The following is Leland Jay Anderson’s story outline for the first draft of the movie script for the first Hell Holes movie. It incorporates my recommended changes and represents the consensus I reached with Leland (the scriptwriter) and Michael Chamoy (the producer) regarding the movie version of my book, Hell Holes: What Lurks Below. There are several issues yet to be worked out, and this outline does not include a later agreement to introduce a native leader of the anti-pipeline protesters. It is expected that this movie outline WILL CHANGE as Leland writes the first draft of the movie script. That said, I really like it and think that it improves on my original book in several ways.
Story Outline for First Draft
By Leland Jay Anderson
copyright 2017 by Donald Firesmith
OPENING TEASER – MT. MARUM, AMBRYN ISLAND, VANUATU.
Over black. Labored, mechanical breathing, like a diver or an astronaut. Fade up – a metal case the size of a small suitcase. Heavy, silver-gloved hands unsnap the closures and lift the lid. Reveal – a small UAV and handheld controller. The hands pick up the controller, and the UAV launches skyward. Its camera reveals a fiery LAVA LAKE no more than 50 meters below. The shot widens, revealing DR. JACK OSWALD, who is at the BASE OF THE CRATER, standing at the edge of the 1,500-degree lava. Over the constant hissing and bubbling of the lava, Jack’s lively voice comes over the headset of BEN, his 19-year-old son and research assistant, who controls the UAV from the relative safety of the ledge above. Jack delivers a rapt description of the lava and as he pulls a fresh glob of lava from the lip of the bubbling flow using a long probe. Jack gives his son some good-natured chiding over his young colleague’s refusal to join him at the base of the crater. Ben replies that the view is just fine from the ledge and well worth the trek up the mountain, especially given the valuable data they are collecting. Still, Ben is leery of the churning lava and warns his father to hurry up and finish collecting samples and come up out of the crater. The lake BELCHES a huge bubble of gas, sending a fountain of molten rock skywards, forcing Ben to duck back from the edge. Looking up, he sees a several hundred pound lava bomb land where he had just stood. Ben rushes back to the edge fearing what he’ll find. “Nice landing” Jack says laughing, pointing at the expensive UAV that just crashed in the lake, which melts into slag. Ben can’t help but chuckle with relief. A volcanic earthquake shakes the inside of the crater, and Jack can only watch in horror as the ledge underneath Ben collapses, avalanching him down the steep slope. Jack calls out to his son, but Ben’s screams abruptly cut off as the landslide of ash and stone plunges him into the lava.
ACT 1: FIVE YEARS LATER – ALASKAN NORTH SLOPE
An off-duty member of a drilling team from one of the new oil wells in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is driving along the access road towards the end of the pipeline being built to carry crude oil down to the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Spotting a lone caribou in distance, he pulls off the side of the road, gets out his 30-06, and heads out onto the tundra for some illegal hunting. He stops and takes aim, but his prey is startled by a slight tremor that steadily grows. Behind him, a fifty-foot diameter blue circular wall of light shoots skyward, surrounding the man’s truck. The strange light disappears, and the ground inside the ring suddenly drops away, swallowing his truck. The man cautiously approaches the circular crater, but stops when he hears a strange deep-throated howl coming from below. He inches forwards and looks down into the steep pit. He hears another louder howl. He turns to run, but his scream is cut off and we hear the sound of crunching bones.
TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE PUMP STATION # 2 – CONTROL ROOM
ANGELA MENENDEZ, an employee of Morningstar Energy, the company building the new pipeline connecting the ANWR oil wells to the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, has just arrived. Having been responsible for the pipeline’s original environmental impact study, she is under pressure from Morningstar Energy executive and her boss, KEVIN KOWALSKI, to end the costly delay in its construction due in part to unexpected seismic activity and the opening of a huge hole in the path of the pipeline. She assures Kowalski that the consultant she’s recommended will assess the new risks as insignificant so that construction can begin again. She asks Kowalski what he is going to do about the anti-pipeline protesters, but he tells her to stick with the sinkhole and leave the protesters to him.
