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Written by

Anthony Pittore & C.J. Greene

818.274.9348
AnthonyPittore@outlook.com

562.639.5080
Chris@CJGreene.com
EXT. BEDBURG - DUSK (ESTABLISHING)

Storm clouds creep toward the half-built walls of the German


village. Endless auburn-orange forests surround the area.

White text scrawls as we soar into town:

A most true discourse,


declaring the damnable life & death
of a most-wicked sorcerer
who committed many murders,
devouring men, women, and children
in the town of Bedburg, Germany.

The text fades to leave only “Bedburg, Germany.” Beneath it:

31 October 1581

EXT. BEDBURG TOWN CENTRE - DUSK

A tall Protestant church marks the middle of town. A high


cross tops the steeple's large round window.

Shoppes and homes sit locked for the night. Flames dance
inside carved gourds for All Hallows’.

A tall CLOAKED FIGURE steps from the shadows, their high collar
over their face. The walking stick CLICKS on the stone street.

EXT. SCHAFER HOME - DUSK

A bronze axe swings high. It CHOPS down to SPLIT a log in


two. It wedges into the stump below.

HILDE JÄGER (early 30s) tugs the axe at the other end. A
healer of curious intellect, she now wears the callouses of
manual labor on her hands.

The dense Bedburg Forest looms on one side. Warm firelight


spills from the windows of a rather stately home on the other.

HILDE
Come now, ya bastard.

The axe finally PRIES free. Hilde leans on it, winded.

Something in the forest catches her eye. A white fabric flits


between trees. It disappears just as quick. Hilde steps
toward the tree line, reluctant to enter.

HILDE
Eva?
2.

Hilde squints through the dark. A loud CREAK behind jolts her.

EVA SCHAFER (mid-30s) appears in the house's doorway. A


bright bulb dimmed by the sorrow of longing. She uses a
frilly cloth to wipe tears away.

EVA
Did you call me?

Hilde turns back toward Eva, inquisitive.

EVA
Thought I heard my name. ‘Twas the
angels, was it?

HILDE
No. No matter.

EVA
Supper’s nearly ready anyway. Boys
are washing up now.

HILDE
(holds up axe)
Have to finish. Night’s nearly
fallen.

Eva looks up at the darkening sky with nervous eyes.

EVA
You should be in well before that
with that wretched beast--

Hilde interrupts Eva with another CHOP of the axe.

HILDE
We must earn our keep somehow. I’m
no layabout, nor is Ansel.

EVA
(chuckles)
I would assume, should our
situations be reversed, you
wouldn’t force your sister to cut
firewood to “earn our keep.”

HILDE
Course not. Those broomstick arms
couldn’t lift an axe let alone
swing.

EVA
I seem to remember always winning
our fights.
3.

HILDE
Only when you bit like a she-wolf.

Hilde puts some extra oomph in the next SWING to show off.

EVA
Yes, yes. Whatever you say, big
sister. Just wash your filthy hands
before you come inside.

Eva peers once more at the dusk sky with nervous eyes.

Hilde looks back toward the forest. No sign of movement. She


CHOPS the axe down again into the stump.

INT. SCHAFER HOME - NIGHT

Plants and herbs adorn almost every surface as if the forest


crept in. Crosses adorn the walls, mostly obscured by foliage.

Hilde bumps open the front door, cumbered by firewood. She drops
them on the pile by the stove on her way toward the powder room.

Eva clears the dinner table in a mood.

EVA
Stew’s gone cold.

HILDE
Had to finish.

EVA
You heard them at the town meeting.
What that thing can--

HILDE
Not now, Eva. I have to wash up.

EVA
Hilde!

HILDE
Look, sister. I made it back alive.
People are so impressionable they can
die of mere imagination. Now may I
bid my son and nephew goodnight?

Eva shrugs, pouty. Hilde heads to the bedroom.

EVA
(hesitant)
Hilde...?
4.

Hilde stops but refuses to  look back.

HILDE
Again? 'Tisn't meant to be a daily--

EVA
I know. I do. But, with the storm...

HILDE
You're no better than Ansel, but he
has the excuse of being a toddler.
(turns back to Eva)
Try to sleep without it. Just try.

Eva smiles. She nods reluctantly.

INT. YOUNG LUKAS'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER

One nervous face peeks from under a quilt on the bed by the
window. ANSEL JÄGER (5) darts his eyes around the candlelit
room.

HILDE (O.S.)
Boys, are you in bed?

ANSEL
Yes!
(mutters)
One of us.

Hilde pushes the bedroom door. It sticks in the jamb at first


before it POPS open . Ansel smiles when he sees his mother.

HILDE
We seem to be missing one member of
our party.

Hilde creeps through the room. She WHIPS open the wardrobe
door with a ROAR.

LUKAS SCHAFER (7), the waist-high ball of mischief inside,


climbs out with a HARUMPH.

LUKAS
No fair, mother told you where I was!

HILDE
Curse your tongue. Your mother is a
woman of honor. To bed with you.

