In the late 1860’s a newly established Amish settlement, in the depths of Pennsylvania, had just passed a harsh winter and food was running scarce. As the hardships progressed, mass hysteria lead to talks of witchcraft within the community. They started accusing one another and people were brought to trial and hanged. The settlement started to fall apart and after twelve hangings the remaining residents started to leave. Impoverished, one could only fend for their selves. Who was going to take care of the victim’s children? The children where taken to a Christian Orphanage deep in the woods.
In the tradition of stories told throughout the years detailing witches and ghosts, “The Orphanage” is the story of a group of orphaned children trying to survive one long night of terror by an unseen spirit. As the events unfold and suspicion grows, the children learn that they are not only fighting for their lives from a haunting but also from each other. Paying homage to the great films of the genre, in particular Dario Argento’s “Suspiria”, “The Orphanage” will be presented as an ambiguous dreamlike film for its viewers. By using a bright and bold color pallet to reinforce the nightmarish tone, an intense score, and a relentlessly brief running time it is intended to shock one’s senses and infuse confusion. Is the story a reality for its characters? Is it just a ghost story? Or is it even a story within a story? “The Orphanage” will provide suspense for those that enjoy cinematic mysteries, terror for horror buffs, and a bizarre avant guarde treat for the art house filmgoer.
“The Orphanage” begins on a huge estate in the midst of the forest. The property belonged to MR. ELMSLEY, a wealthy man, and his family. He had three daughters but desperately longed for a son. His wife grew distant over the years and his eye began to wander. It was no secret that DALAYLA, considered to be the town whore, was carrying his unspoken of child. On the night of the child’s birth, the newborn boy was taken and sacrificed by Mr. Elmsley’s wife. His wife dabbled in the black arts and killed the child claiming it was a curse on their family. Mr. Elmsley was devastated and lost his mind. One evening while his wife was away Mr. Elmsley murdered his daughters in their sleep and carved out their eyes. He then turned the knife on himself and slit his throat. When his wife returned the townspeople had gotten word of what happened and unanimously believed she was the culprit of the murders. In return, they hanged Mr. Elmsley’s wife. No one wanted anything to do with the land or the large house where the tragedy had taken place so it was given to the local church to be cleansed of its evil. The church turned the large house into an orphanage.
The middle of the night, a few of the young children in the Orphanage have stayed up past their bedtime. They sit in a circle by the window in one of the boy’s dormitories. The children range in ages from five to ten. In the center ABRAM, the oldest boy, is telling them the story about what had happened in the house before it became an Orphanage. Abram has lived in the Orphanage his entire life. He is the oldest boy and likes to think he runs things. He knows nothing about his past.
EMILY AND TALLY are sitting next to him. The two girls have been at the Orphanage for over a year. Tally was one of the first occurrences in the town. Her mother claimed she was possessed by an evil demon. She called for an exorcism, that went against the beliefs of the town, so she sought help from the Christian church. After the exorcism, she was not convinced the demon was out so she abandoned the two girls at the orphanage. Tally has no recollection of the incident. Emily witnessed part of the incident and has never been able to look at her sister the same way. She has no one else, but she still has fear that the demon might return to her sister.
Over by the window on top of wooden chest, sit the triplets Eleanor, Sam, and Sofia. Their mother was one of the first hung for witch craft by the townspeople. They caught her in the middle of a ritual offering up the girls to evil, so they could posses magical powers. The ritual was stopped in time, but the other orphans remain weary of the three red headed girls. It doesn’t help that Sofia only speaks to her sisters and that they seem to possess a sixth sense.
Abram's roommates JOSEPH AND JACK sit across from him.
JACK was raised by his single father. His father was a blacksmith and when the accusations started, was assigned the task of building devices of torture and punishment. He was murdered by a a witch leaving Jack an orphan.
JOSEPH was raised by his aunt and uncle. He was born during his parent's journey across the seas where they both caught the disease that plagued their ship and died. His aunt and uncle were making the journey with them and they took in the orphan child. The boy seemed normal, but had a twitch for torturing animals. He was warned but when he started moving on to the larger animals his aunt and uncle could not take it anymore and he was brought to the orphanage.
The children are startled by a pounding at the front door. A young boy is being dropped off by what seems to be his mother. The door opens, the woman exchanges a few words with the nun and she takes the boy in. The children watch from the window as the woman runs into the darkness.
Sister Francis is escorting GREGORY through the orphanage. She hears laughter coming from one of the dormitories. She burst in on the children and scolds lightly. The children catch a close glimpse at the new comer. She gathers the girls and walks them to their room and puts them to bed.
She takes Gregory to a single room at the end of the hall. She gives him a change of clothes and closes the door behind her.
