The Family Man
an original screenplay by Matthew Bissonnette and John Windsor
Ext. A forest Path Morning
A forest in late autumn. A wind blows through the forest, blowing leafs of the tree's which fall slowly towards the ground. The floor of the forest is covered with decaying leafs. A dirt path cuts through the forest and a man dressed in hunting attire, elderly Edger Price, walks down the path holding a rifle. A small dog follows him. Edger stops, turns and looks at his dog.
Haven't you found a scent of a deer yet? Some hunting dog you are.
The dog sits down and wags his tail. Edger then looks around the forest.
Hunting has been lousy this year any ways.
Edger then see's something metallic and shiny partially covered by leafs on the floor of the forest near the trail. He walks over and looks down. It is a expensive gold watch.
Seems this is my lucky day.
Edger goes to pick it up, but when he does it pulls up a skeletal arms now protruding up through the leafs.
Ext. Over forest Seconds later
A view of the forest passing underneath. Edger is screaming.
Ext. Dover morning
The town of Dover in the distance. Dover is a large town surrounded by forests and secluded valleys.
Ext. Dover Seconds later
Several different scenes of the streets of Dover. Shops and businesses line main street, a large church is near the center of town. There is also a park near a river. It is a early weekday morning and the streets are mostly empty. Near one end of town is a street of large homes, at the end of the street is the home of the Hudson family, a white house with a large front yard.
Int. Bedroom of the Hudson Home Seconds later
A large bedroom furnished with expensive furniture, a oak dresser and large bed over which hangs a silk canopy. A attractive woman in here mid thirties, Vanessa Hudson, lays asleep in the bed wearing a white silk nightgown. A man also in his mid thirties, Arthur Hudson, stands in front of a mirror. He is a muscular man with an emotionless expression on his face, he is wearing dress pants, a white shirt, and looks into the mirror as he adjusts his tie. As he does this his wife slowly awakes from her slumber and sits up in bed. She looks at Arthur and smiles.
Arthur, come back to bed. This is my week off.
Arthur continues to look in the mirror and adjust his tie.
I'll be late for work.
Vanessa softly laughs.
You are the editor for the town paper. You can be late for work.
I've worked there for fifteen years and never have been late. I'm not going to start now Vanessa.
Vanessa falls back into bed.
That is what I get for marrying such a serious man.
Arthur finishes adjusting his tie and walks over to the bed, leans over his wife, and kisses her on the head.
Dear, the kids will be awake soon. You have to get them ready for school.
Can't you do it.
You know our kids hate my cooking. Now get up.
OK. I'm getting up.
Arthur then goes to walk out of the room but says something before he leaves.
I'll see you downstairs.
Int. Kitchen of the Hudson Home Later
A large kitchen with marble counter tops, a large dinner table as well as expensive appliances. Arthur sits at the kitchen table reading a paper, a steaming cup of coffee on the table in front of him. His ten year old son, Ben Hudson, sits at the other end of the table, wearing his school clothes. Vanessa stands over the stove cooking breakfast. Ben looks impatiently at his mother.
Mom, I'm hungry.
Vanessa turns and looks at her son and smiles.
Honey, breakfast is almost ready.
She turns back to the stove. Arthur then folds his paper and places it on the table and looks at Ben.
So, are you ready for soccer try outs today Ben.
I'm going to score more goals then anyone else.
Just try your best.
Then his teenage daughter, Conny Hudson, walks into the room. She is dressed entirely in black; a dark dresses as well as stockings and boots, she has dark hair with blond roots. She is has on earphones and sits at the table, her music is loud. Arthur looks at her.
She does not hear him so he raises his voice.
She looks at him and takes off her earphones.
I've told you not to listen to your music at your table.
OK, OK, I forgot.
Conny, when are you going to grow out of this goth phase of yours.
It is not a phase, I dress like a feel inside.
You look like a witch.
Conny scowls at Ben.
Shut up you little spazz!
Arthur looks at his children.
Would you both try to treat each other like brother and sister.
He started it.
Can we just have a nice, peaceful breakfast as a family.
Arthur, it is lame how old fashioned you are.
I might be lame but I'm your father. And call me either dad or your father.