Lukas slumps into bed. He keeps a large gap from his cousin.
The locked window shutters RATTLE outside. Ansel scoots away.
5.

LUKAS
Get away!

Lukas pushes his cousin back toward the window.

ANSEL
But, mama...

HILDE
You have nothing to be afraid of,
Ansel. Only the storm.

LUKAS
(snickers)
Not the storm he’s scared of.

HILDE
Quiet, you.

Hilde leans in to kiss Ansel.

HILDE
You have nothing to worry about.

Hilde tries to kiss Lukas. He squirms away.

HILDE
Now stay in bed or the goodnight
goblins will nibble your toes!

LUKAS
So goblins are real!

Hilde winks. She BLOWS OUT the candle into pitch dark.

INT. EVA’S BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT

Hilde sits on the bedside and watches the storm brew outside.

Eva MURMURS inaudibly and jerks in unquiet sleep. Hilde


brushes the hairs from her younger sister’s face.

A tremendous THUNDERCLAP shakes the small house. Hilde


STARTLES. Eva sleeps on.

Hilde slides off the bed. She fixes the blanket over Eva.

BANG BANG BANG! The front door SHUDDERS on its hinges.

HILDE
Eva! Eva, are you expecting--

THREE MORE KNOCKS. Hilde stands straight, alert.


6.

INT. YOUNG LUKAS'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Thunder RUMBLES overhead. Ansel blinks awake. His eyes go


WIDE at the sight of the window, its shutters blown open.

Ansel’s BREATH quickens. A crack of LIGHTNING makes him jump.

The FLASH reveals the silhouette of a LADY IN WHITE outside,


not more than a hundred feet away. She wears the same
fluttering fabric Hilde saw in the forest.

The Lady in White beckons for Ansel.

ANSEL
Lukas?

Ansel reaches one hand back, too scared to look away.

ANSEL
Lukas!

Ansel GASPS at the empty bed.

INT. LIVING AREA - SAME TIME

Hilde’s bare feet creep slowly over the wood floor.

HILDE
We are not taking visitors at this
hour. Please go away at once.

More LOUD BANGS on the front door.

Hilde JUMPS in fear. She peeks behind the curtain on the


front window. A flash of WHITE DRESS startles Hilde away.

HILDE
Who’s out there?

Hilde feels along the wall until her hand finds the handle of
the axe. She carries it toward the door.

HILDE
I demand you identify yourself!

A silent moment. Then--

ANSEL (O.S.)
Mama?

Hilde SWINGS around to see Ansel at his doorway down the hall.
7.

HILDE
(nervous)
Back in bed, love.

ANSEL
But, mama. There’s--

HILDE
(angry)
Get in your room now, Ansel.

Ansel turns back toward his room. The curtains flap in the
chilly wind through the now-open window.

He looks back to his mother, a lump in his throat.

HILDE
Go.

Ansel sneaks in and shuts the door behind him.

With the knocks silent, Hilde SIGHS and puts the axe down.

INT. POWDER ROOM - NIGHT

Hilde scoops her dress around her. She squats over the wooden
hole of the indoor plumbing. She notices the apothecary chest
across from her is askew.

Hilde pulls up her undergarments and picks up an empty vial,


askew in the chest. The label reads “Laudanum.”

She SIGHS and shakes her head.

INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT

Hilde walks softly down the hall toward Ansel’s room.

HILDE
(hushed)
Ansel, honey? What did you--

Hilde pushes against the door. It won’t open.

HILDE
Damn this thing.

Hilde bumps her shoulder against the door. It still won't


open. She KNOCKS softly against the wood.

HILDE
Ansel? Are you still awake?
8.

A sort of unintelligible MURMUR responds.

INT. YOUNG LUKAS'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME

A small streak of moonlight reveals Ansel’s tear-streaked face.


Heavy BREATHS heave as a gloved hand muffles his SCREAMS.

The moonlight spreads across the room. The BREATHS come


faster, more ragged.

ANSEL
(muffled)
Mama!

The seams of the glove split. Long, curved claws slide


through its black leather.

The wardrobe opens a crack. Lukas’s eye watches from inside.


The Cloaked Person GROWS in height into THE BEAST.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Hilde puts her ear flush to the wood. A guttural GROWL


rumbles from the bedroom. Hilde JUMPS back.

HILDE
Ansel?

ANSEL (O.S.)
Mama!

Ansel SCREAMS in terror. The Beast's ATTACK commences.

HILDE
Ansel!

Hilde scrambles to her feet. She LAUNCHES against the door,


doing more damage to herself than the wood. She looks around
and spots the axe.

HILDE
Eva! Wake up!

The attack continues as Hilde drags the heavy bronze axe. She
chops into the bedroom door. Barely splits. She tries again.

HILDE
I’m coming, my love.
(down the hall)
Eva, help me!
9.

Hilde raises the axe again just as the bedroom goes SILENT.
She listens closer, struggling to keep the axe over her head.

The Beast SMASHES through the door in a black blur. It


LAUNCHES Hilde into the opposite wall.

Hilde’s head SMACKS against a wood beam. Her world fades.

