A Brilliant Monster (2018) Movie Script

[reporter] Now, I'm sure you've
heard of the amazing author
Mitch Stockridge.
So, how does he do it?
How does he come up
with these original ideas,
you guys are wondering.
Some argue his books
have saved lives.
So, join us next week
for a documentary
on his amazing life.
I'm a really big fan,
so I'm gonna tell you now
you won't be disappointed.
[cassette rustle]
[man's voice over recorder]
it isn't what most
people think it is.
It's a long and dark road
and probably leave
many messes behind,
and if you're not careful,
you don't clean up
after yourself,
those messes can come
back to haunt you.
[cassette deck's switch]
[distant roaring]
- [belt whipping]
- [moaning]
- [grunts and belt whipping]
- [groaning]
Ms. Dettler, I'm John Logan.
We spoke on the phone.
I'm sorry to keep you waiting.
No problem.
Just ready to tell my story.
People need to know
who the real Mitch is.
Well, for six months
I was in a relationship
with Mitch Stockridge.
Wait, the-- the author?
Yes, the author.
I keep a copy of How to be
a Better Me on my desk.
Why? I'm a fan. I'm a big fan.
I don't know how
the guy does it,
comes up with all
these original ideas.
If it wasn't for his
books on positivity,
I wouldn't be the detective
I am today. Just saying.
Mitch is a monster and a
brilliant liar at that.
How? The guy helps
thousands of people.
He's done things...
terrible things to others,
even terrible things to me.
Alright, can you be
more specific?
Look, I don't want
to be an accomplice
or withhold valuable information
from the cops, you know.
You said you were his ex, right?
Look, it's not for nothing.
We get ex-girlfriends
in here all the time,
say something like it
and back out.
What are we talking
about here, huh?
Domestic dispute? Abuse? What?
It was abuse.
Not the textbook kind though.
[sighs] Mitch was bullied
in school, I mean,
he was bullied quite a bit.
The worst was a childhood
bully named Luke Rousseau.
[tense music]
[tense music intensifies]
From where do I know that name?
Currently he's a missing person.
And he told you this?
You guys still talk?
Well, we still talk
from time to time.
He trusts me.
But Mitch isn't the
most forgiving person.
He holds grudges.
But do you think
he would have--
Okay, everything you
need to know about Mitch
goes back to his childhood.
And I know that sounds
like shrink talk
but it's really all there.
He was always
closer to his mother.
[Sophie] Talked about her a lot.
I got a mom, I get it.
It's a motherhood thing.
Go on, Sophie.
His dying father lives
in that house with him,
sealed away like some secret.
I wasn't even allowed
to go into certain rooms
on the second floor.
The funny thing is Mitch
and his dad barely spoke.
[Sophie] He said it was his mom
who always cheered on
his writing and stuff.
His dad was the more "it's
not a real job" kind of guy.
[tearing paper]
[grunting] It's garbage.
Mitch and Carver
didn't really get along,
and I know that's classic
and you hear that from
half the scum you drag in,
"It's not my fault. Daddy didn't
love me. Blah blah blah."
[John] Yeah, but come on.
I mean, Mitch prove
the old man wrong to me.
He's been pretty successful.
[suspenseful music]
I don't think success
changed Mitch.
I think he's been who he is
for much longer than that.
All right. Look, whatever.
But is there anybody
this guy likes?
Okay, Mitch, you're
driving me crazy, man.
It's late after work,
you dragged me out here
'cause you have something
important to tell me
and I should be at home
right now with Laura
watching Stranger Things.
- Final layouts due in a week.
- And?
All I need is an ending.
That's all you need, an ending.
That's it. Well, that should
be so easy for you, Mitch.
But the reason I have summoned
you my friend, Nick,
is for something
much, much greater.
Are you proposing to Sophie?
You are, dude. I knew
it was gonna happen--
Laura said, "He wants to be
single his whole life,
he's a single guy."
I said, "No, I know Mitch,
he's gonna settle down."
And I knew it was coming.
I knew you were gonna do it.
Actually, Sophie and I
are not a thing anymore.
I feel like a giant asshole now.
- That's because you are.
- Yeah.
I'm sorry man. You okay?
Yeah, I'm fine.
It ran its course.
We still talk sometimes.
Anyways, check this out.
Luke Rousseau.
The Luke Rousseau wrote you?
- Can that guy even write?
- [laughs]
Who hand writes letters anyways?
What does it say?
- It's an apology.
- Well...
- Better late than never, right?
- I guess.
So you know about the letter?
Wait, how do you know
about the letter?
His family mentioned it
in the missing-persons report.
- Do you have that letter?
- No.
I'm just going to do with one
of the Cuban sandwiches.
- Pollo frito.
- Excellent choice.
Is this separate or together?
- Together.
- Separate.
- Mitch, don't--
- I got it.
- Mitch Stockridge?
- In the flesh.
I thought it was you.
Oh, God, here we go.
I love all your books.
I read your Life is Beautiful
cover to cover twice
the week that it came out.
Just... really helped
with my depression.
Oh, sorry, TMI.
It's okay, I-- it's very kind.
I like hearing those stories.
Are you working on anything new?
