon Scream Week - 2018

Submitted: June 29, 2020
Last Updated: August 31, 2020

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Paul Grammatico's picture

The Writer: Paul Grammatico

Forbidden to see graphic films as a child and limited to edited TV movies, I received my horror information second hand through stories from older friends and siblings. I also vacationed in a desolate cottage, raised in houses with creepy basements, and lived in an apartment with a “full torso apparition”. Inspired by my experiences, I am a multi-award-winning screenwriter with an affinity of the weird and unexplained. Go to bio

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