The Marsh (2006) Movie Script

"The big old owl flapped
his wings and yawned.
"It's much too late
and too many creatures about.
"She will surely get
a scary fright.
"Where the alligators romp and
the frogs grow fat and orange,
"and the field mouse sings
to the owl kings
"with a voice
like a squeaky door hinge,
"there lived a girl
who's sunny sweet,
"and the children call her
Sticky Feet.
"With almond eyes
and golden curls,
"she knew that swamps
"are not for girls."
Claire, the dreams
are getting stronger.
All I'm saying, Claire,
is you gotta stop avoiding it.
It's time we started to really
deal with this. It's important.
Are you taking
your medication?
Doesn't help.
It's evolving.
I'd like to try hypnosis,
a change.
We're ready.
Is this a man-made problem,
or possibly the result
of global warming?
Check into any inn
or bed-and-breakfast here
in Westmoreland,
and you'll notice
a serious decline
in hunters and
birdwatchers alike.
But is it from
their own doing?
The blue-winged warbler
hasn't been seen here
since last summer
in Westmoreland County.
Perhaps this
- Claire?
- Mrs. O'Shea.
Mercy, and this is Heidi.
Welcome to Rose Marsh Farm.
We don't get too many guests
this time of year, so...
Here's your living room.
There's wood and kindling
over there.
Should keep you warm. The fireplace is
working. It's pretty straightforward.
We get photographers and
birdwatchers in the summer.
So if you'll follow me,
I'll show you the upstairs.
You're a writer?
Well, you'll have lots
of peace and quiet,
and plenty of space.
I can guarantee you that.
Uh, this is
the master bedroom.
There's extra, uh,
linen in the closet.
And here's the studio.
The Manvilles and the Roses
settled the whole area.
Uh, we call him Old Mister.
And that's the Marsh.
Yeah, I'd steer clear of that,
if I was you.
You can get lost in there
pretty quick.
If you need anything,
I'm the first house
on the way into town.
"The big old owl flapped
his wings and yawned.
"What is a girl doing
in a swamp at night?
"It's much too late
and too many creatures about.
"She will surely get
a scary fright."
How do you make up
your stories?
I start by asking the question,
"What if?"
- Oh, sorry.
- I'm sorry.
- I didn't see you.
- It's all right. I'm so sorry.
- Are you all right?
- Yes.
All right, well, good morning.
Good morning.
Uh... Noah, Noah Pitney.
That's the great thing about being
from a small town is you can,
introduce yourself
to anyone you bump into.
- Right, Ernie?
- That's right.
Claire Holloway.
Pleasure to meet you,
Miss Holloway.
$19.50, miss.
No, no, no, allow me,
This is, uh,
country manners in action.
Ernie, I just want to remind
you there's a game tonight.
- Got it.
- I'll see you then.
Oh, and please,
put this on my tab.
This is for you.
You don't have to do that.
No, please, take it.
I've already read it.
Help you get accustomed
to the town.
Editor's got some
pretty eccentric views,
but, say, I bet he'd love
an interview with you.
You really that short
on tourists?
Come on, Claire,
I have three nieces.
"Star children's author
hits Westmoreland."
That's, uh. That's pretty
big stuff around here.
I'm flattered.
But I think I'm going to pass.
Okay. Well, that's all right. I'll just
have to interview yet another bingo winner.
- You're the editor.
- I am, yeah.
Also the, uh,
the local historian.
Actually, I brought out
a book last year.
I, um, only, you know,
only printed 250 copies, but...
That's what my first one was.
Really? So there's, uh...
There's hope for me.
Listen, if you, uh!
If you need anything,
my number's on the back of the
paper, if you wanna call me.
What if?
What if, what if,
what if, what?
I could get used
to this country living.
Yeah, well, I can...
I can appreciate that.
I remember there was a time
when I covered crime
for all the big dailies
all over the country.
How'd you end up here?
It's weird.
I always told myself
that I, I was never
gonna come back.
And then the, uh,
The editor's job came up,
and Philip Manville
asked me to do it,
and I said yes and...
I guess it just
felt right to come back.
You know, I have my farm
and got a horse.
And it's good.
It's a good life.
There. It's not perfect,
but it'll work.
- You know Ernie well?
- All my life.
- He's always lived here?
- Yeah. Why?
Alright, I should go.
That's quite enough of you,
Sticky Feet.
Ernie, have we met before?
I don't think so.
They say the same face can turn up
on different people. Isn't that so?
Yeah, I guess so.
Enjoy your book.
You forget something, Claire?
Did you forget something,
Morning, Claire.