Oh, always.
I have a desk full of things,
working on my newest collection
and hoping to have my first
novel done soon as well.
Well, I will have
to pick those up
but I'll take care
of this for you, guys.
[John] Whatever
happened to the dad?
He lives with him in his house.
Mitch also works from home.
Hey, dad, how are
you holding on?
That good, huh?
What are you reading?
You know that author and I
used to have the same agent.
You know this guy?
Well, that's a shame
I used to like him.
We're not always on the
best sellers' list together
but he's a great writer.
[distant roaring]
[doorbell ringing]
- [Mitch] Luke, come on in.
- [Luke] Hi, Mitch.
[John] So Luke did come by.
[Sophie] Yeah, Mitch told me.
Luke the childhood bully?
Yes, John, try and keep up.
Don't interrupt.
Were you there for this?
There you go.
[Mitch] Can I get you anything?
Water, please.
- H2O coming right up.
- Thank you.
Make yourself at home.
Mi casa su casa.
Okay, okay.
- It's sweet place, man.
- Thank you.
It's just you?
It's me and dad.
I take care of him.
He's a salty old fucker
but he's family, right?
- [laughing]
- Yeah. For sure.
I'm really surprised you called
me after that last letter.
You know, I was such a prick.
You know, I thought
you'd still be mad at me.
Kids will be kids, right?
Right. Right.
- I appreciate that, Mitch.
- We all change.
- I appreciate you reaching out.
- Yeah.
Well, I read the last
bunch of your stories
and it's interesting stuff, man.
Any favorites?
The one about forgiveness.
Chapter seven.
It's literally calling
I forgive you Luke.
[loud laugh]
- [laughs]
- [sighs]
Well, it's a great book, Mitch.
Thank you. I like to write
about the human emotions
and I think forgiveness is
a very important part of that.
Yeah, yeah it is.
Well, you did it, right?
Look at you now. Famous writer.
Not yet. Baby steps.
Oh, you did it!
Stop being modest.
And your mom would
be very proud of you.
Thanks. I appreciate that.
You never really feel
like "I did it though."
It's never really done.
What is doing it anyways, right?
It's like there's always
the next one, and the next one
and then somehow you
got to find the inspiration
to do it all again.
I feel like people
don't really understand
the real sacrifice
for true success.
Hey, beats working
in construction, right?
Can I show you something?
Follow me.
[suspenseful music]
You are gonna love this.
Yeah. The man cave?
Something like that.
[monster groaning]
What in the fuck, man.
- You helped me create it.
- What the fuck is that?
- [screams]
- [monster roaring]
- [Luke screaming]
- [monster roaring]
[monster huffing]
[monster roaring]
Very inspirational, Luke.
Can I interrupt now?
Proceed, Detective.
What kind of drugs are you on?
I didn't believe it
at first either.
Who would?
Let me get this straight.
- What exactly happened to Luke?
- I just told--
You're accusing Mitch of--
It gives him his stories,
all of his original ideas.
Mitch feeds it people and
it gives him his story ideas.
Okay, I think we're done here.
Why don't we take a break?
Good idea. Let's take a break.
One more thing,
just hear me out.
You should really consider
becoming an author.
You-- no, you're good,
you're really good.
Just saying.
Don't tell me you're
buying this crap.
I'm not yet. I'm listening.
We're not supposed
to support crazy.
- Maybe she isn't crazy.
- What? Come on.
Ignore the story.
That's just something
her boyfriend is saying
to mess with her head.
Sounds like something
out of a book, right?
Yeah, go back to the part
about ignoring the story.
That part I can do,
not a problem.
[woman] Look at the
facts, all right.
This is our first lead
on Luke Rousseau.
We have plenty of missing people
out there with no leads at all.
- If Stockridge has motive here--
- Stockridge?
You guys talking
about Mitch Stockridge?
We got missing people, yeah.
Transient, sex workers.
You think Stockridge is out
there feeding them to something?
Of course, not.
But if he thinks he is that's
enough to keep him going.
You know these artistic types.
They're all a little...
Yeah, I wouldn't kill somebody
to write a fucking book.
Mitch is a rising star.
Maybe he is a star.
He could be famous
worldwide one day.
That could be worth it to some.
How? Why?
Mitch writes inspirational
books, your self-help shit.
Doesn't make sense
he's killing people.
Just because his books help some
doesn't mean they help everyone.
What does that even mean?
Forget about it.
Look, I know you need this case,
especially after your last case.
But please don't--
don't go overboard on this.
I cannot believe you
just brought that up.
There's more to this, John.
Yeah, scorned ex-lover blows
whistle on monster ex-boyfriend.
How original?
- I'm taking this on.
- Knock yourself out.
Still love his books though.
Me, too.
Thank you.
Where's Detective Logan?
My counterpart and I don't
see eye to eye on this one.
I noticed.
I take it you were the good cop.
Abby Dunn.
I believe you.
Yes, actually.
Good. He's beginning
to think I was going crazy.
Sophie, being a cop in this area
means I see a lot of rich
and powerful people
get away with things
they shouldn't.
That concerns me.
Hearing someone out on a story
doesn't concern me at all.
