River of Ghosts (2024) Movie Script

[light music playing]
[ambient sounds]
[gentle piano music playing]
[door opening]
[floorboard creaking]
[eerie music playing]
Is that you?
[swirling wind]
You here?
Are you back?
[sinister music playing]
[breathing heavily]
[gentle piano music playing]
[phone ringing]
[man] Hey, Brian.
Is everything okay?
We haven't seen you at work
for almost a week now.
Are you coming back?
Hope to see you around.
[machine beeps]
[bottle clanking]
[water running]
[water stops]
[clock ticking]
[gentle music playing]
Hey, Kathy! Over here.
-[Kathy] Hi.
-[Kathy] How are you?
-Good, it's been a long time.
Yeah, have a seat.
[Kathy] Thank you.
So, how's it going?
Feeling any better?
Ugh, can you believe
it's been almost a year now?
-My back is as stiff as a board
and as heavy as lead.
Oh, and now, every morning,
I have a new prickling kind of
pain on my lower back, too.
The chiropractor didn't help?
I've been through every
conventional treatment I know,
and, no, the chiro doesn't help.
Not even a little bit?
The pain is just as intense.
Oh, geez.
[woman] Shit.
[whispers] Unbelievable.
[ominous music playing]
What's up with this guy?
You don't know?
That's the guy
whose wife went missing.
Some think he's deranged,
others think he did it.
Who's his wife?
I think her name is Jane.
Jane Meyer. I saw it in the ad.
Mmm. Sounds familiar.
They don't have
any evidence against him?
Say, that reminds me.
You said something once
about a new doctor in town?
Someone you thought
I should see about my back?
Have you heard of Dr. Halton,
the hypnotherapist?
[clock ticking]
Are you ready to be hypnotized?
Now, tell me.
What do you see?
Uh, I see scales.
On my legs.
Yeah, wait. I have no legs.
I have a beautiful tail,
and I see blue.
Everything blue. All around me.
I-- I see bubbles.
Bubbles floating past me.
I'm-- I'm in the sea, yes.
I'm-- I'm under the water,
and I see coral
and seashells everywhere.
And little fishes
swimming around me.
Oh, they're so cute.
[gasps, chuckles]
So, you're talking
about hypnosis?
-What they call hypnotherapy?
Where the doctor
puts you in a trance?
What does that
have to do with my back pain?
Well, the idea is that
we have a lot of
unresolved emotional issues
trapped within us
that eventually cause
real physical ailments.
Hence Dr. Halton's job is
to put his patients in trance,
dive into their
subconscious level,
find out where
the emotional knots are,
and untie them for good.
So you're saying
that my back pain
could be caused by
some unresolved emotions?
Well, yes, it could be.
See, Dr. Halton dives
into his patients'
subconscious level,
goes down to a level
underneath our personalities
to find out where we store
our hurts and negativity
that we get from
toxic people around us.
I can't take it anymore. [sobs]
It pains my own heart so deeply.
When everyone expects me
to be someone I'm not.
What are these expectations
that are causing you pain?
[sighs] Everyone expects me
to be strong all the time.
To be everyone's rock.
[sniffs] To take
everybody's shit all the time.
[exhales sharply]
[sobs] But I'm--
I'm just-- [sniffs]
a girl inside.
I need tenderness.
I need love.
[man sobbing]
But these aren't real doctors.
I mean,
someone like my mom would
even call them witch doctors.
I mean, Macy, seriously?
What if it's all a hoax,
like-- like, a placebo effect?
Or-- or worse yet,
what if you do serious
psychological damage to someone?
I mean, a doctor who says he can
go into a person's subconscious
mind, and then mess with it?
Sounds dangerous.
Calm down, Kathy.
This guy is the real deal.
He was a psychiatry student
at Stanford University.
Well, I heard that he was
an outcast among his peers
and he dropped out.
Well, that's just
what I heard about him.
But anyway,
nobody knows where he came from.
His past is a mystery.
I don't know
how he ended up here.
But he takes care
of all the weird things
that not even the best doctors
in and out of our town
can handle.
Your problem doesn't lie
in the job relocation.
It's your fear of change.
Fear of the unknown.
Oh, that sure sounds easy.
-Are you ready?
-Sure. Yeah, bring it on.
Okay. You can go now.
But-- I-- I can't.
Yes. Yes, you can.
It's just a few steps forward.
You can do this.
-I am in so much pain.
-I know it hurts.
But this is the change
that you have been
dreaming of all your life.
-Right there in front of you.
Just take a few steps.
-Come on.
-That's it.
-That's it.
-[exhales sharply]
You can do this.
It's right there,
cross the line.
[Dr. Halton] Yep.
I have been saved
my lifelong neck pain,
and saved from getting
that complicated neurosurgery.
He says it has to do with
my mind and my heart's desires
being in conflict.
He also pointed out to me that
I have been in defensive mode
for way too long.
