Cold Ground (2017) Movie Script

Say hey, mister break man
Don't put me off your train
Oh yeah mister break man,
don't put me off your train
'Cause the weather is cold
And I'm going home again
Because the midnight special
Shone a light on me
All the way out
on, that old old me
I'm weary now
And short on the lease now
I'm weary now, and
surely in this town
I can't find a job, I'm
tired of hanging out
- Good evening.
- Good evening.
- Are you
Professor Herman?
- I am indeed, it's
nice to meet you.
- Yeah nice to meet you.
Sorry we're late, we
got lost on the way.
It's a really small village,
and there were no signs.
- It's true there's not very
much civilization out here.
Problem with it is
it's the last refuge
before the mountains.
But, I'm glad you've
arrived safely.
- Thanks.
- You must be David.
- Yeah that's me, nice
to meet you professor Herman.
- Oh please, call me Gunter.
Can I help you with your bags?
- No, it's okay.
- You sure?
- Yeah.
- Okay well let's grab
this stuff and get inside,
it's bloody freezing.
- Thank you for putting
us up for the night.
- I should be thanking you.
This is a very unusual case.
It's great that we've
got media coverage.
David, I have to apologize
I don't speak French.
It's a bit embarrassing really
for an English scientist
working on the French-Swiss
border, but all us English
we're not renowned for
speaking languages.
Come on in.
- It's okay, David
and I speak English.
- Yeah I understand
English, but sorry
I have a very bad accent.
- Well I can
understand everything.
This is a pretty cool
place, we've got researchers
from Switzerland,
France, Germany.
It's a cosmopolitan place.
We've been collecting
samples now for over a week.
So we setup this
self-sufficient research camp.
It's up in the mountains.
We're trying to find out
why there's been a drop
of temperature and micro-climate
in this particular area.
- Do you think it
has anything to do
with the cattle disappearance?
- I do yes.
I mean the problem with these
unusual weather conditions
is that sometimes it
can actually affect
even the other side
of the mountain.
It can alter the
environment completely.
- Like a climate anomaly.
Is that why people are talking
about this virus spreading?
- You've heard about the virus.
Well probably it's
the glaciers melting,
and yet the temperature's
remaining abnormally low
especially on one of the
sites just over here.
We've discovered this
new bacterial strain.
Now it's very different
from any other bacteria
we've seen on the glacier.
It's the same species
that's for sure,
but it has a minor difference,
and it's mutating fast.
We just don't know
what it is yet.
Now we think it might be
a new virus developing
as the glacier is melting,
and they're saying now
that it can be
extremely contagious
especially when the
temperatures are really low.
- And this new virus is
infecting the animals?
- There's no proof that the
bacteria is actually harmful.
But what if, the animals
had inhaled it a while ago
without us knowing?
- And this bacteria
made them disappear?
- The guys in the camp, they're
doing everything they can
to find out why they're
having these disappearances.
Have you heard about
the horse carcass?
- Yeah, yeah it's scary.
So the criminal act suspicions
hasn't been ruled out then.
What do the experts think?
- Discovery of a horse
carcass, I don't think
has anything to do with
our case or our studies.
I just think it's one
of those isolated cases.
- Where are the others?
When's the rest of
the team coming?
- I don't know.
They were supposed to be
back here a few days ago.
- We haven't been able to
get in touch with them.
We can't establish any
radio contact with the base.
- Melissa, David,
let me introduce you
to Blake Turner.
He's a police investigator
from Colorado.
- Nice to meet you Melissa.
- Nice to meet you.
- David, how are you?
- Nice to meet you.
- You're just in
time for dinner my friend.
- Sounds good, what's on?
- Okay?
- Hmm, really good.
- Cheesy enough?
- Yeah.
- Yeah it's very nice.
- Cool.
- What are you filming for?
- Making a documentary about
the case, it's French TV.
- Yeah, it's our first big case,
and we wanna collect as
many reports as possible.
- Okay.
- What are we gonna do though
if there's no one to interview
in the refuge?
- That's a good point.
It's looks like you might
have to go up to the top
of the mountain to
interview them up there.
- Okay.
- For some bizarre
reason, something must be
keeping them up there.
And, if the radio
is not working,
we can't contact them anymore.
We don't know if they've
decided to come back
without even telling us,
which could be the case.
Or, whether they've
decided to stay up there
and wait for supplies.
- Supplies?
- There is a helicopter
that makes a supply run
every two weeks,
food, provisions,
shuttles people back and forth.
Last run was four days ago.
