The Yellow Wallpaper (2021) Movie Script

[jangly music]
[bright electronic music]
[Jane] I don't know
why I write this.
I don't want to.
I don't feel like I am able.
It makes me so tired.
But I must continue
on, at least for you.
[birds whistling]
[uneasy instrumental music]
[horses clopping]
[baby crying]
Please, dear, do something!
[baby crying]
[carriage rattling]
[Jane sighs]
[horses clopping]
- Sister.
- John.
How was your journey?
Long and uneventful.
It is very seldom that
mere ordinary people,
like John and myself,
secure ancestral
halls for the summer.
I would call it a haunted house
and reach the height
of romantic felicity.
That would be asking
too much of me.
[door creaks]
Still, I will proudly declare
that there is something
queer about it.
Else, why should it
be let so cheaply?
[Jennie] Here. Let me.
[Jane] John laughs
at me, of course,
but one expects
that in marriage.
[John] What do
you think of it?
Why, it's lovely.
Who owns it?
[John] Right now,
the court owns it.
Two brothers are in dispute
over the hereditary paperwork.
But, for the summer, it's ours.
I love this drawing room.
[Jane] It is beautiful.
[John] Come.
Let me show you the bedroom.
What on earth was this room?
It was a children's
nursery, I believe.
The playroom when
they grew older.
It's big and airy.
With windows and
wonderful views.
You can see the gardens
and arboretum over here.
And look at this view.
If I'm correct, the sunrise
will shine in this window,
and you can watch
it set through here.
We can check the almanac
and plot the exact
time if you like
so we don't miss a
single, glorious sunset.
There's something
strange about the house,
but especially this room.
Can we take one of
the rooms downstairs,
the one that opens up to the
courtyard with the roses?
[John] There's only one window
there, and it's too small.
This room is much better.
But I-
- [John] This is the best room.
[Jennie] We're
finished downstairs.
[John] Of course.
Doesn't something
feels strange to you?
[silverware clinking]
[drink pouring]
The doctor says it has
an agitating effect,
but I do so enjoy a
glass with dinner.
But of course, he's right.
[water pouring]
Goodnight, my love.
[woman screams]
What is it, my dear?
Did you hear that?
Hear what?
That sound.
Go to sleep.
[low droning music]
[faint footsteps]
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
[glass clinking]
No thank you.
Well, hello, my pet.
Good morning.
Everything in order?
So, what's my dear have
planned for the day?
Don't worry. I'll be good.
I think I'll do some exploring
and maybe work in the garden.
I'm off to work.
I'll be back for dinner.
Do you want anything from town?
Cigarettes and a
newspaper. [chuckles]
I think we have
everything we need.
Remember, your exercise depends
on your strength, my dear,
and your food somewhat
on your appetite,
but the air... [inhales]
the air, you can
relish all the time.
Remember, she's not to do
more than an hour of chores.
And, please, no writing.
However talented she may
be, her talents as a mother
are considerably more
important these days.
[Jennie] Of course.
I'll see you this evening.
[door creaks]
[birds whistling]
[low droning music]
[bees buzzing]
[uneasy instrumental music]
[Jennie] Jane!
[Jennie] How was your walk?
It was lovely.
Would you like to hold him?
All right.
[baby crying]
Shh, shh.
John will be home soon.
Why don't you go upstairs
and dress for dinner.
I'll take him inside, and
we'll have Mary feed him.
Thank you.
[baby crying]
[low droning music]
[knock on door]
Come in.
[door creaks]
How was your day, dear?
It was wonderful.
I explored the gardens.
I took a long walk
down to the bay.
Even the broken old
greenhouse was inspiring.
[John] Sounds very lovely.
It was a glorious day.
I wish they were all like this.
How was your day?
[John] Two cases
of poison ivy,
a young boy who broke
his leg climbing a tree,
an old woman who
accidentally poked her eye
with a sewing needle.
Oof. [chuckles]
Any other cases?
[John] Such as
social diseases?
No, I mean...
any cases like mine?
[John] My dear, how many
times have I got to tell you?
I just thought that,
with all the other
people in the office,
there would be some sort
of research or something.
Please, listen to me.
The worst thing you can
do is think about it.
Take today for instance.
You had a wonderful day.
You took a walk, held a baby.
This place is already
doing you good.
I know.
[John] Why don't you go
upstairs and get ready for bed.