He works magic,
and no medication is needed.
He's located over
at the Green Gulch Reserves,
overlooking the big river.
Here's his card.
You should give him a call.
He's really good.
[solemn piano music playing]
there's nothin' happening here.
Pick me up at
the end of Pine Street.
All right.
[somber music playing]
[clock ticking]
[ominous music playing]
[faint clattering]
[electrical buzzing]
[rhythmic booming]
[eerie string music playing]
[gentle piano music playing]
You bitch.
-[Brian choking]
-[woman screaming]
[gentle piano music playing]
[serene piano music playing]
-Please, come in.
[door creaking]
I am Dr. Shaun Halton.
How are you?
-Hi, I'm Kathy.
-Pleasure to meet you, Kathy.
What can I do for you today?
Well, I have
this stubborn back pain
that seems to last forever.
I've tried everything.
Nothing works.
Well, Kathy, nothing is forever.
Back pain is one
of my most common cases.
Please, take a seat
on the chaise
and make yourself comfortable.
Thank you.
So, uh, I hope you're
not gonna fling this
pocket watch in my face.
You don't like the watch?
I do.
Try it. Play with it.
It looks like one
my dad used to have.
You see, this isn't
your ordinary pocket watch.
This pocket watch will stop
exactly at the moment
when the problem
in your subconscious mind
begins to surface.
What is that supposed to mean?
You see, it's more of just
a helping tool for my patients.
To keep them focused.
I am focused.
I rarely make mistakes at work.
It's more just a reminder
to breathe evenly.
You observe your heartbeat,
and you count how evenly
each beat follows the next.
Try it.
Wait, I can't feel
my own heartbeat.
Hold on, let me try harder.
-You got it?
Great, now, I want you
track the dial as it goes.
And remember exactly
what second that it stops, okay?
What is this going to do to me,
and why am I supposed
to track the seconds?
And why will it stop?
Is this some kind of a trick?
if the watch isn't for you,
we can try some other methods.
Or we could just simply
talk about your back pain.
How 'bout that?
No, it's okay. I'll do it.
I mean, after all,
it's a hypnotherapy session
that I came in for, so...
Now, just tell me
what to do again?
Track the dial?
Just count as it goes.
Do I start now?
One second.
Yes, you may.
Now, Kathy,
tell me about your father.
So, it's 60 seconds
per round, I guess.
[sighs] Okay.
[sighs] My father.
[nostalgic music playing]
He's the breadwinner
of the house.
Always with a smile on his
He's a very busy man,
but he was always good to me.
When he was home,
Mother would quarrel with him,
and she would cry,
and he would storm
out of the house.
Do you still see him now?
No. By the time
I graduated college,
my parents had divorced,
and my father
was off with a new wife.
My mother was devastated.
But she kept
our family together,
and she raised me
and my brother on her own.
Do your hate your father
for leaving your family behind?
I guess not. But I do think
my parents' marriage
could have been saved
if my mother
hadn't come at my father
like a roaring tiger every time
he walked in the door.
Oh, wait, I think
I've lost count of the seconds.
Oh, not to worry.
You're at 535 seconds,
five seconds
into the ninth minute.
Oh, I-- I guess
I can see that, yeah.
Kathy, you-- What was your
last happy moment in life?
Hmm. [clicks tongue] I...
It's Larry.
He is the sunshine of my life.
[birds chirping]
That's beautiful.
And how long have
you two been married?
Twenty years.
What else do you like
about your husband?
when he's around,
I-- I feel so warm.
So happy.
And everything is good again.
He-- He makes everything
come alive.
Too bad. Too bad
he's not home very often.
He's very busy at work, and...
I don't get to see him a lot.
Do you have any children?
[sniffs, cries]
I can't.
I've tried.
I-- I tried.
We tried for five years!
And after that...
we just stopped.
To stop me
from obsessing about it.
Larry just stopped touching me.
[Kathy sobbing]
And then, he told me
I should-- should just--
get over the idea of it,
ever having a child.
-[Kathy crying]
Kathy, I want you to feel
the watch in your hand...
actually feel
the-- the ticking sound.
-On your palm.
Do you feel it?
Five, four, three, two, one.
You're back with me, Kathy.
Oh, my God.
What just happened?
Did I really cry so much?
I'm not-- I'm not sure I'm...
completely unaware of it.
There, there, Mrs. McGregor.
This isn't brain surgery.
Have you heard
of those psychic healers
from the Philippines?
They can operate
on their so-called patients
without any anesthesia.
I wonder if this is
just a more powerful
and stronger form
of-- of hypnosis.
I mean, after all,
that-- that is so scary.
It's so scary, but as for today,
what will all that
talking and crying
and clock-counting
do for my back pain?
I mean, I can already
feel it coming back.
But, to be fair,
I will give you credit.
The pain has lessened, and--
and I do feel more relaxed.
But it hasn't
gone away completely.
