>>/ Mirrors

/ Mirrors. .

: / Mirrors.

/ Mirrors

1 OMITTED 1

1A INT. NIGHT - HARLEM SUBWAY STATION 1A

A subway screeches by at full speed revealing a station platform somewhere in Harlem.

A man runs for his life in the deserted space. He's an African American male in his forties wearing a security guard uniform.

He turns into an empty corridor, climbs a set of stairs towards the exit, but- The gates are down and the station is closed.

Desperate and out of breath, he is forced to trace his way back, searching for an exit or a place to hide. He sees a door to the public restroom and runs inside.

1B INT. NIGHT - SUBWAY PUBLIC RESTROOM 1B

The place is deserted as well. One of the mirrors is smashed while the others are covered by graffiti and dirt -

The neon lights are flickering, bringing the place in and out of the dark.

The man checks each stall one at a time.

His face lights up as he looks inside the last one-

A SMALL WINDOW ABOVE THE TOILET IS JUST BIG ENOUGH FOR HIM TO CRAWL THROUGH.

He steps onto the toilet seat but the window is shut too tight. After a brief struggle, he swings it open, only to discover-

A wall of bricks.

Panic returns to his eyes. He slowly opens the stall door, fearful of what could be waiting outside.

A FAINT SOUND OF SHATTERING GLASS is heard.

He quickly shuts the door, holding his breath. Frozen.

Silence.

His heart racing, he exits the stall in the direction of the sound. The place is empty.

The room is revealed by flashes of flickering neon lights.

He moves closer to the sinks and the spiderweb cracked mirror. His image is fragmented and deformed. It resembles a Cubist portrait.

(CONTINUED)

2. 1B CONTINUED: 1B

MAN I'm sorry... I... I... I wasn't trying to get away...

He talks to his own reflection in the mirror-

MAN (CONT'D) No, please don't...

He approaches and starts crying like a child. His head resting against the mirror, he pleads for his life. Then, seeing the dirt and grime on the mirror, his behaving shifts to another extreme. He starts cleaning it frantically with his hands. Too frantically-

A piece of the spiderweb cracked mirror falls on the ground.

Immediately, he bends down to pick it up but-

HIS REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR REMAINS STANDING IN SILENCE, WATCHING HIM.

Looking up, the man realizes his reflection has become independent. A separate being...

Terrified, he slowly stands staring at his stationary double.

The pointy and sharp piece of broken mirror in his hand reflects the neon lights just like a knife blade.

His eyes turn cold with fear when-

HIS DOUBLE IN THE MIRROR STABS ITSELF DEEP IN ITS THROAT!

IN REALITY, THE MAN HAS NOT MOVED AN INCH, YET HIS THROAT RIPS OPEN, RELEASING A RIVER OF BLOOD.

Void of any facial expression, the man's reflection slices his jugular from end to end.

In reality, the man chokes on his own blood which splatters on the mirror- TURNING THE IMAGE TO A DARK DEEP RED.

CUT TO:

1C EXT. DAY - NEW YORK 1C

OPENING CREDITS ON-

All the reflections catch in the glass buildings of Manhattan-

The traffic in the streets, the old turn-of-the-century facades, the people walking on the sidewalk, the pigeons flying away, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline reflecting off the surface of the Hudson River...

(CONTINUED)

3. 1C CONTINUED: 1C

Seen through the mirrored surfaces, everything in the city seems to move in a distorted way. Ominous.

The softness of the sun's rising light is contrasted with the eerie, haunting music.

CUT TO:

2 INT. DAY - APARTMENT QUEENS 2

"A WEEK BEFORE"

Bip. Bip. Bip...

It's 8 a.m. The blinking digital numbers of the alarm clock reflect off the wooden floor of the apartment.

The sunlight is diffused through the drawn curtains of the living room.

Seen in the reflection of the TV-set, a man is sleeping on the couch. He switches off the alarm and rises to go into the bathroom.

3 BATHROOM - CONTINUITY 3

Like a thick fog, the steam from the shower fills the bathroom. The shower turns off. A hand reaches out to wipe away the mist on the mirror above the sink, revealing-

The face of BEN CARSON, 41 years old. His eyes reflect the hardships of life. A life, that from the lines on his face, we suspect hasn't been easy. On his chest and shoulder, SEVERAL BULLET SCARS.

Ben changes his razor blade and starts to shave his 3 day old stubble.

4 BEDROOM - CONTINUITY 4

Ben finishes getting dressed and walks to the half opened bedroom door.

Inside, ANGELA is asleep in the bed. She is younger than Ben.

ANGELA awakens slowly-

ANGELA What time is it?

BEN Almost 8:30... Coffee?

(CONTINUED)

4. 4 CONTINUED: 4

ANGELA No, you're going to be late.

BEN Go back to sleep... I'll call you, OK?

ANGELA Yeah, I won't be working until later tonight.

He comes to kiss her on the forehead. She opens a sleepy eye and smiles.

ANGELA (CONT'D) You shaved?

She strokes his face gently.

ANGELA (CONT'D) I like it. It makes you look younger.

Ben slips on his old military parka before leaving.

ANGELA (CONT'D) Good luck!

BEN See you later, Angie.

5 INT. DAY - HALLWAY BUILDING 5

Ben walks down the hallway. The building is old and clearly not well maintained, cracks and graffiti cover the walls.

CUT TO:

6 OMITTED 6

7 OMITTED 7

7A EXT. DAY - MANHATTAN 7A

The downtown streets are clogged with the early morning rush hour traffic.

8 INT. DAY - POLICE STATION- MANHATTAN 8

On the honorary board of the NYPD we can read the names of all the officers decorated for their courage. In the reflection of the copper plate we find Ben, sitting on the bench across from the office of -

(CONTINUED)

5. 8 CONTINUED: 8

Captain LARRY BYRNE (55) who appears at the end of the corridor-

LARRY Sorry, I'm late... Have you been waiting long?

BEN I just got here.

They shake hands.

LARRY You look awful.

BEN Thanks Larry.

LARRY You know, you should sleep at night. Come in...

Ben follows him into the office.

9 INT. DAY - LARRY'S' OFFICE 9

Larry takes a seat and briefly looks over the messages and files that have been dropped off on his desk-

LARRY So did you find an apartment yet?

BEN No, not yet.

LARRY You need a place to stay?

BEN No, I'm staying at my sister's, in Queens.

LARRY I didn't know you had a sister. What does she do?

BEN She's a bartender.

LARRY That's not too good for you! Anyway, you know you are always welcome to stay at our house.

Larry looks up at Ben, slightly uneasy-

(CONTINUED)

6. 9 CONTINUED: 9

LARRY (CONT'D) I ran into Amy the other day. How are things going between the two of you?

Ben remains silent. He obviously doesn't want to get into that subject.

LARRY (CONT'D) So, why did you want to see me Ben?

BEN You know what I want. I'm ready to come back, I'm feeling much better now.

LARRY Listen Ben, I can't bring you back on the force. Nobody in the squad wants you around right now. I'm sorry but I have to be honest with you. You understand, right?

BEN Larry, I'm telling you, I'm ready.

LARRY If it was up to me, I would bring you back tomorrow, but I'm not the only one who decides. Listen, I think I've got something else for you. I know a guy at the Mayflower corporation and they need someone to watch over one of their department stores.

BEN What?! Come on Larry, a security guard job... I'm not ready to retire yet!

LARRY Hey! I'm just trying to help here. I know you're over qualified for that position but it's a good opportunity for you for the time being...until the situation here quiets down. Also the money is not that bad.

Ben is having a hard time to contain his anger.

LARRY (CONT'D) You need the money, Ben. You're in the middle of a divorce and you've got child support to cover. If you want to see your kids, you've got to get a job, any job.

Deep inside, Ben knows Larry's right.