Pilot said everything
was fine at that point.
- A few of the scientists
were supposed to be back
a few days ago.
The pilot said that there
was nothing really unusual.
We only lost contact
this morning.
- Okay so why are we going
if they're coming back then?
- It's already been four days.
Only takes a day to
get up there in a jeep,
all the jeeps are up there.
Should have been back by now.
- You're leaving for the
camp tomorrow, aren't you?
- Right, yeah.
- He taking an English biologist
and the mountain guide.
- Daniel.
- Daniel right.
So what we'll do is we'll give
you some of the extra parts
for the radio.
It's really, really
cold up there,
maybe the circuits to
the radio are frozen.
- Okay, maybe we could follow.
We could shoot some pretty
nice footage on the way.
- Well um, okay, happy
to have you along.
- How long does
it take to get up there?
- Um, I don't know it's about
three or four days or so.
- Three days?
- Yeah.
- And, are you sure it's safe?
- Yeah.
- It's safe.
- Blake, Daniel, they
can take the tents.
We're obviously gonna have
to camp up in the cold,
windy mountains.
Nah, you'll be fine.
A few days in the snow, a
few nights, no big deal.
You have winter coats
if you need them?
- Hmm-mm.
- Okay.
Good, anybody care
for some Swiss cheese?
- Hmm, yeah.
- Sure.
- I'd love some.
- Look who's filming already.
Sleep well?
- Yes, I
slept very good, thanks.
- It is the
first day of hiking,
we've got a good one
ahead of us today.
Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Blake.
- Daniel.
- I'm Lori-Ann.
Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, Blake.
- Daniel.
- Uhm,
shouldn't we be roped up?
- You just
walk behind me.
- Well, Detective Turner.
- Yeah?
- What's an
American investigator doing
in the French mountains?
- Investigating.
There have been similar cases
of animal disappearances
in the US over
the past 10 years.
I've been investigating
the Snoopy Case,
happened in Colorado in '67,
I don't suppose you
ever heard of it.
You ever heard of
the Snoopy Case?
- No no, what
is the Snoopy Case?
- Snoopy was a horse
who went missing.
His owner saw he had meat
in his daily rations.
They found him a quarter
mile away from the ranch.
Skin, hide on his
shoulders, neck, skull,
been torn off, his skull
was cleanly exposed,
it was terrible.
The bushes around the
carcass, they found
they were flattened.
They found his mane
about 50 yards off.
- Wow, so you
came to which conclusion?
- I haven't come to
any conclusion yet.
The investigation
is still ongoing.
- Actually all the blood,
organ, cerebral spinal fluids,
and brain tissues were all gone.
The full autopsy
conducted one month later
was inconclusive.
The forensics said
there was nothing
particularly odd about
all the organs being gone,
could be scavengers.
- Really?
- For him, the blood
just coagulated
and the bone tissues
decompose naturally.
I just love that case.
- Yeah, I can see that.
- You know that there was
this butchered horse carcass
found in the area
a few days ago.
Do you think it died
in the same conditions
as this Snoopy Case?
- Oh, I conducted the autopsy,
and I found some
similarities with Snoopy.
- Really?
- Yeah, there were
signs of infection
on the left flank of the
horse, just like Snoopy had.
And, the skin next to the
shoulder had been sectioned.
I guess someone might
have cut its throat
to put an end to his agony.
- Jesus.
- Yeah.
Thank you.
- Hey, Lori-Ann.
- Hey.
- You are a biologist
in animal biology, aren't you?
- Yes I am.
I've learned a couple of
points of cell biology.
My thing is definitely
zoology and animal physiology.
But, I'm also interested in
neuroscience and ecology.
- Do you think this is
a criminal case then?
- Well, it's highly likely.
Snoopy's carcass was
examined by a private vet.
He said that Snoopy had
been shot and then threw
himself on barb wires.
The same might
have happened here.
Human intervention, be careful.
Human intervention was
pretty obvious in '67,
but they were never
really able to explain why
there were the traces
around the carcass.
- Do you think little
green men did it?
- You might have
something there.
I've seen some
pretty strange cases
of animal mutilation
these past 10 years.
Last year, Copper Cove, Texas.
Locals say they saw a
bright orange flashing light
near the spot where they
found a mutilated cat.
30 yard circumference
around the cat.
The vegetation was
flattened as if it was blown
flat by a jet engine
or rocket engine,
and then there were other
flattened leaf shapes
in the vegetation
around that area.
Very, very odd.
- Yeah, I heard about the
same year in Wisconsin.