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS (UAF)
We recognize the man at the front of the classroom conducting a lecture on the melting of the Arctic permafrost in front of a marginally interested classroom. This is the Jack Oswald we met earlier, geology professor and one-time volcanologist. The weight of what happened on Mt. Marum stoops his shoulders. He’s going through the motions and seems more relieved than the students when the class is over.
Kowalski calls Jack as he walks to his office. He hopes to recruit Jack to investigate the “sinkhole” that threatens a planned section of pipeline connecting the ANWR oilfields to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline at the newly reopened Pump Station #2.
Jack isn’t interested because the Fall Semester has just begun and there is nothing special about a simple sinkhole. He’s also privately reluctant to go back out in the field because his last field work resulted in the death of his son and the ending of his marriage. Kowalski is insistent, asking him to look at the photos and measurements they’ve taken. No promises, but Jack eventually agrees to look at the information and offer his professional opinion.
ALASKA – NORTH SLOPE
A couple of Wall Street brokers and their guide on a private hunting trip find a fresh polar bear carcass RIPPED TO SHREDS lying next to the access road for the new pipeline, only to meet their own swift and brutal demise at the hands of an unseen threat.
UAF – JACK’S OFFICE
It’s the first thing next morning. Kowalski is there waiting for Jack, and he’s not going to take no for an answer. Jack sits down with the information on the “sinkhole” and can’t make heads or tails of it, piquing his scientific curiosity. The hole’s large size and especially its cylindrical shape make it clear that this is no ordinary sinkhole. We meet MARK STARR, Jack’s quick-witted teaching assistant, whom Jack also shows the data. The likewise perplexed Mark shares his mentor’s interest in the mystery. Jack agrees to join the expedition, but Mark doesn’t want to stay behind and begs to tag along, calling in a favor from another grad student to cover his TA duties. Kowalski promises they will have whatever equipment they need to collect data, and once they identify the problem, the oil company will follow their recommendations on how to resume pipeline construction safely, adding that his employer is prepared to offer generous compensation. Jack, intrigued by the strange phenomenon, agrees and Kowalski, with Jack’s urging, even concedes on a stipend for Mark (to help with his costly student loans).
AT THE DEADHORSE AIRPORT
Jack, Kowalski and Mark land in Deadhorse to begin the trek out to the jeopardized section of pipeline. ANGELA greets them, much to Jack’s surprise and Mark notices some immediate tension between Jack and the taciturn woman. Angela needs Jack to assess the threat to the pipeline, but there’s also a sense there are some unresolved personal issues between them. A pair of private security contractors, brooding, ex-soldier types, NEUHAUSEN and WICKES, round out the team. Angela updates the three men on recent developments with sinkhole and the increasing local seismic activity. She then pulls Kowalski aside and tells him about the missing would-be hunter and the increasing number of anti-pipeline protesters camping nearby. Jack gets into it a bit with Angela over her manipulating him, but Mark’s infectious enthusiasm takes down the temperature.
ON THE ROAD
After driving down the Dalton Highway to the newly reopened Pump Station #2 (where the new pipeline connects to the larger Trans-Alaska pipeline), they turn left onto an access road alongside the new pipeline towards the “sinkhole”. As they near the end of the pipeline, the team encounters an abandoned truck (belonging to the now dead hunters and their guide). The truck is badly damaged on one side and covered with blood, which Mark plausibly suggests it was the result of hitting a caribou. Jack notices a large number of strange looking tracks (sort of like a wolf but the size of a bear print with longer claws). Except for the blood (inside and on the ground), they find no other signs of whatever left the tracks or whoever was in the truck.