I have some more work to do,
and then I will
be up to join you.
All right.
[door creaks]
We have been here two weeks,
and I haven't felt
like writing before,
not since that first day.
I'm sitting by the window now,
up in this atrocious nursery,
and there is nothing
to hinder my writing
as much as I please,
save lack of strength.
John is away all day,
and even some nights,
when his cases are serious.
I'm glad my case is not serious,
but these nervous troubles
are dreadfully depressing.
John does not know how
much I really suffer.
He knows there is
no reason to suffer,
and that satisfies him.
[Jane sighs]
Of course, it is
only nervousness.
It does weigh on me.
Good morning.
Aren't you hungry?
[Jennie] You need to eat.
[Jane] And take my medication?
I just promised John
I'd make sure you did.
He cares for you so much
and truly wants to
see you get better.
Except he doesn't think
there's anything wrong with me.
- Well...
- You see it.
He thinks I'm sad.
Just a little bluebird.
What a poet.
Sometimes I think he's right,
there isn't really
anything wrong.
And other times I feel as sick
and tired as this old house.
I hate to be been ungrateful.
We all just want
to see you happy,
and better, and writing again.
I doubt John feels that way.
He thinks it's nonsense and
likely the cause of my problems.
He loves you so much
and is truly dedicated to
giving you the best care.
We all love you.
I know.
[birds whistling]
[bee buzzing]
Thank you.
Such a glorious day.
So lovely here.
[soft uneasy music]
Is anything the matter?
But I think all laid
down for a moment.
[uneasy instrumental music]
[footsteps approaching]
Thank you.
[Jennie] Let me know
if you need anything.
I'll be right downstairs.
[Jane] Mary is so
good with the baby,
and yet I could not be with him.
He makes me so nervous.
I suppose John was never
nervous in his life.
This paper looks
to me as if it knew
what a vicious influence it had.
It makes me so tired and
scares me for some reason.
I'm starting to
think it's haunted.
How are you?
Easy, easy.
I need to go downstairs.
[John] Shh. It's all right.
It's not all right.
This room is so foreboding.
Can you feel it?
It just saps all my energy.
You know, this place
is doing you really good.
The gardens are,
but not this room.
And most definitely
not the wallpaper.
Couldn't we repaper
it or paint it over?
[John] Dear, I don't
care to renovate the house
just for a three months rental.
Then do let us go downstairs.
The rooms there are so pretty.
[John] Oh, my
blessed little goose,
we can go down to the
cellar if you wish,
and I'll have it whitewashed to.
There's something
wrong with this room.
You can't let those
talks get a better of you.
As soon as we change the
paper, it will be the door
and then have you bedstead
and the barred windows.
[John sighs]
There's nothing worse
for a nervous patient
that to give way to
these sort of fancies.
Are you staying here tonight?
[John] I have to go
back to the clinic.
There are two very sick
people I have to check on
and a case to research.
If I get done early,
I'll come back,
but it's likely I'll have to stay.
I just feel so much
better when you're here
and so much worse
when you're away.
[John] Oh, my
sweet little girl.
You know I wish I could
be here all the time.
We have to pay for this
house and the repairs.
How can I not take
these patients?
I know.
I'm sorry.
[John] Shh. It's all right.
Get some rest.
And I'll send Jennie
up with your dinner.
Thank you.
[insects chirring]
[anxious instrumental music]
[John panting]
[bed creaking]
[birds whistling]
[soft instrumental music]
[mice squeaking]
[insects chirring]
[Jane cries softly]
[Jane cries softly]
[low droning music]
[footsteps approaching]
Are you all right?
You've been in here all
afternoon and evening.
I had such a beautiful
dream last night.
May I tell it to you.
Of course.
It is the story of a composer
who comes to a house
much like this one.
He comes to write a symphony.
But the house is
haunted by a woman.
Yes, an apparition who
used to be a dancer.
She falls in love with his music
and begins to dance
as he plays the piano,
which inspires more
and more music,
music almost as
beautiful as her dancing.
The beauty of their
art forms combine
and propel one another.
Over time, he becomes stronger.
And over time, she begins
to weaken and fade.
He starts to notice this,
and he starts to play
quieter and slower,
quieter and slower, until
you can barely hear a sound,
trying to keep her dancing
for as long as she can.
