Mermaid Down (2019) Movie Script

[radar pings]
[pinging continues]
[seagulls cawing]
"A blanket of naps
begets a handful of gnats,"
is what my granddaddy
would say to me
on egg and sausage mornings.
Drink your water
in a tub full of bourbon.
And why, for the matter of
scotch and my lady's crotch,
do movies always act like
mermaids breathe water?
Obviously mermaids are mammals
because they look part human,
for goodness gracious,
righteous books,
and boots of my ancestors' sake.
Do they not?
- Why do they have hair then?
- What?
Why do mermaids have hair
if they live in the water then?
Why the mermaid has hair
could be perhaps
indeed for the same reason
why the walrus has a mustache.
Why does a walrus
have a mustache?
I don't know the answer to this,
but it does indeed.
Sure as a jury
in a witch trial, they do.
You think mermaids have...
oh, have mustaches?
Did you jump overboard
while I was talking?
Do you think they really
have the coconut bras
or, you know, those...
those seashell bras?
I think their tits are out.
- You hope their tits are out.
- Yeah.
Fish guts on your glass.
Hold on.
[radio chatter]
[seagulls cawing]
My niece entering kindergarten.
So you don't think
sirens exist
because no one
in their right mind
would draw attention
to their death sentence.
Exactly. Mermaids are
definitely not sirens.
Would you seduce
a serial killer if you knew
he was a serial killer
who also wanted to eat you?
I don't think people
want to eat sirens.
I think they want
to fuck sirens.
Still in case in point
to be the same.
No way sirens exist.
But mermaids...
Mermaids have been spotted
for a hundred years
around these waters,
surfacing to have a look,
curiosity getting
the best of them.
STANLEY: Maybe they
really do exist.
Maybe they do.
Maybe if we waited long enough,
say for a week or weeks on end,
we could catch one surfacing,
crawling out of the water
to have a look
at the flickering lights
of the modern world.
Maybe they're worth a fortune
if you actually caught one
and cut off her tail.
Why would you wanna
cut off a mermaid's--
You don't know how strong
or resourceful a mermaid is.
If she's survived this long,
maybe she'd know
how to gnaw through the rope
and release herself
from the boat.
Logic and practicality
would dictate
that one must maim
a mythical creature
if one wants to transport
a mythical creature.
Then how then?
We take our fire ax
and chop her tail off,
hack it off,
tie the tail
to the end of the boat
and drag it with us, underwater,
all the way back to shore,
throw her human half into
the bloody chum hole,
then we sell her in two pieces,
and make
a million fucking dollars.
Is the ax on the boat?
On the wall,
beneath the shotgun.
Is there gas in the engine?
Filled it this morning when
I filled myself with coffee.
Do we have food enough
to last a week-long stakeout?
Rotten crabs
that'll make you upchuck
over the side of the boat
after every meal.
And lots and lots of cigarettes
to get the taste of smelly crab
and fresh vomit
out of your mouth.
Well, then let's go cut off
a mermaid's tail then.
I like a song
with a skip-a-dee-dee
When the melody
moves right along
The kind of a tune
you can tap with your feet
I love
an old-fashioned song
La la la la la
Hi, Susan?
Susan, it's Dr. Beyer.
Connect me to Markham.
Hold on a second.
Yeah, two.
Thank you.
[seagulls cawing]
The birds are tugging
on the net.
Turn the engine off, so you
don't scare away the mermaids.
Start her up,
check the engine.
Knock anything off that
might be growing on her.
[engine stops]
This boat's been quiet
for longer sits.
Put an Alvey out there.
Baitcaster, barrel, berley,
bobby cork,
droppers, pollards.
Engine doesn't
scare away the birds.
Engine doesn't
scare away the birds.
Chrome slicers,
flies, gang hooks.
Okay, well...
MOSS: Starboard!
STANLEY: Got her!
Get the net!
Over here!
[engine starts]
STANLEY: Pull her up!
Pull her up!
Oh, shit, pull her up!
Get the crank!
[engine idling]
Hey, help, man!
- [bones crunch]
- [Moss screams]
Come here, bitch.
- [straining]
- [squealing]
STANLEY: Oh, shit!
Stop her from going overboard!
