Deadly Date Night
Ryan Coonan & David Muscat
Offbeat Horror Romantic Comedy
When a long relationship goes stale, you have to spice it up. Little did Sarah & Tom know that when they signed up for the 'Deadly Date Night' experience they'd rekindle their love through blood spattered trials and dismembered limbs.
'Date Night' meets 'This is the End' meets 'Charlie & The Chocolate Factory"
Tom & Sarah
On the surface, a typical couple. College sweethearts they've just celebrated their 20th marriage anniversary. With Sarah unable to conceive their relationship however has never developed past coexisting. Having this stiffen their progression they find themselves in an imploding relationship on the brink of failure. Sarah has become numb in acceptance of Tom's shortfalls and Tom has reached a point where his World of War Craft inventory levels are more of a focus rather than his wife. The two do love each other. They are meant to be, but they've forgotten that. Sarah can't understand why Tom enjoys loosing himself in make believe worlds and Tom would love nothing more than seeing Sarah loosen up.
The Master of Scarimonies
Imagine Willy Wonka, but on crack. On crack and with psychopathic tendencies. He is the host of the 'Deadly Date Night' experience. He's role is to guide the couples through the trials and tribulations ahead of them and he takes pleasure in both their success and failure. Whilst he has a twisted side of his personality he can also be quite comical and endearing, however only when he wants to get his own way.
The Other Couples
There a seven other couples that take part in the 'Deadly Date Night' experience. With a variety of combinations, each with their own personalities and at various points of their relationships. Sadly, none survive.
A recollection of memories, as Sarah tells the story of how her and Tom met. The College days, leading into moving in together in their 20's, crazy adventures, night out, travels. Buying their first apartment, 'christening' every conceivable space, dinner parties. But during their 30's things started to decline. Two day business trips for Tom turned into two months away at a time. The realisation they couldn't have kids was an increasing heavy burden to bare. The day-to-day routine quickly evaporated into years passing of an unchallenged, uninspired and uneventful co-existence. Now, as they approach 40 and their 20th marriage anniversary, they've reach a point where they feel their relationship sits on the brink of failure. As Sarah completes her final sentence, the therapist finishes his notes and they both turn to Tom. His head is buried in his mobile as be defeats a demon on his game he feels the eyes of the room are on him. He lifts his head and his instant reaction is to spurt out 'Yes, I totally agree.' in an automated response.
This is where the Tom and Sarah are at. Their relationship has become as stale and flat as a Wetherspoons Yorkshire pudding. The pair still love each other, but they've simply become too detached and are struggling to find their way back to each other. Hence, Sarah has signed them up for this counselling session with a suspicious Therapist (I say suspicious because, spoiler alert, he's the Master of Scraimonies). After a unfruitful session the 'Therapist' suggest the pair do something nice for their anniversary and to help restart their relationship he suggests that instead of going out to dinner they do something different. He hands them a few pamphlets, each advertising a 'Date Experience'.
After muted debate the pair agree to do the 'Deadly Date Night' experience, which on the surface seems like an elaborate haunted house style thing filled with out-of-work actors dressed as poor excuses for zombies and ghouls poised to jump out from behind a neon painted corner at any time. However, considering some of the other options 'The Trainspotting with Terry Night' for example, this one seemed the most fun. Little did they know, whilst the price of admission is free, the cost may very well be their lives.
After arriving at a secret location, what seems like an abandoned warehouse they are greeted by several couples. All quite diverse the 'gaggle' of couples begin to get to awkwardly get to know each other under the gloomy and thunderous night sky. Suddenly, with a poof and fanfare equivalent to a Poundland budget, a shadowed character introduces himself. It's the Master of Scarimonies (tMoS).
tMoS leads them through the dilapidated doors as he begins to outline his purpose and what lies in-store for the couples.
Both Sarah & Tom appear to at least be on the same level with what lies ahead. Low budget light strobes, annoying actors, Halloween type cobwebs, a lacklustre meal. However, their common ground on the evenings expectations is at least giving them a chance to be joke with each other.
You see, breaking away from the story here. What is about to happen is actually a recreation of their relationship journey. The early days, the flirting the excitement, the anticipation. The establishing of common ground, shared experiences and working together as a team. But then the moments of realisation when a relationship becomes difficult, becomes something that isn't easy and choices are needed to be made. Then, as many of us experience, sometimes it reaches what appears to be a dead end. Where the only option that appears logical is to end it. Most of us take that option, but some don't. Some fight through and go on to spend a lifetime together.
Back to the story. The 'gaggle' are introduced to the plan for the evening. A series of events, of trials and situations each as perilous as the next. Whilst Tom & Sarah, and the other couples joke and poke fun at the silliness, they quickly come to realise that the stakes are real.
Couples start disappearing, people start being pulled apart, limbs being flying and blood starts splattering. Tom & Sarah's realisation that the blood is real is not sugary water with food colouring smacks them into the reality of the situation as they are pitted against, not only really zombies, ghouls and monsters, but the other couples.
It's a fight to the death. One couple will survive. Tom and Sarah will only survive if they work together, overcome their problems and break down their barriers.
Will they leave with their lives and relationship intact?