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By Gretchen Elhassani

GENRE: Horror
LOGLINE: Filming a low budget horror flick based on true events, the cast and crew fight for their lives when the real killer returns to seek revenge.


Adam Scott escaped imprisonment three years ago by killing the man who murdered his parents. In an attempt to cope with the trauma, he wrote a screenplay detailing the murders he witnessed. A greedy actress, Rachel, and her producer-boyfriend Shan, seduce the screenplay out of Adam’s hands, imagining they will make a fortune. The only thing that stands between them and superstardom, is producing the film. Rachel talks Adam into taking them to the real scene of the crime, a secluded cabin in the woods. Shan is going for “edgy” horror, and a flick shot on a mass burial ground is gold. Shan collects a small crew, cameraman, makeup/special effects person, and an actor to play the killer. The crew travels to the cabin and begins filming. While filming, Adam imagines he sees the real killer appear in one of the scenes. The rest of the crew thinks he is losing it. Adam leaves a pack of cigarettes on the porch, the killer’s favorite brand. After a few more hours of filming, Adam returns to find the pack vanished. Terrified, Adam demands the crew disperse and drive off, but Rachel, greedy for success, refuses to go. Hopelessly smitten with Rachel, Adam agrees to stay. As the crew continues filming, the real killer appears and stabs the killer/actor to death. One by one, the killer fells the cast and crew until Adam is left alone with only Rachel, and the make up/special effects artist, Chantel. The killer captures the three of them, locking them in the closet. The killer’s wife, a politician named Sarah, interrupts the terror; and for a moment, while she distracts him, everyone is safe. Angry that Adam had shot her husband, Sarah implores the killer to finish Adam off quickly. Not one for gory events, Sarah leaves the killer to his task. The three remaining survivors escape the closet, catching the killer off guard. They run for the one place the killer would never expect them to go, his hunting ground. Adam hides the two women in shallow graves, emptied by the police three years ago. The killer finds Adam and is not fooled by his ruse. Adam and Rachel take off into the forest to try to escape, leaving Chantel hidden in her grave. The killer follows the couple, and slaughters Rachel before turning his attention to Adam. Just when all seems lost, Chantel appears from behind and beats the killer with a frying pan she found in the cabin. Adam pauses just long enough to stab the killer, before he and Chantel return to the cabin in search of the killer’s phone. Adam finds the phone, but the killer’s wife disturbs them. She demands to know what has happened to her husband, and when Adam admits to killing him, Sarah pulls out a gun. Demanding assistance, Sarah sets up a magical ritual designed to bring her husband back to life. Her final two ingredients are blood of the living and blood of the dead. When it becomes clear that she means to kill Chantel for the “blood of the dead,” Adam tackles her and wrestles the gun out of her hand. She attacks and he kills her, leaving her body intertwined with her husband’s. Adam and Chantel escape, only to deal with the aftereffects of the trauma. Chantel offers to let Adam move in with her, and while they talk over coffee, the television in the diner plays a story about a presidential candidate named Sarah, recovering happily from an apparent assignation attempt. Death Under the World Tree is a 90 page classical horror shot mostly in a single location, a cabin in the woods.

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