I didn't tie her off yet!
- [yelling]
- [splash]
[cocks shotgun]
Stop shooting!
- [cocks shotgun]
- Stop shooting!
She's caught in the net.
- [chop]
- [squealing]
- [chop]
- [squealing]
- [chop]
- [squeals]
[water dripping]
I'm Dr. Beyer.
I'm a psychiatrist.
Why are you on my boat?
I'm an interested buyer.
I'm pretty, pretty rich.
- Five million.
- Not that rich.
Half a million.
- Two million.
- One.
Why did you chop her tail off?
[metal creaking]
[seagulls cawing]
[dog barking]
['50s oldies]
[TV playing]
The tongue of a blue whale
can be as large as a Volkswagen.
You know what that means.
Hey, guys, let me
get in on this.
Good form today, Martha-Rose.
Thank you, Reyna.
Can I play?
Can I play this time?
You guys, hey, come on,
let me get in on this.
Go check the scores on the
Olympics and then you can play.
And see if they're saying
when men's swimming starts!
You know, June, you could
ask your imaginary friend
to steal some uppers for us.
You know, since no one
sees her but you.
I really like the coffee here.
Freshly ground.
Was there an old insane asylum
here or something?
What are those pictures?
Way before all this
suburban development.
Doc probably thought it'd be
apropos to have his home here
for the disturbed.
Hallowed ground
to a history buff.
You know, it actually
still exists.
Right beneath us.
Right beneath us.
They didn't seal it
'cause it adds value to
the house if it has a cellar.
What the fuck was that?
Yeah, you're supposed
to go change that bulb.
[distant squealing]
Hey, so behind one of
these doors in this house
are steps that go down
to the weirdest basement
in the New World.
That's not a real
statistic though.
Which door is it?
Hey, light bulb.
That's Coffee's.
His girlfriend hates guns,
so he keeps it here.
Doc does the same thing
with his gun.
[walkie-talkie chatter]
[mermaid squeals]
June, June, I think there's
a ghost in the bathroom!
Guys, shut up!
I think there's something
in the bathroom.
Girls, do not engage
June's fantasy!
Oh, it is the new girl.
And all of you
acting like this
is not gonna make her feel
very at home, is it?
Now, come on,
back in the room, come on.
We just wanted--
We were just saying hi.
Good girls, come on.
I wasn't gonna hurt her.
[mermaid squealing]
[mermaid squealing]
[metal tinkling]
[snarls, squeals]
GHOST GIRL: Her legs don't work.
Is she paralyzed?
No wheelchair.
Think they're
encouraging her to walk?
Got it.
She's in denial, like you.
Gonna steal a wheelchair.
They don't lock
the storage closet.
Even if it were locked,
why not just walk
through the door?
Do you ever wonder why you
can't seem to touch anyone,
- but you can open cabinets?
- What are you talking about?
Look, you were here
ten years ago,
but you're certainly
not here now.
You can't walk through walls,
through doors.
You're not one of us.
Will you shut the fuck up?
[walkie-talkie chatter]
[walkie-talkie static]
Rabbit? Do I see the bunnies?
Where are they?
WOMAN: There's fresh coffee
in the kitchen. Reyna?
Did you guys hear
the dog again last night?
Can we not talk
about that, Alex?
Guys, what is the wheelchair
doing in this room?
Girls, where are the fish?
Don't we have more fish?
SUSAN: And the admission
processing board
have inquired about
the new patient.
You haven't
filed anything yet.
Just tell them we're working on
the paperwork, ran out of forms.
You have oodles of messages
from the safety inspector
wanting to seal off
that entrance downstairs.
I'm working down there.
Turning the old asylum
into a museum.
[phone ringing]
There's a perfectly
good lock on the door.
He says a locked door
isn't enough.
Assholes just need something
to complain about.
Beyer Mental Health.
This is Susan.
WOMAN: Hi, I have a question.
My daughter
just got out of rehab,
- and I was wondering--
- Yes, we...
Are you gonna join us today?
Okay, suit yourself.
The men's swimming matches
are on.
Sandra, maybe I should
bring her breakfast in here?
- Men in Speedos!
- Okay.
Men with big muscles!
Don't bother replying.