Thank you.
So, how long has Mitch been
working and getting his ideas
from this thing from the room?
I have no idea.
He's good at covering
his tracks.
[Abigail] How can he
do it all by himself?
[Sophie] I really don't know.
I know he has a driver
that's mute.
That's the only person
that occasionally helps him.
Well, if you think of anything,
please let me know.
I did the right thing, right?
[reporter] Mitch Stockridge,
you might have heard of him,
but this local celebrity
has been releasing
life-changing self-help books
and his latest release
is even more compelling.
His original ideas
are captivating
and even more so inspiring.
I myself had a hard time
putting down his new book.
Of course, now to
bring out the topic
of your newest collection
All Is Forgiven.
Already flying off the shelves.
I gotta say, Mitch,
this one is fantastic.
Thank you. I'm trying, I guess.
Well, tell us a little
about the book,
you know, without giving
away the ending, of course.
Well, this time it's a
series of connected stories
dealing with redemption
and the lengths
that our main characters
are willing to go to to get it
with a few twists
and turns, of course.
Well, we all know and love
the Stockridge voice.
But over the years,
your writing has gotten way
more creative and inventive.
What's your secret?
Who's your muse?
No muse.
Well, you're just on fire.
The book is called
All Is Forgiven
and you should buy
a copy right now.
Mitch, thank you.
[audience cheering]
Are you seeing this, Mitch?
The line is out the door.
It's my hometown crowd,
what do you expect?
Imagine what it'd be like
if we were in New York.
You know I can't leave town.
Oh, yeah, whatever, Mitch.
As long as you keep up
the good work
and, more importantly,
the sales, what do I care.
And you thought I wouldn't
make the deadline.
And you did
with three hours to spare.
Don't let me stop you.
- Look at that shirt.
- Yeah.
- And who do I make that to?
- Yeah, Amelia, please.
- Here you go.
- Thank you so much.
If you don't mind,
I've got a quick question.
I was wondering, where
do you get your ideas from?
They're just so original!
I get them from things
that happened to me,
things in my life.
Yeah, but is there a process?
Does someone help you?
Then where?
I don't steal them,
if that's what you're asking.
- Can you get her mother--?
- Mitch.
You're arguing
with a little girl.
I'm fourteen.
She's accusing me of plagiarism.
What does that even mean?
Have you lost your mind?
Come on sweet, let's go.
Good luck marrying her off.
[whispering] Asshole.
- Am I the asshole?
- The line, Mitch.
- Hi.
- Who do I make that to?
- Bailey.
- Bailey.
- Thank you.
- Next.
[girl] Thank you.
Pops, I just made soup.
Hope you cook better
than your write.
It's the joy of my day
to come up here
and pump you full of soup
after I've had a book
signing for a hundred fans.
- Those keep me humble.
- A hundred fans, huh?
Want to keep the
mortgage up on this pile.
You even read the new one yet?
- I flipped through.
- And?
Come on Mitch,
you've been writing the
same stupid self-help books
over and over since
you were in college.
Newsweek said the same thing.
But I think they
meant it in a good way.
What was your big plan
for me anyways growing up?
Being a doctor?
I'd still be paying off loans.
Well, I would have been proud
of a son if he was a doctor.
But I guess my dreams
will never come true.
Anyway, it's good honest work.
Sometimes people ask me
where I get my ideas from.
I tell them from
forgiving my father.
You're always a little bitch.
Turns out you do cook
better than you write.
It's still shit though.
Yeah, you are what you eat.
Who is the one little bitch now?
Shut the fuck up.
[monster roaring]
[monster grunting]
So congrats again
on the signing, man.
Thanks. And you
weren't there why?
Mitch, this is the third time
I'm telling you this,
and I know you're
super butthurt about it,
but the line to get
to you is a mile off.
You're a mile tall,
you could have pushed your way
to the front as my bodyguard.
Yeah, as true
as that might be Mitch,
there's no way
I'm getting through
literally four hundred crazed
estrogen-fueled women
trying to get to you.
God, so how many
is this for you now?
Or you even kept count?
No, books.
- Too many to count.
- Yeah?
- Did Luke end up showing up?
- Luke didn't come here.
No, I didn't ask
if Luke came here.
I mean, did he go
to the signing?
Oh... Uh... I really didn't...
He didn't show up.
It's no big deal. I mean...
I guess you could hand him
a copy of your book and say,
"Luke, all is forgiven."
It's a joke.
Mitch, just give me something.
Courtesy laugh even.
- Hearty ha ha.
- I'll take it. Jesus.
Did you even read it?
Yeah, of course, I read it.
It was nice. I liked it.
It was "nice"?
Yeah, man, I mean, you're
the English major here, okay?
I'm an IT guy. I see
things in black and white.
I liked the book. So, I don't
have a more colorful vocabulary.
It's gonna have to be enough.
Did you um--
did you catch that piece
on you and the locals?
I probably skimmed it.
Yeah, it was super interesting.
The-- the reporter, she asked
you one of those, you know,
"Where do you draw your
inspiration from" questions.
You would know,
you were there, right?
And if I remember correctly,
you told her that you have
a never-ending supply
of anger that you draw
from for your stories.