(CONTINUED)

7. 9 CONTINUED: (2) 9

LARRY (CONT'D) Do you know the Mayflower on West 38th Street?

BEN I do. The one that burned down?

LARRY Yes, their night watchman hasn't shown up for work in several days. They need someone right away. Take it, relax, and we will talk about your situation again in a couple months.

BEN Yeah, in a couple months... I gave everything for the NYPD. I almost died out there. Everyone seems to have forgotten that.

LARRY I didn't.

CUT TO:

10 INT. DAY- CORONER'S OFFICE 10

We discover a whole different world-

In the sterile environment of the NYC Chief Medical Examiner's Office, forensic scientists with tape recorders in hand, describe the corpses.

We are a world away from the Hollywood cliches of neatly laid out, immaculate cadavers. Here, some of the corpses have reached a state of advanced decomposition and others are still frozen in contorted positions, expressing their ultimate agony before dying. From the homeless man fished out of the river, to the woman killed by gun shots, each corpse tells his own story...

Amidst the group of doctors 35-year-old AMY, deeply immersed in an autopsy, is interrupted by her cell phone.

Amy checks the display for the incoming call- BEN. She hesitates for a moment and doesn't answer the call.

Amy goes back to the postmortem analysis on her tape recorder.

11 EXT. DAY - NEW YORK 11

Dozens of pigeons fly away as the above ground subway passes by.

(CONTINUED)

8. 11 CONTINUED: 11

AMY (O.S.) " ...You have reached Amy Carson. I am not available to take your call. Please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can."

Caught in the pouring rain, Ben has taken shelter under the scaffolding at a street corner. He plugs his ear with his finger to block the traffic and city commotion -

BEN (on Amy's voicemail) Amy, it's me... I just wanted to let you know that I got a job today... It's nothing special, just a security guard job... If you still want to go ahead with it, we can sign the divorce papers... I mean, if that's what you really want. (he hesitates) I've been thinking about Michael's birthday tomorrow. It would be nice if we could celebrate it together ... You know, for the kids' sake... Call me... Please.

Ben hangs up the phone. He lingers under the scaffolding for a moment, watching the falling rain.

12 EXT. DAY - NEW YORK 12

The glass skyscrapers mirror the black clouds in the sky above as they slowly break up, giving way to the sun.

13 EXT. DAY - MAYFLOWER DEPARTMENT STORE 13

On 38th Street, just off of Broadway, the Mayflower has withstood the passage of time and the huge fire that forced it to shut down-

The damage from the fire is still noticeable on the facade of the building-

The fire appears to have started on the ground floor and seems to have spread all the way up to the top. Some of the windows are shattered, while others are boarded up. What was once an impressive ornate building, a fine example of 1920's architecture standing on one of Manhattan's most dynamic streets, now gives off a feeling of devastation and desolation.

What is left of it is a mere ruin, a sort of neglected ghost ship, abandoned in the heart of the city.

9.

14 INT. DAY - MAYFLOWER 14

The last beams of daylight shine through the broken windowpanes.

Inside the department store, everything has remained the same since the fire, as if time stood still. The display cases, the departments, the mannequins, and even the clothes are all burnt or blackened by the fire. A thick coat of soot covers the floor and rainwater drips down all over the place.

MAN (O.S.) It's been five years and they're still in a legal battle with the insurance companies. Even cleaning up that mess is impossible...

In his dark brown uniform, the daytime security guard, LORENZO SAPELLI, 60's, seems pleased to guide Ben through what was once a temple of beauty and vanity.

LORENZO You know, the Meredith family acquired this building after St. John's Hospital closed in 1952. It was the very first Mayflower to open on the East Coast.

On the cracked walls, THE HUGE 1920 MIRRORS that have survived the flames reflect merely the remnants of the past. The customers are long gone and have been replaced by pigeons flying in and out of the gaps in the roof.

LORENZO (CONT'D) The company wants us to patrol the premises every couple of hours, but I do my rounds every three hours and that's more than enough. Anyway, you'll see, there's not much going on. It's pretty calm around here.

Ben follows Lorenzo through the burnt display counters. He listens but his mind has drifted elsewhere. This place makes him uncomfortable. It's not only the lingering smell of a fire, but also a sense of death that hangs over it.

The whistling of the wind through the store's old ventilation system sounds like faraway voices.

Ben and Lorenzo appear at the top of the staircase of the 2nd floor.

LORENZO (CONT'D) Here you go... Men's department, or what's left of it anyway...

(CONTINUED)

10. 14 CONTINUED: 14

Ben observes the surroundings- Yet another spectacle of devastation.

LORENZO (CONT'D) Thank God you didn't show up any later. This place gives me the chills at night. ... No electricity, and all these mirrors... You know, I live in Brooklyn near a Jewish neighborhood, and when someone dies, they cover all the mirrors in their house. Some say that it's just to renounce all vanity during the mourning period, but others say something else... They say it's to keep the soul of the dead from being trapped in the mirrors... Believe it or not, there's always a bit of truth in any superstition. Am I right?

Amused and skeptical at the same time, Ben contemplates the mirrors that surround him-

LORENZO (CONT'D) I guess you just have to keep your eyes away from them.

Unlike the rest of the scenery, THE MIRRORS ARE PERFECTLY CLEAN AND GLISTENING.

BEN Did you clean them?

LORENZO What?

BEN The mirrors, why are they so clean?

Lorenzo smiles-

LORENZO That's Gary Lewis, the fellow who worked here before you. He was completely obsessed with these damn mirrors. He'd spend the entire night polishing them.

BEN Why did he leave?

LORENZO No idea. Just didn't show up one night. I take it he's found a better opportunity somewhere else. (MORE)

(CONTINUED)

11. 14 CONTINUED: (2) 14 LORENZO (CONT'D) I'm not one to complain, but I never really liked him much... Could never be bothered to say hello or at least ask "how are you doing?"... I mean, damn, do we work together as a team or what?! You, on the other hand, seem like a nice guy. How long has it been since you left the NYPD?

BEN Almost a year.

LORENZO Why did you resign from the force? You were a detective, is that correct?

BEN I was wounded during a holdup... It kind of changed my perspective on things.

Ben and Lorenzo reach the next floor.

LORENZO Third floor... Ladies' department. You gotta be careful here. When the wind blows, sometimes the tiles fly off the roof and they'll just snap your ear off, if you follow what I'm saying...

Lorenzo checks the time on his watch.

LORENZO (CONT'D) Well, I'll let you get acquainted with the rest of the store on your own.

They turn around.

LORENZO (CONT'D) Follow me, I'll show you our "headquarters" and I'll get you one of these uniforms.

15 EXT. DUSK - MAYFLOWER - SECURITY GUARD TRAILER 15

It's almost night. Ben and Lorenzo have finished their visit and exit the department store.

LORENZO We were a pretty big team working here before the fire. When you stop to think that of all the department stores in New York, this one was the most beautiful, the most luxurious... It breaks your heart, it really does...

(CONTINUED)

12. 15 CONTINUED: 15

Outside the building behind the fence blocking its entry, a construction trailer has been outfitted for the guards.

LORENZO (CONT'D) Here you go. This is where you'll be spending most of your time. At least you've got electricity in here. It's nice and warm, and there's even a TV.

16 INT. NIGHT - SECURITY GUARD TRAILER 16

Cartoons flicker on an old television set. All bundled up in a coat, and wearing a woolen hat, a young boy is watching TV. Lorenzo and Ben enter the mobile home-

LORENZO Lorenzo Junior, my grandson... Say hello Lorenzo.

LORENZO JR. Hello.

LORENZO Lorenzo and I are going to the movies tonight...

Lorenzo strokes his grandson on the head and proceeds to the back of the mobile home, leaving Ben alone with the child. The boy looks almost hypnotized by the images on TV.

BEN How old are you, Lorenzo?

LORENZO JR. 8.

