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story The Dark Site

Would like some help and advice with a feature screenplay I'm developing. I'm aiming for a low budget gritty thriller/horror and I'm planning to set it in London.

I've got the premise of the story, and I've written an outline, but as I try to add depth to the story, I find myself torn between which way I should play it.

My initial plan was to go quite dark and disturbing, but listening to other members on here, that route seems to limit the potential of the film. My next plan was a more restrained version, but I'm finding it hard to make it as exciting as the thrills I had in mind in my original idea. In particular, the draw/uniqueness of the killer.

The working title of the film is called "The Dark Site". The basic premise is a dysfunctional army vet is subjected to multiple injustices throughout his life and as a result becomes disenfranchised with the Criminal Justice System.

His view is that modern policing is no longer a deterrent, criminal sentencing is weak and society is moving to a place where violent criminals can act with impunity, leaving law abiding citizens with no recourse.

His solution. The Dark Site. A website on the dark web, untouchable by Law enforcement where anyone can nominate those who deserve to die for their sins. A series of blind votes are cast, a censored scoreboard is maintained, showing only the first letter of the name and the points they have. The points are determined using metrics of the severity of their crimes and the number of blind votes cast.

He then works his way through the league table, top to bottom, picking of his victims and subjecting them to torture methods in keeping with the pain they have themselves inflicted on others. As each victim is dealt with, he releases videos of their punishment over social media, explaining each victim's sins and then revealing their name on the scoreboard. In turn, earning himself a cult hero status among the general public for doing what the police can not.

The plot I have so far in essence is a doesn't-play-by-the-book detective vs a calculated insane villain, cat and mouse story.

Looking for other ideas to keep the story exciting, and the villain engaging without going too dark. Any suggestions welcome.
 
I've seen that on television... Where they set up the child predators and expose them.

But where's the fun in that? LOL. I'd rather have a sociopath of some kind decide to try and get his $50K back since he got ripped off. Maybe someone in prison who's about to get out and needs someone taken out so he has a concrete alibi. But the hit doesn't go down because it's just 3 to 5 teenage boys ripping people off. LOL. They're living the life... Maybe driving luxury cars and living the high life. Maybe college boys instead.

I'll keep thinking it through. It has teeth though.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Thanks, few ideas for me to chew on there. One of them though is already similar to part of my story.

Early on in the film, the detective's partner gets suspended after he is accused of deliberately killing someone in custody. The main detective then gets assigned a new female partner. The whole thing is actually a ruse though, a plan devised between the two detectives and sanctioned by their chief. We don't find this out until the 3rd act but the detective has been submitting fake nominations to the site in order to get his former partner up the leaderboard. The plan is to bring the killer to them and then find out where his killing lair is. The reason for this is the police learn he is not killing the victims immediately, many are being kept alive in his lair and made to suffer. They want to find out where he is keeping them rather than arresting him immediately.

Ultimately, it doesn't work. The killer kidnaps the former partner and takes him to his lair. The main Detective has equipped his former partner with a GPS device hidden in a hearing aid. He gets the trace on him and at this point, he lets his new female partner in on the secret. When they get to his lair, they find the former partner alive but the killer has vanished. We then find out at the end that the female partner tipped him offf and the pair have been working together from the start. Without going into details, this reveal also explains several other mysteries from the film about how the killer always seems to be one step ahead of the police.

when they wanted to catch the unabomber they literally followed EVERY SINGLE PERSON that bought the newspaper with his manifesto.
it was a huge thing. you could definitely organize tens of thousands of officers across the country to join the dark website and cast votes.
its an easy thing to influence online ballot when you have a literal army of soldiers at your disposal.

i'm glad one of the ideas is already similar to part of your story - that means the rest probably fit in organically.
tried to put some quality time into coming up with those ideas since youre the only one that has commented on everyone of my screenwriting threads lol. I hope some of it helps. I relaly like how the vet starts of as a guy you root for and then changes to a villain. it means you get to have your story both ways.
 
I've seen that on television... Where they set up the child predators and expose them.

But where's the fun in that? LOL. I'd rather have a sociopath of some kind decide to try and get his $50K back since he got ripped off. Maybe someone in prison who's about to get out and needs someone taken out so he has a concrete alibi. But the hit doesn't go down because it's just 3 to 5 teenage boys ripping people off. LOL. They're living the life... Maybe driving luxury cars and living the high life. Maybe college boys instead.

I'll keep thinking it through. It has teeth though.
I'd definitely watch that. Sounds like it would fit with a teen stoner setup or something like that. They create the site thinking they can make some easy cash, believing nobody can report them to the police given the nature of the site.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I've seen that on television... Where they set up the child predators and expose them.

But where's the fun in that? LOL. I'd rather have a sociopath of some kind decide to try and get his $50K back since he got ripped off. Maybe someone in prison who's about to get out and needs someone taken out so he has a concrete alibi. But the hit doesn't go down because it's just 3 to 5 teenage boys ripping people off. LOL. They're living the life... Maybe driving luxury cars and living the high life. Maybe college boys instead.

I'll keep thinking it through. It has teeth though.

Yeah thats great I'd watch it too. A loved the mix of innocent kids over their heads with gangers in the film Havoc.
 
when they wanted to catch the unabomber they literally followed EVERY SINGLE PERSON that bought the newspaper with his manifesto.
it was a huge thing. you could definitely organize tens of thousands of officers across the country to join the dark website and cast votes.
its an easy thing to influence online ballot when you have a literal army of soldiers at your disposal.

i'm glad one of the ideas is already similar to part of your story - that means the rest probably fit in organically.
tried to put some quality time into coming up with those ideas since youre the only one that has commented on everyone of my screenwriting threads lol. I hope some of it helps. I relaly like how the vet starts of as a guy you root for and then changes to a villain. it means you get to have your story both ways.
Thanks, I appreciate it. Going to spend some time now going over all the suggestions here. It's given me lots of options and ideas to work with.
 
Had no idea there was a real website like this, no. If it's too sensitive to put on the thread, would you mind messaging me some details about it. Just thinking from a research viewpoint, would be good to know the background of it if my idea is similar.

Thanks for your the comments too, very helpful. Lots to think about. I do get your point about the torture, I'm going back and forth on it. Need some time to mull it over and work out what theme I want to go with.

You might want to reread my #19 reply. Apparently, the site was in fact a scam and the guy made off with over a million dollars in bitcoin. LOL.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I've seen that on television... Where they set up the child predators and expose them.

But where's the fun in that? LOL. I'd rather have a sociopath of some kind decide to try and get his $50K back since he got ripped off. Maybe someone in prison who's about to get out and needs someone taken out so he has a concrete alibi. But the hit doesn't go down because it's just 3 to 5 teenage boys ripping people off. LOL. They're living the life... Maybe driving luxury cars and living the high life. Maybe college boys instead.

I'll keep thinking it through. It has teeth though.

this could work in tandem with the idea i had earlier.
the army vet joins the website and starts killing people for real and for free. even though the site was supposed to be a scam.
now you've got an A story and a B story.
 
this could work in tandem with the idea i had earlier.
the army vet joins the website and starts killing people for real and for free. even though the site was supposed to be a scam.
now you've got an A story and a B story.
That could be quite funny actually. The teens are all slapping themselves on the back for conning these people out of hit money and then they see reports on the news that the nominated targets are actually getting killed off for real.
 
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