Okay, well, it's new news to me
since I've known
you for forever.
So, would you like to
elaborate a little more on it?
It's like a--
It's like a permanent
battery backup of anger.
I write these books more
for myself than anything.
Inadvertently it just
helps other people.
Maybe one day I can
actually help myself.
So, a permanent
battery backup of anger
sounds way worse than
I thought to be honest.
And I didn't want to
call you out on this,
but do you think that's
the right choice to be taking?
I mean, if you ever want to have
any peace or joy in your life?
And this is why I make
more money than you make.
- Wow. Thanks, asshole.
- [cellphone ringing]
That's Laura. Hold on.
Hey, hon.
Yeah, I'm over at Mitch's.
No, it's fine.
He just threatened me
with a butcher knife though.
Yeah. No, I'm kidding,
we're good. We're good.
Let him know he's a douchebag?
Yeah, I'll let him know.
Okay. Yeah.
No, I'll be done soon, okay.
And I'll head over there.
Just send me a list.
Got it. Alright. Love you. Bye.
Everything all right?
Yeah. No, she just wants me to
make a Costco run on my way home
because that's all marriage is,
an endless supply
of Costco runs.
- Sounds like fun.
- It's a fucking delight.
And I wish you were married
so you could know
just how much I enjoy it.
You know, it's a pry
but whatever happened to Sophie?
I tried to show her
who I really am,
reveal myself to her,
and I guess she just
wasn't ready for that.
Well, Mitch, that's the
problem right there, buddy.
You gotta stop revealing
yourself to women.
Again, hearty ha ha. Laugh.
- Don't you have to go?
- I do.
Finish the avocados.
I'll see you soon.
[Sophie] Why don't you
ever stay the night?
I take care of my father.
You know that.
You could put him
in a home or something
or hiring home caring.
I thought about it. But I got my
reasons for keeping him around.
You're always so guarded.
I guess.
It's just weird I've
never even met him.
That's because I like you.
[monster groaning]
You're smaller?
I'm trying to create something
big and you're getting smaller?
[monster groaning]
What are you telling me?
[monster growling]
I don't know what
else to feed you.
I'd kick your ass
if you even had one.
[cellphone ringing]
[monster roaring]
[cellphone ringing]
- [cellphone ringing]
- Yeah.
- [woman] Hi, Mitch.
- Natalie.
How nice of you to call again.
I'm just calling to congratulate
you on a great event.
I'm sure.
But while I have
you on the phone,
is there any chance we could get
a first few chapters
of the novel by the weekend?
That wasn't the deal.
I know, I know
it wasn't the deal,
but I'd like to do things a bit
differently this time around,
so we can avoid those instances
of being perpetually late.
No need to beat around the bush.
I know, I'm just saying
that I don't want
to be late on this project.
This is going to be the one
that's gonna take you
way over the top.
Yeah, I know, I want it to.
Then we are on
the same page then?
I'll see what I can
do over the weekend.
Great. That's good.
[distant growling]
Fuck it.
I know you get
this all the time.
That's okay, go for it.
Where do you get your ideas?
Things happen to me and then
I exaggerate for effect.
How many shitty people could you
possibly have left to forgive?
Self-development is
a lifelong process.
I guess.
Don't worry, I don't have
anything against you... yet.
You're funny.
[Mitch] Mm.
Let me look at you.
You're gorgeous, Mary.
What you looking at?
Sorry. I'm nosey.
It's okay.
You know...
I thought I could be
a writer someday.
Something special.
I guess I just didn't
have the gift.
Gift, curse, call it
wherever you like.
- Don't be so dramatic.
- I know, I'm sorry.
My latest book is
just missing something.
It's like you never know
exactly what it takes.
It takes a lot
out of you, doesn't it?
Yeah. Nobody ever gets that.
I don't like people
very close to me.
This is why my last
relationship failed.
This job requires
a certain type of isolation.
Well, you must be
doing something right.
Maybe. I have my regrets.
Who doesn't?
You wanna go upstairs?
[suspenseful music]
- There's really a dog in there?
- Yeah.
- [monster roaring]
- [gasping] What is that?
- [Mary screaming]
- [monster roaring]
I'm sorry, Mary.
[chewing and sucking]
This isn't a story,
these are notes.
What you got, writer's
block or something?
[monster roaring]
Not enough is right.
[monster roaring]
Fuck you. I liked her.
I kept up my end of the bargain.
You give me what she is worth.
[monster roaring]
Make all the sound you want.
This is the last straw.
I'll finish this book on my own
like I should have
from the beginning.
[melancholic music]
[chatting and laughing]
Hey, Sophie, it's me.
Just wanted to talk.
I'm having kind of a bad night.
[Mitch] Anyways, call me back.
Love you.
Mitch Stockridge?
Nope. I think you're mistaken.
You are not Mitch Stockridge,
bestselling author,
whose picture hangs
in every local bookstore?
Without that cheesy get-up,
you'll look just like him.
- Well, I'm--
- Mr. Stockridge,
I have a few questions
about Luke Rousseau.
Alright. What do
you want to know?
Well, I'm told he came to visit
you and then he never came home.