Was it the storm?
- You okay?
- Yeah, I'm fine.
I bought your book.
So you're the one.
Fascinating history
this place has.
Listen, you wanna...
You wanna find out more,
I'll take any excuse
to skip church.
So the, uh,
Manville School for Boys
closed its doors
in the late 1800s
and the Westmoreland
Elementary School opened
at the beginning
of the last century.
How nice of the county to
invite the girls out to play.
Yeah, well, from what I know
of the boy's school,
the girls might have been
happier at home.
Good fodder for a new book.
I just read The Swamp
to my niece and I,
I gotta tell you,
I found it quite creepy.
All the great children's
books are dark.
Brothers Grimm,
Aesop, Roald Dahl.
"Ring Around the Rosy"
was about dying from the plague.
Scary monsters in the, uh,
deep dark marsh. Ooh, scary.
Fairy tales and
nursery rhymes tap into
the primal, subconscious fears
of the young mind.
So you're saying that all kids
like to be creeped out.
Didn't you?
You ever hear any stories
about this place?
Like what, like,
like creepy ones?
Creaking boards,
slamming doors,
whistling winds...
Wow, you, uh! You writers.
I'll tell you what.
I'll tell you
everything that I know
over dinner tomorrow.
Platz! Platz! Platz!
Platz. Platz.
Normally, he's a pussy cat.
Could have fooled me.
Are you Geoffrey Hunt?
Everybody calls me Hunt.
Claire Holloway.
He hasn't blown his top like
that in a long time, Claire.
Only one reason he does that.
Oh, yeah? What's that?
He smells a ghost.
Think of it like vapors...
From the other side.
I don't believe in ghosts.
Neither do I.
I'll follow you.
- So this place, huh?
- You've been here before?
Three years ago.
What was her name? Grace?
- Mercy.
- Yeah.
So you're
a paranormal consultant
who doesn't believe in ghosts?
I believe in people.
I mean, people are
water and energy.
If water can transform from
ice into steam, into mist,
and energy transforms them,
why can't people?
What happened with Mercy?
She got a little spooked,
that's all.
Noises and such.
Nothing major.
These kinds of energies
can be very particular.
They can reveal themselves
to one person
- and not to another one.
- Why me?
You tell me, Claire.
He was in there?
It's the access point
for them to come in.
The computer's
another good one.
I'd leave that off for now.
How long has this been here?
Couple of days. Why?
On the other side,
doors can be both symbolic
and literal at the same time.
Taking one down can,
be a way of stopping someone
from coming across.
So when you
put the door back up...
You're inviting them back in.
There's a definite increase in energy.
That's for sure.
- But why?
- People are weird.
They die, they get weirder.
Question is, why do you care?
Because I've seen...
I've seen that little girl before
and not just in this house.
Do you have any idea
what you're dealing with?
It's a different world.
They don't play by your rules.
I lost my wife and my
little girl seven years ago.
I went looking for answers.
I never found them.
So you need to
think about that
before you go looking for
answers on the other side.
You wanna be
amongst the living,
trust me.
There's a motel in town.
If I were you,
I'd check into it.
Why make this your battle?
My father used to say...
"Hunt"... He called me Hunt.
He could be rather
impersonal, my father.
He'd say, "Hunt,
you can dodge the draft,
"you can cheat on your taxes
"but never desert
a damsel in distress."
Let's get this party started.
What do they want from me?
Don't know.
But one thing's for sure.
It's you that they
want it from.
Can you imagine?
Can you imagine,
if Mercy had seen
what you seen,
she'd be living in another
country under an assumed name.
Hey, could you stand
there for a second?
Just for a second, please.
Thank you.
You are very photogenic.
I hope you can see them too.
Unless they're camera-shy...
We'll get 'em.
So where'd you grow up?
All over.
Oh, you a military brat,
- No.
- Little sip.
No, my parents were teachers.
Where they from originally?
Well, they weren't
my birth parents.
How old were you
when you were adopted?
I bet you were a pretty
little girl, weren't you?
Don't lie.
You were a cute one,
weren't you? Huh?
Unless you just sprouted up
all of a sudden
and became just
what you are right now.
My parents were killed
in a car accident.
I see.
You expecting someone?
- Hey.
- Noah, I'm sorry.
I should have called you.
Why? What, uh! What happened?
Hunt, Noah.
Hunt's been helping me.
- How's it going, Pitney?
- Hello.
Let me guess, uh...
This has to do with those, uh...
Those creepy things you were,
you were talking about.
I'm gonna go and...
Get some logs for our fire.
