Genre: Supernatural thriller
Logline: Inspired by the horrors of Poe and the films of Nolan and Shyamalan, VOICES is a supernatural thriller, which asks the question... What if the little voice inside your head belongs to someone else?
Synopsis: WILSON USHER (10) hasn’t spoken since the tragic car accident that took his older brother RAYMOND’s life. Wilson always wears a puppet on his right hand, and sketches elaborate drawings with his eyes closed. He plays Mozart without ever seeing the music. And for the last few days, he has not been himself.
DR. GABE BRANSBY has been tormented by guilt since he was unable to save Raymond from drowning at the accident. He’s unconventional, and anxious to help this family. Wilson’s mother, AGNES, reluctantly agrees, even though Bransby couldn’t help Wilson before. Wilson takes Bransby’s knife, dips it into a jar of honey. On his own chest, Wilson writes in honey, DIE RUNT. Wilson, frightened by Bransby, escapes to the shed on their property. Bransby finds him and brings him back, locking the shed door behind him. Wilson’s shirt is inside out and the puppet is now on his left hand. A scream pierces the night. Wilson hears a whisper. “I know you can hear me…”
Bransby becomes suspicious of the unusual bruises on Wilson’s body. Abuse? Self-inflicted? Wilson’s sister, MADELINE (17), is convinced he is possessed. Wilson tries to drown out the whispers, but amidst a cacophony, he still hears “You will never escape me...” Bransby uses menacing mousetraps, helium voices, and tantalizing tongue-twisters, but nothing can get Wilson to speak. He finds Wilson staring at lights, eyes propped open with lid specula. All the while, Bransby faces his own demons, and the threat of losing his wife as well as his medical license.
A late night séance. A voice from the dead whispers, “I am your brother. I’m still alive.” Could Raymond still be alive? Did he not actually perish in the accident? Madeline insists they dig up the grave. They find a body. Raymond is dead. A distraught Agnes blames Bransby, asks him to leave.
Wilson’s behavior becomes more erratic, more violent. He is thirsty and hungry and so so cold. His temperature is dropping. He is inexplicably becoming hypothermic. Bransby discovers a clue embedded in Wilson’s deteriorating piano playing. The notes spell out a message... GABE BEDFERD DEAD DEAD DEAD. And there is the drawing of a mysterious house...
Bransby is led to a strange house in neighboring town of Bedford. The strange couple there has an adopted son named WILLIAM, who apparently had a biological twin brother. Could William be Wilson’s twin brother? William has been missing for a week now. Could the voice Wilson’s been hearing actually be William… have the two boys been communicating nonverbally? Bransby fears William is in trouble, and if they cannot find him, Wilson’s fate may be tied to William’s.
Bransby kidnaps a cold, dying Wilson from the hospital, who leads him down into the basement of the Bedford house. Is William being held captive by his abusive father? The basement is empty...
Wilson leads Bransby back to the shed... they find a child’s dead body, DIE RUNT written in honey on his chest. THE DEAD CHILD IS ACTUALLY WILSON.
Bransby uses the drawings to piece things together... Wilson and William, identical twins separated at birth, had recently found each other. They see through each other’s eyes (the drawings), they hear each other’s thoughts (the whispers). They had switched places early in our story, and the real Wilson has been trapped in the shed since. WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING WILLIAM THE WHOLE TIME.
Bransby and William bury the body. They decide that William must go on living as Wilson. He takes a now-speaking "Wilson" back to the grateful Usher family. The family is whole again and Bransby, in a twisted way, has found his own redemption.
Arun Lakra is a Calgary-based writer. He is a screenwriter, playwright, songwriter, and doctor. He wakes up every morning hoping that his ridiculous passion for writing will have magically disappeared, allowing him to devote precious energy to his neglected family, his career as an eye surgeon, his embarrassing golf game, and his quest for long-lost sanity.
ARUN LAKRA, writer
Or contact Praxis