Vanessa continues to cook and looks out a window behind the stove, which overlooks the front yard and the street beyond. Through the window she see's a balding, over weight, sweaty man, Jeremy, wearing jogging clothes standing at the edge of the street and looking at the house.
Arthur, come here.
Arthur gets up and walks over to his wife, once his back is to his kids Conny sticks out her tongue at Ben. Arthur puts his hand on his wife's shoulder.
What is it?
There is a creepy guy looking at the house.
Arthur looks through the window and see's him, Arthur frowns. Conny then looks at her parents.
Is he fat and bald?
He was there last night. He was watching me get dressed for bed through my window.
Arthur upon hearing this scowls at the man and grits his teeth.
I'm going to talk to him.
Be careful, he looks dangerous.
Arthur leaves the kitchen.
Ext. Outside the Hudson Home seconds later
Jeremy stands at the edge of the front yard of the Hudson home and looks at the house. But when Arthur emerges from the front door Jeremy begins to walk away. Arthur catches up to him, Jeremy stops, spins around and faces him.
I was not doing nothing man.
I'm going to give you a warning. Never come near this house again.
Or you'll call the cops. I'm not doing anything illegal, I'm aloud to stand on the street.
I find you looking at either my wife or my daughter again, I am going to kill you.
I'm not joking, you picked the wrong house. Come near here again and I'll kill you slowly.
Jeremy stops laughing and begins to walk away.
INT. KITCHEN OF THE HUDSON HOME seconds Later
Arthur's family sits at the kitchen table without him, there breakfast in front of them. They all look at Arthur when he walks into the room and sits at the table.
Let's try to enjoy breakfast.
Vanessa looks at her husband.
What did you say to him?
I just appealed to his better nature not to come around again. Now let's eat.
They begin to eat in silence.
Ext. A major city morning
A large city looms in the distance. On the outskirts of the city is a large home in front of a railway.
Int. Interior of house seconds later
Moving through the house. In the hallway a dead old man lies on the floor, a pool of blood around him. As we look down at him there is a quick flash of him being hit by an ax. In a living room a younger man lies upon a couch, also is dead and the couch is stained with blood. There is a flash of him sitting on a couch as an ax falls upon his head. Moving up the stairs, we come to a bedroom. A woman lays in the bed, dead and the sheets are covered with blood. There is a flash of her sitting up in bed and looking scared, then there is a glimpse of an ax being swung.
Int. Kitchen of house Seconds later
Sitting at the kitchen table is a huge disheveled man, he has a dirty beard and long greasy hair. He wears and trench coat which is covered with blood. He, The Railway Ripper, sits while he eats a bowl of cereal. A red fire ax with blood on the blade is laid across the table. He continues to eat in silence. He stops eating when he hears the whistle of a train in the distance.
Ext. Behind house Seconds later
A slowing moving freight train rumbles across the tracks behind the house. The Railway Ripper emerges from the back door of the house and runs towards the train, carrying his ax. Then then jumps up into a empty boxcar and the train carries him away. He looks at the house as he rolls away and a huge grin appears on his face, he then begins to cackle.
EXT. A FOREST PATH MORNING
The forest path later in the morning. Police trucks are parked on the path between the trees, as several members of the Dover police stand around a badly decomposed body partially covered by leafs. Among them are police chief David Holland and deputy Peter Vance. Chief Holland is in his early fifties, is burly and has gray hair. He is looking down at the body and shaking his head. Deputy Vance looks at him.
We'll have to identify him from dental records. There is nothing left chief.
I know who it is. It's Fred Walsh.
You mean the guy who used to run the bank?
Yeah. I can tell by the watch, he had it on every time I saw him. Fred vanished about six months ago and I would say that is approximately how long this body has been decaying.
Well, I guess he is not a missing person anymore. I can't see who would have killed him. What do you think happened to him Holland?
Some one killed him and dumped the body. You know, Fred was the fourth person who has vanished in Dover in the past fifteen years. But this is the first body to be found.
So we have a murderer in the area?
Yeah. And have to find the culprit before he strikes again. Let's go.
Chief Holland and Deputy Vance walk towards their vehicle.
Ext. Outside the Dover News noon
A red brick buildings along main street of Dover. A sign hangs over the door which says "Dover News".