FATHER VALLIN is sitting in his chambers having a late night meeting with a few of the local Amish settlements elders. They discuss the trouble that is happening in the town. They tell Father Vallin that two more people were hanged and that more children will be arriving in the morning. Father Vallin escorts them out of the house and returns to his quarters.
Strange noises are heard through out the large house, lanterns flicker on and off.
Father Vallin removes his robes and begins his rosary. Suddenly he is flung onto his bed, he begins to convulse, and his soul is drained from his body, leaving behind a dry carcass and hollowed out eyes.
In the girls room, Emily the youngest girl, suddenly awakens. She has to pee. She goes over to the copper pot, it’s full. She remembers Sister Francis telling them that when it became filled, it had to be dumped. She tries to wake her older sister Tally but is unsuccessful. She goes out into the house and down to the kitchen to dump the pot, trying very carefully not to spill any urine along the way. The lanterns begin to flicker around her but the young girl remains unfazed. She makes it down to the kitchen and dumps out the pot. She hears a strange sound coming from one of the pantries and she looks in. She is suddenly sucked in and the door slams shut behind her.
In the girl’s dormitory, her sister Tally suddenly awakens in her bed. She looks over and sees her sister is missing. She goes out into the hall and starts calling out for her. She stops by the boy’s room and opens the door. Abram is sitting up on his bed starring back at her. She asks him to come with her and help her find her sister. Abram's two roommates JACK and JOSEPH wake up and the four of them head out to look for Emily.
They make it down the stairs and are stopped by Sister Francis. She grabs Tally and Abram by the ear and starts escorting them back to bed. She is startled by the TRIPLETS, SAM, ELEANOR, and SOFIA standing at the top of the steps. She is about to start scolding but is interrupted by strange noises coming from the priest chambers. She releases the children and heads in the direction of the noise with the children following closely.
They reach the chambers and enter. Sister Francis and Tally walk in to Father Vallin's room. Tally sees the dead body on the bed and takes off running. Sister Francis takes off after her and the other children follow.
Tally runs out into the courtyard and into the Chapel. They all reach the Chapel and the doors close behind them. Sister Francis says a prayer to calm herself down and begins lighting the candles in the church. She instructs Tally to watch over the children and she will go in and wake the others. Sister Francis goes back into the orphanage, the main doors are locked and she is forced to reenter through the kitchen.
In his room Gregory is sitting up on his bed starring at the door. The door opens, he gets out of bed, and heads down the hall.
In the chapel, the children are growing inpatient. Abram starts to speculate about the new boy and thinks he is to blame for the happenings. Tally is worried about her sister and decides to go back in the house. The triplets refuse to go back in and stay behind.
Abram, Jack, Tally, and Joseph exit the chapel, the main doors swing open and the children reenter the orphanage. Tally immediately starts to head upstairs and the boys follow. She returns to their dormitory and finds nothing. She opens the door to one of the other rooms and sees the other orphans all lie in their beds. Their eyes are all hallowed out and their souls sucked out. The children shut the door in terror. Suddenly the candles on the wall light up. A large shadow from the stairs at the end of the hallway appears on the wall. The children run into one of the dormitories and shut the door.
The children hide behind the door inside the boy’s room listening for noises and shadows from the cracks in the door. Joseph turns around. The boys are sitting up in their beds. They are all dead with their eyes hollowed out. The other children notice and run out of the room. The door slams shut before Joseph can get out. He starts to cry and bang on the door. Abram, Jack, and Tally try to open the door, all the while looking down the hallway for the shadow. The dead boys simultaneously start to get out of bed.
Dead animal carcasses are scattered about the room. Blood drips, guts are spilling out of pigs, chickens, dogs, and different birds.
Joseph screams, falls to the floor, and covers his eyes with his hands. He removes his hands and opens his eyes. The dead boys are all standing over him. The other children hear a loud cry inside the room. Then silence. The door automatically opens. The children walk into the room and find the boys dead lying in their beds and Joseph dead on the floor. The children run out of the room in terror.
The triplets are huddled together in the chapel staring at the door hoping that someone will return. Hanging on the wall of the altar behind them is a large crucifix and along the sides the twelve stations of the cross. Blood starts to poor from the cuts on Jesus, both on the stations and the crucifix. The blood trickles down the white walls of the chapel and seems to gravitate towards the triplets. The three girls scream and run towards the door at the back. Sofia trips and falls to the ground. The door automatically locks shut just as the two other girls reach them. They start banging on the door trying to get out. The chapel starts to shake. Injured, Sofia tries to yell to her sisters for help but her voice is suddenly gone. Sam turns around and sees Sofia grabbing her throat trying to speak. She starts coughing blood. Eleanor runs over to Sofia and tries to help her. Sam is pounding at the door trying to force it open. Eleanor starts to yell to Sam for help. (audio drops) Blood begins to poor from Sam's ears. She can see Eleanor yelling at her but can’t hear anything, she begins to sob. The building begins to shake harder. (The audio comes back ferociously). Eleanor screams. (The visuals flicker in and out). Eleanor’s eyes begin to bleed and the chapel’s windows suddenly blow out, simultaneously. (The screen goes black for a few seconds).