Well, you see,
back pain is a chronic effect
of some form of imbalance
that you have in your life.
An imbalance you've been
carrying for a long time,
and in your case, Mrs. McGregor,
I think I might need
to speak with your husband.
Do you think
Larry would be willing
to come in with you one day?
You mean my husband, Larry?
How do you know his name?
You have no idea
how conventional Larry is.
He will never accept
something like this.
And besides,
he's too busy right now anyway.
He's-- he's campaigning
to be the city treasurer.
If he knew that I was here,
seeing you, a hypnotherapist?
[chuckles] He would say
that I have lost my mind,
and I'm just wasting time
on some hocus-pocus
that doesn't even
do anything in reality.
Okay. How 'bout this?
You can come see me
for your back pain
whenever you'd like.
Session fees are waived
until you bring in Larry.
Well, then I might not
pay you back then ever.
Well, Mrs. McGregor,
my mom suffered from back pain
for most of her life,
and she never believed
that I'd become a doctor.
Was she cured?
she died before I did.
Well, I'll try,
but Larry's a tough nut.
And he doesn't give a damn.
Not much about
my back pain, either.
[solemn piano music playing]
[birds chirping]
What's wrong, kid?
You're-- you're Professor Trex.
At Stanford Medical,
uh, psychiatry faculty.
Yes, I am. But, um...
[chuckles] Sorry,
I see so many students,
I can't remember everyone.
-You are...
-Shaun Halton.
Clinical psychiatry student.
Well, I-- I used to be.
Not anymore.
Failed my final twice, so
I no longer have financial aid.
Well, is it so important
to get a degree
from the School of Psychiatry?
Yeah. Of course it is.
I wanna practice
as-- as a psychiatrist. Right?
No. What is it you really want?
-I don't know, I--
-What is it you really want?
I wanna help people.
I wanna save people
from their pain.
Yes, that's what you
really want to do.
Yeah, physical pain.
Psychological pain.
And is becoming
a psychiatrist the only way?
you've got a gift that
if you could just tap into it...
you could surpass the best
clinical psychiatrists
and psychologists.
A gift?
What gift?
The gift of penetrating
a person's soul.
[intense orchestral
music playing]
What the-- what the hell?
And then guiding that person
out from where they're trapped.
Who are you, really?
I told you, I'm--
I'm just a professor
who started this job,
and taking an early
summer break, just like you.
Hey, kid, you can be
more than a psychiatrist.
Hell, if you became
a practicing psych,
you'd probably end up
becoming depressed yourself.
Listen to what I told you.
Use your gift.
But how-- how do--
how do I do it?
Watch the river.
Look at the ripples
created by the waves.
Focus on the dark, shadowy sides
of these little waves.
You'll know the answer
when those shadows
become real and solid.
[water splashing]
-Holy shit.
-[creature roaring]
Oh, oh, shit,
oh, shit, oh, shit.
-Holy shit.
-[creature roaring]
[water splashing]
[gentle piano music playing]
[phone ringing]
-Dr. Shaun Halton.
-Dr. Halton, my name
is Detective Powell
from the Mendocino County
Sheriff's office.
You're a hypnotherapist,
isn't that right?
Um, hello, Detective.
Brian Meyer,
a local whose wife has been
missing for two months.
We've checked him out, and
currently there's no evidence
implicating him
in her disappearance.
I should tell you that
we've had him under
surveillance for some time.
-As a matter of fact, he's
about to enter your office.
-[knocking on door]
One minute, please.
How can I,
uh, help you, Detective?
Brian was interviewed by
our department psychologist,
and didn't turn up anything.
Now that he's seeing you,
I was hoping we could
talk to you about him.
Well, okay, I-- I assure you
that my practice is strictly PC.
I understand, Doc,
but anything you can tell us
would be a big help,
do you understand?
All right, Detective.
Um, unfortunately,
I have a patient waiting,
so I will get back to you soon.
Thank you.
Oh. Okay, this is good.
Yes, yes, this is good,
this is good, this is great.
We're doing something real.
Doing something real.
Sorry for the wait.
Please come in.
[door creaking]
I am Dr. Shaun Halton,
the one and only
hypnotherapist in town.
Brian. Brian Meyer.
It's a pleasure, Brian. Please.
Take a seat.
Make yourself comfortable.
So how can I help you today,
I've, uh...
been having
weird symptoms at night.
It's so strange.
And I feel I'm going crazy.
Tell me more
about these... weird symptoms.
Well, it's not so much
the symptoms.
Things are not normal
in my house.
I mean...
it's almost like...
there's a haunting...
in my house every night.
A haunting.
These hauntings, Brian.
Do they happen
at a specific time at night?
Around the window from--
from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.
I know that you're
a hypnotherapist--
No, don't worry about it, Brian.
I'm listening.
First of all,
something random
will happen in the house.
An explosion of a lightbulb,
sudden blackouts,
sudden drop in temperature.
