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“The Commencement”. (Quarterfinalist, Emerging Screenwriters - Genre Screenplay Competition 2022, 2021 Capital Fund Screenplay Competition Hot 100 Winner). This is a very spooky story that is inspired by an experimental ceremony that a few of my friends and I performed one summer while working at our High School. It is guaranteed to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, if it makes it to the silver screen, all will scream. The moviegoers will scream in terror and the producers will scream with joy all the way to the bank.
Logline: Teenagers performing a seamlessly harmless ceremony, release an evil spirit that goes on a terrifying murder spree.
Synopsis: Teenagers, Madison, Becky, Desmond, and Lance are convinced by fellow teenage Dorothy to perform a seamlessly harmless ceremony. Dorothy is a novice in the supernatural arts and doesn’t realize the ceremony could open the door to spirits.
The teenagers perform the ceremony and Becky is inhabited by a spirit, with a distorted face that frightens her. Meanwhile, Desmond’s father is murdered that very night by a shadow spirit with red eyes.
After learning of Becky’s problem Dorothy convinces her mother, Madam Rose to perform a séance to get rid of the spirit that has inhabited Becky. Madam Rose insist that all the teenagers that were present during the commencement ceremony be present for the séance. Unfortunately, Desmond and Madison are not able to attend, due to the two of them off to identify the body of Desmond’s father, whose face was now distorted, just like that of the spirit that inhabited Becky.
During the séance, it is revealed the spirit was a girl, named Ruth Green that was a teenager that had died 20 years earlier. Ruth Green is a frightened spirit, whose only intentions were to warn of a second spirit that had followed her. The witnessing of Madam Rose channeling Ruth’s spirit is too much for Becky and Lance forcing them to break a hand link formed. This results in an abrupt ending of the séance, also making it unclear whether or not Becky is now free of Ruth’s spirit.
It is learned that the death of Ruth Green is the town’s dirty little secret. Ruth Green had an undetected heart condition and dies after being terrorized by someone. Madison has reason to believe that her father and Desmond’s father were somehow involved. She later finds out that this is not the case. Her death in fact, was the result of an attack by her own father, Justin Green, a pedophile.
It turns out that the other spirit Ruth Green has warned of was Justin Green. He is the dark shadow spirit with red eyes and he goes on a murderous spree. Justin Green has inhabited Madison’s body and leaves her body when she is asleep to complete his vengeful deeds. His attacks are targeted, he seeks revenge for those responsible for his death and revealing him for the monster he was.
Madam Rose devises a plan to destroy Justin Green and to keep him from reentering Madison’s body. The plan involves keeping Madison safe in a barrier that Justin Green can’t penetrate, while Madison’s father(Principal Weldon) and grandfather(Sheriff Hines) burn Justin Green’s remains. The plan goes awry, Justin Green is able to reenter Madison’s body, and Principal Weldon and Sheriff Hines are interrupted in their tasks by an overzealous deputy that suspects Sheriff Hines is hiding information to protect Justin Green, who he believes to be still alive.
The story comes to a climactic ending, with Justin Green being expelled from Madison’s body and his remains destroyed but only with an assist from the spirit of Ruth Green that is now finally free of Justin Green.