PARANORMAN Written by Christopher Butler 1 INT. RESEARCH LABORATORY - NIGHT 1 An attractive FEMALE SCIENTIST in a gore-spattered lab coat moves fearfully along a wall, passing benches strewn with broken lab equipment. Her ample bosom heaves as she PANTS nervously, mascara-rimmed eyes darting to and fro. Glass SMASHES on the floor nearby and MELODRAMATIC MUSIC swells. The woman backs into a shadow, not noticing a pair of dead eyes catching the moonlight behind her. The music climbs to a frenzy as something GROANS horribly into the woman's ear. She spins around on her stiletto heels as a rotted face looms out of the darkness, drooling through broken teeth, and lunges at her neck. ZOMBIE Brains! CLOSE ON the woman as she raises her hands and SCREAMS. CUT TO: 2 2 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Eleven year-old NORMAN BABCOCK sits on the floor watching TV. He has large piercing eyes and a messy shock of hair. The movie scene we just witnessed continues off- screen with the sound of bloodcurdling SCREAMS. Behind him sitting upon a sofa is GRANDMA BABCOCK, a plump old lady squinting through thick glasses. GRANDMA BABCOCK What's happening now? NORMAN The zombie is eating her head, Grandma. GRANDMA BABCOCK That's not very nice. What's he doing that for? NORMAN Because he's a zombie. That's what they do. GRANDMA BABCOCK Well he's going to ruin his dinner. I'm sure if they just bothered to sit down and talk it through it'd be a different story. Norman CHUCKLES, as if the idea is absurd, then winces as he hears his father shout from the kitchen. ParaNorman 2. 2 CONTINUED: 2 PERRY BABCOCK (O.S.) Norman! Didn't I tell you to take out the garbage? NORMAN Coming, Dad! GRANDMA BABCOCK Tell him to turn up the thermostat too, will ya? My feet are like ice. Norman nods to her and shuffles over to the kitchen door. 3 3 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS Norman's mother, SANDRA BABCOCK, is emptying the dishwasher. She is in her late thirties, and wears `mom' clothes that do no favors for her figure. His father, PERRY BABCOCK, is older, with a neatly-trimmed beard trying hard to delineate chin from neck. He stands on a chair, decked out in tool belt and safety goggles, even though he's only changing a light bulb in a ceiling fixture. Sandra smiles at her son as he makes his way silently to an overstuffed trash can as tall as he is. SANDRA BABCOCK Hi. Whatcha watching in there? NORMAN Sex and violence. SANDRA BABCOCK Oh. That's nice. Perry glares over as Norman wrestles with the garbage. PERRY BABCOCK Can't you be like other kids your age and pitch a tent in the yard, or have a healthy interest in carpentry? SANDRA BABCOCK Perry... NORMAN I thought you said kids my age were too busy shoplifting and joyriding? SANDRA BABCOCK Norman! He hefts the bag onto the floor and ties it in a knot. ParaNorman 3. 3 CONTINUED: 3 Breezing into the kitchen through the back door while CHATTING inanely on her cell phone, Norman's older sister COURTNEY is fifteen years-old and is the bleached-blonde cheerleader archetype of every schoolboy's sordid dreams. COURTNEY Oh yeah, he's r-i-double p-e-d. Like, a seven pack at least. (TO NORMAN) Ew! Watch it! She pushes her brother out of the way as he drags the garbage outside. SANDRA BABCOCK Courtney, be nice. COURTNEY Yeah, she totally doesn't deserve him. I mean, she's nice and I really like her, but she's a complete loser. Yeah, I know. Courtney slumps into a chair at the table, twisting a strand of gum out of her mouth with a finger. Norman returns inside and shuts the door, pausing a moment as if thinking something over. NORMAN Dad? Grandma says, "Can you turn up the heating?" Her feet are cold. The bubble Courtney is blowing POPS against her face, Perry rolls his eyes and GROANS, and Sandra pales. SANDRA BABCOCK Now, Perry... PERRY BABCOCK How many times do we have to go through this, Son? Your grandmother is dead! NORMAN I know! PERRY BABCOCK Then why do you keep on talking to her? NORMAN Because she talks back! COURTNEY O-M-G, you are such a liar! ParaNorman 4. 