Int. Office of Arthur Hudson seconds later
Arthur sits behind a a desk in his small office. There are many pictures of his family on the walls as well as a photograph of Vanessa in a wedding dress in a gold frame on his desk. He looks at some papers on his desk when the door opens. Arthur looks up.
The door opens and reporter Alice Jones, a young woman in jeans and t-shirt, walks into the office.
What is it Alice?
Boss, I think I got a story and its big.
Arthur leans back in his chair.
My friend Betty works as at the police station. She just told me a body has been found on the trails through the woods south of town.
Arthur seems expressionless.
Know anything else?
No, but I want you to put me on the story.
Arthur shakes his head.
Alice, this might be a big story. I would like to give this to a more experienced reporter.
Alice walks towards the desk and puts her hands down on it.
Give me this chance boss, I won't let you down.
Arthur seems to contemplate for a moment.
OK, you got it. But I want to be constantly updated on anything you find.
Alice then leaves the office and Arthur is alone. He then frowns and looks at the picture of his wife on the desk.
Ext. Outside the Hudson Home night
The Hudson home during the night, the sky is clear and full of stars.
INT. BEDROOM OF THE HUDSON HOME SECONDS LATER
Arthur and Vanessa sit in bed, Arthur in pajamas and Vanessa in her silk nightgown. Arthur is reading a book when Vanessa rests her head on his shoulder.
Penny for your thoughts Arthur. You've be quiet all all day.
I'm just preoccupied with work.
You know, we've been married for almost fifteen years and I think I can count on my fingers how many times I've seen you smile.
I guess I don't wear my heart on my sleeve.
Arthur then kisses her.
But I do love you Vanessa. You and the kids are the only things in this world I care about. My life was not worth living until I met you.
I've known you so long, but I you have only spoke about your childhood a couple of times.
Nothing worth troubling you with.
Some time I think you have some secrets that you a keeping from me.
Arthur puts his book down on the nightstand and lies down in bed.
Let's just some sleep.
She lies down too and he turns the lamp on the nightstand off.
Int. Conny's room Seconds Later
Conny's room. The walls are plastered with posters of Goth rock bands, her bed is covered with black sheets and dirty clothes are strewn about the floor. Conny is standing and starting to take off her black clothes and get ready for bed, she stands by a window.
Ext. outside the Hudson Home Seconds later
Jeremy stands at the edge of the front yard and looks up at Conny's window. He watches as she undresses then begins to rub the front of his pants.
Int. conny's room seconds later
Conny turns and looks out the window and see's Jeremy. She stops undressing and seems disgusted. She yells.
Several moments path when Arthur runs into the room followed my Vanessa and the looks concerned.
What is it Conny?
That pervert is looking at me.
She points to the window and Arthur goes to it. He looks down and sees Jeremy.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE HUDSON HOME moments later
Jeremy stops rubbing his pants when he sees Arthur looking out the window and begins to walk away.
INT. BEDROOM OF THE HUDSON HOME SECONDS LATER
Arthur walks into his bedroom and begins to get changed into is day clothes. Vanessa walks into the room and she looks at her husband.
What are you doing?
I'm going to try and find that guy.
Ext. a street of Dover later
A street with homes on either side. Jeremy walks down the sidewalk as a van appears behind him.
Int. Van seconds later
Arthur is driving the van and is looking a Jeremy. Jeremy's back is to him and does not notice. Arthur parks on the side of the street and gets out.
Ext. A street of Dover seconds later
Jeremy continues to walk and does not notice as Arthur stealthily sneaks up behind him. Then Arthur puts his arm around Jeremy's neck and begins to squeeze as Jeremy struggles. Jeremy mutters.
I warned you.
Jeremy passes out and Arthur lets him fall to the ground. Arthur looks around to see if anyone is looking then begins to drag Jeremy towards the van.
Ext. The Hudson Farm later
A secluded farm outside Dover as a crescent moon hangs in the sky over it. There is a rundown cabin behind which is a large wooden shed. Arthur's van parked next to the shed.
Int. The shed seconds later
Inside the shed is a room with a dirt floor. Jeremy, still unconscious, is tied to a chair. Behind him is Arthur, who stands over and work bench and is sharpening a jagged hunting knife. Jeremy then wakes up, looks around, and begins to struggle.