On arriving at the end of the pipeline, the team stops to talk to the workers. In addition to reports of recently damaged/destroyed equipment attributed to the protesters and reports of slaughtered animals, the team hears about the latest efforts to stop the pipeline from reaching the new oil fields. The protesters are primarily residents of the local Inupiat village of Kaktovic reinforced by a few environmentalists and climate activists. Unfortunately for the oil company, their resistance is being heavily documented and publicized by photojournalist AILEEN O’SHANNON, who has become a major thorn in the side of the oil company by regularly posting reports on the Internet. They also hear about similar strange tracks and strange noise at night, but the workers think that this is probably just some of the protesters messing with their heads.
As the team gases up and prepares to drive on to the “sinkhole,” Morningstar’s CEO, MARTIN GOODWELL, arrives via chopper, PR team in tow. His visit catches Angela and Kowalski unawares, but he insists he’s there only to publicly reassure shareholders the pipeline will open on schedule.
Goodwell volunteers to ferry Jack and Mark out to the sinkhole after stopping at the protester’s encampment where he hopes to allay their concerns and convince them to evacuate the area without having to resort to having them forcibly removed.
They fly over the protester’s camp before landing. It is a surprisingly large collection of teepees with a few scattered tents. On landing, Goodwell puts on a show for the cameras coming across as reasonable and empathetic. He introduces a camera-leery Jack as an expert hired by Morningstar to recommend the safest course of action, which they will pursue including diverting the pipeline safely around the “sinkhole.” The protesters will not be satisfied by anything less than a complete shutdown of the new oil fields and removal of the partially built pipeline.
While there, Mark learns from Kowalski that Angela and Jack were once married and divorced after losing their only child in a tragic accident, thereby explaining their combative demeanor thus far.
AT THE MOUTH OF MADNESS
The helicopter continues on to the “sinkhole”, circling it several times before landing. The imposing THIRTY-METER WIDE SINKHOLE makes Jack uneasy, reminding him of the volcanic crater where Ben died. He forces down the unpleasant memory by concentrating on the hole’s strange size and shape: perfectly round with nearly vertical walls that stretch down through the frozen permafrost into darkness. Once again, it is clear to Jack that this is no ordinary sinkhole.
Neuhauser and Wickes soon arrive in SUVs with the team’s equipment. Once there, Jack and Mark take measurements and notice heat and sulfurous fumes rising from the hole.
Jack decides, due to the late hour, that it’s best to set up camp where they are for the night and get a fresh start in the morning. They park their vehicles safely back from the edge of the hole as a precaution to avoid having to dig out their trucks from the rapidly thawing muck. Angela confesses she referred Jack for this gig hoping to get a chance to finally talk about what happened between them, but Jack is too wracked with guilt to talk about it.
At first light, Jack prepares to rappel down into the hole to take samples and measurements. Mark convinces Jack to go down with him, as it’s too dangerous to go alone. Fighting memories of Ben’s death, Jack reluctantly agrees. Once at the bottom, they find the floor of the crater hot to the touch, though that makes no sense as the ground should be frozen solid for at least another thousand feet down. They argue as to how safe it is. Knowing that there has never been any sign of volcanism in the North Slope, Mark unhooks from his rappel line and ventures out onto the seemingly solid surface of the crater floor. There is a significant earthquake, the floor of the crater drops a dozen feet, and a crevice opens up next to Mark. He stumbles and falls out of sight. Jack rappels the rest of the way down from where the earthquake had left him dangling, unhooks, and risks himself to pull up Mark. The grad student has badly sprained his ankle.
There is a strong aftershock, and the floor of the crater drops a few more feet. Jack frantically helps Mark hook to his line. More aftershocks and the crevasse opens even wider. Through the swirling vapors rising from the crevasse, Jack sees… something large. They hear an unholy roar as Jack hooks himself to Mark’s harness, and they are pulled safely out of the hole.