3 CONTINUED: (2) 3 NORMAN I'm not making this up! I swear! She talks to me all the time! COURTNEY Oh yeah? Prove it! Norman levels her a look that says "you asked for this". NORMAN She said it's not very ladylike to hide photos of the High School quarterback with his shirt off in your underwear drawer. Sandra and Perry raise their eyebrows. COURTNEY I knew it! You've been sneaking around in my personal stuff! NORMAN No I haven't! Grandma told me! COURTNEY You are the worst! Courtney, brimming with outrage, storms out of the kitchen, her ponytail wagging furiously behind her. Sandra kneels down beside Norman with a wearily sympathetic smile. SANDRA BABCOCK Norman, I know you and Grandma were very close, but we all have to move on. Grandma's in a better place now. NORMAN No she's not, she's in the living room. Perry throws his arms in the air, swaying on the chair. PERRY BABCOCK Your grandmother was old and sick, and she died. That's all there is to it! SANDRA BABCOCK Perry, this is just part of the mourning process. ParaNorman 5. 3 CONTINUED: (3) 3 PERRY BABCOCK Stop indulging him! I'm nothing if I'm not liberal, but that limp- wristed, hippie garbage needs to be nipped in the bud! Norman SIGHS and steps between his parents as they argue. He mutely heads out of the room. 4 4 EXT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, FRONT YARD - CONTINUOUS The argument in the kitchen continues, slightly muted. PERRY BABCOCK (O.S.) This behavior might be okay with your side of the family, but I'm not putting up with it anymore! Not me! SANDRA BABCOCK (O.S.) Oh, not this again! PAN UP to find a light go on in Norman's bedroom window. 5 5 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, NORMAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT Norman sits on his bed, using a couple of zombie action figures to act out his parents' ongoing "discussion" which carries upstairs. Norman gets up off the bed and approaches the door. PERRY BABCOCK This isn't the West Coast, Sandra; people talk! They do! SANDRA BABCOCK (O.S.) He's just sensitive, Perry. PERRY BABCOCK (O.S.) Oh please, "sensitive" is writing poetry and being lousy at team sports... not this! I won't have him turn out like that uncle of yours! If that crazy old tramp has been around here putting ideas in Norman's head... SANDRA BABCOCK (O.S.) Perry, no one's had anything to do with Uncle Prenderghast in years! I bet he doesn't even know what Norman looks like! Norman quietly closes the door, and the room goes black. ParaNorman 6. 6 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, STUDY - NIGHT 6 CLOSE ON a faded photograph of Norman, held in the grimy hand of MR PRENDERGHAST. He stands over a dusty desk scattered with pictures of Norman, Sandra and older family members. He is in a dark study; a wall-to-wall trove of curious miscellanea and dumpster-dived junk. MR PRENDERGHAST Not much time, not much time... He pulls an old leather-bound book out from the mess, and traces a finger over a woodcut illustration on its cover; an ethereal woman lying beneath a cluster of stars. Wincing with pain, the man drops the book and clutches at his chest, COUGHING and GASPING horribly. CAMERA PANS to a wall covered in countless photographs, newspaper clippings and scrawled occult markings. It is a shrine of sorts; a madman's recondite genealogy project, and at its center is a photograph of Norman, posing with his family on vacation. ZOOM IN to the photograph, hurtling past the Babcocks and through dense trees further and further into a dark forest. TITLE: PARANORMAN 7 7 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, NORMAN'S BEDROOM - MORNING Norman opens bleary eyes, turns off his zombie hand alarm clock, and slides out of bed. 8 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - MORNING 8 Dressed for school, Norman pauses at the front door and turns to look at the sofa in the living room. He waves happily, and Grandma smiles back. Courtney passes him as she comes down the stairs in the opposite direction. She also stops to look at the sofa, but to her eyes it is empty. She sneers contemptuously. 