Lorenzo Jr. shifts his attention from the cartoons and stares Ben in the face-

LORENZO JR. (CONT'D) Do you work in the department store?

BEN I do now.

LORENZO JR. Grandpa says there are ghosts in the store... Is that true?

Ben smiles.

BEN I think your grandpa just wants to scare you a little.

(CONTINUED)

13. 16 CONTINUED: 16

Lorenzo Senior has changed clothes, and returns with a uniform, which he hands over to Ben-

LORENZO Here, this should fit you. Lorenzo, put your coat on... We are already late. (to Ben, on the sly) There's a drop of Jack Daniel's in the cupboard... To keep yourself warm.

Lorenzo hands over the keys-

LORENZO (CONT'D) Well, Ben, the place is all yours.

He's about to leave when-

LORENZO (CONT'D) Oh! I forgot the most important thing... the flashlights! You'll be needing one of these at night. We've got two of them. They run on batteries. Don't forget to charge them... See you in the morning, Ben.

BEN See you tomorrow.

Lorenzo and Lorenzo Jr. exit the trailer. Through the window, Ben sees them walk out to the street.

Ben inspects the trailer- scattered with knickknacks, the decoration of the place corresponds well with Lorenzo's personality - warmhearted and humble.

The clock on the wall shows 7 p.m.... A long night lies ahead.

Ben grabs a flashlight and turns it on. The beam of light is dazzling-

CUT TO:

17 INT. NIGHT - MAYFLOWER - A FEW HOURS LATER 17

The flashlight sweeps across the dark entrance hall.

Wearing the security guard's uniform marked with an embroidered "M", Ben makes his first round of the store.

The pigeons perched on the roof seem to observe him.

Ben proceeds slowly up the stairs.

14.

18 - SECOND FLOOR - 18

In the Men's department, Ben's flashlight is a mere luminous spot twirling in the night.

The ever-present mirrors magnify the space to infinity.

19 - THIRD FLOOR - 19

Ben walks through the different sections of the Ladies' department. He examines the remains of the charred garments sagging on the hangers.

The silhouettes of the burnt mannequins emerge in the gloom of the night.

STRANGE AND DISTURBING SHAPES REFLECT OFF THE MIRRORS.

19A EXT. NIGHT - MAYFLOWER 19A

Wide exterior shot-

By night, the department store's ornate facade takes on an entirely different appearance - more menacing, almost evil.

19B INT. NIGHT - MAYFLOWER 19B

Ben continues his rounds.

We follow his path through reflections in the mirrors-

AS IF HE WAS BEING WATCHED...

Then-

For the first time, we discover another perspective, another POV FROM WITHIN THE MIRRORS. It feels ominous, slightly detached. The sound is muted.

Ben crosses back the third floor-

The second floor...

20 OMITTED 20

21 OMITTED 21

22 OMITTED 22

15.

23 - ENTRANCE HALL GROUND FLOOR - 23

In the reflection of one of the grand mirrors in the entrance hall, we see Ben come down the stairs. He stops for a moment, facing his reflection in the mirror.

He fixes his collar and looks at himself in his new clothes- Not quite an NYPD uniform...

Suddenly, his eyes freeze. Intrigued, he comes closer to the mirror and leans forward-

A HANDPRINT, BARELY VISIBLE, ON THE ICE COLD SURFACE.

He touches it with the tip of his fingers and tries to rub it off, unsuccessfully. He picks up a rag from the ground, spits on the mirror, and rubs the mark fervently. The print remains. This confirms his hunch-

THE HANDPRINT IS INSIDE THE MIRROR...

By angling the flashlight, another handprint is revealed.

Another. And yet another-

THE ENTIRE MIRROR IS COVERED WITH HANDPRINTS, JUST AS IF A CROWD OF PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE HAD PRESSED ITSELF AGAINST THE GLASS TO GET OUT...

As he looks back up in the mirror he sees- THE ACCESS DOOR TO THE BASEMENT OPENING...

Ben turns around. His gaze freezes- THE ACCESS DOOR TO THE BASEMENT IS CLOSED!

YET, IN THE MIRROR, IT CONTINUES TO SLOWLY SCREECH OPEN!

Ben swings his head back and forth, between the shut door in reality and the opened door in the mirror. What is happening? Is he dreaming or hallucinating?

Ben walks backwards towards the basement door, keeping his eyes fixed on the mirror. As he goes to reach for the handle, he sees his reflection reaching for the handle of an invisible door!

Ben opens it-

THE SYNCHRONICITY BETWEEN THE REAL WORLD AND THE ONE REFLECTED IN THE MIRROR HAS BEEN RESTORED. Ben tries to reenact the phenomenon. He opens and closes the door over and over, while observing his reflection, but the mirror is no longer deceitful.

The staircase leading to the basement vanishes into the dark. Ben hesitates.

16.

24 OMITTED 24

25 OMITTED 25

26 OMITTED 26

27 OMITTED 27

28 OMITTED 28

29 OMITTED 29

30 OMITTED 30

31 OMITTED 31

31A OMITTED 31A

32 OMITTED 32

33 OMITTED 33

34 OMITTED 34

35 OMITTED 35

36 INT. NIGHT - BASEMENT CORRIDOR MAYFLOWER - CONTINUITY 36

Ben walks down the stairs, step-by-step, lighting his way with a flashlight. The beam of light dims, the battery is almost dead. He gives it a few taps to make the light reappear.

Last step-

HIS FOOT LANDS IN WATER!

BEN Fuck...

A few inches of water cover the basement floor. One of the water pipes must have burst due to the cold.

(CONTINUED)

17. 36 CONTINUED: 36

The light flickers back for a moment, revealing before him- the narrow subterranean corridors of the department store.

Along a wall, Ben finds a fuse box and pushes some of the switches. Further down in the corridor, a couple of fluorescent lights flicker to life- two tiny sources deep inside the darkness.

AS BEN DISCOVERS HIS SURROUNDINGS, THE CAMERA PULLS BACK SLOWLY, UP ALONG THE STAIRS, THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR, IT ACCELERATES AND STOPS IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR-

IN THE REFLECTION, WE SEE THE BASEMENT DOOR SHUT...

FADE TO BLACK

37 EXT. DAY - NEW JERSEY STREET 37

It's been snowing all day and a white coat of powder outlines the trees and houses.

On the front lawn of their house, 5 year old MICHAEL and 7 year old DAISY are building a snowman.

MICHAEL Why did they say on TV that it wasn't supposed to snow today, but tomorrow instead? Why did they lie?

DAISY Sometimes they make mistakes, Michael. It happens...

MICHAEL Grown-ups don't make mistakes. Only little children do.

Slightly annoyed, the little boy places the eyes on the snowman.

Daisy's face lights up with a big smile when she catches sight of her father's car approaching-

DAISY Daddy!

Michael turns around and sees Ben exiting his 1986 Oldsmobile, with a big wrapped package in his arms.

The children abandon their snowman and rush towards their father. Ben takes Michael into his arms-

MICHAEL (pointing to the wrapped present) What is that?

(CONTINUED)

18. 37 CONTINUED: 37

BEN Well I don't know, I just found this package hidden behind a tree.

MICHAEL Is it for me?

BEN Maybe... (to his daughter) Daisy, has Michael been a good boy? Does he deserve his birthday present?

Michael nods.

DAISY No! Yesterday he finished the whole bag of candy when mom had told him he could only have one piece.

MICHAEL Not true!

DAISY Yes it's true!

MICHAEL No, it's not true... She's lying Daddy. I've been a very good boy, I promise.

They enter the house.

BEN Is mom back?

DAISY Not yet. Rosa came to pick us up from school today.

38 INT. DAY - HOUSE - CONTINUITY 38

In the kitchen, ROSA, the nanny, is rinsing the dishes from the afternoon snack-

BEN Hello Rosa!

ROSA Hello Senor Carson. How are you?

