A Rural Triptych
Three standalone feature length thrillers all set in one world. Each script, featuring a compelling and different protagonist, takes place against often unseen backdrops of Britain.
The films swim among contemporary issues affecting modern British society; human trafficking, Brexit, County Lines and government corruption.
Pt. 1 Sleeper. A thriller set in the Scottish Highlands.
A modern western and a meditation on motherhood in which a young woman fiercely puts the revenge of her child's death above everything and everyone else.
Amber, 29, a teacher living in London finds her life in a rut and decides to escape from the city. She packs a rucksack full of thermals, says good bye to her cat and catches a train to the Scottish Highlands to go hiking.
Not long after her arrival Amber comes across two strangers, Kweku a young but dangerous ex-con on the run, and Simon, a nervous middle aged bird watcher who appears some way out of his comfort zone. By chance the trio end up spending the night in a remote cabin. Amber rises early and sets off. She is keen get away from the two strangers and go in search of the peace and solitude that she originally came for.
After a long and enjoyable day's hiking, Amber arrives at another cabin just as the sun sets. Sitting by the campfire she learns from the other hikers that a body has been found where she was staying last night. The description of the dead man matches Kweku. The conversation then turns to everyone’s families and when a friendly couple asks Amber if she has any children, her stomach turns and she goes to bed.
The following day, Amber hikes to a lighthouse where there appears to be another guest already there.
In the corner of the room is Kweku’s bag. Full of bank notes. Simon comes down the stairs, furious he left the bag in plain sight.
It becomes apparent that Amber is not a teacher and nor Simon a casual bird watcher. Both of them have worked in the intelligence services and Simon as a double agent ordered an attack which led to Amber being subjected to a brutal attack and the loss of her unborn child. This is why Amber came to the highlands. She’s here for revenge, something that her boss Anaya had promised her.
A ferocious game of cat and mouse ensues and in Simon’s final moments he reveals to Amber that Anaya had sent them both up the mountain, ambivalent as to who returned, just as long as it was only one of them. Amber pushes Simon from the cliff.
Furious at Anaya's betrayal, Amber boards the train and returns to London. With Kweku’s bag tucked tightly under her arm.
Back at her flat, Amber repacks her rucksack, this time filling it summer dresses, bikinis and suntan lotion and heads to the airport. She tells her taxi driver she just has one stop to make.
Anaya sits at the table in her expensive house. The doorbell rings.
Pt. 2 Duty. A thriller set in the remote landscape of East Anglia.
A young woman witnesses a heinous crime and in a desperate attempt to escape and evade a fierce gang hell bent on her silence, she is forced to examine her faith, humanity and whether one actually owes their government and country any loyalty.
Alice, 28, works 9-5 at a haulage company. Mousy, church going, she enjoys the simple life. Like her, her job is methodical and organized - the way she likes it; just so.
Out jogging after work one day Alice comes across one of her employer’s trucks abandoned in the middle of nowhere. She opens the container only to discover a dark secret her company has been harboring – dead and discarded human traffic. In a panic she calls her boss Vaughn, who calmly gives her the simple instruction to stay put and to not call the police.
When Vaughn arrives to examine the scene he brutally executes a slave who tries to flee. He then turns his gun on Alice who manages to escape, but only just. Her discovery has put a target on her back and so in a bid to survive Alice goes on the run into a vast and unforgiving landscape, desperately searching for the police.
A greater power will stop at nothing and no one to keep the slave trade running and their secret safe. And so Vaughn unleashes his mob on a relentless manhunt in search of Alice, all intent on sending her to the grave along with their dark secrets. With a price on her head, and the pack closing in, reaching safety appears ever more unlikely for Alice.
Aliceʼs journey takes her down the rabbit hole of modern Britainʼs underbelly and exposes the machinations and effect that slavery has on all levels of society
Eventually Vaughn catches up with Alice but he underestimates his enemy, not recognizing the woman that his once shy office assistant has become.
Duty is a taut, intense thriller that examines the modern day version of an age old nightmare; slavery.
Pt. 3 God’s Country. A thriller set on the rugged and bleak coast of North Devon.
A journey into the current epidemic of ‘county lines’, the practice of sending young men to rural country towns to sell drugs on behalf of city crime bosses.
Jon, 52, is a carpenter and ex-junkie who has spent much of his life in far flung corners of the world. A mysterious loner, he now lives a monastic existence in a remote cabin building coffins and shaping surfboards. He is putting the finishing touches on a brand new surfboard bearing a blue flame when he checks his watch. Jon jumps in his truck and sets off to pick his niece Chloe up from school.
Chloe, 17, is a young professional surfer who has a good relationship with her uncle. She has lived with him since her parent died five years ago and is the reason he quit drugs. In the truck she pesters Jon for a new board, but he tells her that he's far too busy. She retorts that when he can finally be bothered to make her one, she would like a blue flame on it. Jon says maybe if she wins her competition this weekend, then he might think about it. Might. Both of their attentions then turn watch the thick black clouds of an approaching storm roll in.
The next day Jon is asked to build some coffins for some local fishermen who died at sea. Torn between his avuncular duties and work, Chloe tells Jon that she can look after herself and will stay with her friend Becky for the night rather than having to be picked up.
Meanwhile Zebe, a young dealer from London arrives in town to sell crack.
Wanting to surprise Chloe, Jon arrives at the beach the following morning with the new blue flamed board in the bed of his truck. But there is no sign of his niece - she hasn't shown up for the competition.
He learns that Chloe is in hospital following a horrific incident at a house party the night before. Wracked with guilt and scared by the presence of drugs, Jon hunts down Zebe and takes him to his workshop. In search of the truth he holds an electric sander to the drug dealer's face. Zebe is about to tell all when the sound of a car pulls up. The police arrive bearing bad news. Chloe is dead. Jon collapses and hands Zebe over to the police.
Zebe is released on bail and finds the gang waiting for him outside the police station. They want to know where their drugs are. Zebe promises to show them.
Hungry for revenge and with a desire to unleash hell the gang descend on the quiet countryside in search of Jon. When they find Jon's house they bay for his blood. But Jon has relapsed and in a drug induced stupor now has to fight not only his attackers, but his addiction too if he has any chance of survival. Fueled by the memory of Chloe, a brutal, gruesome and messy battle ensues.
Jon emerges broken and leaves three dead bodies having forced the gang to overdose on their own drugs. Understanding that Zebe is just a pawn, Jon lets him live, offering the young man forgiveness and the opportunity to learn and start life anew. Jon checks that Chloe's board is still in the truck and with Zebe drives away from the burning house, disappearing down a quiet country lane.
Jon knocks on an isolated door somewhere in southern Europe. A man greets him like a long lost friend and he is welcomed back at the seminary with open arms. Jon is a priest seeking forgiveness and a place to hide.
©Giles Greenwood 2018