9 9 EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - MORNING Norman ambles past houses and lawns spotted with small- town America detritus; cheap plastic lawn furniture, peeling-paint fences and cookie-cutter topiary. Here the quaint colonial buildings are mostly in disrepair, their picket fences rotten or daubed in graffiti. ParaNorman 7. 9 CONTINUED: 9 Norman is watched dubiously by the occasional passer-by as he shouts amiable greetings to people who simply aren't there. NORMAN Good morning! Hey Bruce! How's it goin'? Not much. I'm kind of late for school. I need to go. Hi, nice to see you guys. Good morning. Sorry I gotta run. Excuse me. Pardon me. See ya. At one street corner, Norman bends over a gutter. He is watched curiously by a man retrieving his morning paper across the other side of the street. MAN'S POV - Norman crouches over the flattened remains of raccoon road kill. NORMAN (CONT'D) Hey there little buddy! C'mere! He realizes he is being stared at and slowly turns to face the onlooker, then hurries away. Though no one else sees them, to Norman's eyes, a whole host of ghosts are meandering through the streets. NORMAN (CONT'D) Yeah, good to see you! How you doin'? Hi Mrs Hardman. You look nice today. I like what you've done with your hair. HAIRDRYER GHOST Does anyone smell burning? HIPPY GHOST Hey, peace, man. NORMAN Totally. CIVIL WAR GHOST As you were, soldier. NORMAN Sir, yes sir! GREASER GHOST Yo Norman, you playin' hookie? NORMAN No no, I'm just late for school. Sorry, I gotta go. (to Mobster Ghost) How you doin'? ParaNorman 8. 9 CONTINUED: (2) 9 MOBSTER GHOST Hey, how you doin'? A little further along Norman nods pleasantly to the ghost of a parachutist impaled in the branches of a roadside tree. NORMAN Hi! How's it hanging? PARACHUTIST GHOST Ho ho! Haven't heard that one before. Well, it's a nice day. 11 11 EXT. MAIN STREET - MORNING Its industrial days now rusted behind it, Blithe Hollow has become a run-down tourist town, celebrating its heritage with lame fetes and crass knick-knacks. A massive billboard beside the main square reads "BLITHE HOLLOW - A GREAT PLACE TO HANG!" illustrated by a group of waving Puritans beside an equally cheerful witch hanging from a gallows. Across the street a huge banner suggests this year is particularly important for the town; "BLITHE HOLLOW - 300 BEWITCHIN' YEARS!" The town center is lacking in charm; its historical buildings subsumed into a vulgar modern thoroughfare with gaudy witch-themed shop fronts and cracked sidewalks. Everywhere Norman walks, the witch theme is prevalent. Cars have bumper stickers that extol such witticisms as "MY OTHER CAR IS A BROOM". There's a dingy bar, the BAR GENTO, and a greeting card store called BEST WITCHES. Norman hurries past SHERIFF HOOPER, a heavyset black woman, and DEPUTY DWAYNE, lanky and awkward and looking like he'd rather be elsewhere. SHERIFF HOOPER Watch and learn. "Parking violation" is my middle name. DEPUTY DWAYNE Really? I thought it was Rhona. They glance up disdainfully as Norman passes by. Clearly in this town Norman has something of a bad reputation. 12 EXT. SCHOOL ENTRANCE - MORNING 12 Norman walks up a tree lined path that leads to a squat school building. Out front, the name "BLITHE HOLLOW MIDDLE SCHOOL" is carved into an ugly hunk of granite. ParaNorman 9. 12 CONTINUED: 12 SCHOOL KIDS line the path in front of Norman; a gauntlet of jeering, merciless, pre-pubescent horror. Norman takes a deep breath as he begins his daily walk of ridicule. Most of the kids give him a wide berth, but others sneer and WHISPER as he passes. A bell RINGS the start of the school day, and everyone makes a bee-line for the building. Someone barges Norman with their shoulder, knocking his backpack to the ground. Other kids SNICKER as they step over him. As the last of them head through the lobby doors, Norman is left alone on the path. Norman bends down to retrieve his spilled possessions, and a dark shape beyond the gate catches his eye. NORMAN'S POV - Mr Prenderghast, barely visible as he stands within the shadow of a tree, stares back at him. Norman frowns and squints his eyes, but now sees only trees and shadows, so he continues up the steps. 