AT THE MORNINGSTAR CAMP
Everyone drives back past the protest camp to the Morningstar camp at the end of the pipeline, where Mark gets medical help from Morningstar’s EMTs. Jack tells Angela and Kowalski that the mysterious crater threatens both the protesters and the pipeline. He advises them to suspend construction indefinitely until they understand what’s causing the crater. While Kowalski likes the idea of using the earthquakes and crater to force the protesters to leave, he rejects the idea of stopping construction as unnecessary and too expensive. Instead, he suggests that they merely route the pipeline around the hole once the protesters are safely out of the way. Jack wonders aloud if a recent, unrelated but still costly, shut down on a nearby Morningstar offshore platform also figures into Kowalski’s thinking. Angela reluctantly sides with Kowalski against Jack’s recommendation to call off resuming pipeline construction, thinking that if they give the crater wide-enough berth, it should be sufficiently safe and after all, it will be several months before the pipeline is completed and put into operation, thereby giving them plenty of time to reconsider before risking a spill. Jack accuses Angela of using him as cover for her company’s plan to continue building despite Goodwell’s claims to the protestors.
While Mark’s injuries are seen to in the medical hut, the team joins Goodwell in a meeting with REVEREND POOLE, a clergyman from the lower forty-eight who has arrived from the protester camp, offering his services as a mediator between the two sides of the dispute. He’s an affable, charismatic man with a strong sense of fairness. A storm is coming and as snow begins to fall, Goodwill departs the company’s camp for Deadhorse, while the reverend heads back to the protester’s encampment. The storm forces Goodwell’s helicopter to divert to Pump Station #2.
BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS
As darkness falls, a restless Jack steps into what he thinks is the medical hut and finds the remains of the missing worker. The body is slashed to the bone. Jack is at a loss to explain what could have caused such terrible injuries.
At the edge of camp, something unseen watches Jack from the darkness.
THE PROTESTERS ATTACKED
Heavy snow begins to fall on the tents and teepees as the protester’s camp sleeps. Several somethings, vicious and deadly, attack the hapless protestors. The activists are slaughtered in the swirling snow. The few local law officers there to keep the peace are dispatched cruelly by a terrifyingly fast enemy. A Morningstar employee masquerading as an environmentalist to keep an eye on the protester camp uses his sat phone to call Kowalski at the company camp, demanding help.
Kowalski sends half of his security force to the nearby encampment. Jack decides he has to see for himself what is happening, and Angela jumps into the SUV with him. They drive the mile and a half to the protesters encampment. Once there, Jack and Angela get separated in the confusion. Jack flees as protesters fall one by one, their screams mixing with the howling of the wind. Jack is cornered by one of the beasts, and he makes out some of it in the low light: a creature right out of Lovecraft or Steven King. As large as a black bear, it is roughly shaped like a wolf, but without fur, its transparent skin showing bulging muscles fed by large black blood vessels. It stares at him with goat-like eyes. Wickes orders him to flee and empties his assault rifle into the horror to no avail as the creature’s wounds rapidly heal. It tears him down to a bloody end. Meanwhile, Angela, cornered protecting two young native protesters, holds off her attacker with a makeshift torch, a burning piece of wood from a campfire. Just as the creature is about to pounce, Jack PLOWS INTO IT WITH A PICK UP TRUCK. The fanged nightmare survives and comes after Jack in the now disabled truck when a flash of blinding red light incinerates the beast and sends the others fleeing back into the storm. Angela pulls a dazed Jack from the truck as they all grapple with whatever just happened.
ACT 2: THE DAY AFTER
As the survivors assess the damage and grieve for the dead, Jack, Angela, Mark and Kowalski stand in front of the charred corpse of one of the creatures that attacked the previous night. Not a bear, not a wolf. Burned as it is by the blinding flash, it’s still not like anything any of them has ever seen before. Jack was the only one to see whatever it was when the beast was killed, just as he was the only one to see whatever it was when he and Mark where raised out of the crater. There are no answers, only more questions.
Poole returns to camp and rallies the frightened and confused survivors, quoting Scripture and offering a theological interpretation for what just happened. Poole calls the creatures demons and refers to the crater as a hell hole. The name sticks. Jack, a rationalist, rejects this explanation out of hand, and while Angela doesn’t drop to her knees in prayer, she isn’t prepared to dismiss the idea that this is something science can’t explain. Neuhauser returns from patrolling the camp carrying the late Wickes’ ruined rifle and reveals he found strange tracks leading back in the direction of the hell hole.