Abram, Jack, and Tally are running down the hall trying to escape the horror. They turn the corner and see the nun lying dead on the floor with Gregory standing over her. They stare back at one another. The noises start up from behind Gregory and he takes off running in the direction of the children. The children are frightened by him and start running away.
They enter the kitchen and hide inside one of the pantries. They lock door. Gregory bangs on the door in a panic. Strange noises become present in the kitchen. Gregory runs out of the kitchen. The noises cease. Abram, Jack, and Tally stand in silence hoping for safety.
Gregory runs out of the orphanage and into the courtyard. The noises suddenly stop. Gregory sees the chapel’s door ajar with light coming from inside. Broken glass surrounds the chapel. He approaches the door. The dead triplets are standing shoulder to shoulder at the altar steps. Their eyes are hollowed out. They begin to walk in unison towards Gregory. He starts to back up and slips on the blood on the ground. He gets up and runs out of the chapel and back into the Orphanage. He reaches the front door, the noises are close behind. He tries to force the door, the noise is fast approaching. He sees no other option and heads up the stairs. He goes up to the third floor and tries to seek refuge in one of the classrooms. All of the doors are locked. He reaches the end of the hall and the door leading up the attic opens. He quickly enters and shuts the door behind him.
The three children are still in one of the kitchen pantries. Abram wants to go after Gregory. Jack and Tally don’t want to go near him. Tally wants to find her missing sister. Abram assures her that everyone is probably dead. Tally breaks down crying at the thought of her sister dead. They all agree that they are going to leave and take their chances in the forest that encircles the orphanage. They cautiously exit the pantry out into the kitchen.
Abram, Jack, and Tally cautiously walk through the kitchen. Tally hears a voice calling out to her. She stops while the boys proceed. It is her sister’s voice. The sounds start coming from behind them and the boys take off running leaving Tally behind. She follows the voice, in a trance, she walks towards the pantries, she reaches the one at the end and the door opens. Emily is lying dead on the floor facing the wall. The sounds start up again in the kitchen. Tally puts her sister down and steps out calling for Abram or Jack. She is suddenly pulled back into the pantry and falls to the floor. She slowly opens her eyes, Emily is standing over her with her eyes hollowed out. Before she has a chance to react, she starts convulsing. Her body is stood up and slammed up against the walls. The body is dragged on the side of the walls and the ceiling. Tally's face starts to become possessed, her soul is sucked out and she falls to the ground, the door slams shut.
Abram and Jack reach the front door of the orphanage. They turn around and notice Tally is missing. They turn back around and the dead triplets stand directly in front of them. They jump and run up the stairs. Standing up against the walls are all of the dead orphans with their eyes hollowed out. The boys run as quickly as they can through the hall, passing by all the children. The lanterns on the walls above the dead kids begin to flicker on and off. When the lanterns are out, the dead people’s eyes glow in the dark. The boys continue down the hall and up the stairs into the attic.
Abram and Jack try to lock the door but it will not latch. They back away from the door and stare at the door awaiting the dead children. Gregory, still hiding behind some chairs, tries to quietly move so they do not see him. He inadvertently knocks over a chair. Abram and Jack are startled and see Gregory. Abram becomes enraged and grabs a piece of wood on the floor. He moves towards Gregory with intent to kill. Jack, unsure what to do, grabs a piece of wood, and follows Abram. Gregory tries to get away from Abram but becomes trapped in the corner of the room by a window. He unlatches the window and begins to climb out of it. Abram strikes Gregory and he falls out of the window, to his death. Abram stares out the window. He is possessed with anger. Jack walks over to Abram. Abram hears the floor creek. He suddenly turns around and strikes Jack over the head with the piece of wood. Jack falls to the ground and becomes motionless. Abram looks down at Jack’s body. He shows no remorse. As he looks up he notices that all of the dead children are in the room. Their eyes glow through the darkness. They begin to slowly move towards Abram.
Dawn, the storm has passed and the sun shines onto the orphanage. Three horse carriages are in front of the building. A small group of children wait outside. Inside the orphanage, a group of local Amish people look around. They look everywhere but they cannot find anyone. The place looks deserted. The carriage driver runs outside and yells to the others that he has found someone. One of the men walks out of the orphanage carrying a child in his arms. It is Tally. They carry her into one of the carriages. They put all the other children back in the carriages and head off. The aerial view of the orphanage reveals a large freshly dug up grave in the back. The carriages head away from the building and out into the woods.
Created: Mar 26, 2010Document Media