And then there's
these strange noises
of things moving in the house.
And then I'll feel
something rising.
Within me.
Something burning inside of me.
Like a rising fire.
And the burning sensation
is actually causing
pain in my body.
[breathing heavily]
Is there a particular spot
where you feel this pain
more intensely than others?
It's all over.
It's all over, inside of me.
And then...
[breathing heavily]
Brian, you okay?
[Dr. Halton] It's okay.
[Brian hyperventilating]
[Dr. Halton] Here you are.
Now, you said
a tremendous amount of pain...
all over?
Are there any other
sensations that you feel?
Something will take over me.
I'll be completely
out of myself.
I mean,
I'll lose control of myself.
And I can't breathe, and
I remember being very afraid.
Then these invisible hands
will come and choke me.
And I--
and I can't breathe,
and I lose strength,
and I fall, and--
and I'll hit my knee,
my-- my left knee.
I did notice the way that you...
walked into my office today.
Well, but my knee doesn't have
a chance to heal if...
it happens every night.
And what's with the head injury?
I-- I fell when
I lost control of my body.
Brian, are you ready
to be hypnotized?
Let's go back in time.
To a time that has no pains...
and no hurts.
Time is fluid.
It has no beginning,
and it has no end.
[waves crashing]
[Dr. Halton] Flying away.
We are above time.
Above... everything else.
We see everything, yet...
not affected by anything at
We are traveling back in
through time...
and beyond time.
[stirring orchestral
music playing]
[distant] How good
that you're here with me.
You love me? Well,
why don't you listen to me?
I've told you what I need,
didn't I?
It's either me or her!
You have to choose!
[Brian, sobbing] It's--
[Dr. Halton] Brian.
Brian, it's okay.
It's okay, Brian.
Brian, it's okay.
Come on. Come on, Brian.
Come on. Come on.
Come on. You're all right.
-What happened to me?
-You're okay.
You were just
telling me about your wife.
-What'd I say about my wife?
What do you know?
-What you just said, it's--
-What did I just say?
-Brian, please. Okay?
Relax. Sit down, please.
[Brian breathing heavily]
Brian, I, uh...
strongly intuit
that the haunting situation
in your house has some
sort of relation to your wife.
She-- [exclaims]
[droning music playing]
[Brian groaning]
[Brian breathing heavily]
My head hurts so much.
What did you do to me?
Just try to relax, okay?
Try to calm yourself down.
I haven't gone very far
with your roaming.
Five minutes into the session.
Listen, Brian,
every client's session is--
is private and confidential.
Everything is recorded,
but I only share it
with you and only you.
I'm sorry, Doc.
I didn't expect this
to be so intense.
It's okay.
All right.
Would you like to continue?
Would you like
to come back another time?
I've got no time.
I need-- I need to find my wife.
I-- You know that my wife,
Jane Meyer,
has gone missing, do you?
It is the talk of the town.
Brian, please, please, please.
I really think I can help you.
And if it's okay with you, I...
I'd like another chance.
Would you like
to get back to it?
[distant] I told you about this!
Over and over again.
All you need to do
is make a choice.
You bastard!
[panting] No!
[Brian panting]
[Brian groaning]
[Brian gasps]
What happened to me?
What is the time now?
You're okay, Brian. You just had
a seizure during hypnosis.
It even happens in your office.
What did I say
during the hypnosis?
I can't remember.
It's quite normal for clients
not to remember anything,
especially after a seizure.
Now, Brian, I have gathered
some information from you.
Nothing sufficient enough
to tell me what happened
to your wife,
or where to possibly find her.
I'm quite interested
in this haunting
that you mentioned earlier.
Do you think
it would be possible for me
to visit your house?
I'd like to try
to witness it myself.
[foreboding music playing]
It's a nice neighborhood
you live in.
Thanks for dinner.
It's been a while
since I've spoken to anyone.
It's my pleasure, Brian.
Thank you for having me over.
She's beautiful, isn't she?
Since it's still early, Brian,
would you like to talk
about the day that
she didn't come home?
[gentle music playing]
[woman] Hello?
Can I speak to Jane Meyer?
Is this Mr. Meyer?
Jane left early today.
She just came in
to grab some documents.
She took the day off, actually.
[frantic music playing]
My wife loves to go
to the Big River
when she's feeling stressed.
That day, I parked my car
and started walking
near the bushes
by the riverbank
to look for her.
As I walked into the grass...
[electrical crackling]
It's happening. You see that?
-Brian, how did you--
[faint, ghastly moaning]
[distant thumping]
[ghastly roaring]
[Brian growling]
[Brian choking]
[eerie orchestral music playing]
[woman screaming] Brian!
Let's get out of here.
[glass shattering]
[both gasping]
[glass shattering]
[house rumbling]
[Dr. Halton] Stop it!
Open the door!
-It's all right.