Sorry about dinner.
Maybe we can...
We can do it another night?
You know what I can do is, I could, uh...
I could stick around
and help you with this, uh...
This sance or whatever.
We don't need any help.
I was looking forward
to having dinner.
Me too, but it's okay.
You know, we can do it
another time, right?
Good luck, good luck with this.
And, uh...
I'll see you around.
Who are you?
Can you tell me your name?
Can you tell me something?
- Just ask me nicely.
- Ah!
Why are you doing this shit?
You're fucking me up!
Stick it up your fucking ass!
Please. Just ask me nicely,
I asked you nicely
10 minutes ago.
I'll tear this house apart.
When I find it,
you're gonna be
one sorry fucking kid!
Go away!
Help! Help me! Help me!
Oh, no.
- Claire, no.
- No!
No! God!
Who are they?
Denman and Maude Rose.
From the farm?
I, uh, spent the evening
doing a little research and
dug a little deeper.
I gotta tell you, this, uh,
story's amazing.
So the Rose family
got it into their heads
to drain the marsh in 1902.
Denman was doing
a lot of the work himself.
The little girl is his sister.
She was 8 years old.
Uh, one day, he's working,
Maude goes into the marsh
to bring him lunch,
but she falls into the bog
and drowns.
- God!
- Yeah. And then, I think
Denman must have
lost his mind.
And he went after her, searching.
He never came out of the marsh.
Some of the locals went in,
and they disappeared.
And then, well,
you know how a small town is.
All of a sudden,
everyone thinks that this marsh is,
you know, hexed.
- Why didn't you tell me?
- Well, I wanted to tell you.
I just... I never got
the chance, remember.
Besides, you know,
I gotta tell you.
I didn't think you were the type
to believe in this kind of stuff.
What type is that?
I, I'm sorry.
I, I should have told you.
People have been talking
about that house
and that marsh for years,
and I just always sort of, uh...
You know, I laughed it
off, so...
Don't patronize me, Noah.
No, I wouldn't dare. Listen.
Claire, I can ask around.
I bet you I can find you
a place just as nice,
if you wanted.
Thank you.
Oh, no. What?
Feels like
it was my fault.
Whatever's going on here,
you couldn't have stopped it.
But you are part of it,
If you want to make it stop
you have to figure out
how it started
in the first place.
Take a look at this.
You know, in a way,
you're lucky.
Generally speaking,
these cases
involve a voice in the attic,
a peevish little spirit
who's, uh,
in need of
a little bit of hand-holding.
This is epic.
Got it.
June 19th is missing.
Oh, look.
Isn't that your editor friend?
Yeah, with Mercy
and Ernie.
"Local girl
sexually assaulted.
"Since the victim is a minor,
"her name has been withheld
by the police."
That's him.
My God, that's him.
Brendan Manville.
Oh, look.
I, uh, spent the evening
doing some research.
The Rose family got it
into their heads
to drain the marsh in 1902.
Denman was doing
a lot of the work himself. Uh,
the sister falls
into the bog and drowns.
Son of a bitch.
I'd say your friend's
been messing around history.
Why would he do this?
Should ask Pitney.
Ask me what?
Any additional archival stuff
on the Rose family story
would be over there
in microfiche.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to interrupt.
I didn't know you were here.
Where did this come from?
I've seen him
at the house, Mercy.
He moved away from here.
20 years ago.
And the little girl?
You've seen her too. And that
is why you called Hunt.
I don't know what
you're talking about.
I heard some noises,
that's all.
What do you know
about this, Mercy?
What the hell
are you asking me for?
What is it that you want?
Look, my friend
just killed himself.
He didn't kill himself, Mercy.
Those voices that you heard.
What Claire's been seeing,
Ernie's death.
It's all connected, Mercy.
It's all connected.
Stop it!
What are you doing?
You know who she is.
Tell me.
You tell me.
I got work to do.
You've gotta
remember something.
Think. Think.
What do you remember
from before your accident?
What does that have to do
with anything?
Because I think
that our little girl,
that's you.
It's you, Claire.
I mean, if you can accept
that the soul,
or the, uh, the essence
of someone
that's energy...
But in the case of
a severe trauma,
some of that energy can be
torn from the body,
and it leaves
an imprint.
That impression just replays over
and over and over again, like a,
a videotape.
What kind of trauma?
We're talking about
sexual assault, Claire.
No, Hunt.
I mean think about it. I mean,
everything around here,
everything's familiar to you.
And this is not a
a dream, this is not a piece
of fiction
from one of your books, no.
This is...
I think they're memories.