Back at the company’s camp through the entire ordeal, Mark is back on his feet. On arrival at the protesters’ camp, he tells Jack that one of Kowalski’s instruments is detecting unusual EM activity emanating from the direction of the hell hole, but is unsure of what any of it. He sees Aileen helping the wounded and goes over to help. They immediately hit it off.
The situation is dire and Morningstar’s security personnel are the closest thing to the Army that they can contact. Unfortunately, everyone’s sat phones are down, probably due to the EM interference from the hole. Jack and Angela leave the protester’s camp and return to Morningstar’s camp to talk to Kowalski.
Kowalski doesn’t understand any of Jack and Angela’s story, but he needs the pipeline to resume construction. He sends the rest of his armed private security detail with orders to evacuate the surviving protesters who haven’t already fled north to the village of Kaktovic.
INTO THE HELLMOUTH
Jack is determined to find a rational explanation for what happened at the protesters’ camp and determine where these creatures are coming from. He must get answers and that means returning to the hell hole to confirm what he saw the last time he was there. Jack, Angela, and Neuhauser get in an SUV and drive past the remains of the protester camp to the hellhole. The conditions there are worsening, and the area around the hell hole is now practically tropical compared to the surrounding Arctic landscape. They have to park 100 feet back because the temperature has melted the permafrost, turning the ground into a quagmire.
The EM interference prevents Jack from being able to control the UVA or use the other sensors so he decides he has to re-enter the crater. When Angela can’t talk him out of it, she convinces the armed Neuhauser to go with him as backup. Jack and Neuhauser rappel down into the hole and walk over to the crevasse that almost swallowed up Mark. Jack drops a chemlight in, only to find the bottom of the crevasse is only a dozen feet down. Climbing down, they find themselves in a large circular tunnel. It’s hard to see through the miasma of noxious vapors swirling around them, but they eventually come to the end where the tunnel ends in a blank circular wall. To the side, there is a stone podium with strange glyphs carved into its surface. Suddenly, one of them begins to glow, and the end of the tunnel becomes a shimmery surface. They hear noises coming from the other side of it. Something is coming closer. The surface is a portal and any second, more of the deadly creatures will emerge and kill them.
Jack and Neuhauser flee back through the tunnel, disappearing up the crevasse as the first hellhounds emerge through the portal. The men run to their ropes, and call up to have themselves winched up to the surface.
The hellhounds heard their call and horrible howls come from the crevasse as the pair are winched up. Halfway up, Jack’s winch jams. A few harrowing moments and the winch, not slow but not fast either, restarts and Jack and Neuhauser makes it safely to the surface.
Jack tells Angela that Goodwell has to forget the pipeline and forget the shareholders. They have to get everyone as far away from the hellhole as possible. More of the creatures are coming. Just then, several hellhounds exit the crevasse and begin to slowly climb up the vertical walls of the hellhole using their long, curved claws.
Jack, Angela, and Neuhauser jump into the SUV and drive away as fast as possible. Neuhauser tries to use the SUV’s sat phone to contact Kowalski at the Morningstar camp, but the phone is still not working. Another unholy howl comes from inside the crater. As the team race back to the camp something else, something different emerges from the hole, shooting straight up into the air on enormous bat-like wings.
ACT 3: SOMETHING WICKED
Jack, Angela, and Neuhauser race past what’s left of the protest camp. It’s deserted, as Kowalski has evacuated everyone to the company camp where they have better shelter: trailers rather than tents. More armed private security as well as workers from Pump Station #2 have arrived up the access road and Kowalski has ordered a lockdown of all the protesters, as well as Aileen, Mark and the Rev. Poole “for their own protection.” Jack and Neuhauser’s warnings go unheeded and their insistence on immediate evacuation gets them locked up with the others.
