From writer-director Michael Bartlett comes House of Last Things, a supernatural-thriller drama about an unspoken tragedy and its effects on a house, its temporary caretakers and the owners, a couple on a recuperative trip to Italy.
Sounds very Shining-esque. Read inside for a super long synopsis and watch for casting news as it’s announced.
A suburban housing development. A golf ball comes down out of nowhere, smashing a window – Alan Dunne’s window. It is the golf ball of fifty years earlier.
So begins Michael Bartlett’s supernatural thriller HOUSE OF LAST THINGS, where past and present come together to weave a haunting tapestry of dark secrets and grim consequences.
ALAN is Portland’s classical music critic, which has made him good money as reflected in his spacious mid-century home. Under normal circumstances, he would be living here with his wife SARAH. As it is, Sarah is an obsessively grieving woman, struggling with an unspoken tragedy, even after months of institutionalized therapy.
Upon Sarah’s release, Alan forces her into a trip abroad, hoping to mend their strained marriage. Alan has already arranged for a house sitter – KELLY, young, beautiful and poor, sweetly caring and lonely for commitment and the better things in life. Kelly settles in, happy to be in these upscale surroundings, ominously guarded by a mysterious apple tree.
Soon, Kelly is joined by her younger brother TIM and her trashy boyfriend JESSE, who Tim worships.
It’s not long before all three are drawn into a web of repressed memories and profoundly disturbing revelations. Without knowing why, Jesse suddenly decides to kidnap eight-year-old ADAM from the supermarket parking lot. But not all is what it seems with Adam. There is nothing of his kidnapping in the news, and from the moment he arrives at the house, he seems to radiate innocent control over its hapless occupants.
Italy is not having the desired effect on Sarah. Her depression returns with a vengeance and Alan finds himself unwilling to bear her relentless obsession with their tragic past.
At the house, nightmares and flashbacks both past and present continue to unravel and haunt the young caretakers. Tim has a vision that makes him turn on Kelly. Then he finds himself disillusioned with Jesse too, who seems increasingly not to be himself anymore. Changes that start to creep into Kelly and Jesse’s personalities with the appearance of little Adam.
In Italy, as Sarah and Alan’s moment of truth nears, they are driving along a lonely road at night, Sarah at the wheel, Alan drunk from a wine tasting.
At the house, the nightmarish visions have taken their toll on Kelly who has fallen deathly ill. Jesse has shed his foul-mouthed ways and is now showing an oddly gentler, more devout side as he tends lovingly to weakened Kelly.
On the road, Alan inadvertently reveals the horrible truth behind his lies. But that truth about a boy and the freakish accident that claimed his life, proves not to be nearly as disturbing as just who that boy was.
Little Adam clearly in control now as Kelly, Jesse and Tim find themselves caught in a netherworld between hallucination and reality. Kelly and Jesse are utterly unaware as they ease eerily into becoming Adam’s surrogate parents. Tim’s future far less certain… in a HOUSE OF LAST THINGS.”
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