A cow was found dead in an
area of flattened vegetation.
The neck was broken, external
organs had been removed.
Tongue and naval
had been cut out.
But, they couldn't
find any blood.
- Get this thing off me.
- Help me.
- Yeah, thanks.
- Thanks, cheers.
- What do you say we stop here
for the night, set up camp?
It's getting cloudy.
- You're right Mr. Turner.
- Are we
stopping here for the night?
- Yeah, seems like it.
- Good, I can't feel
my feet anymore.
- I know
what you mean.
- I'll take the second
pole when it's ready.
Second pole, thank you.
- Thank you.
Well that's clever.
Chemical friction
warms up the bag.
You can't stop science, can you?
- Thank you, here you go.
That's great.
- Great, thank you!
- Good night.
- I hope that will warm us up.
It's only the first night,
and I'm already freezing.
- Yeah, I know, and
it's just the beginning.
It'll be worse in Cold Ground.
- What's Cold Ground?
- Gunter
didn't tell you?
- No.
- That's what they call
it, that camp up there.
- Why?
- There you go.
Thank you.
Because that's the coldest
place in the mountain.
Nobody knows why,
but the ground there
is frozen all the time
and recent soil samples
indicate really, really low
temperatures for the season.
If I were you David, I
would turn that camera off
because with that cold your
batteries are gonna die
like that.
- Yeah true.
- Go back to sleep.
It's probably just an owl.
The mountain's full
of life you know.
Just turn those lights
off and go back to sleep.
- Yeah
let's do that first.
What's this corner
you got there?
Ah, you wanna help me hold it?
- Good morning.
- Sleep okay?
- Yeah kinda hard to
sleep in with the cold
getting you, huh?
- Sleep
how, I was so cold.
Good morning.
- How you doing?
- Good morning.
- I have here a breakfast
if any of you fancy some.
- Yeah!
- Hey check this out!
I found something over here!
Come here!
- Do you think
a wolf could've done it
during the night?
- It looks awfully
like a dear bone.
A fox might've left it here.
- You okay?
- Yeah.
What's your thought about
this bacteria strain
in the glacier?
- Well, there might be
a virus strain up there.
But, I do believe that
the bacteria is harmless.
I mean a little bacterial
anomaly cannot mutilate
an animal like that.
- That's what I'm
here to find out.
- Did the
French government pay
for you to come here,
of did you come here
by your own means,
out of curiosity?
- Yeah, a little of both.
They helped.
But, this is similar
to cases I'm working on
back home.
So it's kind of personal to me.
- We stop here for today.
- Okay.
- Okay boss.
- Oh god, I'm
freezing my bum off.
Do you still have some of
those magic hot bags left?
Oh yeah, thank you.
- So Melissa, tell me how
long have you been working
as a journalist?
- Well I graduated last
year, and David's been
doing this for
two years already.
- Well done.
Your cameraman's
surely good looking.
- Yeah, well we've been
together for five years,
and I couldn't dream
of a better colleague.
- And, no sound man then?
- No, we're working
with the best equipment.
We're shooting with
this new audio camera.
- Okay.
- So no need to record
the sound separately.
- Okay.
- Hey Lori-Ann,
come take a look.
I found something up here.
What the hell kind
of animal did this?
- Look at that,
that gash on the flank.
It's huge.
- A very
sharp object made that
or sharp claws.
- Whose?
- Skulls been
scalped, scalped clean.
- Do birds
of prey do that?
- No, we're up
too high, and the cuts
are too precise.
Cuts on the scalp too.
Brain's still intact,
get a picture of that.
- Yeah.
- It's frozen.
- Daniel, you've got
the radioactive detector.
- EMF?
- EMF, exactly.
- Do you think it'll show
signs of radioactivity?
- Yeah well I found
some around Snoopy's remains,
- How
is that possible?
- Well I don't
know, you tell me.
A low radioactive reading.
I can't tell whether it's
coming from the animal
or the ground.
- I can't believe it,
a dead radioactive cow
in the middle of nowhere.
- Lori-Ann what do you
say we take that cow
down with us on
our way back down?
- I don't think so.
By the time we get back,
it'll be covered in snow,
eaten by foxes.
- You're right.
- The only working
materials that we have now
are pictures I took I'm afraid.
- Pictures, and your film.
- You're right.
- Anyway, I wasn't
looking forward
to carrying it up on my back.
Here, up you go.
- Thanks.
- Daniel to Pine Wood.
Daniel to Pine Wood.
Gunter, do you copy?