-Jesus Christ!
It's all right. It's all right.
What the hell is going on?
[solemn music playing]
[phone ringing]
-Dr. Shaun Halton.
-[Powell] What's up, Doc?
Any lead on where
Mrs. Meyers is?
Detective. Uh, how are you?
Listen, it's getting
a little tricky over here
on my end, but...
I'm getting into it.
The whole Mendocino County
Sheriff's office
is trying to crack this case.
To be honest,
my gut tells me she's dead.
We found her bracelet
with her name on it
on the banks of the Big River.
Brian confirmed
it belonged to his wife.
At this point,
we're not thinking suicide,
because a body hasn't
turned up in the river yet.
We combed the entire area,
but we didn't find
anything else.
Um, Detective,
can you tell me exactly
where you found the bracelet?
Uh, maybe 100 yards
from the parking lot,
under some bushes near a big
tree trunk by the riverbank.
Thank you very much, Detective.
Are you gonna tell me
what happened
the other night
at Brian's place?
Well, I suppose that the house
has been searched, correct?
Nothing conclusive was found.
Wonderful. Thank you very much,
Detective, I'll be in touch.
I don't know
what the hell's going on.
I don't what the hell to do, I--
Is it her ghost? I--
Am I just what everyone
suspects that I am? Huh?
Am I a-- a voodoo doctor?
I mean, what the hell
is happening?
Goddamn it.
[Professor Trex] There, there.
Look at our frustrated
Dr. Halton,
the only hypnotherapist in town.
Professor Trex.
What's bothering you, kid?
Well, after seven years
of practicing,
I'm finally a voodoo doctor.
[chuckles] Voo-- voodoo doctor?
I know.
I don't know.
Professor, I--
I think I've met a ghost.
A ghost?
Well, what does he look like?
Although she doesn't
really have an appearance.
I mean, she didn't
appear in plain sight.
I-- I could just tell
that she was there.
I-- I could feel her.
I could feel her presence,
her-- her wrath.
She was there to haunt
that house and her husband.
She nearly killed
both of us, Professor, I...
Holy shit.
Are ghosts real?
If you asked me that today,
after what I experienced
last night, I'd say yes.
But... you said
there was no appearance.
You didn't see a face,
or a figure of the entity.
I know. I know, it's crazy.
I don't know how to explain it,
but I saw what I saw.
My client's wife has been
missing for several months now.
The police believe
that she's dead
and that he did it.
And to tell you the truth,
I don't know
what to believe now.
Well, the mind is capable
of many assumptions.
What are you trying
to say, Professor?
That everything I saw last night
wasn't real?
I have wounds, Professor, I have
actual wounds from the event.
What happened indeed happened.
But it's the mind that assumes
that it were
the deeds of the ghost.
If you don't see a ghost...
you don't see a ghost.
If it wasn't a ghost,
then what was it?
It was only us two in the house.
There is order in chaos.
That which was summoned
is for a purpose.
Purpose? What purpose?
Everything that happens
brings you closer to the truth,
or further from it.
If the haunting didn't bring you
closer to the truth,
I mean,
what did you gain from it?
So you're saying
that these-- these hauntings...
they're leading me away
from the truth?
They leave you
more clueless than before.
So Brian just
creates these hauntings?
Power of the mind
is not to be underestimated.
If he wanted to lead me
away from the truth,
why would he seek my help
in the first place?
Well, the truth
will always come out...
but if it hurts,
some people will do whatever
they can to delay it.
Somatic symptoms,
like Brian exhibit,
are like the oily scum
from the depths of our souls.
They're the truth
that transcend all the powers
of the mind to suppress it.
So Brian creates
these myths to...
suppress the actual truth?
While the mind is
busy creating its lies...
the spirit never deceives.
in order to help people
who are lost in the dark...
we have to go
into the darkness with them.
I'll let you
figure out the rest, kid.
It's getting late.
You seem to be coming home from
work a lot earlier these days.
It's nice to see you home
on Saturday, too.
You know, I've been seeing a new
doctor lately about my back.
And I'm feeling a lot better.
That's good.
He said if I bring you in,
it will help me heal better.
[scoffs] Me?
What does your back pain
have to do with me?
Well, the doctor says,
most women's back pain
is due to lack of emotional
support from their husbands.
Lack of sex.
Or, um...
maybe the husbands are having
affairs on us, behind our backs.
[scoffs] What doctor is that?
A psychologist?
No. He's not a psychologist.
He's a hypnotherapist.
-I know, I know,
just like in the movies,
where the hypnotherapist
has his patient listen
to the ticking sound
of the pocket watch.
He did that to me, too.
Kathy, you need
to stop running around
consulting black magic
doctors like these.
They're all scammers who wanna
cheat the money out of us
hardworking citizens.
But I do feel better.
And if you wanna
talk about money,
maybe we could talk
about why your raises
aren't showing up
in our checking account.
