“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”H. P. Lovecraft
A Bizarre Lynchian Brain-Grinder.
Part sci-fi mystery, part found-footage horror, High Strangeness is a film about how all hell breaks loose in the small town of Blackwood when three boys dig up an alien “thing” in their basement.
What Is It?
|GENRE||Science Fiction / Horror|
|LOGLINE||When three young boys dig up an alien object in their basement, all hell breaks loose for the Sheriff and citizens of the small town of Blackwood. A bizarre Lynchian sci-fi brain-grinder.|
|RATING||PG-13 (projected). For violence and adult language.|
|EST. LENGTH||90 minutes|
|EST. BUDGET||100k – 1m|
What’s It About?
Nothing ever happens in the sleepy town of Blackwood, USA.
Until one day it is at the very center of the known universe, and the unknown universe.
It all starts one day when a sedan pulls up outside a sidewalk and waits two hours until seventeen-year-old FORD WHISTLER passes by with his girlfriend on their way home from school. The three men inside the car confront Ford and demand he show them his belly-button, as if their lives depend on it. When Ford starts to call his father, the Sheriff of Blackwood, the men retreat.
A year later, three young brothers at a farm outside Blackwood are digging a hole in their basement to bury a time-capsule and they dig up a skull. Not quite human. Not quite inhuman.
And a heavy metallic object. A very curious thing that they take to their chemistry teacher. He analyzes it and at school the following day, three agents of a shadowy government bureau drag the teacher off for questioning.
The teacher explains under interrogation that the object was made of an unknown element that does not exist in this universe–that it is in fact a physical impossibility. The man further states that he has never believed in absolute evil until he held that object in his hands. The agents–and who are they, exactly?–demand to know where the object is.
In fact the object is at that moment with the three brothers. They are surprised to find that the thing has cracked open, like a foul-smelling egg, and that inside it is a small unknown alien “thing.” It appears to change form a hundred times a second. At that moment, the sky outside the farm lights up with green lightning and the security cameras capture something unspeakable approaching…
That night, Ford is shooting a documentary for class–“A Day in the Life of a Rural Sheriff”–starring his father, SAM WHISTLER, a no-nonsense kind of cop. Ford is going to follow his father around on patrol, despite his mother’s concern.
That night at the police station, Sam is joined by Irene, a raw recruit, and Ray, a patrol officer.
Ray sets out on patrol and is drawn by flashes of green lightning to the farm where the three boys live. Ray finds the farm-house empty, but someone in the basement is moaning in agony… Ray investigates and discovers a room scattered with a thousand knives, and a strange woman rushing at him with a razor…
And then things get ever stranger as the entity unleashed at the farmhouse generates raw terror in Blackwood.
A gigantic man without a face enters a roadside bar and rips the face off a waitress… then disappears completely in the bathroom.
Followed by Ford’s camera, the Sheriff and Irene and Walter, another cop, arrive at the farmhouse to backup Ray. They find his police cruiser looking as if it had been abandoned years before. Outside the farmhouse, they find Ray’s skin hanging from a laundry line.
Then things get really strange…
A Few Notes
High Strangeness was written for very low budget.
Consequently, the entire film (except for the conclusion) is intended to be photographed using only security cameras, body cams, cell cams, and Ford’s documentary camera, with “realistic” “you are there” production values.
Part horror, part sci-fi mystery, the story is built on a “weird” aesthetic, but our purpose is not weirdness for the weirdness’ sake. At the bottom is Lovecraft’s idea that “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
In the end, all of the “high strangeness” should make some sense, if not in the brain, at least in the gut and heart.
High Strangeness is the point. The strange, the weird, the out of the ordinary, the incomprehensible and mysterious–can be fascinating, beautiful, and terrifying.