- Honestly Daniel, I
don't think you're gonna
have any luck with
that walkie-talkie
up here in the trees.
Best thing is in the morning,
get up to Cold Ground,
and we'll use their radio
to call down to Pine Wood.
- Whatever
you say, boss.
- You think the cold
did that to the cow
and to the horse as well?
- Well you'd have to be
totally out of your mind
to do such things to
poor defenseless animals,
but in most cases, the
wounds are cauterized
and the mutilations
are extremely precise,
so it can't be the
work of an animal.
- I also heard about
these uranium mines
in nuclear tests up north.
- Yeah.
- Do you think that could be
an explanation of all this?
- With all the waste
they've been burying,
I mean no wonder Mother
Nature's retaliating.
Animal life's
precious, you know,
and man tend to
forget about that.
- Don't, don't open the tent.
We don't know what that
is, and if it's an animal,
it won't see us
if we stay hidden.
Turn those lights off
and put the food away.
Put the food away.
The smell might attract them.
- If we are in danger
here, if there are bears,
if there are wolves,
our lives are in danger.
I say we go back in the tents.
We just shut the fuck
up for the night.
No one wants to get
eaten by an animal.
- But it's human.
- What?
- It's human remains.
- You're right.
What the hell
could've done that?
- Oh my God!
- Shit.
This is now officially a
criminal investigation.
- We find a torn apart
cow, and now a human's jaw.
We really need to
call the police now.
- Okay, first thing in
the morning when we get up
to the camp, we get on the horn.
We call local officials,
get a search party going.
This is a lot more serious
than a mutilated calf.
- You happy, you got
your sensational footage?
- Daniel to Pine Wood, Daniel
to Pine Wood, do you copy?
Do you copy?
- Your walkie-talkie doesn't
work here in the forest.
I already told you.
- What's the
matter, you okay?
- Yeah,
I'm okay, look.
Look, look at that.
- No footprints,
no animal tracks.
How the hell did it get here?
Completely skinned.
Looks pretty recent to me.
- Yeah.
- First the
bone, then the cow,
then a human jaw.
What the fuck is going on?
- Come on, we're almost there.
- Oh good.
- Let's go.
- It's about time.
I'm sick of climbing.
This is exhausting.
- Oh, run!
- David!
David, David!
Talk to me, talk
to me, talk to me.
Give me your hand.
Talk to me.
How do you feel?
- David!
- Let's get
the snow off of him.
- Look at
me, look at me!
Where did you last see Daniel?
- He was up there,
but his leg got stuck.
- I checked
that whole zone.
I couldn't find him.
He's under the snow.
We're lucky we
saw your backpack.
Are you okay?
Give me your hand.
We're gonna pull you up.
Gotta pull you out of the snow.
One, two, three!
One, two, three!
Does it hurt?
Can you walk?
- what'd he
say, what'd he say?
- My ankle.
- Hold me, hold me!
- That was, I can't believe
you're still here filming.
- I'm okay.
Walking warms me up.
My foot hurts, but
I should be fine.
- It's amazing that
the camera survived.
- Too bad Daniel
wasn't so lucky.
- It's just tragic.
We really need to
get to the camp.
They might be able
to find him still.
- Stop, people honestly
I've lost my bearings.
I'm not sure where we are.
The avalanche changed
the topography.
I don't know this forest.
But, listen it's gonna be okay.
We're going to keep
heading up this way.
If we don't find
the camp in an hour,
we're going to set up tent.
Daniel had the other tent
and the rest of the gear,
but I've got enough
provisions for the night,
so don't worry about it.
- You're saying that
we're lost 10,000 feet
up in the mountain?
- That's what I'm saying!
- And you don't know
where the camp is?
- That's what I'm saying
but we'll be fine.
We're just gonna head
up north this way.
- Wait, look
I think we found it.
- So
what do we do now?
- The camp is gone,
but not everything's lost.
The avalanche covered
our tracks back down,
but we're gonna
follow the stream.
We'll get to Pine
Wood in the morning.
We're gonna set up the
tent under the trees,
and we'll spend the night here.
David, you need to
warm up especially
with your ankle injury.
- There's nothing
left to eat or drink.
This is a nightmare.
I'm freezing.
- Stop trying to fight the cold.
Empty your mind of
all thoughts of cold.
Concentrate on someplace warm.
- Like a desert island
on a beach in a hot sun.
- That's right.
- I would kill to be
on the beach right now,
toes in the warm sun.
This bloody avalanche.
- We don't even
know what happened.
I mean the explosion
triggered the avalanche,
but what triggered
the explosion.