EXT. BEDBURG TOWN CENTRE - NIGHT

Nightwatchman JAKOB RÜGER (early 20s) patrols the streets,


crossbow on his back and a keen eye for trouble. A loud
CLATTER from a nearby alley catches his attention.

Rüger raises the crossbow at the alley.

RÜGER
Someone down there?

Rüger stares into the dark abyss, sure he saw something.

THORNE (O.S.)
(growls)
Bit far from your tower, boy.

Rüger straightens his posture at once.

RÜGER
Lieutenant Thorne, I--

LT. MAGNUS THORNE (early 40s) swaggers out of the alley. He


adjusts his own uniform as he scrutinizes Rüger's. His
wartorn face scowls at the watchman.

THORNE
Abandoned your post. Which I
believe to be over the gates on the
other side of town.

RÜGER
Yessir. I was doing rounds.

THORNE
A task not in your purview. You are
nightwatch. Therefore, you watch.
At night. From there.

Thorne points at the high, rickety wooden watchtower just


visible over the low buildings.
10.

THORNE
The hand of the diligent shall bear
rule, but those which are slothful
shall be under tribute.

RÜGER
Aye, sir. I’ll just head back--

Hilde's UNINTELLIGIBLE SHOUTS echo across the night.

INT. YOUNG LUKAS’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Blood-stained feathers float in the air from Ansel’s


mattress. A complex ritual circle drips in blood on the wall.

Hilde rests on her hands and knees in the doorway, recovering


from the head injury.

HILDE
Ansel!

She climbs to her feet and moves slowly toward the bed. She
impels herself to lift the corner of the quilt.

HILDE
No...

Hilde falls to her knees. Ansel’s lifeless hand hangs over


the bed next to her. Blood pours from his fingers onto a
separate trail that leads out the bedroom door.

Hilde takes a breath to steady. She tucks the quilt around


Ansel as if putting him to bed. Then she exits the room.

After a moment, the wardrobe POPS open. Lukas peeks out.

INT. LIVING AREA - MOMENTS LATER

Hilde picks up the axe from the hall. She stalks through the
house, following the blood trail toward the front door.

A foggy Eva emerges from the bedroom.

EVA
Hilde, where are you--

Hilde shoves Eva aside. Eva grabs Hilde’s arm before she goes.

EVA
Hilde!

Hilde spins back with blazing eyes.


11.

HILDE
Protect yourselves.

Hilde hurries out the front door.

Eva looks down at the hand that held onto Hilde's arm. Blood
covers her palm. Maternal instinct snaps her eyes toward--

EVA
Lukas!

EXT. SCHAFER HOME - MOMENTS LATER

The storm RAGES on. Hilde looks around in the dark for some
sign of the Beast.

RÜGER (O.S.)
Oy, you over there!

Rüger approaches first, bell at the ready.

Thorne glowers at Hilde’s axe and bloody dress. He grabs the


hilt of his dagger with one hand and Hilde's arm with the other.

Eva SCREAMS from inside.

THORNE
Explain yourself.

HILDE
Get your hands off me.

Hilde spins away from Thorne. The axe SWINGS behind her.

The blade SLICES down the side of Thorne’s face. He reels


back, hand over his gashed cheek.

THORNE
You whore!

Hilde takes off into the forest. Thorne SNATCHES Rüger's


crossbow and pushes him away.

THORNE
Get in the house! I’ll find the
witch.

EXT. BEDBURG FOREST - NIGHT

Hilde races barefoot through the trees. Blood, rain, and


tears obscure her vision.
12.

Behind her, Thorne gives chase with the crossbow raised.

THORNE
Halt! Now!

Hilde runs on, axe in front of her. She hops over a root.
Ducks under a branch.

An arrow THUNKS into a tree over Hilde’s head. She DODGES as


Thorne shoots another.

Hilde STUMBLES. Recovers. Thorne closes in behind. She LEAPS


over a fallen tree.

THORNE
Surrender and we’ll take it easy--

Thorne doesn’t see tree trunk. He trips and SLAMS face-first


into a mud slick.

Muddy water SPLASHES onto Hilde’s legs & dress. Her barefoot
STOMPS down into a deep puddle.

MATCH CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - MORNING (29 OCTOBER 1589)

Daylight SMASHES in as that same foot SPLASHES out of a puddle.

SUPER: Eight years later...

Hilde (late 30s) now wears high leather boots with traction
cleats. A satchel slings across a black dress to match a wide-
brim hat. The sharpened bronze axe jostles in a back
scabbard.

No longer being chased, Hilde does the chasing. Ahead of her,


an unseen creature YELPS and SNORTS like a hog.

A large claw already penetrates Hilde's bloody shoulder from


the hunt. She holds a wooden whistle to her lips and BLOWS.
Two short owl-like HOOTS emanate from the whistle.

The bush next to her splits. A wild GREY WOLF bursts out.
Companion more than a pet, a long scar traces along the side
of his furry abdomen.

HILDE
Hunt!

Grey Wolf speeds ahead toward the prey.