BEN I'm good, very good... What time will Amy be back?

(CONTINUED)

19. 38 CONTINUED: 38

ROSA Not before six, Sir...

BEN OK, I'll wait for her.

ROSA Do you want me to fix you a snack?

BEN No, thank you. I'll be fine.

Ben takes off his coat and joins the kids in the living room. He hands over the present to his son.

Daisy is sitting in the armchair, holding her cat, TIGER, in her arms.

BEN (CONT'D) Happy birthday, Michael.

MICHAEL What is it?

DAISY Duh, open it stupid!

Michael tears away the wrapping paper and discovers a remote control car. The little boy is on cloud nine.

39 - LATER IN THE AFTERNOON - 39

Through the front window, we see a Volvo station wagon park in front of the house. Amy gets out of the car, loaded with shopping bags. She enters the house and hands the groceries over to Rosa.

AMY Hi Rosa... Where are the kids?

ROSA Upstairs... (in a low voice) ...With Senor Ben.

The expression on Amy's face shifts. Noticeably irritated, she goes up to the second floor.

Michael's remote control car drives at full speed down the hallway. Ben shows his children how to operate the remote control while the bathtub fills up. He seems as excited as the kids by the new toy.

Ben turns around to find Amy watching them.

(CONTINUED)

20. 39 CONTINUED: 39

BEN Hey Amy...

MICHAEL Look Mommy, look what Daddy got me.

AMY It's great, you will have to show me how it works!

MICHAEL It's so fast Mommy!

AMY Ben, can I talk to you, in private?

Ben puts down the remote control-

BEN (to his kids) Ok kids, it's time for your bath. No fooling around.

Ben follows Amy into the bedroom. She closes the door behind them.

40 INT. EARLY EVENING- BEDROOM HOUSE 40

Amy is not equally pleased to see him- She's beside herself with anger-

AMY What is this? I already asked you not to drop by without calling, didn't I?

BEN I do, but you never take my calls!

AMY I don't need your calls in the middle of the night. I'm better off without them.

BEN I haven't had a drink in three months but, then again, how would you know?

AMY I don't want to know, Ben. I don't want to hear about it. It's not my problem. You're not my problem. You've done more than enough harm already.

BEN You don't think people can change?

(CONTINUED)

21. 40 CONTINUED: 40

AMY We are not talking about people, we're talking about you. How many times did you tell me you were gonna change and nothing happened? It only got worse.

Ben moves closer to his ex-wife-

BEN Just give me another chance.

She smiles- How many other chances did she already give him? Behind the firmness and intransigence she conveys, we sense Amy is torn. She still loves him as well.

AMY I need more time, Ben. Listen, I will never stop you from seeing your children but we have to set up some rules.

Out of nowhere, Ben hits the wall with his bare fist-

BEN WHAT RULES?! IT'S MY SON'S FUCKING BIRTHDAY TODAY! COME ON AMY, WHAT RULE IS GOING TO STOP ME FROM SEEING HIM?

41 INT. EARLY EVENING - HOUSE BATHROOM 41

In the bathtub, Daisy and Michael cannot avoid overhearing their parents arguing. In denial, Michael blocks his ears with his hands and lies back under the water...

42 BACK IN THE BEDROOM - 42

Amy seems distrustful of Ben, scared of how close he is to the edge. We can see the anger in his eyes...

AMY Look at yourself. You're still carrying around so much of that anger.

He catches a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror- and of the desperate violence in his eyes... Ben steps back.

BEN (trying to calm down) I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you... Things could be so different between us.

AMY Yes I know, but it's up to you Ben.

(CONTINUED)

22. 42 CONTINUED: 42

BEN Yeah... Anyway, I wasn't planning on staying. My shift starts in an hour. I'll just kiss them goodbye and then I'm leaving.

Ben exits the room. Amy is left alone-

Through the window, she watches Ben exit the house and get into his car.

When she turns away, she discovers Michael and Daisy standing outside the bathtub dripping wet in their towels. She smiles, and quickly comes to dry them.

MICHAEL Mom?

AMY Yes, honey.

MICHAEL Is Daddy coming back to live with us?

She smiles gently.

AMY I don't know sweetheart. I don't know.

43 INT. DAY - BASEMENT CORRIDOR MAYFLOWER 43

The beams from the flashlight are reflected in the few inches of water flooding the basement corridor. Since yesterday, the water level has continued to rise.

The outline of Ben and Lorenzo's silhouettes appear in the staircase leading to the ground floor-

BEN I haven't managed to find the source of the leak. My guess is it doesn't come from the store... It must be a municipal pipe that blew with the cold...

LORENZO I'll call the company tomorrow morning and have them come take a look at it.

44 INT. NIGHT- SECURITY GUARD TRAILER 44

On the gas stove, a kettle is whistling.

(CONTINUED)

23. 44 CONTINUED: 44

Ben rummages through the cupboards and the drawers. He finds some instant coffee next to the bottle of Jack Daniels. He briefly hesitates between the coffee and the whisky...

He grabs a cup and pours the boiling water into the instant coffee.

In the reflection of the clock, we see Ben watching TV. It is past midnight. Ben gets up and grabs his flashlight- It's time for his rounds.

45 INT. NIGHT - MAYFLOWER CENTRAL HALL 45

Through the shattered panes of the central dome, we see Ben walking through the store.

Since the mysterious occurrences of the night before, his attitude has changed. He avoids, as much as possible, looking into the mirrors. He is on guard, fearing another supernatural manifestation.

The shadows, the mannequins, and the shapes in the mirrors are all disturbing and unsettling.

Even what remains of the sculptures on the top of the marble columns seems alive in the dark.

As he crosses the entrance hall, a glint of light catches his attention. Despite himself, he stops and gazes into the mirror-

AT THE FAR END OF THE STORE, ONE OF THE DEPARTMENTS IS IN FULL SWING AND BATHED IN DAYLIGHT! EVERYTHING IS SPOTLESS, AS IF THE FIRE HAD NEVER TAKEN PLACE. CUSTOMERS COME AND GO AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED.

How is this possible? Ben turns around to see the same spot in the real world- ONLY IT'S IN RUINS...

Ben glances back at the reflection in the mirror-

The vision of the past prevails. Unable to ignore it, Ben decides to check it out for himself...

Ben wanders off towards the far end of the store, a landscape of dust and desolation. HIS REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR, ON THE OTHER HAND, HEADS IN THE DIRECTION OF THE "FLASHBACK"-

We follow him in the mirror-

Ben has left the night behind and enters the "daytime" department. Everything is in perfect order and unspoiled.

Ben continues his journey into the past.

(CONTINUED)

24. 45 CONTINUED: 45

The customers jostle one another while shopping during a big sale. Children run wild in the aisles. Women fight over articles of clothing.

Ben stops dead in his tracks when he notices, around his shoes, a transparent liquid spilling out on the floor-

He bends down and dips his fingertips into the liquid- GASOLINE. Gallons of flowing gasoline gradually spreading over the floor of the department store.

Ben turns around and sees, under the shelving, A HAND LIGHTING A ZIPPO-

The lighter falls to the floor in slow motion.

The liquid bursts into flame instantly. THE CHEERFUL VISION OF A DAY IN THE DEPARTMENT STORE QUICKLY TURNS INTO A NIGHTMARE-

EVERYTHING IS ENGULFED IN FLAMES. THE CLOTHES, THE MANNEQUINS AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE CROWD! THE AGONIZING SHRIEKS OF PAIN AND PANIC ARE DEAFENING.

Frightened, Ben steps back-

The flames spread quickly to the escalators where the crowd has rushed to escape death-

HORRIFIC VISIONS OF PEOPLE BURNING ALIVE... INCINERATED FLESH. FACES DISTORTED BY THE PAIN, SKIN MELTING TO THE BONE.