- And, where'd the team go?
- They're probably
frozen under the ice.
- What was that?
Something pushed me outside.
What are you doing?
- I'm gonna check.
- Are you crazy?
- David!
- They're crazy, they're crazy.
It's okay.
- They're
gonna come back, right?
- Yeah, everything
is gonna be okay.
We need to calm down.
I don't what they're
fucking doing outside.
- Okay.
- What is it?
- What's going on?
What did he say?
- I don't know, he
wanted to film something.
- What?
- I don't know they're crazy.
Why are they doing this?
- That didn't happen
during the avalanche.
We're not alone,
and we're not safe.
- Blake,
do you have a gun?
- No.
- Have
you found anything?
Seen anything?
- Go back,
stay in the tent.
- Why, what's going on?
- Sounds like a man.
Someone may have survived.
- Get back in the
tent, please, okay?
We're gonna go check this out.
You guys, just
get back in there.
- No, no, no I'm
coming with you.
- Yeah I'm coming too.
I'm not staying here.
- Then stay close
and stay quiet.
Hold up.
There's someone there.
- Bloody hell!
His face, they skinned him.
- Oh Jesus Christ.
- David!
- Are you okay?
- What was that?
We have no weapons.
We're gonna die here.
- We gotta keep moving.
I don't know what
that thing was.
- But we--
- David, kill the light.
Over there.
Our tracks from last night.
I told you it was this way.
We pack up, we get
out of here fast.
- Lori-Ann...
She's gone.
- She'd want the same
thing to happen to us.
Let's keep moving.
Let's get outta here.
- It's
that beast again.
- It's a bobcat.
David, use my boot
prints, take it slow.
- You sure
we're going the right way?
- Not 100%, but at least
we're heading down, right?
- We don't even know
if we're going south.
We could be going anywhere.
- Daniel had the map, but
we gotta head down this way.
We're getting further from
the beast's territory.
That's a good thing.
When we get to the
bottom, we'll take a rest.
- I'm so thirsty.
I'm starving.
- Don't, don't.
It'll speed up hypothermia.
Drink out of the stream.
When we get down, we're
gonna have a nice dinner,
I promise.
- Yeah, roast lamb with
potatoes and mushrooms,
piping hot.
It'll be so hot we'll
burn our mouths.
- Yeah, I'm
gonna hold you to that.
- Yeah.
- What do you think
it was last night, Blake?
- What do I think?
I don't know.
At high altitude, there are
a lot of strange creatures.
It's so isolated here.
Is this Switzerland or
France do you think?
- I don't know.
- Maybe it's Bigfoot.
- What's Bigfoot?
- It's a creature living in
the forests of North America.
Something like the abominable
snowman or the yeti.
Some people say it's real,
some people say it's a legend.
- Well what we saw
yesterday was real,
and it was a carnivore.
- Yeah, a lot of freaky
creatures living up here.
- Will it be back?
- I don't think so.
I think we walked long enough,
we're out of its territory.
It's a nocturnal
creature that's for sure.
That's why no one's
seen if before.
- A werewolf.
- No, I don't believe
in fairy tales.
- Do you think that beast
provoked the avalanche,
and that explosion before?
- Frankly, it
doesn't matter now.
All that matters is
getting you two back safe.
The sooner we get walking,
the sooner we get down there.
And, you're gonna owe
me some roast lamb
whatever the dish.
- Yeah, with some hot
cocoa with warm croissant.
- I'm gonna hold you to it.
You okay?
- Yeah, I'm all right.
- Okay.
- Today's Sunday.
We left on Wednesday.
Back home, my kids are
probably skipping out
on church services right now.
Okay, concentrate
on someplace warm.
We're sitting in front
of the fireplace tomorrow
when we get back down.
- I wish.
I hope his leg will be okay.
It'll be fine.
- I've gotta go outside and
get some wood to make a fire.
Fuck, I don't have a lighter.
- Do you know how to
make sparks with stones?
- Yeah, it's gonna be
tough, but I can do it.
- Okay, I'll come with you.
- We only have one flashlight.
- I got some wood over here.
You go find some stones.
I'm gonna grab these branches.
- Blake?
- What?
We gotta get outta here!
To the right!
Melissa, Melissa, stop!
Calm down!
Calm down, you're
gonna get us lost!
Take the camera.
Take the camera, I've
got the flashlight.
Tent's back there.
Let's go.
Hold on.
- Blake?
Blake, Blake!
Come on, get up.
Get up!
- Go.
Just go.