They're your memories, Claire.
Let's just burn
the place down.
Never burn.
Never burn.
Hey, whoa!
Heidi, girl. Heidi, easy.
Easy, girl. That's okay,
Heidi, that's okay.
Shh. Heidi.
Shh. Heidi.
No! No!
I got beer in my mouth.
You're not supposed
to be here, kid.
Ready or not, here I come.
- Oh, God.
- You okay?
Don't worry.
I know how to get him.
Gonna need to get something
that he'll recognize.
An article of clothing,
something from his life.
The more personal, the better.
If we can use that,
we can trap him again.
I think if I can get rid
of him, then I could free her,
free you.
Make the next left.
Mr. Manville,
I'm Claire Holloway.
I know. Uh, look,
if it's about the farm,
- Mercy handles that sort of thing.
- No.
It's about your son, Brendan.
What happened at the house?
Why is it, do you suppose,
that some people feel
they have the right to walk
into a complete stranger's home
and dig and scratch
around in their past?
You've been talking to Mercy,
haven't you?
That goddamn woman is a drunk.
She sees the whole world
through the bottom of a bottle.
Your dad's not gonna care.
What you got there?
That's my dad's, so...
Hey, don't point
that thing at me.
Be careful.
Give it back to me, okay?
Hey, give it to me.
Hey, sit down. It's okay.
Let's do this.
Thanks for coming.
Thanks for having us.
One, two, three.
Nobody came in or out.
It was abandoned.
It sat there empty like a tomb
for 20 years.
Look, if you don't
like the house,
why don't you just leave?
What about the little girl?
No, that was a lie.
No. Brendan was
with a little girl.
There was no proof.
That was a goddamn lie!
What happened to your son,
Mr. Manville?
What are you talking about?
What was wrong with him?
And why was he alone
with a little girl?
I've seen him.
In the house.
I need something of his,
something that was very special.
It's important,
and I need it right now.
What the hell
happened in there?
Why won't you tell me?
What did he do?
Did he hurt her?
Did you hurt him?
What did you do to your son,
Mr. Manville?
I did nothing.
I need something...
Get out of my house.
That was precious to him
to make this stop.
You get out of my house!
Do you hear me?
I'll take care of it.
- Claire.
- Hunt!
Hunt! Ah!
Here. Give me your hand.
I got you. Come on. I got you.
Went to the house.
We knew it would be empty.
And we'd all been drinking.
You're a loser.
Go home.
I'll lock up Daddy's house.
We thought he'd left.
It was an accident, okay?
I swear.
- Mercy.
- What did you do to her?
Put the gun down.
Please, I didn't mean to.
I'll do anything.
You've got to help me though.
- Put it down.
- I'll do anything. Anything. Okay?
Give her to me.
I'll kill you!
- Easy, easy.
Fuck it.
I'm not going down for this.
Shut up!
No one's going down for this.
It's gonna be okay.
My dad, he can
take care of all this.
All right? We just
need to do something now.
We keep it a secret.
- Noah.
- Let him be.
I guess he never really
grew out of it.
We didn't understand.
My wife loved the boy.
But she wasn't
the motherly kind. She,
she wanted him to grow
up fast, become a man.
I saw what she was doing
to him. I,
I watched him bend and break.
And I didn't do anything.
Help him stop hurting.
Thank you.
We gotta go.
Let me have it.
Where are you?
Come on.
Mercy was looking after us.
I went
to a Chinese restaurant
To buy a loaf of bread
Bread, bread
They wrapped it up in
Bubble gum
And this is what
They said, said, said
"My name is Hi lo Piccolo
Piccolo Hi lo
"Hi lo Piccolo, Piccolo..."
She brought us here.
With her friends.
Ready or not, here I come.
She made us promise
to stay upstairs.
I was hiding.
I was so scared, Rosie.
I didn't know what to do.
You guys have to help me.
Okay? I'll do anything.
I'll kill you! I'll kill you!
Fuck it, I'm not going down for this.
Shut up!
Shut up! No one's going
down for this. Sit down.
It's gonna be okay.
My dad, he can
take care of all this.
We need to do something now.
We'll keep it a secret.
Where's Claire?
I'm so sorry, Rose.
Do you remember this?
Do you want it?
Do you want it?
Give her to me!
You can't have her!
Not this time!
Claire! It's the door.
The door is the port.
Break the glass.
Break the door!
Smash it! Hey!
Hey, you come over here.
Come over here.
Help! Help me!
Throw me the blanket!
Lead him to the door!
To the door, Claire!
Bury it.
Someplace dry.
Thank you.