In the midst of the flames through the heat waves, Ben spots the face of the firestarter- IS IT HIS OWN?

Ben has no time to react. In a split second, his uniform catches fire.

Panicked, he attempts to put out the fire with his hands-

CUT TO:

IN THE DARK NIGHT SURROUNDED BY THE CHARRED RUINS, BEN QUIVERS DELIRIOUSLY AS HE TRIES TO SMOTHER THE INVISIBLE FLAMES.

He comes back to reality-

Ben catches his breath, trying to come to his senses. What's happening to him? What he just experienced certainly felt real.

During his panic, the flashlight rolled under one of the counters.

Ben bends down to pick it up. The beam illuminates the ground and throws light on an object a bit further away- A LEATHER WALLET.

(CONTINUED)

25. 45 CONTINUED: (2) 45

He stretches out his hand to pick it up. The leather is worn-out but the absence of dust establishes that the wallet has landed there recently. Ben examines the object with the experienced touch of a professional accustomed to handling evidence.

Between the collection of cards and scraps of paper, Ben finds a driver's license belonging to- GARY LEWIS, 55 years old, a sturdily built African American man. WE RECOGNIZE THE MAN RUNNING IN THE SUBWAY, AT THE BEGINNING. The name rings a bell for him-

46 INT. NIGHT - SECURITY GUARD TRAILER 46

Ben returns to the trailer and rummages through the closet-

He stops when he finds another uniform. A name is embroidered on the shoulder-

AGAIN THE SAME NAME: GARY LEWIS, BEN'S PREDECESSOR, THE MISSING NIGHT WATCHMAN.

The wallet rests on the table and piques Ben's curiosity. He cannot hold back his police instincts.

He finally empties out the contents on the table-

A Blockbuster card, restaurant receipts, a driver's license, Phillips' business card from Mayflower, cash and a sheet of paper folded in four-

Ben unfolds the sheet of paper and sees, written in ink-

ESSEKER

Ben chews over these seven letters. Is it somebody's name? A place? A code? Initials? He folds it up again and puts everything back, neatly, in the wallet that he stows away in one of the drawers.

FADE TO BLACK

48 OMITTED 48

48A EXT. DAY - QUEENS STREET 48A

A busy street under the subway overpass. We see a neighborhood bar on the corner-

49 INT. DAY -QUEENS BAR 49

At this time of day the place is deserted. A plasma screen shows a baseball game. A drunk guy is half asleep at the corner table.

(CONTINUED)

26. 49 CONTINUED: 49

Sitting at the bar, Ben is nervous, tense... He removes the steeped tea bag from his cup.

Ben stares at himself in the mirror, behind the bottle display shelves. It is not his mirror image that he is observing. His gaze seems to pierce through his own reflection, to dive beyond, into the very depths of his soul.

Angela interrupts, across from him, behind the bar. She works here.

ANGELA (intrigued) What are you looking at?

BEN Nothing special...

ANGELA (playfully) Come on, you've been looking at yourself for more than half an hour. You never used to be so vain.

BEN You can't avoid them. They're everywhere...

ANGELA What are you talking about?

BEN The mirrors... In the department store, at every street corner, in the windows of every fucking building in this city. I feel like I'm not the one looking into the mirrors, but rather they're looking at me.

Angela smiles, not sure if he is serious-

ANGELA You need a drink.

BEN No, I'm serious.

ANGELA Don't you think you're being a little bit paranoid?

Ben observes the palm of his hand.

ANGELA (CONT'D) Mirrors are just glass and silver, Ben...

(CONTINUED)

27. 49 CONTINUED: (2) 49

Angela smiles at him and continues to polish the drinking glasses.

50 INT. NIGHT - BASEMENT MAYFLOWER 50

In the darkness, a rat glides peacefully on the water surface.

In the basement, the water level continues to rise.

With a flashlight in hand, and his feet submerged in the water, Ben moves deeper into the tunnel.

He is searching for the source of the leak. The beam of light sweeps across the walls and the piping.

Ben crosses an intersection. In the corner, on the tiled wall, he barely discerns an old inscription ingrained with decades of dust and dirt. He sinks his hand into the water and wipes it off, revealing an arrow pointing to, ST JOHN'S DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY.

He continues his exploration of the subterranean passageways.

Suddenly, he notices a darker area on the wall. He comes closer and discovers a brownish damp-spot, covered with mold. The humidity has pearled into droplets.

He has found the source of the leak.

His hand brushes the wall, causing it to crumble instantly. Ben digs into the plaster as if it were butter, bringing a cracked water pipe to light. The leakage has damaged the wall in which the tubing was embedded.

Ben hears the echoing sound of streaming water, as if there were another room on the other side of the wall.

He pushes against the saturated wall, and pierces through it with his arm. He removes his arm. For a moment, he observes the gaping black hole that he has just left behind.

Ben peeks through the hole with his flashlight, but he cannot make out what is on the other side.

He makes the hole bigger, until the passage is large enough for him to crawl through-

ON THE OTHER SIDE, HE DISCOVERS A LARGE BRICK ROOM AND IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ANOTHER ROOM- AN OCTAGONAL ONE WHOSE EACH AND EVERY WALL, INCLUDING THE CEILING, IS MADE OF GIGANTIC TWO WAYS MIRRORS.

One of the mirrors is opened, ajar- It's a door.

He enters.

(CONTINUED)

28. 50 CONTINUED: 50

His image is reflected in all directions and from infinite angles. Ben moves towards the center of the room-

ALTHOUGH THE ROOM SEEMED EMPTY BEFORE, SOMEBODY IS NOW STANDING IN THE CORNER.

It's a well-built man. He too is wearing the blue security guard's uniform.

From where he stands, Ben can only see the back of the man's head. As he moves in closer, he can make out the name embroidered on the man's shoulder-

IT'S GARY LEWIS, THE FORMER NIGHT WATCHMAN!

BEN Gary?

The silhouette remains still.

BEN (CONT'D) Gary?

Ben comes a bit closer.

His gaze freezes when he realizes that Gary is not standing in front of the mirror with his face pressed against it, but-

HE IS BEHIND THE MIRROR, INSIDE!

Ben steps back, terrified.

He doesn't know how to interpret this new phenomenon.

Ben gathers his courage and returns in front of the mirror-

Knock, knock, knock...

He hits the mirror with his fist, as if it were merely a glass window behind which Gary Lewis was standing, on the other side-

No reaction. Ben strikes the mirror harder.

Knock, knock, knock...

The former night watchman turns around slowly towards Ben, revealing his face little by little...

CUT TO:

51 INT. DAY - QUEENS APARTMENT 51

Knock, knock, knock...

(CONTINUED)

29. 51 CONTINUED: 51

In his bed, Ben wakes up with a jolt- THE ENCOUNTER WITH GARY WAS A DREAM.

Knock, knock, knock...

Somebody is knocking at his door. Ben gets up from the couch-

BEN Coming...

Ben opens the door to a UPS deliveryman holding out a package-

DELIVERYMAN Mr. Carson? (Ben nods) Would you mind signing here, please?

Ben signs for it and takes the package.

DELIVERYMAN (CONT'D) You have a nice day, Sir...

Ben shuts the door and examines the UPS box. He's not used to getting many deliveries. He flips it over to see who it is from-

THE SENDER IS GARY LEWIS...

Ben grabs a kitchen knife to open the parcel. He tears away the cardboard and empties out the contents onto the living room table-

A DOZEN NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS LAND, ALL MIXED UP, ON THE TABLE.

More or less recent, all the articles relate to the department store and the fire that burned it down... Gary has meticulously cut them out and sent them to Ben. But why?

52 EXT. DAY - MAYFLOWER 52

Ben's car parks in front of the fence that encloses the entrance to Mayflower.

He runs into Lorenzo who exits the trailer, ready to go home from work-

LORENZO I've just been through the craziest day here... No kidding! Your ex- colleagues came to pay us a visit...