That's not my problem.
- You two had a history.
- You can say that.
What, did he visit you?
He did and then he left.
What did you discuss?
Nothing really. Just caught up.
Hadn't seen him
since high-school.
He liked the new book.
Did he happen to mention where
he was headed after he left?
Look, I'll save
you some digging.
I never liked the guy much.
And if you ask anybody
that knew us twenty years ago,
they'll tell you the same thing.
I wanted him gone... back then.
We've moved on, all of us.
And if that's all you have,
you wouldn't know how much.
So, if you'll excuse me,
I am a little busy right now.
Well, I understand that,
but I still have a few
questions for you, Sir.
What makes you think that I
even remember where he went?
That was weeks ago.
You never know.
They say writers are observant.
I'm sorry I bothered you,
Mr. Stockridge.
- Thank you for your time.
- You're welcome.
If you hear anything else,
give me a call.
Detective Abigail Dunn.
I prefer Abby.
My ex-husband used to read
your inspirational stories.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
- Happy to help.
- I didn't say they helped.
[chuckles] All right.
Have a good one.
[steps moving further away]
[cellphone ringing]
[cellphone ringing]
Hello, Natalie.
Yeah, I saw the covers.
We haven't said anything.
Be a lot easier
to get through things
if I stopped
getting interrupted.
I'm gonna pretend you're
referring to other people.
Well, I could choose
a cover if I had a book.
And it's kind of hard for us
to come up with a cover
when we haven't got a book yet.
Can we just slow things
down a little bit right now?
I'm kind of going
through something here.
Oh, Mitch,
you made a commitment.
You're gonna have
to live with it.
[monster roaring]
Yeah, go fuck yourself.
[monster growling]
I didn't peg you to be a reader
of self-help books, Detective.
I tried to see what it would
give me on Luke Rousseau.
It wasn't much.
- Well, maybe Logan was right.
- Maybe.
Well, in any event, I hope
you like missing person cases
- because I've got another one.
- Let me guess.
Another drunk college kid
on daddy's boat.
You wish.
This one is a sad story.
A woman named Mary.
- Any leads?
- Nothing so far.
I guess there's no
justice in this world.
If you find any, make sure
the front desk knows.
[Nick] Okay.
I propose a toast right now
to the best first draft
of the best novel
since Jane Eyre.
- Please don't laugh.
- [laughs]
- Don't. It's insulting.
- Jane Eyre?
It's literally the only novel
I can think of at the time.
Did you google books
just to drop that one?
Okay, I like Jane Eyre,
I have a feminine side.
- [laughs]
- What? Stop.
Cheers, Nick.
Now I know why are you
over here all the damn time.
I haven't toked like this
since grad school.
- Did she say toked?
- Mm-Hm.
Is that the word
she just used, "toked"?
I've never heard my wife
use that word before.
- My classy, classy wife.
- Hey.
I'm allowed to have
a masculine side.
Yes, you are.
Mm. I'm out.
Let me get you another
one real quick.
Fresh out.
I'm gonna go make a run.
Not like this, you're not.
It's a few beers. I'm fine.
Mitch, don't.
You two have fun.
[sighs] Drive safe, buddy.
He can't just go on like this.
[Nick] There's nothing
I can do for him. I know.
[Laura] It's not your job.
You can't just
take care of him--
[Nick] I know. Listen, okay?
You are not there when
the crowds are there
and the parties, everybody is
gushing over the guy, okay?
I'm there in the alone time
and I see how he is
and how he acts.
[Laura] While I'm
sitting home alone?
[Nick] You don't have
to sit home alone.
You go out have
girl time if you want.
- Okay, thank you very much.
- Okay, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Okay, listen, right?
Mitch is my best friend.
He is just going through
a rough period right now, okay?
That's it.
[Laura] He brings it on himself.
He is never happy.
Yeah, I know he is not.
Small world. Hi there.
You followed me
to the store, really?
I'm not here on business,
Mr. Stockridge.
Contrary to what you
may have seen on TV,
cops do not subsist
exclusively on donuts.
Are you denying that you
like donuts, Detective?
Don't be ridiculous.
They are delicious.
- Excuse me, Mr. Stockridge.
- Oh, hi.
[woman] Hi. I can't believe it.
- I'm your biggest fan. Do you--
- Yes.
- Do you think you could?
- Yes, of course.
Thank you so much.
You're welcome.
Your book saved
my friend's life.
[Abigail] Wow.
You saved a life.
Not many authors can say that.
What do you want?
Nothing. I promise.
Although, since we are
both here shopping for juice,
I will confess I do have
a few more questions.
Doesn't mean I'm gonna
have any more answers.
- Not about Luke Rousseau.
- Oh.
You were recently
seen having drinks
with a woman named Mary Rollins.
I can provide you with
the date, time and location
if that would refresh
your memory.
I remember. Nice girl.
Well, it was bar, so eyewitness
memories are predictively fuzzy.
No one can be sure
they saw her leave.
- I was wondering if you did.
- Can't help you.
So, we done here?
Another person is missing,
Mr. Stockridge.
Most people might express
little more interest
in the situation you're at.
Leave me alone.
Suit yourself.