Stop deviating from the topic.
After all the money
you spent on Dr. Voodoo,
you should feel better, right?
It's a placebo effect, Kathy.
You know, I say you imagined
this whole back pain thing.
Excuse me?
You think I've been imagining
my back pain all these years?
For your information,
I have been
to see him three times,
and he hasn't charged me
one single penny.
It's all been free.
-[Larry] Free.
Free of charge,
Mr. City Auditor.
Yeah, well, that's
even more suspicious.
How old are you, Miss Kathy?
Aren't you a little old
to believe anything
in life is free?
He says I'll start paying him
after I bring you in.
Does he know who I am?
What's the name of this doctor?
What exactly did you
tell him about me?
[Kathy] I don't know.
Most of the time,
I don't remember
what I say in those sessions.
I mean, I'm very relaxed.
It's like I'm in a trance,
almost, and I'm talking,
but I totally trust him.
He runs an honest practice.
He emails me a link
to the sound recordings
of the whole entire session.
I could listen to them
if I wanted to,
but I don't ever have time.
Kathy, answer the question!
What did you tell him about me?
I don't know.
And stop yelling at me.
When's your next session
with this guy?
It's Wednesday.
His name is Dr. Halton,
and his offices are over
by the Green Gulch Reserves.
Coming with me?
-[Dr. Halton] Please, come in.
[door creaking]
Surprise, surprise!
Look who's here.
[Dr. Halton] Oh.
Mrs. McGregor, how are you?
I'm guessing you are
Mr. McGregor.
-Dr. Shaun Halton. How are you?
-I go by Larry.
Good to meet you, Doc.
So, you're the magical doctor
who made my wife's pain go away
after all these years
living with it.
But with your help, Larry,
I think we can
cure her for good.
What? Really?
Am I playing such an important
role in her back pain?
You sure do.
Kathy here described you
as the sunshine in her life.
Whoa. Am I?
Yeah. Yeah. So, are you ready
to help your wife out?
Of course I am.
I'd do anything
for my dear wife, Kathy.
That's wonderful.
Larry, are you familiar
with hypnotherapy or hypnosis?
Have you ever
experienced it before?
I'd rather just talk about it.
You know? Talk about things.
Well, Larry, unfortunately,
I am not a counselor,
I'm a hypnotherapist.
You know, I don't understand
why you need to hypnotize me
in order to cure her back pain.
But I'm in.
All right? Let's begin.
Great. Kathy, perhaps
you wanna go hang around
somewhere for a while?
But before you go, would it
be okay if I shared some
information from your session
-with your husband if need be?
-Of course. He's my husband.
So you call yourself
a hypnotherapist?
I don't see
any certificates from
any accredited institutions.
How much do you charge
per hour for each session?
Is there any association
that regulates these practices?
Look, I'm the city auditor
running for city treasurer,
and I'm looking out
for my people.
Make sure they don't fall prey
to people who are scamming them.
Offering and performing
that anyone can claim
by being a doctor.
Well, I'm a local guy, Larry,
and I've been practicing
for nearly seven years now,
and people keep coming back
because every time they do,
they feel better.
Like giving candy
to a crying child?
It may appear that you're
helping people solve their
problems, but in reality,
you're getting them
addicted to your therapy.
Make them want more,
milk their money
and weaken their minds.
I'd like to show you something.
[Kathy on recording] Oh, I feel
much better these days, Doctor.
The pain has
lessened significantly,
and I can sleep better now,
And I didn't charge her
So you made my wife feel better
and didn't charge
anything for it?
How would I know what kind of
treatment you're giving my wife
while you're alone
in your office with her?
What your wife needs
is emotional support that you,
as her husband, haven't
been giving her enough of.
Who are you to tell me
I'm not giving enough
emotional support to my wife?
And you're saying
you're doing my job to my wife
alone here in your office?
What does emotional support
have to do with back pain?
Larry, I'm just trying
to understand the dynamic
and level of intimacy
in your relationship with Kathy.
Look, Kathy and I
love each other very much,
which is evidenced
by 20 years of marriage.
I support her
in every possible way.
I provide for her
to make her happy.
Kathy told me
you work late a lot,
sometimes not coming home
until after midnight.
She also said you've recently
been screaming "bitch"
in your sleep.
So are you really on as good
of terms as you think with her?
Of course we are!
Hey, just between
the two of us, Doc,
what do you know about me?
Did she hire you to probe me?
I have been very busy
running for this campaign
in this upcoming election
for treasurer.
I have lost so much weight,
I need to get new suits made.
At night,
I was probably letting off steam
from some angry colleagues
while I was sleeping.
I am a little bit stressed,
I admit it.
But I'm coping.
A man's gotta do
what a man's gotta do.
Tell me, Larry...
do you find your wife
interesting to listen to?
Of course.
How much time would you say
that you spend in a day
just listening to Kathy?
She talks all the time.