BEN What happened?

(CONTINUED)

30. 52 CONTINUED: 52

LORENZO You know Gary, the guy who was working here before you, the cops found him dead in a subway station in Harlem. I never liked him too much, but poor guy, he didn't deserve to go like that...

BEN Did they mention the cause of death?

LORENZO No... they wouldn't tell me.

Lorenzo hands him over the keys.

LORENZO (CONT'D) Well, Ben? I better get going, Mrs. Sapelli is waiting for me at home. Have a good night at work, Ben. Oh, and by the way, about that leak, they're sending someone over to work at it the beginning of next week.

BEN Have a good night, Lorenzo.

Ben remains standing on the landing of the trailer for a moment, his gaze fixed at the department store-

THE WALLET, THE DREAM, AND NOW, ON TOP OF EVERYTHING, THE NEWS OF GARY'S DEATH... ALL THESE STRANGE COINCIDENCES AROUND HIS PREDECESSOR HAVE AWOKEN HIS CURIOSITY AND DOUBT. BEN WANTS TO KNOW...

53 INT. DAY-NIGHT - MAYFLOWER ENTRANCE HALL 53

WIDE SHOT OF MAYFLOWER FIRST FLOOR-

IN FAST MOTION- FROM THE FINAL HOUR OF DAY TO THE FALL OF NIGHT. IN THE REFLECTION OF THE MIRRORS, LIGHT GIVES WAY TO THE DARKNESS...

The beam from the flashlight appears in the distance-

Determined, Ben crosses the entrance hall in the direction of the basement door.

He goes down-

54 INT. NIGHT - BASEMENT MAYFLOWER 54

Ben appears at the bottom of the stairs with his flashlight, and follows the subterranean passageway.

(CONTINUED)

31. 54 CONTINUED: 54

Suddenly he is struck by a frightening feeling of deja-vu, HE IS IN THE VERY ACT OF RELIVING HIS NIGHTMARE IN DETAIL, STEP BY STEP-

In the darkness, the rat glides peacefully on the water surface.

He crosses an intersection and, once again-

He recognizes the half-visible Psychiatric Department sign on the tiled wall.

The beam from his flashlight sweeps across the walls and the piping, bringing to light, in the distance-

THE BROWNISH DAMP-SPOT.

BEN (to himself) Damn... What is happening to me?

The moisture has pearled into droplets. Slowly, his hand comes closer. The wall crumbles at the slightest touch...

Pushed by curiosity, Ben begins to dig a hole in the plaster, just as he had done in his nightmare...

He hears the echoing sound of streaming water, coming from the other side of the wall. It confirms the existence of a hidden room.

Ben begins to dig frenetically in the saturated wall, creating a large enough opening to access the other side-

He inspects the interior with his flashlight, revealing-

THE BRICK ROOM AND IN THE MIDDLE THE OCTAGONAL ROOM, SURROUNDED BY THE MIRRORING WALLS.

He enters. His image is reflected in all directions and multiplied into infinity. His dream was foreboding. Everything is perfectly identical to the nightmare, with the exception of Gary Lewis-

The former watchman is not there but...

ALL OF A SUDDEN, BEHIND HIM, ONE OF BEN'S DUPLICATES IN THE INFINITE REFLECTION TURNS AROUND TO OBSERVE HIM WITH AN ICE COLD GLARE...

Sensing something wrong, Ben turns around.

In the silence he faces his infinite reflections, all of them identical- OR ALMOST...

Taking a closer look Ben notices one of the duplicates' faces bearing an expression slightly different from the others'. A SUBTLE GRIN.

(CONTINUED)

32. 54 CONTINUED: (2) 54

Knowing that it has been noticed by Ben, the "rebel duplicate" turns his face towards Ben, eyeing him with an evil gaze-

We can hardly recognize Ben's image.

The duplicate takes a step forward from the line of the other reflections and slowly walks towards Ben.

Instinctively, Ben closes his eyes in an attempt to make the vision disappear.

When he opens up his eyes again-

HIS EVIL DOUBLE RUSHES TOWARDS HIM-

Ben steps back terrified.

CUT TO:

55 INT. DAY- CORONER'S OFFICE 55

Under the dazzling neon light of the NYPD coroner's premises, Amy is in full swing submitting her conclusions on a homicide to the police inspectors in charge of the investigation.

She is interrupted by somebody who enters the room- There is someone for her at the reception, who insists on seeing her urgently. Amy excuses herself, removes her examination gloves, and exits the autopsy room.

We follow her down the corridors as she passes men in police uniforms and doctors in white coats, in the endless comings and goings between the police station and the hospital.

The atmosphere here is highly charged, reflecting the excessive activity of this particular department. There is no doubt- we are in New York City.

55A CORONER'S OFFICE LOBBY - CONTINUOUS 55A

Amy comes to the reception desk. Ben, who clearly hasn't slept since the night before, is pacing back and forth.

AMY Are you OK? What's happening? What are you doing here?

BEN Amy, I need you to do me a favor...

(CONTINUED)

33. 55A CONTINUED: 55A

AMY Listen, I am in the middle of work, I don't really have time now.

BEN I need your help... It won't take more than twenty minutes. Please, Amy?

From his pocket, Ben takes out Gary's driver's license. He shows it to her-

BEN (CONT'D) You picked up this guy yesterday morning... I need to take a look at him. It's very important.

AMY Why do you want to see him?

BEN He used to work at the Mayflower as a night watchman, before I replaced him.

AMY Where did you get his driver's license?

BEN I found his wallet in the department store. I need to find out how he died...

AMY You are no longer a cop, Ben. This isn't your business anymore.

BEN He sent me a package before he died, with newspaper articles about the Mayflower... I think he was trying to tell me something... I don't know him. I've never even met him, Amy... I need to figure this out.

56 INT. DAY - MORGUE 56

The refrigerated compartment bays, containing the corpses, are aligned along the basement walls.

A young doctor escorts Ben and Amy down the corridors of the morgue. As he is walking, the doctor flips through the register, in search of a name.

(CONTINUED)

34. 56 CONTINUED: 56

YOUNG DOCTOR Gary Lewis... Gary Lewis... Oh, there he is, 58B... He slashed his throat...

AMY (to Ben) There you go... There's your answer. Your man committed suicide.

BEN You know a lot of people who cut their own throats?

YOUNG DOCTOR (interrupting) Well, all I know is that the cops are still investigating this one. That's why we still have the body. People can be very creative when it comes to suicide. I'm sure it's not the craziest thing you've seen.

The young doctor stops in front of the number 58B. He opens the door to the refrigerated compartment bay and pulls out the tray carrying the corpse, wrapped in a white sheet-

YOUNG DOCTOR (CONT'D) Gary Lewis...

He lifts the sheet, revealing Gary Lewis' upper body-

Gary's eyes are rolled upwards and his throat is wide open. His skin has become translucent, almost purple. His contorted corpse is frozen in a deadly expression of profound suffering... His flesh has started to decompose and putrefy.

Ben stares at the body, in search of a hint, a clue, any useful information...

Amy becomes impatient.

AMY I've got to get back to work, Ben. They're waiting for me upstairs.

BEN How... What did he slit his throat with?

The doctor checks the report.

YOUNG DOCTOR With... with a piece of mirror.

Ben looks up.

(CONTINUED)

35. 56 CONTINUED: (2) 56

YOUNG DOCTOR (CONT'D) ...He must have smashed it into pieces to have something to slash it with...

The doctor, has a smirk on his face-

YOUNG DOCTOR (CONT'D) ...Seven years of bad luck.

Suddenly, reflected in the stainless-steel door of the compartment bay, Ben sees-

GARY'S FACE TURN SLOWLY TOWARDS HIM. GARY STARES DIRECTLY AT HIM. WITH A VOICE FROM BEYOND, HE DELIVERS A MESSAGE TO BEN-

GARY ...ESSSEKERRR...