It's only a mental home.
We're all clearly secure
with ourselves.
Was that you?
Are you okay?
What are you looking at?
- [squeals]
- Hey, hey, hey, hey.
Look what I got.
Look what I got right here.
Come on, come on.
Shh. Shh.
Look what I have got
for you, huh?
Hey, don't these
look like toys?
Pretty, huh?
Very pretty.
Do you like those?
Look at this.
Would you like to...
What do you think about him?
You don't have to be afraid.
Ooh, that one smells
like a fish tank.
What do you think, huh?
You can touch it.
You can play with this
if you wanted to.
Oh, my God.
You know sign language.
[camera clicking]
I think our new patient
knows sign language.
She tried to
communicate with me.
[camera clicking]
[camera clicking]
[camera clicking]
[glass shatters]
Back off!
Hey, stop it!
- [laughing]
- Shut up!
- [snorts]
- [laughs]
I'm gonna go get
some more blankets
so we can make a fort
and stay safe, okay?
- Dr. Miller.
- Hi. Nice to finally meet you.
She likes sitting here,
and she likes it dark.
Why would she like it in here?
It smells like vomit.
She's got something like seaweed
growing out of her scalp.
Really? What do you mean?
I don't know what it is.
I'm not gonna cut it
until we do.
She has clearly
been traumatized.
Let's at least give her--
[thunder rumbling]
SANDRA: All right, Linda,
would you like to finish
what you were saying?
- We should watch real cable.
- That asshole security guard...
- We're all adults here.
- is a certifiable psychotic.
We don't need cartoons from
the '40s to calm us down.
- I saw him dragging Natasha...
- Where has Natasha been anyway?
Okay, okay, I cannot hear
when you are both speaking
at the same time.
Now, come on.
First of all,
we're here to get better,
not watch HBO, all right?
Now, Linda--
Charlotte, put the book down.
Thank you.
Linda, would you like to finish
what you were saying?
- Linda?
- [thunderclap]
Would you like to finish
what you were saying?
[girls cheering]
Okay, okay.
I know that they flicker,
but they never go off.
[thunder rumbling]
Okay, the lights flicker,
but they never go out.
- [girls laugh]
- I'm freaking out.
Who's hungry?
Hey, can we all be quiet?
She's trying to say something.
- Hey, hey, hey, you guys...
- [thunder rumbling]
I'm sorry. Her signing
is really cryptic.
I can't understand
her hand articulation.
Can you slow it down, please?
She's saying
there's a girl in this room
that none of us can see.
I see her.
Tell her I can see her too.
Ask her if she can see
Becky's eight-year-old twin
standing by her, always
asking her for his blanket.
What the fuck?
What the fuck? How--
How the fuck did you know
that this was his blanket?
She says she doesn't
belong here.
Join the sorority, sister.
None of us belong here.
[snaps fingers]
Come out of it.
MILLER: Belongs to the water?
Ask her why
she learned to sign.
Pirates? Pirates?
- Huh.
- Sign language pirates.
Don't interrupt
the process, London.
What do you care anyway,
You're just gonna
leave us soon anyway.
Who told you that?
The doctoral trainees
always leave us.
And your timecard's
punched enough holes
to almost get you
a free sandwich.
MILLER: She learned
to sign from--
- Pirates.
- Pirates.
Her and her species.
But the men became--
What are you saying?
What is this word?
- Aggressive.
- Fucking pirates.
And the men stole her species
from the sea generations ago.
Thousands of girls
who were born on land
are walking around...
with no idea that...
their genes go back to this...
ocean resident?
Like a fish?
I don't understand.
I don't know
what she's trying to say.
Dr. Miller, I think
she thinks she's a mermaid.
Why is she, um...
bipedal there, Dr. Stiff?
She's saying it happens...
when she's forced to dry land,
or when her tail is
removed from her body.
They completely blend...
into full humans.
What is this?
What are you saying?
- [grunting]
- What does this mean?
You're dying.
You're dying?
Some who are like her
can survive on land,
but many don't.
She says she's gonna die
if she doesn't get back
to the ocean soon.
SANDRA: Okay, that's enough
for tonight, ladies.
Everybody to your
sleeping quarters.