13 13 INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY, LOCKERS - MORNING An expanse of unevenly lacquered floor, scuffed by scores of dragged heels. Rows of dented lockers line the walls. Norman stands before his locker, across which someone has daubed the word "FREAK" in marker. Clearly something of a daily ritual, he reaches inside, takes out a bottle of surface cleaner and a rag and proceeds to wipe it off. Across the hallway, another kid is removing graffiti from his locker. NEIL is overweight with frizzy red hair, and is busily rubbing a handkerchief over the word "FATTY". He watches Norman with interest. A voice behind his shoulder gives Norman a start. ALVIN Hey, ghost jerk! You know what? Norman turns to find textbook bully ALVIN, the only 6th grader in his class who shaves, looming over him. He is flanked by a couple of leering sycophants, one of whom wears a T-shirt emblazoned with "TEAM ALVIN". Norman SIGHS. NORMAN What do you want, Alvin? ALVIN Why don't you see some more ghosts, goober? ParaNorman 10. 13 CONTINUED: 13 The kids LAUGH uproariously, encouraging Alvin to show off some more. ALVIN (CONT'D) Hey! Hey! Norman! Alvin points to a fly that has landed on the locker beside him. He swats it flat with his hand. ALVIN (CONT'D) Talk to that. The kids around Alvin burst into LAUGHTER. ALVIN (CONT'D) That is so Alvin! The bullies strut away, content in the psychological damage they've managed to inflict. PUG Loser! ALVIN That was good, right guys? Norman mutters as they leave, but not loud enough so as anyone might hear. NORMAN Flies don't talk. Across the hall, Neil continues to watch with sympathy, but he is already being hurried along by his friend SALMA, a nerdy Indian kid with braces. SALMA Neil, come on. Let's go. 14 14 INT. SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - DAY Amidst stacked bleachers, foam mats and stray dodge balls, a crudely constructed stage fills one end of the gymnasium. Mediocre art class scenery represents a colonial town, complete with plywood hills, chapel and crescent moon dangling perilously from a basketball hoop. In a director's chair far too small for the job is MRS HENSCHER, an imposing woman with spectacles and beret who looks like she smells of too-much perfume. At the front of the stage wearing a pilgrim hat and carrying a large scroll, is NORMAN. He is surrounded by kids whose attempts at home made period costume leave a lot to be desired. ParaNorman 11. 14 CONTINUED: 14 MRS HENSCHER You stink of illiteracy! (A BEAT) Pilgrims? The Mayflower? Don't any of you know anything about the history of this town? Mrs Henscher tries her best to remain unfazed. MRS HENSCHER (CONT'D) Puritans were strict and devout settlers, who came here to build a home, a place without sin. What is it now Salma? Salma is holding her hand up. She looks like the Wicked Witch of the West. Even beneath green makeup and plastic warty nose, it is clear she is not best pleased. SALMA Why is the witch always a hideous old crone with a pointy hat and a broomstick? I don't believe it's historically accurate, Mrs Henscher! Mrs Henscher's knuckles clench white around her script. She attempts an understanding smile, in the same way a shark might. MRS HENSCHER It's not supposed to be. It's supposed to sell postcards and key chains. (CLAPS HANDS) So let's try it again. Top of page six, Norman. Norman skips ahead on his scroll. NORMAN The founding fathers of Blithe Hollow discovered an evil witch amongst them... MRS HENSCHER No no, Norman, with gusto! Like this! Waving her arms theatrically, she bellows Norman's lines, milking every syllable for effect. MRS HENSCHER (CONT'D) They put her on trial and hanged her! (MORE) ParaNorman 12. 