39 DAYS - (aka The Raft)

**SCREENPLAY RIGHTS SOLD TO LIBERTINE PICTURES - 2020

 

Sasha and Carl are on the verge of breaking up when the deluded Carl decides to surprise his girlfriend with a romantic cruise around the coastline to help deal with her abusive father’s recent death. She doesn't feel inspired when she sees the old sloop Carl has been working on.  He assures her everything is fine and convinces her to get on board for the short 4 day trip. Her intuition says no but Carl's charm moves her to make the worst decision of her life.

 

She steps on board the old boat and watches as they pull away from the jetty. Once by the coastline, Carl anchors into soft ground. The day is beautiful; Carl does his best to make this romantic; champagne, flowers, a sexy red night dress. Sasha’s resentment of Carl's indiscretions play on her mind; but knowing he's trying, she makes an effort to enjoy herself. He charms Sasha into going for a swim in the crisp water, unaware of what's lurking underneath. Sasha glimpses fish jumping out. A large dark shadow blankets the sea under the fish, scaring the animals into a frenzy. They can't tell what it is, but a fear of a shark makes them quickly climb back on board.

 

During dinner, Carl tries to get Sasha to open up about her father and her guilt of not being there when he died, unaware she’s more upset at his own behaviour.  He doesn’t get it and prepares for another surprise, a proposal.  Sasha stops him, knowing deep down, she can't forgive him for the hurt and the lies.  Angry and confused, he throws a plate – she’s reminded of the man her father was.  She leaves the cabin to see a mass of glowing jellyfish surrounding the boat and more marine life trying to get away in fear.

 

That night, as Carl and Sasha lay asleep in bed... a strange cloudless storm brews. The anchor comes loose and the boat drifts away from the coast. Their slumber is shattered when the sloop hits something that rips the hull filling it with water in a matter of minutes. They're forced into a life raft. Carl knows what mess they're in but tries to convince Sasha they'll be found with the beacon, knowing full well how old it is. They sit gazing at the gentle sea...waiting.  

 

Days later. The beacon emits its last beep. No one found them. They're alone on an abnormally calm sea; no wind, drifting aimlessly and slowly dying from thirst and starvation. The water is sparse, they barely have enough between them to keep alive. And Sasha breaks.  She tells Carl she knows about the girl he fucked.  Driven by guilt, Carl becomes obsessed with keeping Sasha alive and saving their relationship. When Carl is knocked out of the raft by frightened dolphins, they see the large dark shadow again and watch as masses of jellyfish rise up. A sinister feeling surges him with energy; he swims fast, narrowly escaping as they surround the raft.  Sasha feels the jellyfish are ominous and wants to get away but to her horror a starving Carl scoops up an eel that’s been poisoned by the jellyfish and eats the pustule flesh. Their lives will never be the same.

 

Carl is changing. Something isn't right with his mind and his body; his wounds are putrefying with a jelly like substance; tentacles slide within the gash on his arm. Soon Carl’s mind is infected with delusions of immortality and he wants Sasha to join him, to eat the poisoned flesh, to feel his energy. When he tries to force her to drink from the eel flesh – she has no choice but to leave the raft, making for a strange crop of rocks with an old rowboat wrecked on it. The jellyfish surround her, whipping out their tentacles – she has to return to the raft, to the monster her boyfriend is turning into.

 

Soon they hear a boat nearby. When it becomes clear that Carl has no intention of being saved, Sasha realises her only chance to survive is to kill Carl and when she sees that sharks have no fear of the jellyfish she takes her chance – Carl spins just as she’s about to push him; the last love in their eyes vanishes.  Carl goes berserk but realising he’s turning into the man she’s always feared, he allows Sasha to push him overboard; a flare burns in his mouth as he sinks under the water. She retreats into the raft... alone.

 

She fights starvation, the surreal environment, madness over her incestuous dead father, suicidal actions and a sinking raft.  She’s forced back to the rocks.  When the strange storm appears, she thinks she can get out; Carl emerges, mutated; an unrecognisable creature who wants her to be in a watery hell with him forever.  She uses all her energy to destroy Carl slamming a knife into his distorted face and makes her way to the overturned rowboat.  

 

The day is calm when she is found by her mother and local fishermen.  But something isn’t right.  Something got inside her during her fight – something is changing her as tendons slide in her flesh…

39 Days