Gonna give your medications
there tonight.
Come on, everybody up.
We're done.
Come on.
That's enough for tonight.
Time to go.
I don't want any horsing around
tonight either.
Reyna, that means you too.
Fuck you, mermaid.
Sorry, Sandra!
I'm ready for
my antipsychotic now!
Can I request
that Dr. Miller...
rectally administer the pill
into me tonight?
Please, nurse?
I think I would be
from mermaids.
I don't know. I just think
I'd be a mermaid.
When I was a kid,
my mom used to have to drag me
kicking and screaming from the
blow-up pool in the backyard.
you must be a mermaid.
- Shut up, Edith Post.
- Emily Post.
All I'm saying is if one of us
was a fucking mermaid
and didn't know it,
I'd be the fucking mermaid.
You definitely smell like one.
What do you think, June?
Better yet, let's ask
June's imaginary friend
what she thinks
about all this.
Huh, June?
That's what I thought.
How about you put this
over your face
so I can stop looking at it?
Put it over your head!
Put it over
your fucking head!
You're so fucking useless.
Are you happy, newbie?
This is what happens
when you turn this place
into a house of lies.
Mermaid, my ass.
Why don't you go to hell,
you little faker?
I believe you.
ALEX: I think I'm going
start telling people
I'm actually a mermaid princess,
so I don't have to deal
with reality either.
GHOST GIRL: I don't understand.
Ugh! Fuck!
[electricity crackling]
GUARD: She chipped my tooth.
Doc, doesn't this lead
to the lower asylum?
- I thought it was closed off.
- It is.
Now it isn't.
This patient requires isolation.
You're more than welcome
to come down and help me
or stay up here
if you're afraid.
I can't go down there.
Do you need me to help,
or can you do this by yourself?
Because I--
Do you think it's right to put
a girl down there in the dark?
I mean, isn't that
gonna be traumatic?
Does it look like
I have a PhD?
I would have gone down there
if I had a drink.
I mean, all I need
is one drink.
Oh, definitely.
Me too.
If I had a margarita first,
then no problem.
[water dripping]
[gas hissing]
Goddamn it.
Where do you think
they took her?
I don't know, but someone's
gotta go look, bring back intel.
Becky, don't say intel.
It's irritating.
You're gonna help her,
aren't you?
No, but you can,
if you want.
LINDA: I'll go find her.
If anyone sees you after hours,
you'll get quarantined, Linda.
Kinda goes without saying,
I told you not to give away
our secret, tadpole.
I-- The girls,
they wanted me to--
Go ahead.
She's right down there.
Do you have
an extension cord?
[door closes]
GHOST GIRL: Linda! Linda!
We're in here!
Linda, we're in here!
Look at me!
Look at me, Linda!
We're in here!
You looked right at me.
Please stop!
[labored breathing]
I can't--
I can't see.
What am I sitting on?
Okay, give me a wall.
Where's the wall?
Come on, where's the fucking--
Who's gonna get
a new squeaky toy tomorrow?
[distant screaming]
Too scary.
Too scary. Can't breathe.
Turn-- Turn the lights, please!
I don't like the dark.
June kept the room lit up all
night, so I wouldn't be scared.
You're not making any sense.
I think it's bioluminescence.
Like the deep sea fish
with the little light
in front of their sharp teeth
that attracts
little fishies to them,
lures smaller fish to her,
so she can eat them.
June, in the living room.
Have you seen Linda
and the new girl?
No, ask her.
You're a goddamn survivor.
["Theme from Bonanza"]
That's cool.
Are you understanding this?
[TV playing]
Don't tell anyone I do this.
It doesn't look good.
Secret smoker.
- Told ya.
- What?
- We're not talking to you.
- What?
I'm not talking to you.
I'm telling you
something's wrong.
BEYER: Test for acuity.
- Eye test? Come on.
- Please, Margaret.
Step back, Miller.
Don't help her.
I ordered this for Linda.
Oh, this is very inappropriate.
I didn't realize
how kinky this was.
Don't wear this
in front of security.
Hey, have you seen
the new girl?
You lost her?
Yeah, kind of.
A little bit.
She just sort of
wandered off.
Are you smoking in here?
- I've been smoking like a fish.
