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The Cracked Coffin - Short
by CR

Rated: R   Genre: Horror   User Review: ****
An ordinary man digs in his backyard, only to discover a strange wooden box.


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



FADE IN:

EXT. MILLER HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
In the backyard of a suburban house on a hot summer day,
birds chirp and ice cream trucks chime over the fence.

The sliding door opens to reveal MARCUS MILLER, 29, smoking,
carrying a SAPLING and a SHOVEL in his hands. He leans the
young 5 foot plant against his arm and SLAMS the door shut.
He stomps away before JESSICA MILLER, 27, steps outside.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
Baby, I know you're mad, but you
didn't need to slam it.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
      (irritated)
Yeah, of course I'm mad; Why
should I have to plant this thing?
You should've just told your boss
to fuck off.
                                                            
Jessica crosses over to wrap her arms around him.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
It was a gift, and besides, in a
few years we'll have all the
apples in the world.
                                                            
She sternly tosses his cigarette, and they kiss.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Wonderful, but guess who has to
cut it down when you don't want it
anymore?
                                                            
                       JESSICA
Quit being such a baby!
                                                            
She lightly smacks him and starts to walk back inside.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
      (continuing)
I'll be back with some lemonade!
                                                            
                       MARCUS
What about some dessert!?
                                                            
Jessica turns to him. Marcus smiles and does a goofy pelvic
thrust. Jessica keeps walking, but blows him a kiss before
going inside. He blushes, drops the plant, and starts

2.

fumbling through his pocket to find his cigarettes. Before
he can put one in his mouth, Jessica pokes her head out.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
And no smoking!
                                                            
Marcus takes it out and throws both hands in the air.

Jenny leaves and Marcus gets back to business. He picks up
the shovel and digs.

After a beat, a HOT BLONDE, 20s, jogs by the fence. She has
short shorts and a tube top, forcing Marcus to dig and stare
at the same time. He just shakes his head and continues. Not
long in and there's a CRACK.

Marcus shoots a confused look before digging some more.
Another CRACK.

He gets down and wipes off some dirt with his hand. He pulls
up a wooden plank, and then a CHAIN.
                                                            
 
INT. MILLER SHED - DAY
                                                            
COMPLETE BLACKNESS, until Marcus opens the door and gives
the old shed some life. He comes in, and looks around before
picking up BOLT CUTTERS.
                                                            
 
EXT. MILLER HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
Back in the hole, the chain is brought up to the teeth of
the cutter and broken free.

Marcus grabs the plank and STRUGGLES to lift it. PILES OF
DIRT are brought up, but we finally see Marcus hoist it
open. He wipes off his sweat and peeks inside.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
      (frightened)
What the fuck?
                                                            
A SKELETON is in the wooden box, lying down like a vampire,
DECORATED with BEADS AND FEATHERS. It's covered with
thirteen SKULLS.
                                                            
 
INT. MILLER HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Jennifer and Marcus are in the KITCHEN, both with nervous
faces, drinking lemonade. Marcus is sitting down, with
Jessica hugging from behind.
                                                            

3.

                       JESSICA
What are we gonna do?
                                                            
                       MARCUS
I don't know. I guess I just have
to call the cops.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
I can't stay here, I have to go to
visit my mother remember?
                                                            
                       MARCUS
That's fine, I'll call the cops,
and if this gets handled real
quick I'll drop you off. If not
then I'll pay for a taxi.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
O.K, I'm gonna go get ready. Just
let me know what they say when
they get here.
                                                            
Jessica puts her head over his shoulder.
                                                            
                       JESSICA
I love you.
                                                            
They share a tender kiss, and she walks upstairs.

Marcus waits for her to leave before whipping out his
cellphone. He sighs while dialing 911. He puts his cell up
to his ear as it begins to ring.
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
911, what is your emergency?
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Yes, hello. I was digging in my
backyard, and I- I found a body.
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
Could you please describe the
state of the corpse?
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Well it's not really one body. I
found a skeleton with lots of
bones around it. I just want-
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
One moment please.
                                                            
Marcus sighs again
                                                            

4.

                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
Sir I'm gonna need you to state
your address.
                                                            
 
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
A messy modern style bedroom, with a ton of cosmetics on the
dresser, and stacks of paper on the floor. Jessica strides
out of the cold bathroom after taking a shower, with her
towel covering her chest. She takes a seat in front of her
make up MIRROR and starts applying a FACE CREAM.
                                                            
 
INT. MILLER HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Marcus is still on the phone.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Ok, and when should I expect the
officer?
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
The officer should be there in
about 10 to 15 minutes. In the
meantime do not disturb the
evidence, is that clear?
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Absolutely, you don't need to
worry. Thank you so much.
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
Was there anything else? Anything
at all?
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Not that I know of. I really don't
want to look at it.
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
I understand. Just wait for the
officer and you'll be fine.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
Thanks a lot.
                                                            
                       DISPATCHER (V.O)
Have a nice day sir.
                                                            
Marcus hangs up, still wiping sweat off his face. He leans
back on his chair, and closes his eyes.
                                                            
 

5.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
About halfway done painting her face, Jessica realizes her
little jar is empty. She does a three point shot to a
trashcan and gets up to go to the bathroom.
                                                            
 
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
CLICK and the lights are on, and Jessica starts opening
drawers.
                                                            
 
EXT. MILLER HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
CLOSE UP on the skeleton, now in a NEW POSE.
                                                            
 
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Jessica has her ENTIRE HEAD in the cabinet under the sink.
She finds a new jar and pokes her head out, eyes focused on
the label.