Ben jumps out of his skin and backs away, terrified. Neither Amy nor the doctor saw anything, of course. They gaze at him with a puzzled look-

AMY Are you OK, Ben? What's going on?

Ben looks at the corpse and its reflection again- Gary is frozen in the same contorted position, as if nothing ever happened.

BEN (coming to his senses) I need to see his files...

AMY What?

Ben raises his voice.

BEN I NEED TO SEE HIS FILES!

AMY Come on, Ben, what is it you're after? I am not supposed to show you any file... You're not even allowed to be here. I could get fired for this.

The doctor senses that the conversation is taking on a more personal turn.

YOUNG DOCTOR Well, I'll be off. Amy, you know where to find me if you need me.

Amy is left alone with Ben.

(CONTINUED)

36. 56 CONTINUED: (3) 56

AMY What is happening to you? What is all this supposed to mean? What is going on, Ben?

BEN I won't leave until I see that file.

CUT TO:

57 INT. DAY -AMY'S OFFICE 57

On the shelves, photographs of Michael and Daisy stand next to the medical records and legal-medicine textbooks.

Sitting behind Amy's desk, Ben is studying Gary Lewis' file. He flips back and forth through the different documents, photographs, and police reports.

Amy observes him, perplexed. We sense that she is concerned about Ben's strange behavior and over sensitivity.

BEN Look at this picture... Come and see, Amy.

He shows her a snapshot taken by the police. We see Gary soaked in his own blood, the throat slit open. The picture is real, crude. He lies outstretched, facing a mirror shattered into several pointy pieces, like a spider web. In his hand, Gary still holds the piece of glass that he used to cut himself.

BEN (CONT'D) Look...

AMY What!?

Ben points to the reflection in the mirror-

BEN Look at the piece of mirror in his hand. In the reflection of the mirror it's covered in blood, and look- in reality, it's clean. Not a drop of blood...

AMY So what?

BEN Don't you find it strange that this mirror doesn't reflect an exact image of reality?

(CONTINUED)

37. 57 CONTINUED: 57

AMY I can't see the difference. It must be an effect of the angle from which the photograph was taken. What is it you are you trying to prove?

BEN What if the mirrors were showing us something different?

AMY What? For Christ's sake, listen to yourself, Ben! What are you talking about?

BEN What if the mirrors were reflecting something that goes beyond reality?

AMY (irritated) OK... This is way over my head. I don't have time for your barfly theories.

Ben realizes that he will not succeed in convincing her. Not today.

BEN Thanks for your help...

He's on his way out, when she holds him back-

AMY You should go home and get some rest. This guy probably just killed himself because he couldn't live with himself anymore. It happens to thousands of people, you know...

CUT TO:

58 INT. DAY - APARTMENT QUEENS - BATHROOM 58

The steam has fogged up the mirror of the medicine cabinet.

Ben grabs a towel and steps out of the shower.

He watches his blurry reflection. With his finger, on the surface of the fogged mirror, he writes-

ESSEKER

He contemplates the dripping letters for a long moment, trying to interpret their meaning.

(CONTINUED)

38. 58 CONTINUED: 58

In the end, he wipes off the mirror with his hand, erasing the word.

Angela is standing behind him in the door opening-

ANGELA I'm off... Amy called me today, she's worried about you. What's happening, Ben?

BEN Please, not you...

ANGELA I'm your sister, you can talk to me. Is it your new job? That place, the Mayflower, has bad vibes. It's getting under your skin. Just think about what I told you...

BEN I made a deal, Angie... I can't just walk out on them like that. I need this job, I need the money. I'm not going to sleep on your couch for the rest of my life!

ANGELA You won't have any trouble finding another one. A daytime job, a regular job...

While she's talking, we see the scene from another point of view- from inside the mirror- As if SOMEONE ELSE WAS LISTENING TO THEM.

Angela leaves the bathroom. Ben brushes his teeth. He leans over to rinse his mouth, and when he straightens up-

IT IS NOT HIM IN THE REFLECTION OF THE MIRROR, BUT GARY LEWIS WHO SLASHES HIS THROAT FROM END TO END WITH A SHARP PIECE OF MIRROR-

Ben steps back and loses his balance, knocking down a shelf. Angela rushes into the bathroom-

ANGELA (CONT'D) What happened Ben? Are you all right?

He refuses her help.

BEN LEAVE ME ALONE...

Ben gets to his feet and looks into the mirror. His reflection is back. Everything looks normal but-

(CONTINUED)

39. 58 CONTINUED: (2) 58

WHEN HE TURNS TO EXIT THE BATHROOM, HIS REFLECTION STAYS STILL, WATCHING HIM...

CUT TO:

59 EXT. DAY- GARY LEWIS' BUILDING 59

The sun sets behind the Harlem skyline.

Ben's Oldsmobile pulls over in the street- He has decided to pass by Gary Lewis' old house before his nightshift.

He presses the doorbell next to Gary Lewis' name. An old lady answers-

BEN Mrs. Lewis... Sorry to bother you... My name is Ben Carson. I worked with Gary, at Mayflower. Could I come up and talk to you for a few minutes?

Silence.

BEN (CONT'D) Mrs. Lewis ?

MRS. LEWIS ...5th floor, apartment 3B...

The entrance door of the building opens.

CUT TO:

60 INT. DAY- MRS. LEWIS' APARTMENT 60

MRS. LEWIS is at least 80 years old, and almost blind behind her thick glasses. She lives alone in the small apartment that she used to share with her grandson.

We sense that she is distraught by Gary's death.

MRS. LEWIS ...My Gary hadn't slept at home for three weeks. At first I figured he had found himself a girlfriend, so I didn't worry much about it... It's terrible. The policeman told me that he was living in the streets... They found his body in the subway. Why? He had everything he needed here. Every morning I would have his breakfast ready when he'd come home from work.

(CONTINUED)

40. 60 CONTINUED: 60

BEN Did he use any drugs?

MRS. LEWIS Gary? Huh-huh! Never... He was a good boy.

BEN Did you notice anything different, the days prior to his leaving the house, anything unusual in his behavior?

MRS. LEWIS Oh yes, but that goes way back to when he started working at Mayflower.

BEN What kind of changes?

MRS. LEWIS He didn't care much for anything anymore. Before, we'd sit up and watch television together. But once he started that job as a night watchman, he'd spend all his time-off locked up in his room...

BEN Sleeping?

MRS. LEWIS He hardly slept anymore... He was way too busy!

BEN Busy doing what?

MRS. LEWIS That, I don't know... I never knew what he was up to...

She reaches for a picture frame on the chest.

MRS. LEWIS (CONT'D) Look, in this picture he was twelve years old...

BEN Is that you standing next to him?

MRS. LEWIS Yes, back in the days...

BEN Mrs. Lewis, I found a note that Gary wrote. (MORE)

(CONTINUED)

41. 60 CONTINUED: (2) 60 BEN (CONT'D) A piece of paper, where he'd scribbled down the name, Esseker... Does that mean anything to you?

MRS. LEWIS Esseker, is that what you're saying?

The old lady dwells on it for a moment-

MRS. LEWIS (CONT'D) No, that don't mean a thing to me...

She sets down the picture frame.

BEN May I see his room?

MRS. LEWIS Yes, of course. Come, follow me, it's down the hallway, the door at the very end.

Ben follows Mrs. Lewis to her grandson's room-

It looks nothing like the room of a fifty-year-old man, but rather like that of an old teenager. From what we can see, Gary grew up in here, and each object recalls a stage in his life. Everything is clean and in its proper place, it is perfectly tidy.

BEN Do you mind if I stay in here for a moment?

Mrs. Lewis smiles at him. She too, likes to gather her thoughts in Gary's room.