And as the piece
comes to an end...
on that last note,
which he tries to hold
for as long as he
possibly can...
in that very moment...
her light extinguishes...
and she disappears, forever.
[haunting instrumental music]
[footsteps approaching]
[silverware clinking]
[Jennie] Are you finished?
Yes. I think I'll turn in.
[Jennie] Would you like
me to check in on you
after I finish tidying up?
No, thank you. I'll be fine.
[insects chirring]
[baby crying]
[low droning music]
[baby crying]
[grating instrumental music]
[birds whistling]
[cricket chirping]
[iron grate rattling]
[footsteps approaching]
My Lord!
Are you all right?
You look like
you've seen a ghost.
I may have.
John is downstairs
getting ready for dinner.
Good. I'll be
down in a minute.
There he is.
How I've missed you.
I've missed you as well.
Is everything all right?
I was about to
ask you the same.
Well, you've been
gone for three days-
- Two.
All right, two.
I thought we had
an understanding.
An understanding?
About what?
I think he knows.
When did you
start writing again?
[grating instrumental music]
We had an agreement.
An agreement?
We're all here
for you, my dear.
For me?
You've been gone, and
I've been here all alone.
Sweetheart, you know
I have to take care
of the patients in town.
And you have Jennie here to
take care of you when I'm gone.
And this beautiful house.
The gardens.
I know, of course, your work
is important, but there-
[Jane shouts]
[dishes clattering]
[grating instrumental music]
[John] Dear James,
I'm writing this letter to you
regarding your sister, Jane.
She's requested that
you come for a visit,
and, given the circumstances,
I agree that it may be helpful.
I know this is difficult news,
but I fear Jane's
condition isn't improving
and she's not taking
the treatment seriously.
I'm not sure she
understands what's at stake:
our family, not to
mention her own wellbeing.
I've been more than reasonable,
but what I am now at
the end of my resources.
I may have no choice but to
check her into the institution.
It may be that, if
she hears from you,
another physician
and her brother,
she may acquiesce and
give a real effort.
With this, I hope
that you can visit
at your earliest opportunity.
Sincerely, your
brother-in-law, John.
[uneasy instrumental music]
[cricket chirping]
There, there.
[James] How are you, sister?
So tired.
My body feels so weak.
I know.
We're gonna try some different
medications and dosages,
help you relax, sleep
better and rest.
[John] I think we're
going to have to limit
your work in the garden
until you're feeling
a little better.
[James] I'm sure it'll
be just a couple of days.
If you can clear your
head and get some rest...
you'll be on your
way in no time.
That's it.
[swirling instrumental music]
[crackling electronic music]
[Jennie] How is she?
Just needs more rest.
We need to keep her
in bed, I'm afraid.
[low pulsing music]
[anxious electronic music]
[birds whistling]
They're beautiful,
aren't they?
I had another vivid dream.
I'm lying on the ground,
tangled in these vines.
They wrap around me in all
sorts of terrible ways.
Poking me and prodding me.
They get tighter and tighter
until they pull me
down into the dirt.
I cry out as loud as
I can for John's help.
When he finally arrives, I
plead with him to help me.
He just sits and watches with
that stern look on his face.
He reaches down towards me,
but instead of helping me,
he pushes me down further,
until I'm drowning in the dirt.
I flail around and around,
but eventually it goes dark.
I just don't understand.
John says, if I
don't pick up faster,
he'll send me to Weir
Mitchell in the fall.
I don't want to go there.
I had a friend who
was in his care once.
She said he's just like John
and my brother, only worse.
Besides, it is such an
undertaking to go so far.
[birds whistling]
I'll get you
something to drink.
[uneasy instrumental music]
[rain falling]
[Jane] The lingering
smell is horrid.
I remember it from
when we first moved in,
but it was much weaker then,
especially with the open
windows and fresh breeze.
Now, we have had a
week of fog and rain,
and whether the windows are
open and not, the smell is here.
It gets into my hair.
I wake up in the night and
find it hanging over me.
It is the strangest yellow.
It makes me think of all the
yellow things I ever saw.
Not beautiful ones,
like buttercups,
but all foul, bad yellow things.
Like this smell.
An awful yellow smell.
But I'm used to it now.
Wake up, Jane.
Are you all right.
How did you get so dirty?
The pattern does move.
No wonder.
The woman behind
the wallpaper shakes it.
Good Lord.
I'll get John.
[water splashing]
It's a horrid smell.