Water drips LOUDLY from the shower. Jessica has her eyes
wide as she turns her head slowly. A BODY WITH NO EYES is
standing in the shower, now WALKING TO HER. She SCREAMS and
runs outside.
                                                            
 
INT. MILLER HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Jessica's screams pierce the air, making Marcus jump from
his chair.

She runs downstairs and clings on to him.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
What happened?! Tell me!
                                                            
He uses both hands to hold her face and move her hair.

After a few tries, she holds still.
                                                            
He sits her down in his chair and quickly runs to a drawer,
where he takes out a REVOLVER, and runs back to the sobbing
Jessica.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
We have to go outside now and wait
for the cops. I know you're
scared, but we have to go now.
                                                            

6.

                       JESSICA
      (sniffling)
Marcus, p-please h-hold me.
                                                            
A CRASH rings out from upstairs.
                                                            
                       MARCUS
      (whispering)
Jessica, listen to me, we have to
go now. (beat) Baby, listen to me;
where are the keys?
                                                            
Jessica is now unresponsive; just staring at the dark
stairs. Marcus takes notice and crosses over to the kitchen,
ripping open drawers looking for the keys.

After the last drawer is drawn, he heads to the front door.

At first he struggles with the knob, then becoming more
desperate by SLAMMING the door with his shoulder.

A BLOOD SPLATTER IS HEARD, along with a DEMONIC version of
Jessica's voice.
                                                            
                       THE SKELETON (O.S)
Marcus... don't be afraid.
                                                            
The skeleton has taken her place. It sits where Jessica used
to be; wearing her clothing, and using her voice. Jessica's
remains are on the floor, and her head FLOATS in mid-air.
                                                            
                       THE SKELETON
I love you.
                                                            
 
EXT. MILLER HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
SCREAMS echo out, along with TWO GUNSHOTS as Marcus Miller
clings to his ending life.
                                                            
 
INT. CAR - EVENING
                                                            
CRUNCH as a mouth bites into a taco. It's DETECTIVE TAPERT,
30's, arriving on scene in the drizzling rain.

When he gets out of his cheap sedan, he flashes his badge
and gets under the tape.

OFFICER HAYES, 20's, greets him.
                                                            

7.

                       HAYES
Hey, look, I wouldn't have called
you out here if it wasn't serious.
I'm startin' to think we have a
serial killer.
                                                            
                       TAPERT
Ricky, I don't care about coming
out here; it's my job. Now, tell
me what happened.
                                                            
As they begin to shuffle to the door, Hayes looks down with
a disgusted face.
                                                            
                       HAYES
Double homicide. I'ts worst thing
I've ever seen Rob, I-
                                                            
                       TAPERT
Hey, it's your first week and
you're doing great. Now tell me
what the situation is.
                                                            
It takes Hayes a few breaths to calm down.
                                                            
                       HAYES
One male, twenty-nine year old
Marcus Miller, and his
twenty-seven year old wife,
Jessica.
                                                            
                       TAPERT
Alright, stay here. I'm gonna go
take a look.
                                                            
Tapert marches towards the door like the veteran he is,
taking a few steps before Hayes pulls his shoulder.
                                                            
                       HAYES
Sir, I have to warn you, the-
                                                            
                       TAPERT
Listen, I've been a thug, soldier,
and investigator for most of my
life. I've seen it all.
                                                            
Hayes looks up to him, and lets go.
                                                            
 
INT. MILLER HOUSE - EVENING
                                                            
Tapert opens the door, letting the setting sun and police
lights creep in to the SOUND OF FLIES.

8.


CLICK and the hallway lights shine, unveiling Tapert's
HORRIFIED FACE. He VOMITS and stumbles out the door.
                                                            
 
EXT. MILLER HOUSE - EVENING
                                                            
Tapert leans on his car. Hayes is rubbing his back while
Tapert stands, wiping his face.
                                                            
                       TAPERT
Now I need to buy another fucking
taco.
                                                            
He brushes off his words with one head shake.
                                                            
 
INT. MILLER HOUSE - EVENING
                                                            
All that remains are pools of blood, and gory body parts,
scattered throughout the room. Carnage everywhere, with two
HUMAN SKINS nailed to the walls, with surrounding candles
and demon circles.

TWO SKULLS on chairs face the door, one with a revolver in
its bloody jaws.
                                                            
 
EXT. MILLER HOUSE - BACKYARD - EVENING
                                                            
The skeleton is back in its hole, now painted with blood,
and loosely covered in dirt.

The skull is turned on its side.

Footsteps and flashlights are on there way, and the skull
slowly turns to face the gray sky.
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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From Tim Date 9/19/2014 ****
This was very interesting to read, kept me on the edge. But to the guys below me, I don't understand your review. If you look at the title, it clearly says "short", as in short horror movie. And honestly, nothing needs to be changed/added. This (I believe) IS the finished script and it is a good one at that.

From Joey Date 8/18/2012 ****
Great screenplay,can't wait until it is completly finished!

From Shawn Smith Date 7/16/2012 ****
This is a good screenplay so far, I really like it. I got hooked instantly!


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