Ben scrutinizes the room in search of a clue, a hint that might help him on the Esseker lead. He opens the drawers and looks through the papers-

Nothing is of any help to him. The only place left that he hasn't searched is the walk-in closet, whose half-open doors seem to invite him to enter...

What Ben discovers inside is beyond anything he could ever have imagined- The closet has been emptied out completely, and MIRRORS COVER EACH AND EVERY WALL, FROM THE FLOOR TO THE CEILING! - It's a miniature replica of the hidden room that Ben discovered back in the basement of the department store...

MRS. LEWIS He would spend hours looking at himself...

Mrs. Lewis steps up behind him-

(CONTINUED)

42. 60 CONTINUED: (3) 60

MRS. LEWIS (CONT'D) To look at oneself too much is a sin. A terrible sin. Do you know sir in the Garden of Eden in order to seduce Eve, Satan did not keep the appearance of a snake... Satan reproduced the young woman's traits in such a way that Eve would only see and listen to the image of herself... As in a mirror.

61 INT. NIGHT - MAYFLOWER 61

Night has fallen. The department store is calm and silent.

We move down each floor to the entrance hall. The basement door is open and, in the darkness, we see the gleam of the flashlight. Ben must be down there.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, A LOUD SHRIEK TEARS THROUGH THE SILENCE. There is a woman, somewhere in the store.

Ben runs up to the entrance hall at full speed. The shrieks resound through the department store again. They seem to come from one of the floors above.

Without hesitation, Ben dashes up the stairs-

He arrives on the second floor and searches through all the departments. Impossible to tell where the cries originate from.

He climbs up to the third floor. The beam of the flashlight sweeps past each nook and dark corner-

Somewhere in the store, the woman continues to scream and wail to death.

BEN (shouting) WHERE ARE YOU?!!

No answer. Ben goes up to the fourth floor. The shrieks are heard again, but this time, coming from one of the floors below. Ben dashes for the Ladies' department-

BEN (CONT'D) STAY CALM... I'M COMING!

61A INT. NIGHT - LADIES' DEPARTMENT DRESSING ROOMS 61A

The screams come closer. Ben passes the counters and enters the dressing rooms - or rather, what is left of them since the fire.

The woman must be in here, hiding somewhere.

(CONTINUED)

43. 61A CONTINUED: 61A

BEN I'm here Ma'am...

Short of breath, Ben inspects the dressing rooms with his flashlight.

The woman seems to have vanished.

BEN (CONT'D) Ma'am? I'm right he...

ANOTHER SHRIEK IS EMITTED, RIGHT NEXT TO HIM. He turns around-

No one there.

About to leave the dressing rooms, Ben catches sight of a mirror. In the reflection he sees the row of empty rooms-

A BLOODY HAND BURSTS OUT FROM THE LAST ONE, ACCOMPANIED BY ANOTHER PIERCING SCREECH OF PAIN!

Ben runs to it, but finds it empty. IN THE REFLECTION OF THE MIRROR, HOWEVER, THE HAND IS STILL STRETCHED OUT TOWARDS HIM!

Ben stops to think- If he can somehow move the mirror to have it face the last booth, he might be able to see what truly happened inside.

Ben unhooks the mirror.

It is way too heavy and bulky to carry. He lets it slide down the wall.

Inch by inch, Ben hauls the mirror across the floor.

He reaches the last dressing room-

Through the reflection in the mirror, he examines the interior of the cubicle.

In the dark he catches sight of BARE FEET STAMPING AGAINST THE TILED FLOOR. The torn, half-burnt curtains conceal the rest of the body...

With his eyes fixed on the mirror, Ben walks backward towards the dressing room. He is scared of what he is about to discover. He gives the curtain a quick yank, revealing-

A NAKED YOUNG WOMAN IS GOING INTO SPASMS AND SCREECHING WITH PAIN. DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF REAL FLAMES, HER SKIN AND FLESH ARE ROASTING, AS IF SHE WERE BURNING ALIVE FROM THE INSIDE OUT!

CUT TO:

BLACK SCREEN

(CONTINUED)

44. 61A CONTINUED: (2) 61A

CHILD'S VOICE O.S. Mom! Mom! Mom!

62 INT. NIGHT -NEW JERSEY HOUSE 62

We are in the darkness of Daisy and Michael's bedroom. Michael is terrified and cries out for his mother-

MICHAEL Mom! Mom!

Amy swings the door open and turns on the light.

AMY What is it Michael?

The little boy throws himself into his mother's arms. Daisy wakes up.

AMY (CONT'D) What is it? Did you have a bad dream?

MICHAEL There's a lady screaming...

AMY Where Michael?

Michael points to the mirror wall facing the bunk beds.

MICHAEL There... In the mirror...

AMY No, Michael... Look, there's nothing there.

MICHAEL I saw her mom. I swear I did.

AMY It was just a nightmare. It's late, you have to go back to sleep. I'll turn on the night-light, if you want.

Amy tucks him into bed and kisses him. Before leaving the room she plugs in the night-light.

DAISY Mom, can you leave the door open?

AMY Sure sweetheart... OK, you two go to sleep now.

(CONTINUED)

45. 62 CONTINUED: 62

Amy leaves the room.

In his bed, Michael cannot stop himself from staring at the dimly lit mirror.

63 INT. NIGHT - AMY'S BEDROOM 63

Amy goes back to her room. The local news play on the TV. She gets into bed and turns off the light. She reaches for the remote and clicks the TV off, turning over-

THE NAKED BURNED WOMAN FROM THE STORE STANDS STILL IN THE REFLECTION OF THE TV SET.

The entity watches Amy while she is sleeping.

Once again, the POV from behind the mirror. OMINOUS, SLIGHTLY DETACHED AND MUTED.

CUT TO:

64 EXT. NIGHT - MAYFLOWER 64

Ben secures the padlock of the department store entrance.

He walks towards the trailer, while keeping a fixed eye on the facade of the building. The scene he just witnessed in the dressing rooms has shaken him up.

He goes inside. Through one of the windows we see him pick up the phone and dial a number-

65 INT. NIGHT - APARTMENT QUEENS / INTERCUT INT. NIGHT - LODGE 65

Angela is in the bathroom when the phone starts ringing. She turns on the tap of the cast-iron bathtub and goes to answer.

ANGELA Hello... Ben?

BEN (O.S.) Sorry I'm calling you this late. Were you sleeping?

ANGELA No, no, I just got home from work. What's wrong? You sound strange.

On the phone, Ben struggles to put his feelings into words-

BEN(O.S.) Don't worry, everything's OK.

(CONTINUED)

46. 65 CONTINUED: 65

ANGELA Are you sure?

BEN (O.S.) Actually, no. I think maybe I'm losing my mind.

ANGELA What happened?

BEN (O.S.) You were right about the Mayflower... I'll quit tomorrow.

ANGELA That's the smart thing to do, Ben. You deserve better than that. You should come back here and get some sleep.

BEN (O.S.) No, I'll wait till the daytime guy gets here to tell him.

ANGELA Are you sure?

BEN (O.S.) Yeah, sure. See you later, Angie.

ANGELA Be careful... Love you.

BEN Love you too, sis.

She hangs up the receiver and stays in the dark for a moment, concerned.

The sound of the pouring bath brings her back to reality.

We follow her into the bathroom. She dips her fingers into the water to check the temperature. The bathtub is almost full.

Angela undresses in front of the medicine cabinet mirror. When she turns around to climb into the hot bath, HER REFLECTION REMAINS MOTIONLESS IN THE MIRROR, STARING BLANKLY AT EACH OF HER MOVEMENTS.

Unaware, Angela soaks into her hot bath.

The water continues to pour from the tap.

Angela shuts her eyes- It's been a long day.

IN THE MIRROR, ANGELA'S REFLECTION FIXES HER WITH A COLD GLARE-

(CONTINUED)

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/ Mirrors.
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