- Like a chimney.
What did I say?
Anyway, if you see her
on the monitor, let me know.
I stopped looking at it
when you covered it
with your grandma sweater.
Okay, if you could take a peek
at it and see if you see her.
There's a ton of blind spots
on these monitors.
I know that.
There you are,
little slippery one.
Come on.
Hey, guys,
she's pointing at something.
I think it's Charlotte's book.
Oh, no.
Charlotte's been reading
the same trashy novel
for about two years now.
I would not expect
to borrow it.
[dog barking]
[engine revs]
Whoa. What is new girl
[phone ringing]
I can get that
at the nurses' station.
I was just using the potty.
- [continues]
- [Reyna howling]
I hear water!
- I hear the water!
- I hear it too!
It's the river!
Holy shit.
It's beautiful!
How much of this do you think
is sewage runoff?
Look at Becky!
Just go in your underwear
like it's a bathing suit.
No. I'm going butt naked,
tight ass.
I wasn't talking to you.
Care for a moonlight swim,
How are you not cold?
'Cause I'm a mermaid, bitch!
Oh, fuck me! No.
This smells like sewage.
BEYER: How are the girls?
Good, yeah, except for Linda
not having a proper sendoff.
Linda's in a perfectly
nice place now.
I don't know why you won't
let me know where she is,
so I can get ahold--
It's not professional
to keep in touch
with your ex-patients, Sandra.
Excellent work today
with the new girl.
Standing and walking?
BOTH: Amazing progress.
Forgot how hungry
being in the water makes you.
I'm hungry too.
And I'm fucking cold.
I'm cold too.
Where's Coffee?
Probably just--
No, he's probably
taking a massive
Jack Palance-size dump.
Have you noticed that
every time that man is here,
every time he works,
our pipes are backed up?
I mean, every single time.
What are you doing
with a Taser?
Fuck it, I'm going back.
Whoa, Becky,
we came this far!
And how much further before
we know what to do, Reyna?
Guys, the fact
that we escaped
without the guards
seeing us on camera is a gift.
This is a miracle!
And if we don't go back,
then what?
There's spiders and shit
out here. I'm going back.
Reyna, your meds.
How can you leave--
Fuck off, Charlotte.
Fuck you too, weirdo!
[owl hooting]
Gonna catch pneumonia, retard.
- [gasps]
- [grand]
REYNA: Hello?
New girl!
New girl!
Or whatever the hell
your name is.
She went back to the home?
I feel drizzle!
Just left me here
to fend for myself against...
...lizards and critters
and grizzlies.
Fine. Now I have to go back.
What about you, Reyna?
Left without saying goodbye.
Complaining about bugs
in the wilderness.
I got a bug for ya.
Bend over.
I'll pull it out of your--
Jesus, babe.
I don't think you're gonna fit
in the wheelchair anymore.
I'm sorry. I didn't realize
the river dried up.
We're gonna have to get more
wheelchairs and use the roads.
I'll push you all the way
to the ocean if I have to.
That's why your tail
didn't grow back in the pool.
SANDRA: Reyna said the
doctoral trainees always leave.
They'll never be able to form
lasting bonds like this.
BEYER: God, do you ever
clean these windows?
SANDRA: I don't wanna
hurt them.
Don't smoke in my car.
[tires screeching]
Don't think. Just help!
I wouldn't do that
if I were you.
I'm just gonna administer
a sedative.
Hey! We are not
the family fucking dog
that you can just lock in a room
when guests are over!
Will you please stop drilling?
Hey, it's your own fault.
You broke the window,
you lose window privileges.
- [drilling]
- What the fuck is going on, JM?
I don't know.
My shift just started.
I-I don't know.
All I know is,
something about the new girl.
[drilling continues]
They're hurting her!
Sandra, tell them to
stop hurting her!
My neck. I can't feel my neck.
I think it's broken.
I'm holding up my hand,
Look at my hand.
Look at my hand. Shh.
Please, just find my glasses,
so I can keep looking
at the mermaid.

Charlotte, can you move?
I have one more board,
then I'm done.
Hey, Doc's leaving.
Hey, guys.
- Oh, my God!
- [screaming continues]
James Michael,
keep boarding up that window.
