Trapped Evil by Désirée Nordlund | Script Revolution

Trapped Evil

A killer becomes a 24-7 villain in an online game, where his only safety from the game-makers forces him to risk being killed by the players.



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Based On: 
My novel with the same name

After his execution, Rinc wakes up inside the world's most popular online dystopian survival game Burnt, as a villain. The Indian woman Shakti Arya is his creator and for her, he is a toy.

Sumiko is a player who wants to escape the dullness of ordinary life but lacks the money to buy virtual reality equipment. Though the game's villains are said to be AI bots she suspects they are not since her first meeting with Rinc in the game.

Rinc meets with Itziar and Tomomi who have been in the game for a long time. They make a team and teach him a lot about how things work.

When Rinc and his friends go for the reputation as super-villains, Shakti Arya kills Itziar just because she can. Sumiko witness this and places the killing on YouTube.

Sumiko gets threats from Shakti Arya to take the film down.

Rinc figures out a plan so they must keep him alive. He continues to work on his fame but so fast and insane that there is no time to stop him.

In the meantime, Sumiko works to find out the truth about the so-called AI villains and finds real humans in water tanks.

Rinc is shot and killed in the game but finally reinstated since players complained that he was missing. Then Sumiko too is inside the game per her own request.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Review on The Black List (

The premise is extremely imaginative as it is cinematic. It immediately draws comparisons to JUMANJI, GAMER, and even BLACK MIRROR. Like those projects, this script takes a high-concept idea to tell a story about humanity in the modern age. In doing so, it achieves a level of terror that most cerebral psychological movies strive for. In this case, that terror is the idea that Rinc is literally trapped within a virtual world where every part of his life is controlled by a third party who does not view him as a human being. While we have little reason to like Rinc as a character, this level of punishment, in many ways, feels worse than death. BLACK MIRROR has achieved a similar level of success with some of its premises. It's a fantastic way to integrate modern ideas, in this case, virtual reality technology, into a classic genre. It's subversive writing. Beyond that, another success is how well the premise lends itself to cinematic storytelling. Like JUMANJI, so much of the fun here is seeing Rinc and other players explore the virtual world. It's dynamic and easy to imagine how it might be a good bit of wish-fulfillment for those that especially enjoy playing video games. Finally, on a character level, it's smart to tell the story as a two-hander and foil Rinc and Sumiko's POVs.

There's a worry that at times, the script lacks context for important elements. For example, while the cold open is awesome insofar that it's great, brutal, cinematic action that sets the tone for the events to come, it's unclear who Rinc is outside of his crimes. It feels as though the writer wants this aspect to be vague - the goal is less to provide detail and more to set up why Rinc is on death row. But this purposefully vague execution style may be taken a touch too far. As rendered, it is a bit distracting as it made for some confusing developments in the opening of the script. Similarly, it's unclear exactly what Burnt it is, how popular it is, what the objectives of the game are, etc., especially when we're first introduced to it. Once we get further into the screenplay, it seems similar to a WORLD OF WARCRAFT-esque game, but it could be helpful to get more context earlier to avoid any distracting confusion. For example, if it's more akin to the game in READY PLAYER ONE, the writer should lead with that. Given how central the game is to the events of the plot, the more context an audience might have for it, the better they can appreciate the story as a whole. Finally, some characters don't feel as dynamic as they could and tend to speak in dialogue that can at times, feel heavy in exposition.

Both streamers and theatrical studios are looking for high-concept and cinematic scripts, especially following the success of FREE GUY. Though the rated-R elements in this script may be problematic, given the success of DEADPOOL, it's not a total deterrent. Given all of this, there is real potential for the script but as rendered, it needs significant work and further development before it should be shared with buyers.

Submitted: February 23, 2021
Last Updated: August 15, 2022

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The Writer: Désirée Nordlund

I've been writing for as long as I can remember and writing screenplays is what I love the most. When I write spec scripts there is often a female lead and very little talk about guys. I like odd, misunderstood characters as well. If I am hired as a writer I dare say I'm easy to work with, and if we disagree I work to find a way that makes us both happy. I can be budget-oriented if needed, and kill darlings if needed too. Award-winning screenwriter with several short scripts produced, one with Dick Pope behind the camera. This is the latest short film on my resume: The Kill / El último golpe I'm also into novels. Here is a book trailer for Quickfinger . Go to bio

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