Angela defies Kowalski and talks her way into the repurposed cargo container turned jailhouse. Angela apologizes for her role in this and Jack apologizes for his part in their divorce just as the hellhounds arrive and attack the camp. The contractor’s firepower is no match for the ferocious predators, and they are massacred in gruesome fashion. Fortunately, Aileen is able to clear a path through the hellhounds using a strange amulet she’s carrying as the survivors use the contractor’s vehicles to escape.
The first vehicle, driven by Neuhauser, carries Mark, Kowalski, and Rev. Poole. Neuhauser’s plan is to flee to Pump Station #2 where Goodwell’s helicopter was grounded to wait out the weather. The second SUV carrying several survivors is overtaken by hellhounds causing it to crash. Angela, Jack, and Aileen follow in the third SUV, with Aileen using her amulet to kill several of the hellhound chasing them. Soon, they leave the hellhounds behind as they speed down the access road to Pump Station #2, where the new pipeline feeds into the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
NEW PLAN, OLD TROUBLE
The two surviving SUVs arrive at Pump Station #2. They find no signs of activity at the compound, which consists of a collection of buildings where the station employees live and work.
The group takes shelter in the bunkhouse where they find Goodwell, SHEPARD, the chopper pilot, Goodwell’s personal BODYGUARD and CROWDER, a maintenance man who was there when Goodwell arrived. Nursing bruised ribs in a work-related accident, Crowder remained behind when the rest of the staff was ordered to the campsite. Jack demands answers from Aileen, who reveals herself to be a member of an ancient secret order committed to protecting humanity from an even older threat: a race of beings not of this earth. Each age has had its own name for them: Demons. Monsters. Aliens. But Aileen is clear: the sinkhole is a portal to the place these demons come from, and it must be closed before more of them come through. She warns them that the hellhounds are only one of many kinds of demons. The “magic” amulet she used to drive off the hellhounds is a powerful, albeit limited, weapon members of her order use to fight the invaders. It contains a devilstone, taken from the skull of a devil, the ruling race of demons. Still angry about Aileen’s reporting of the protests, Goodwell dismisses her “demon” story outright. As a scientist, Jack does not believe in magic and wants to examine the amulet, which contains a strange red crystal in a setting of gold. Mark remembers the Arthur C. Clarke quote: “Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” and wonders if it is some type of alien tech. Rev. Poole offers the appropriate Bible verse on faith in God’s love and protection from Satan. Goodwell is convinced that they’ve all gone insane. Jack wants to know what these hellhounds really are and how to stop them, and Angela just wants to get everyone out of there safely. Suffice to say the group is incredulous but not as much as they would have been 72 hours earlier. Crowder reminds them that whatever’s responsible is still out there. He refuses to leave and warns them to stay put.
The steadily increasing ferocity of the storm makes the decision a simple one. The helicopter is temporarily grounded, and the blizzard has made driving up to Deadhorse impossible.
Riding out the weather in the bunkhouse, Jack tries to make sense of what he’s heard. Disagreement about what to do next threatens to boil over. Aileen and Goodwell are about to square off just as another earthquake hits. Jack: “The hellhole is getting deeper”.
Because the sat phones are not working, Chowder suggests they try using the station’s bigger antennas, but that would require getting to the communications equipment in the operations center to call for help. Jack figures he can move quicker by himself and doesn’t want to endanger any other lives, but Angela insists on going with him to watch his back. Weather notwithstanding, Neuhauser will get the pilot, SHEPARD, to the chopper to ready it for take off WHEN the weather clears and IF they have enough time. Crowder impressively suggests roasting the hellhounds by rigging explosives left by the pipe gang to the fuel tank used to run the station’s pump. Aileen likes the plan as long as Mark joins her (having worked oil rigs as an undergrad, he’s familiar with refinery equipment). Luring the hellhounds to the fuel tank will buy Shepard time to ready the chopper and hopefully take out some of the creatures in the process. Neuhauser gives Angela, a proficient shooter, her sidearm for protection. Poole stays put with Kowalski and Crowder as Jack and the others move to action.
BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
Aileen has to use her amulet several times to kill hellhounds that blocked their path as she and Mark first obtain some dynamite and flares from the maintenance building before continuing on to the fuel tank. They rig the charges adding the flares to ensure that the crude oil released from the tank ignites.
Neuhauser and Shepard nearly make it to the chopper, but find several hellhounds seemingly guarding it. They wait, hoping that something will draw away the hellhounds so that they can reach it.
Jack and Angela arrive at the operations center to find all the equipment smashed. They are betrayed, but by whom? Their answer arrives in the form of a “devil” whom we now see clearly with horns, cloven hooves, wings. To Jack and Angela’s surprise, the creature speaks with the voice of Reverend Poole, “Surprised? Or do you prefer I hide my true form with this glamour?” He turns back into the reverend.
Poole reveals himself to be a vanguard sent to prepare the way for Earth’s invasion. The hellhounds are indigenous to his world and are used as the shock troops of the demon army. Jack looks at Angela, not with disbelief. It’s something else, a shorthand between them. Poole’s plan is to secure the portal until it reaches its full size by dawn. That means insuring no one learns what happened at the campsites, which means they all have to die.
Jack asks Poole why the demons are invading Earth? Poole’s answer is that conquering new worlds is how they expand their empire and obtain new sources of slaves and food. But the question was just meant to delay and distract Poole long enough for Angela get off several shots. The bullets are well aimed and even though they do not kill the rapidly healing Poole, they have the desired effect. Jack has time to hit Poole with a bottle of whiskey from the control room desk, breaking it. He then produces a flare from the supplies they scrounged lighting Poole’s face on fire buying Jack and Angela time to flee.
BAD TO WORSE
Outside, winds howl as Jack and Angela race back to the bunkhouse. Reverting to his true form, the devil uses his magic to blast a hole in the roof of the operations center. Letting out an otherworldly cry of rage, he spreads his wings and takes off into the snowy sky.
At the helicopter, Poole’s cry seems to command the hellhounds on guard duty causing them to run off. Neuhauser and Shepard seize their opportunity to get to the chopper.
At the fuel tank, Aileen and Mark are about to be overwhelmed in spite of Aileen’s killing many hellhounds with her amulet. They are ready to detonate their IED but the hellhounds that had surrounded them leave as well. This foils their trap but allows them to return to the bunkhouse building.
Jack and Angela arrive at the bunkhouse with Aileen and Mark hot on their heels. Before they can warn everyone about Poole being a devil, he CRASHES through the ceiling in a rage. He slaughters both Crowder and Goodwell’s bodyguard. Aileen wields her amulet but nothing happens. The devil steps forward, shoving her backwards into the wall where she lies dazed. He ridicules her for failing to understand that as a mere human, she could never wield a devilstone as well as he can. The terrified Goodwell confesses he has been colluding with Poole from the start; that he did everything he was told to do and begs for his life. Poole steps from in front of the exit and allows him to leave. The instant Goodwell steps foot outside, he’s mauled to death by hellhounds. Poole turns his attention back to Jack and Angela.
With no more tricks to pull, Jack and Angela steel themselves to their fate as Neuhauser rides to the rescue SMASHING THROUGH THE WALL on a giant pipeline ditcher rig that all but crushes Poole, pinning him under the excavating machine’s massive serrated teeth. Neuhauser emptying her assault rifle into the trapped devil, then uses it as a club before pulling her knife as she’s overwhelmed by hellhounds entering through the hole made by the machine.
Kowalski and Mark are both cornered with the hellhounds between them and the exit. Kowalski finds his courage and Mark, still limping from his sprained ankle, finds a bag of ammonium nitrate compound. Kowalski orders the others to close the portal no matter what and he remains behind, detonating the explosive with a flare and bringing down the rest of the roof on their heads as Jack, Angela, Mark and Aileen escape through the covered bridge linking the bunkhouse with the office building.