Get that other board up
right now.
Not a sound.
Not a sound.
He's not going to let anyone
walk out of here alive.
It's the only way
he can keep her.
[doorknob rattling]
[rattling continues]
That's a steel-lined door.
He is not getting through.
Everyone stay quiet.
[banging continues]
[banging continues]
London, shh.
He's getting keys
for the bedrooms.
All together.
That's right.
Huddle in.
Hide and seek.
Hide and seek.
Hide and seek.
All I've done is move them
to a different room.
How do I protect them?
Oh, dear.
Only good for one shot
before you jam up. Goddamn it.
I gotta pee.
I can't hold it.
Think I can just run in
and use it really fast?
I'm just gonna go.
I really have to pee.
- [gunfire continues]
- [screaming]
[smoke alarm beeping]
Gotta pee.
Move, move, move.
[music box]
- [click]
- [gasps]
Guardian angel...
watching over me.
["Ave Maria"]
My mom... watching over me.
Nice shooting, Tex.
You missed your target
by an inch, asshole.
Thank you, Mama.
You're protecting me.
You're really watching me.
You're really
watching over me.
[electricity crackling]
[distant screaming]
Let me go, goddamn it!
Let me go!
[distant sirens blaring]
I'm not gonna leave you.
[engine starts]
[chatter on radio]
[tires screech]
[electricity crackling]
I can't walk through!
Sorry you're feeling so sick.
You look like hell.
You want some cough syrup?
Fucking June.
I can't.
They'll be coming for me.
My life is over
because of you,
so I'm gonna do
what I've been dying to do
since first I laid eyes
on your unmitigated beauty.
My dear sweet case study.
You're going to be the most
interesting patient to look at
underneath that straightjacket,
underneath those scales.
Let's cut you open
and see your inside parts.
Your fish parts.
Girls, you stay in this car.
I know I'm gonna find
my goldfish in your stomach.
But don't worry.
I'm gonna sew you back up
with a train track of stitches.
- [electricity crackling]
- [squealing]
You know what they call a good
woman up here on dry land?
A catch.
He's not here.
He's not here.
I lost her.
Oh, God.
[distant squealing]
[metal creaking]
[gears grinding]
[thunder rumbling]
What's your diagnosis?
Open the door!
Open the door, guys!
Sandra's out there!
We have to help her!
Go, go, go!
BEYER: You shot me in the hand,
you bitch!
[wood cracking]
[Beyer gagging]
[gagging continues]
[Beyer groans]
Oh, my God!
I told you
to stay in the car!
Help me!
LONDON: I can't open it.
Damn door's jammed!
I can't get it open
'cause the door's jammed.
I can't!
Uh, guys, I need to tell you all
something really important now.
Now's not exactly the time
to tell us your true feelings.
We're sinking.
My friend says Doc seals
the corpses up in the walls.
Now's not the time to do the
imaginary friend thing, June.
Rip open that wall
before the boat sinks.
Maybe we can swim through
the hole in the bottom?
Swim out?
- I can't swim.
- Neither can I.
Becks, get your lighter out of
your pocket before it gets wet.
Little nervous here.
Just a little nervous
about the drowning.
SANDRA: I saw an emergency kit
strapped to the ceiling.
There should be
some flares in there,
if I can find it.
Rebecca, give me your lighter,
so we can find it.
- No!
- Oh, God.
Doc got her! No!
[hull creaking]
Oh, fuck me.
[flare hissing]
Oh, God, here we go!
Oh, my God.
[bones crack]
Oh, my God!
Get in here!
Keep your heads up!
Keep your heads up!
[hull creaking]
Keep your heads above!
Keep your heads up!
Look out for her tail!
She's hitting the roof!
Oh, God.
Oh, Becky, no.
Reyna, she's with her brother.
I can see her!
She's standing with her twin!
[Reyna crying]
I love you. Wake up.
I don't understand.
She's saying thank you.
How do you know?
You said before that
there's girls walking around
who don't know
that they're like you.
Are any of us?
Are any of us?
[music swells]
I'm sorry.
I still don't know
what that means.
She's saying, "I feel you."
She's saying,
"I'll always feel you."
I'm not going anywhere.