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The Cell - 2000 | Written by Mark Protosevich

Some of the script descriptions and dialogue were adjusted to more accurately fit the film's final presentation



FADE IN: A speck of dust. Grains of sand dance in the wind. As we glide over a vast desert, the speck of dust becomes a horse and rider. Catherine Deane straddles the beautiful black animal, her mesmerizing eyes scanning the horizon. A curious breeze blows across her exquisite face and she drinks it in, as if the wind itself were telling something to her... Catherine sees a flickering light in the sand.


She pulls the reins and the horse stops moments before the dune drops into nothingness. She dismounts, affectionately scratches the horse's neck, and follows the light. When she looks over her shoulder, the Arabian is now a child's wooden hobby horse. Not surprised, Catherine smiles and walks down a dune, sand sliding beneath her feet...


She finds herself in a valley of dead trees whose decayed, gnarled limbs appear to form hands. The light dances across her face. She shades her eyes and pinpoints the source... A small mirror reflecting rays of bright sun, housed within a locket and chain. It's held by Edward, a haunted-looking boy of seven with a precocious grin and piercing eyes. He sits on a fallen tree trunk, patiently waiting for her arrival.

CATHERINE: Thank you for the horse.

He's a shy child, yet comfortable with Catherine.

EDWARD: You liked him?


CATHERINE: He's beautiful... But I thought we were going sailing.

The boy frowns.

CATHERINE: You promised.


A devilish glint in his eye, Edward looks beyond her. Catherine turns, seeing an old ship in ruins.

CATHERINE: Well, that one's too old!


Edward looks another way, as does she. Catherine sees a toy boat with a sail.

CATHERINE: See, now that'll do.

She walks toward it, but Edward doesn't follow.

CATHERINE (coaxing him): Come on, Mister E.


She extends her hand, but he adamantly shakes his head no.

EDWARD (nods at the ship): It's broken.

CATHERINE: Who says?

EDWARD: Mocky-Lock.

CATHERINE: Now Edward, we agreed. No more Mocky-Lock.


EDWARD: Mocky-Lock is the boogeyman. Mocky-Lock wants me where I am.

CATHERINE: We can fix it.

She picks up the toy boat, then hears a horrific screeching sound. Similar to metal-on-metal, but more piercing, more pained. As if made by a living thing.

CATHERINE (familiar with the noise, a warning to him): Edward...


The boy's face contorts, turning into something half-human, half-animal. A monster. Mocky-Lock. He screeches, trying to frighten Catherine, but she cocks her head... Edward/Mocky Lock runs away.


Resigning herself to a failure, she positions her left hand, revealing a small BUMP in the flesh between thumb and forefinger. She presses hard and... The scene changes to:


LABORATORY - DAY: A human figure hangs suspended in mid-air by a series of cables designed to simulate flotation. Through a large window, we see into an adjoining room occupied by: Henry West, surrounded by computers, monitors, electronics, and keyboards.

And Dr. Miriam Kent, scrutinizing data and images. Both wear garb favored by surgeons or microchip assemblers. In the Procedure Room, lights come on. At the Console, Henry hits a button and speaks into an intercom microphone.

HENRY: Sing a song of sixpence...

In the Procedure Room, there is no reaction from Catherine.

HENRY: Sing a song of sixpence...

CATHERINE (hoarse, groggy): A pocket full of rye...


Miriam leaves the Control Room and is now at the entrance of the Procedure Room

MIRIAM: Four-and-twenty blackbirds.

CATHERINE: Baked in a pie...


Miriam presses numbers on a keypad to open the pressurized airtight door separating the two areas. Pedestals rise to meet Catherine and Edward's bodies. Miriam enters the room and removes a featherweight cloth electronic mask from Catherine's. She removes the child's mask, displaying the haunted face of Edward. Clearly, the boy is in some kind of catatonic state.

MIRIAM: Rise and shine.

At the Console, Henry checks Monitors displaying Catherine and Edward's vital signs and continuing what must be a routine.

HENRY: "Mister E." is doing fine.


We are looking at a screen showing an electronically generated view of a human brain featuring color-coded neurological activity. The brain pictured is smaller. Younger... In the Procedure Room, Miriam eases Catherine out of the apparatus.

MIRIAM: Did we go sailing?

CATHERINE: Almost. Mocky-Lock showed up.

MIRIAM: Mocky-Lock is the boogeyman, Mocky-Lock wants me where I am.

CATHERINE: Mocky-Lock is a pain in the ass.

Henry communicates with them via the intercom.

HENRY: Where did we get Mocky-Lock again?

CATHERINE: A nursery rhyme.

Catherine sits up, we see that her bodysuit is made of an unusual fabric almost liquid in consistency.


Another door hisses open in the Control Room. A constantly fretting administrator, Barry Cooperman, enters.

COOPERMAN: Henry.

HENRY: Barry.

MIRIAM: What's the matter, Barry?

COOPERMAN: Edward's parents are here.

We can see it in Catherine's face - this isn't good news.




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