Enjoy your day.
Oh, Detective,
I just remembered donuts
are on aisle nine, FYI.
Got a treat for you.
That's just poison.
What are you, a health nut now?
What you got to live
for anyways?
Who are those people downstairs?
It's Nick and Laura.
You still hanging
around that Nick kid?
- She's still eight feet tall?
- It's actually worse, dad.
I'm still hanging around you.
You love to complain.
I was half as bad
as you say I am.
You put a pillow
over my face long ago.
I would never do that, dad.
These pillows are
way too expensive.
- Oh, my son!
- That's debatable.
[monster groaning]
[Mitch] Working on it!
Jab cross.
Put some power on it. Jab cross!
I want some power. One, two.
Think of someone
you hate. One, two.
Think of someone you hate!
- Come on!
- [groans]
I said someone
you hate. One, two.
- [groans]
- Come on. Come on!
I said someone you hate!
- One, two!
- [groans]
Come on! Come on!
[tense music]
[monster groaning]
[monster roaring]
[newscaster] Another epidemic
of missing women
is among us in our city.
While police are suspecting
links to organized crime,
some are speculating it could
all be the work of just one man.
The repeated attacks
on escorts and street walkers
have some calling the assailant
the latter-day Jack the Ripper.
In related news,
there is a new development
in the Mary Rollins
Police cannot confirm
a connection,
but they're now trying
to identify a possible suspect
caught on the bar's
parking lot surveillance cam.
[suspenseful music]
[TV's rattling]
Yeah, I got your email.
[Natalie] Yeah, theirs is
few review copies gone out
and there's a few copies
floating around the office.
What are the interns saying?
Well, you know, Mitch, this is--
this is really ambitious.
I think you should be
really proud of yourself.
I am proud.
I just hope you are hard
at work on the next one.
Yeah, I just got pages
flowing out of me.
Any updates, Detective?
None so far, Sir.
I have been keeping
a close eye on him,
but I've got about as close
as I can get without a warrant.
No, remember, we want
to keep this quiet.
He's kind of a big shot in town.
Big shots are my specialty, Sir.
we do not want a repeat
of your last investigation.
There won't be, Sir.
Just play it cool
with Stockridge.
- No more gut feelings.
- Understood.
[monster groaning]
Yeah, gotcha.
[monster roaring]
Yeah, I know.
[Mitch] I'm just disappointed.
You can do better than that.
Fuck you, grand old
dork motherfucker.
Piece of shit!
You seem tense.
I hope you're happy
because they're saying what
you've been saying all along.
I'll have to take
your word for it.
I don't get them much.
I tried to do
something different,
something new,
something from here.
But in the end, it was
the same old trick.
What are you telling me for?
Because I don't have
mom to talk to anymore.
She would have made you soft.
I guess I'm just more
of a short story guy, huh?
Aren't you on top of this?
We publicized all we could.
I guess one week here on top,
next week it's a ghost town.
I just don't understand.
- [Natalie] The book's out and--
- [Mitch] And?
Well, you read the reviews.
I just don't get it.
This book has everything.
I know, your blood,
your sweat, your tears.
Is this the
Terrance Williams signing?
No, he was here yesterday.
Oh. Sorry.
- Fucking Terrance.
- Oh, come on, Mitch.
You know the reading
public's fickle.
Maybe they just needed something
different this time around.
- Thanks for your input.
- I'm just trying to be helpful.
Oh, great, hope that
makes you feel better.
It's better be
as good as you say.
You've been rolling it
for half hour.
I love you.
I just don't know what happened.
There was like nobody there.
Well, I'll be honest.
You finished it last night.
I'm your friend, I'm gonna
give it to you straight.
I know.
Something is different
about you, man.
Something's changed.
I don't know what it is.
And maybe you need to stay
with the small stuff.
No one is gonna
fault you for that.
Some people will.
Come on, Mitch, who's
gonna fault you for that?
Nick, what motivates you
to get up in the morning,
go to the office and all that?
If I didn't,
I wouldn't have a job.
I don't know what
you want me to say, man.
I mean, I'm living it up here.
You know, I got a
great middle-class life.
I have a wife who's
way too hot for me.
It's more than we could've
ever dreamed of as kids.
All we had as kids it's Luke
Rousseau beating our faces in
every day for our lunch money.
And if you lost your job,
your career went belly-up,
how would Laura react?
Laura would be
extremely disappointed.
She'd be pissed off for a while.
But Laura doesn't depend
on material things
to make her happy.
Let's say you did
a really good job at work,
and you got a promotion
and a bonus
or whatever, and you were
able to buy a bigger house.
Then, not to say it's bad now,
but your relationship
would be better, right?
Can be worse.
I'll give you that.
Okay, then you see
where I'm coming from.
Here comes the airplane.
[mimicking an airplane]
Look who's in a good mood.
Yeah, I am.
I finally figured something out.
From now on,
you're gonna like
me for who I am
or you can just
go fuck yourself.
What about you?
Do you like yourself?
I'm gonna give it a try.
You hate yourself, Mitch.
[tense music]
[door opening]
[woman laughing]
[monster growling]
- [monster roaring]
- [woman screaming]
- Only an hour late this time.