How do you feel about
holding her hand after dinner
and just... listening
to what she has to say,
whatever it is.
Zero distractions
and full concentration on her,
and only her.
I want you to think
about holding her hand.
Now, this is a very
important gesture, Larry.
Think about Kathy's hand.
That hand you once
put a ring on.
That hand you wanna touch.
That hand you want to kiss.
Relax, Larry.
We're talking about
the love of your life.
Go back to a time when you felt
butterflies in your stomach,
tingling in your toes.
Can you remember
those feelings, Larry?
It's the feeling
I want you to capture, Larry.
Feel the lightness
that's in your heart.
Feel the laughter
that surrounds both of you.
It's the feeling, Larry.
So how did you meet
this beautiful blonde woman?
I found her at my workplace.
[Dr. Halton]
So, she's a colleague of yours?
She's always there for me,
like, understanding me
and supporting me
and admiring me.
Especially when I'm giving
speeches on stage,
she's like this cute
little cheerleader,
like, clapping for me
and jumping in joy.
And she says
she loves how expressive I am
compared to her husband,
who's silent and shut down.
We work together
in the county office,
but we-- we take lunch breaks
whenever we can, you know,
take advantage of the time.
[Dr. Halton] How long
has this been going on?
Almost three years.
And is it still going on?
Not anymore.
It's my fault it ended.
Well, tell me,
how did that happen?
[Larry] We were up at her house
at 9:30 a.m. sharp.
But it's strange that
she would have such a request,
usually I'd pick her up
during lunchtime
at a corner of some street.
-I thought you were off today.
-I'm not feeling well.
I called the doctor to make
an appointment, but I have to
stop at the office first.
I'll see you at
the Big River at 3:00 p.m.?
You don't want
a ride to the Big River,
since you're not driving?
No, it's all right.
I'll tell you all about it
when I see you in person.
Is that okay?
Whatever floats your boat,
As promised,
I went to the park at 3:00
and there she was.
Whenever I'm feeling stressed,
something troubles my heart,
or nothing at all...
I love to come here
and walk along the Big River.
Look at you.
How good that you're here with
me in the middle of the day.
No matter what happens,
I'm always gonna make you
feel better.
do you remember that today
is our three-year anniversary
from first seeing each other?
Larry... do you love me?
Of course I do, baby.
Well, if you love me,
why haven't you listened to me?
Why haven't you done
what I asked you to do?
Over and over again!
I just-- I don't even know
where this is going anymore.
You have to make a choice.
It's either her or me.
Jane, I thought
we talked about this.
What about your husband?
Are you ready to leave him?
I'm pregnant.
How far into
the pregnancy are you?
It's me or it's her!
get a grip of yourself.
How would I know
the baby's mine?
[gasps, sobs]
Let go of me, you bastard!
Nobody slaps me. You get it?
Of course the baby's yours!
Brian can't have kids!
You know what?
You get an abortion.
I'll give you the money.
-[Larry grunts]
-[Jane sobs]
You stay away from me!
I'm keeping the baby.
And by the time
of your treasurer campaign,
I'll be parading around
with a big, swollen belly.
And when you're on stage
giving your campaign speech,
everybody is going to be
congratulating me.
Are you outta your mind?
You think anyone's
gonna believe you?
Any woman can make up that
they're pregnant with my child.
You-- you son of a bitch!
[Larry] Nobody slaps me.
Do you hear me?
-[Jane shouts]
-Okay? You bitch!
[Jane screams]
No one! No one slaps me!
-[Jane choking]
-Get it?
Nobody slaps me! Okay?
-[Jane choking]
-No one slaps me!
No one slaps me!
[choking, coughing]
[Larry] She looked like
she had just fallen asleep.
A sleep that
she'll never wake up from.
She fell on to the ground,
weightless, like an angel.
My poor baby Jane.
[dramatic music playing]
On August 21st, I went,
with Jane's body in my car,
to the mayor's home for dinner.
You must be Dr. Halton.
I am. I believe the mayor
is expecting me.
-Yes. Please come in.
-Thank you.
We're about to have
a glass of wine before dinner.
-Would you care to join us?
-Oh, thank you very much,
but I have a couple
of questions for the mayor
-and I have to be going
after that.
-Well, maybe next time.
-Come on in.
-Of course.
-Mr. Mayor.
-Pleasure to meet you.
Would you like to take a seat?
-Thank you so much, sir.
-You bet.
How can I help you, young man?
I'm afraid all I need
is some clarification
from you tonight, Mr. Mayor.
Go on.
Did you recently meet
with a city auditor
by the name of Larry McGregor?
Larry, sure.
I think it's
a couple months back.
I had dinner with him
in this house.
Why do you ask?
This may sound a little
far-fetched, Mayor Lenny,
but do you happen
to remember the exact date
that you had dinner with Larry?
I had a very contentious
city council meeting
the morning
that I had dinner with him.