So foul.
It's coming from the
wallpaper, you know.
We should burn this
house down to the ground.
[low droning music]
[rain falling]
[anxious instrumental music]
[Jane screaming]
[low droning music]
[footsteps approaching]
[Jane sniffs]
[anxious instrumental music]
[rain falling]
What are you doing?
Good Lord!
Why would you frighten me?
That paper is just awful.
It stains everything it touches.
All your clothing
is yellow smudges.
John's too. It's
impossible to clean.
I really wish you'd
be more careful.
[rain falling]
[birds chirping]
[distressing instrumental music]
[metal clinking]
[door clacking]
[light scraping]
[footsteps approaching]
[knocking on door]
Are you all right in there?
Why is the door locked?
Everything's fine.
I'm just resting.
[Jennie] Can I
get you anything?
[Jane] No, thank you.
[footsteps leaving]
How was your day?
Same as always: uneventful.
And how are you feeling?
A bit better. How
are you feeling?
I meant how is work?
Things have calmed down.
But I'm most concerned
about you, of course.
Did you go for a walk today?
The gardens are beautiful.
Maybe tomorrow. I
was so tired today.
You should.
A little bit of fresh
air will do some good.
You're right.
I'll spend some time in
the gardens tomorrow.
Sleep well, love.
[distressing instrumental music]
[paper peeling]
[insect buzzes]
[bird flutters]
[low droning music]
I've seen her.
I can see her out of
every one of my windows.
It is the same woman, I know,
for she is always creeping,
and most women do not
creep by daylight.
I see her on that long
road, under the trees,
creeping along.
And when a carriage comes,
she hides under the
blackberry vines.
I don't blame her a bit.
It must be very humiliating
to be caught
creeping by daylight.
I always lock the door
when I creep by daylight.
I can't do it at night,
for I know John would
suspect something at once.
[iron grate rattling]
[wallpaper peeling]
[distressing instrumental music]
[iron grate rattling]
[footsteps approaching]
Oh, my Lord!
I did it out of pure
spite at the vicious thing.
I must admit, I wouldn't
mind doing some of that myself.
I'm sure it's quite therapeutic.
But Jane, you mustn't
get too tired.
Why don't you come downstairs
and spend your last day with us?
You could take a
walk in the garden.
It's so quiet
and empty up here.
I think I'll lay down again.
Get as much sleep as I can.
But Jane, you really could
do with some fresh air.
Please don't wake me
up, not even for dinner.
[Jennie] But-
- [Jane] I'll come
down when I wake.
John will be home soon!
[lock clicks]
[low droning music]
[wallpaper peeling]
[scraping and peeling]
[gurgling electronic music]
[Jane grunting]
[Jane screams]
[Jane screaming]
[knocking on door]
[Jennie] Jane?
Please, Jane, open the door.
John is coming home.
He loves you so much.
My darling John?
He'll see soon enough.
[Jane muttering]
[gurgling electronic music]
I peeled off all
the paper I could...
standing on the floor.
It sticks terribly...
and the pattern just enjoys it.
Those bulbous heads
and strangling eyes...
and fungus growths just
shriek with derision.
And I'm getting angry.
I have a rope up here that
not Jennie could find.
So if that woman does
get out of the wallpaper
and tries to escape.
[Jane grunting]
I don't want anyone to come in,
and I don't want
to have to go out,
not till John comes.
[gurgling electronic music]
[Jane grunting]
I forgot I could not reach far
without anything to stand on.
And this bed will not move.
[gurgling electronic music]
[bangs on door]
[John] Jane!
It's no use, young man!
You can't come in!
[John] Open the
door, my darling.
How he calls and pounds.
It would be a shame to
break down that door!
[banging on door]
Open the door!
I can't.
The key is downstairs by the
front door in the planter.
[John] Open the door!
I can't!
The key is downstairs by the
front door in the planter.
Get me an ax!
Now he's calling for an ax.
[gurgling electronic music]
"What is the matter?" he cried.
"For God's sake,
what are you doing?"
I kept on creeping
just the same.
I looked at him from
over my shoulder.
"I've got out at last in
spite of you and Jane,
and I've pulled
most of the paper,
so that you can't put me back."
Now, why should that
man fainted? But he did.
And right across my
path, by the wall,
so that I had to creep
over him every time,
and again...
and again...
and again.
[Jane panting]