Jack, Angela, Mark and Aileen run through the office building to a window overlooking the helipad to discover Shepard and the helicopter gone. But they see a snowcat that could get them to the sinkhole. In case she doesn’t make it, Aileen tries to tell Jack how to use the amulet to shut the portal, but he is not going to let anyone else die and tells her to keep it. While they argue, Angela tells Jack she was sorry for what happened between them before running out to draw the hellhounds away, shouting like a mad woman.
Jack, Aileen, and Mark have no choice but to run to the snowcat and race for the hellhole, leaving Angela to face the last hellhound alone. Jack and Aileen make it, but Mark’s ankle injury makes him too slow and several hellhounds overwhelm him as Jack and Aileen look on in horror. Angela has disappeared, and Jack and Aileen drive off towards the hole, hoping that she somehow manages to outwit the hellhounds and avoid Poole should he manage to heal and free himself.
As they approach the much larger hellhole, Jack and Aileen see more hellhounds stalking around its edge. Its sides have collapsed, forming a steep slope down to the bottom. Aileen tells Jack to drive straight through the demons and down to the crevasse. Once inside and at the end of the tunnel, she will release all the amulet’s stored energy, which should be enough to destroy the portal. Jack refuses to leave her, and they commit to finishing the job together. Jack floors it, plowing the tracked vehicle through the melted tundra around the sinkhole, running over several hellhounds that get in their way. As they are about to carom down into the crater, Poole, still seriously injured and really pissed, lands on the roof and begins ripping at the metal with his claws. The tracked snowcat hits bottom and flips over, sending the devil cartwheeling.
The snowcat skids to a stop upside down just at the lip of the crevasse. Jack is hurt but alive. He crawls from the cab to see the devil once more on top the overturned track, holding a helpless Aileen over the crevasse by her throat. The devil is slowly choking her to death when out of nowhere a RIFLE SHOT blows off the top of his head, sending both of them tumbling into the gaping crevasse. The shot came from Angela sitting in the window of Shepard’s chopper as it hovers over the edge of the hellhole.
Jack hobbles to the edge of the crevasse where Aileen has somehow managed to hold on. He reaches down to help pull her up, but she tells him she has thought of another way to close the portal. She tells him to run for the helicopter and watch for her signal. Then she lets go of the ledge and falls into the mists.
The chopper swoops down and picks up Jack and the three survivors hover over the edge of the hole, drawing the hellhounds away from the crevasse and unsure of what will happen next. Suddenly, they see Aileen emerge from the crevasse and wave frantically. The hellhounds circling the hellhole spot their new prey and head down the slope. The chopper once more swoops down to pick up Aileen, who is pulled aboard, her hands covered in demon blood. As they gain altitude and begin to fly off, she leans out and aims her amulet at the crevasse. A blast of red light bursts from the amulet and into the crack. A second later, an incredible blast of energy erupts from the floor of the crater, destroying the portal and wiping out the remaining hellhounds inside the hellhole.
Jack and Angela look incredulously at Aileen and the amulet in her bloody hands. “Didn’t you say you needed the entire power of your amulet to destroy the portal?” Aileen responds: “I said I needed the entire power of a devilstone. Angela’s shot made another stone available: Poole’s.”
In the recovery room of the Deadhorse Hospital, Jack, wounds dressed, sits in his bed. Angela comes in and sits next to him taking his hand in hers. They just look at one another. There are no words. Standing in the doorway, Aileen – also in bandages – smiles and walks away.
The next evening, closeup of Jack, Angela, and Aileen in an SUV driving south on the Dalton Highway on their way to Fairbanks. RUMBLING. They don’t notice the increasingly powerful earthquake due to the noise and vibration of driving on the rough gravel road. To the west and east, blue lights light up the twilight sky as dozens of hell holes open up in the distance behind them. Camera rapidly recedes upwards until the point of view is that of a low-earth-orbit satellite, where it becomes clear that hundreds of new hell holes extend around the entire Arctic Circle.
SMASH TO BLACK.
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