And that occurred on August 21.
Now, if you also
don't mind me asking,
what was your impression
of Larry?
Larry is a new acquaintance of
mine. His wife is my patient.
I'm just trying to
help them the best I can.
Regular hardworking folk.
He is running for
the city treasurer position.
Is there anything up with him,
Do you happen to remember
around what time he left dinner?
Oh... he was here
for a couple of hours.
I guess he left around 8:00 p.m.
Thank you again
for your time, Mr. Mayor.
Especially at this hour.
That's all I'll be needing.
Always a pleasure
to help a constituent.
You always have my vote.
Hi. Um, Brian?
-[Brian] Yes. Yes, Doctor.
Your wife,
she didn't happen to work
in the county office, did she?
Yes. Why?
I think I know
what happened to her.
Listen, I gotta chase down
some loose ends, okay?
But I'll keep you posted.
Why don't you meet me
by the Big River before sundown?
I went to the hardware store.
I bought a shovel,
pair of gloves,
a machete, trash bags...
a new set of clothing and
I went back to the park.
It was dark.
I left Jane in the car and went
down to look around in the
There's only one trail
that goes upstream of the
I walked for a good ten minutes
and the vegetation got thicker
and trees got taller.
I had a moment of doubt
of my own ability
to carry the weight uphill.
[crickets chirping]
As I walked past
the tall bushes,
to my amazement, there was
a quarry of some sorts.
I went back to the car
and got Jane's body
out of the car.
I carried her
all the way up there,
going through the bushes.
I reached the quarry again.
I had made up my mind.
This is the place.
Finally, I started to dig.
[phone ringing]
[Dr. Halton] Hi, Brian?
-Yes. Yes, Doctor.
-Your wife,
she didn't happen to work
in the county office, did she?
Yes. Why?
I think I know
what happened to her.
Listen, I still gotta
chase down some loose ends,
but I'll keep you posted, okay?
Why don't you meet me by
the Big River before sundown?
[dramatic orchestral music
[birds chirping]
You have to make a choice.
It's either her or me.
I'm pregnant.
How would I know
the baby's mine?
Of course the baby is yours.
Brian can't have kids.
-[Brian sobs]
-[Larry] I said no one slaps me!
No one!
-Nobody fucking slaps me, okay?
-[Jane choking]
No one!
[Jane screams]
I'm sorry, Brian.
You were there, weren't you?
Why didn't you save me?
Why, Brian?
[crickets chirping
-Holy shit!
[both grunting]
[intense music playing]
[Larry groans]
I'm gonna bury you,
like I buried Jane!
-[Larry grunts]
I didn't run away this time.
-[officer] Detective?
We've got another body
over there.
All right, thanks.
So, this is all about
one's conscious mind, right?
Only the ugly, unwanted truth.
I'm good. Thank you.
I don't know, Doc.
It must be tough being you, huh?
-Listen, we're gonna need
your notes and files for the DA.
-Yes, sir, Detective.
-It's been great
working with you.
-Thank you.
-Take care.
Yes, sir.
[Dr. Halton exhales]
Thank you again, Brian.
-Will you be okay?
-Thanks, Doctor.
I feel better now.
If you need a good attorney,
don't hesitate to ask.
Thanks, Doc.
My knee will finally heal.
Yeah, it will.
[papers rustling]
[door creaking]
Look at what you've done
to Larry!
If I didn't listen to you...
[bag thuds]
...I could've
saved Larry's life!
You murderer!
You killed my husband!
[Kathy sobs]
Give me back my husband!
He made mistakes,
but he didn't deserve to die!
Now I'm a widow! Are you happy?
-Are you happy about that?
-Kathy, Kathy.
Kathy, come on, calm down.
Let's just go.
It's not Dr. Halton's fault.
He was only trying to help.
-Come on, let's just go--
-He is a murderer!
-I'm sorry, Doctor.
-He is a murderer,
-and this was a huge mistake!
-[Macy] No,
he was just trying to help.
He didn't mean
for this to happen.
No, he didn't mean to.
[door slams]
[birds chirping]
[gentle music playing]
Stressful truth. Painful truth.
Ugly truth, isn't it?
Take a deep breath instead.
I hear nature
helps clear things up.
Yeah, yeah. That's what
I originally wanted to do.
Take a walk around the river,
clear my head.
Like the smoke of a cigarette,
which becomes tar in our lungs.
But why do so many people
still smoke?
To ease the pain.
Yeah. We all need cushions
when we fall.
The substances
just help ease the pains
we face when growing up.
And you are the doctor
who opens that can of worms,
revealing the truths
that people would rather hide
forever if they could.
They would rather sleep
their lives away
if it makes them feel
more comfortable.
But eventually...
we all must submit
to the truth in order to grow.
[clicks tongue]
An inevitable process.
-[water splashing]
Professor, what are you doing?
You don't need me anymore.
You're ready.
[water splashing]