What the fuck!
Arthur says nothing as he continues to sharpen the knife. Jeremy seems afraid.
What is going on, where am I.
Arthur stops sharpening then knife and looks at Jeremy.
The place where you are going to die.
Jeremy begins to struggle.
Who are you!
Arthur, still holding the knife, walks around the chair and looks at Jeremy. Jeremy's eyes lock on the knife and he begins to shake his head.
You, you are that guy from this morning!
I promised you that I would kill you if I caught you near my house again, and I am a man of my word. You picked the wrong family to mess with.
Jeremy begins to to shake.
You can't do this.
I don't want to, but you did not leave me a choice.
I'm sick, OK, I can't stop myself it. Take me into the police. I'm not a monster, I need help.
You might not be a monster, but I am.
Arthur slowly walks towards Jeremy, knife in hand.
EXT. THE shed seconds LATER
The shed is in the distance as Jeremy's screams fill the night.
INT. BEDROOM OF THE HUDSON HOME LATER
Vanessa sits in bed and looks at the clock on the nightstand, it is nearly three in the morning. She seems worried when the door opens and Arthur walks in. She gets out of bed, runs to him and throws her arms around him.
Arthur, I was so worried. What happened?
I drove around but could not find him. You know how I am, I was upset and went to my family's farm to blow off some steam.
Vanessa stops holding him and looks into his eyes.
Are you telling me the truth?
Yes. Let's go to bed, its late.
They get into bed and lie down. He turns off the lamp. Vanessa turns her head and looks at him.
Why do you go to that farm when you are upset? The few times you talk about it, you say it only has bad memories for you.
I don't know why. Let's just get some sleep.
Arthur rolls over looking away from her and closes his eyes. Vanessa looks at him for a moment then goes to sleep.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE HUDSON HOME Morning
It is morning as wind blows leafs across the front yard of the Hudson home.
Int. inside bathroom seconds
Arthur and Ben are in a large bathroom. Ben sits on the top of the toilet seat as Arthur shaves while looking in the bathroom mirror. Ben seems happy.
Coach says that I the best player he has seen this year.
I'm proud of you Ben. I you ready for your first game this afternoon?
Yes, I'm going to make sure my team wins.
Well, me and your mother are going to be in the crowd watching.
Will Conny be there?
I doubt it. She is probably going to spend this weekend with that boyfriend of hers.
You don't like him do Dad?
I just want what's best for you and her Ben. I know sometimes I push you two to succeed a little to hard, but that is because I care about you two.
Vanessa's voice calls from somewhere else in the house.
Ben gets up and leaves the bathroom and Arthur continues to shave.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE HUDSON HOME later
It is later in the day. Arthur is in the front yard raking leafs when a motorcycle comes to a stop in front of the house. Sitting on it is Kenny Banner, a teenager dressed in black, he has spiked hair and is not wearing a helmet. Arthur stops raking and looks at him. Kenny turns to face him and nods.
Mr. Hudson, is Conny home?
Arthur looks down and continues to rake.
I think so Kenny. Where are you two going today?
We are going to the arena to go ice skating.
Conny then emerges from the house and runs towards the bike and walks past Arthur and gets on the bike. Arthur then raises his head and talks loudly.
She looks at him and sighs.
What is it Arthur?
You are not going anywhere without your helmet.
But it looks so stupid.
You know the deal you made with me and your mother. You can ride on Kenny's bike only if you wear the helmet we bought you. Now go inside and get it.
Conny reluctantly gets off the bike and runs inside the house. Kenny then puts the bike on the kickstand and gets off while he waits for Conny.
So Kenny, where are your skates?
You said you where going skating, I don't see your skates?
Oh, we will rent some when we get there.
OK, well, you should really wear a helmet.
In case I crash and crack my head open?
Arthur looks down and mutters something under his breath.
If only I were that lucky.
What was that Mr. Hudson?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure Kenny.
Conny emerges from the house and runs to the bike. She and Kenny both get on and drive away as Arthur watches them leave.
I really don't like that boy.
Arthur then rakes for awhile when Vanessa and Ben emerge from the house. Ben is dressed in his soccer uniform.
Arthur, Ben's game is in an half and hour.
He puts down the rake and they all walk towards the van parked in the driveway.