- Yeah, sorry.
I get down here from New York
and you can't
make it six blocks?
I'm busy, come on.
I can't be the first writer
to be behind on a deadline.
Yeah, well, about that.
You got a contract
for two books.
We haven't seen
the second book yet.
The first one wasn't that great,
so what's the rush
for the next one?
You've had enough extensions.
Yeah, we need the manuscript
and we need it in a week.
A week?
That's impossible.
That's not gonna happen.
Well, then we're gonna sue
you for breach of contract.
Look, your last book
didn't work out, now did it?
We need something
new from you
to fill the shelves
and cover up, a stanch.
And we are less likely
to play nice with you Mitch
after the last debacle.
I'm being serious.
I made your reputation.
Yeah, and we made yours.
And you know, if you
could just get things to us
in plenty of time so we could
edit it to our satisfaction
instead of a usual trick
of bringing us things
three minutes
before the deadline.
Honestly, Mitch, you artistic
types, you all are the same!
Plenty of ideas,
nothing to show for it.
Now, what are we in
the hole for here anyways?
We're selling paper
and most of the business
is in e-books anyway.
So, the last one
didn't go that well.
We'll make it up.
- Not good enough.
- I'll give you good enough.
Yeah, well just give me
good enough in seven days.
[Mitch] All right.
I'm gonna take you upstairs.
Okay. What's upstairs?
A surprise.
- Should I close my eyes?
- No.
I want to open your eyes for the
first time in our relationship.
Right, there's that mysterious
writer talk again.
- [laughs]
- No. No mysteries.
I love you.
I haven't said that
to a lot of women.
I want to be honest
with you about everything
Come on.
Shhh, shhh.
I don't hear anything.
- It's being quiet.
- [laughs]
I've been keeping it in check
since you've been coming over.
What are you hiding in there?
The truth.
Something I've never
shown anyone before.
Well, let's get this over with.
I'm gonna close your eyes now.
[Sophie laughing] Okay.
[monster groaning]
Surprise, it's me.
That's how I get
my ideas for my stories.
I defeated people
but it's how it works.
I-- I don't understand.
It just showed up one night.
I don't know.
[monster groaning]
Sophie, I do this for us.
I can't-- I can't do this.
[Mitch] We let you in.
[monster roaring]
[clears his throat]
Hi yourself.
It's the part where you ask me
if I want to have a good time?
Hard to get it like it.
How much?
All depends on
how much you want.
Fair enough.
I've got money, don't worry.
Who is worried?
[sirens wailing]
Come on.
[sirens wailing]
You are under arrest for
solicitation of a prostitute.
This is entrapment.
You asked me, big boy.
You have the right
to remain silent.
Anything you say maybe held
against you in the court of law.
I love your books.
Thanks. You want me to go now?
Is he still here?
- Made bail last night.
- Figures.
I have been trying to get
warrant on this guy since--
This may be my chance.
With this in his file,
someone up the chain may see
that he's not so perfect
and back me up on this.
Thank you.
[Mitch groaning]
Thanks for bailing me out, man.
Do we need to go
get your car now?
I'll take care
of it in the morning.
God, Mitch, this Sophie thing
must have you really fucked up
if you're picking up hookers.
I was gonna kill her
and hope nobody would notice.
It's good. You should keep
that charming sense of humor,
it's getting you far.
I'm fucking drained.
You know, I wasn't gonna say
anything but you look like shit.
I was in jail.
I know.
And I hope you've
made a lot of friends,
friends you can confide in,
talk to, you know.
I feel like shit.
I've been in a bad
place for a while, Nick.
That's generally the reason
people pick up hookers
in the first place.
No, it's not that.
I think I know what
I need to do now
and a hooker wasn't
gonna be enough.
I got some rainy day
money upstairs...
to get you paid.
Come with me.
All right. So, I
kind of understand
why you don't want people
snooping around up here.
Well, I think after all
these years my secret is safe.
I can't believe
I'm even up here.
You've kept this whole
upstairs from me for so long.
I almost don't want
to show you.
Show me what?
[monster groaning]
I know, right?
[monster growling]
What is that?
I'm trying to figure out
for years, believe me.
Is it real?
- [monster growling]
- Yeah.
All right. Uh...
Thank you for showing me.
I-- You know, I won't say
anything to anyone about this.
No, Nick, I know.
No, Mitch!
[Nick] Mitch!
[melancholic music]
Fucking brilliant.
[paper cracking]
[toilet flushing]
[father] Who is there?
[father] Mitch, is that you?
- [monster groaning]
- [screams]
- [monster roaring]
- Shit!
What's that?
Okay, okay.
[camera snapping]
[monster groaning]
Well, author Mitch Stockridge's
second novel
is raking in the rave reviews.
New York Times calls it
ambitious and brilliant.
The Chicago Tribune
says it's a bold new step
in truly self-help.
And the San Francisco
Chronicle says
it's not only the most
inspirational book
of the decade,
it just might be the strongest.
I knew you could do it, Mitch.
You're a genius.
No such thing. It's a lot
of hard work and sacrifice.
Matthew Lopez.
[Natalie] Next please.
