Whiteout On Route 89 by L. Chambers | Script Revolution

Whiteout On Route 89

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17pp

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A blizzard on Route 89 has dire consequences for a woman on the eve of her wedding day, and the taxi driver who gets her to confess all.
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Whiteout On Route 89
A blizzard on Route 89 has dire consequences for a woman on the eve of her wedding day, and the taxi driver who gets her to confess all.

There's something about the quiet cold of a frozen winter night in the middle of nowhere. It elicits a certain instant honesty for no other reason than the human body cannot lie when it's fighting for survival.

Its vulnerabilities become unmistakably apparent as it shakes to stay alive, exposing its very soul with every plume of exhaled breath, leaving a trail with every step.

It cannot hide.

A young woman in "Whiteout On Route 89" tries to hide in the back of a long, snowy cab ride in the middle of nowhere. But, taxi drivers are part barkeep, part psychologist. They've seen it all, heard even more and have driven down every road. Especially Edie's 60-something driver Reg, who politely grills her as holiday music cheerfully emits from his CD player.

REG
So, mind if I ask what you’re doing all the way out here?
I mean it’s beautiful and all but this time of year...
I hope you got a proper place to hole up cause --

EDIE
Me and my fiance got a cabin down by the lake. We’re getting married Christmas Eve,
he’s staying in town with the boys while me and some of the girls...

Her words trail off.

And Reg is on the trail of something he knows to be deeper than the snowdrifts building all around them. Perhaps that's what drove the deer onto the road in front of them.

The violent impact propels the animal onto the bonnet. Reg pulls the car hard the other way again to right it. The out of control vehicle smacks into a guard rail, becomes airborne, careens over a bank, slides into a ravine. The sickening crunch of metal and glass as it slams sideways into a felled log, then comes to a stop. The deer slides off the bonnet onto the ground. Steam billows from the car bonnet. It spurts, hisses, then extinguishes.

The only thing more honest than winter is death. And the occupants of THIS taxi can smell a healthy dose of each in the air as they continue to unravel Edie's real origin. And Reg's destination, as well.

"Whiteout On Route 89" is a brittle and suspenseful ride, filled with sharp and brutally-honest dialogue. It's reminiscent of the Coen brothers' "Fargo" with it's subtle textures and permeating use of nature as a central character. And, the ending would surely leave Marge Gunderson shaking her head.

This tale would make an incredible short for a brave cast and crew, who will surely have to battle winter to tell it right.

But, honestly, there's no other way.

Review by Zack Zupke

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L. Chambers's picture

The Writer: L. Chambers

L.Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia. Go to bio

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