[man] To Peter Sanchez.
- Thanks.
- You're welcome.
Hey, Laura.
I see you've got
another book out.
- I'm sure Nick is very proud.
- Thanks. That means a lot.
Have you heard
anything from Nick?
You're his best friend.
He didn't tell you anything?
I'm sorry.
Please try to--
I have to go, Laura.
You're walking
the beat, Detective?
Kind of. I was over at
Mitch Stockridge's place.
Oh, funny story.
You got your warrant.
Are you kidding me?
I thought they were gonna
protect this guy forever.
What did it?
- The hooker thing?
- Yes.
Well, it turns out the guy that
bailed your boy out is missing.
What is it with you
and this author?
I have to go.
Look at this,
"ambitious and brilliant."
It's the New York Times talking.
You read The Chronicle yet?
I got through some of them.
Takes me a while these days.
Advance sales are
out of the roof.
It almost makes up for the time
you left me alone
to go write in a cabin.
You're still alive.
Well, Son, you did it.
- Are you being sarcastic?
- No.
This time you did it.
Thanks, Dad.
It means the world to me.
Is that what you really
all you were waiting for?
You really are a mess,
aren't you?
If you actually thought anything
you've done with your life
was worth a damn,
you wouldn't be so
worried about what I felt
and you wouldn't be so angry
at the world all the time.
You're right, Dad,
I don't need to be
angry anymore.
[suspenseful music]
[suspenseful music intensifies]
Get down!
Thank you so much for the time.
- Mr. Stockridge.
- Detective.
It is so nice to see you again.
I feel like you have
a thing for me.
Mr. Stockridge, I recently
received a distraught phone call
from a grieving widow.
I had nothing new to tell her.
She had nothing new to tell me.
- Well, except for one thing.
- And what's that?
Quite by chance,
poor Mrs. Brennaman
corroborated Ms. Dettler's story
about rooms on the second floor
that no one was
allowed to go in.
I see.
I see, I see, I see.
- I'm a very private person.
- Mitch, I have a warrant.
We can do this the easy
way or the hard way.
I guess you got what you
wanted then, Detective.
Will there be anything else?
I need to go meet
with my publisher.
If you like books,
you're welcome to join us.
You know I know you never
shed any tears for Luke Rousseau
and I can accept that you made
yourself not care about any
or many of the others.
- Nick Brennaman was your friend.
- And I miss him every day.
I'll choose to believe that.
I noticed you made a beeline
for the room upstairs,
like you knew exactly
what you were looking for.
I'm not mad.
I'm just wondering
how much do you know.
I know enough.
Well, then you'll know no one's
going to believe your story.
- You're a monster, Stockridge.
- I take your word for it.
I help people.
You remember the woman
from the grocery store.
She said I saved
her friend's life.
Even you were impressed.
You think your books
help everyone, huh?
Well, guess again,
they didn't help me.
How? You act like I destroyed
your life or something.
[laughs] But you did,
Mitch the bitch.
Your little stories,
inspirational stories
inspired my husband
to follow his dreams
and walk out on his family.
So that's what
this has been about.
We were happy, happy
and then you ruined everything.
You'll never know how many
people I actually helped.
Where is Nick, Mitch?
He is not here.
How could you do this
to your best friend?
You're just projecting.
- You're a monster.
- Leave.
You're a selfish piece
of shit and I swear--
I help people.
My books help people.
God, keep telling yourself that.
Goodbye, Detective.
[suspenseful music]
Mitch Stockridge,
his self-help books
are blowing up.
I highly recommend--
You should buy
Mitch Stockridge's book today.
[man] It's changed my life.
It can change yours.
Wow, Mitch, you're on time.
Well, I know how you treat
authors that run late.
Oh, come on, that's
water under the bridge.
Would you actually have sued me?
What? You gotta do
what you gotta do, Mitch,
to get ahead these days.
Yeah, you're right there.
Can I get you something?
Coffee, biscotti?
The book must be selling well.
You're being nice.
Well, of course, I'm being nice.
You're back on top, Mitch.
You've got everything
you ever wanted, you know.
God, you must be so proud.
I am.
And you're fired.
Excuse me?
Don't take it, personal.
You know how it is.
You've got to do
what you've got to do
to get ahead these days.
Oh, come on, Mitch.
Let's talk about--
- There's nothing to talk about.
- Don't be angry.
That's the funny thing.
I'm not angry. I'm happy.
Good luck, Natalie.
[reporter] We have
Author Mitch Stockridge with us
hot off the success
of Sorry, Not Sorry.
- Mitch, you got a second?
- Absolutely.
Glad to be here
supporting the cause.
We would all love to know where
do you get your ideas from?
Believe it or not,
I get it a lot.
Well, it's sort of like this:
Ever since I was a little kid
I've been haunted by a monster
and I feed it
sacrifices of people
and, in return, it spits out
an outline for a best-seller
and I just can't stop.
Okay, well that's
why you're a writer.
All right then. Wow.
[screaming] Damn!
[wood creaking]
[wood creaking]
[suspenseful music]
[monster groaning]
[monster groaning]
[monster growling]
[monster groaning]
[monster roaring]