14 CONTINUED: (2) 14 MRS HENSCHER (CONT'D) But the vengeful witch cursed her accusers, seven of them in all, to die a horrible and gruesome death, and rise from their graves as the living dead; their souls doomed to an eternity of damnation! (A BEAT) Now I want you to try that again, but with conviction! My reputation is at stake here, and I won't have this turn out like that wretched Kabuki debacle of oh-nine! As she launches into her lecture, Norman notices a change in the room. The lights dim, the wind outside picks up, and indistinct shapes flicker at the corners of his eyes. Norman glances around at the other kids on the stage, to see if they are seeing what he is seeing. For a split second the children are replaced with faded figures in real Puritan dress. Seven solemn figures. As he turns around nervously, Norman sees the suggestion of another place fizzing in and out of the shadows... MRS HENSCHER (CONT'D) Norman! Are you listening to me, boy? Norman is brought back to the real world with a start, and nods timidly from behind his scroll. NORMAN Sorry, Mrs Henscher. MRS HENSCHER So am I. Now, unless there's any other issues, let us resume... They put her on trial and hanged her! Neil turns excitedly to Norman. NEIL Ooh! This is my moment! He shuffles toward Salma and swings his branch around, not realizing Alvin has slung the hangman's noose around Norman's neck. Norman is yanked off balance and staggers into Neil who keels over, rigid branch arms unable to stop his fall. He lands on top of Salma, her kicking legs sticking out from under him as though Dorothy's house had just landed on stage. The kids break into uncontrollable LAUGHTER. ParaNorman 13. 14 CONTINUED: (3) 14 ALVIN Boom, baby! NEIL Sorry! Mrs Henscher flings her script into the air, her face beet red. MRS HENSCHER Oh, you useless bunch of... The school bell RINGS drowning out her howling voice. 15 15 INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY, LOCKERS - LATER As kids hotfoot it out of the building as quickly as possible, Norman stands pitiably in front of his locker. Fresh graffiti reads "SEE YOU TOMORROW, FREAK". Norman heads for the door, and pretends not to hear when Neil shouts out behind him. NEIL Norman, wait up! 16 16 EXT. MAIN STREET - LATER Norman keeps going, but Neil quickly catches up, beaming intently at the side of his head. NORMAN I keep telling you, Neil. I like to be alone. NEIL So do I. Let's do it together! You shouldn't let them get you down. They always do stuff like that to me. NORMAN Why? NEIL Because I'm fat. And my allergies make my eyes leak. And I sweat when I walk too fast. And I have a lunchbox with a kitten on it. And I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I guess there's a whole bunch of stuff. NORMAN Doesn't it bother you? ParaNorman 14. 16 CONTINUED: 16 NEIL Nah. You can't stop bullying, it's part of human nature. If you were bigger and more stupid, you'd probably be a bully too. It's called "survival of the thickest". 17 17 EXT. URBAN STREET - DAY Norman and Neil walk away from the school along a tree lined street at the end of which stands a huge commemorative statue. It is a grotesque effigy of the evil witch from the local legend. MR PRENDERGHAST (O.S.) Psssst! The boys stop. It seems to be coming from the witch. NEIL That statue just "psssst" at us! Wild-eyed Mr Prenderghast suddenly leaps in front of them, startling them as he staggers closer. MR PRENDERGHAST You know who I am? NEIL The weird stinky old bum who lives up the hill? MR PRENDERGHAST (points to Norman) I was asking him. NORMAN Yes. I know. I was told not to talk to you. Sorry. Mr Prenderghast steps in front of Neil, leaning closer to Norman and whispering conspiratorially. MR PRENDERGHAST And you know why you're not supposed to talk to me? Norman tries to back away. MR PRENDERGHAST (CONT'D) I can see ghosts too! And I know that's not all you've been seeing lately, is it? Bad omens? Things you can't quite explain? Strange faces peering through the veil? Norman's eyes widen further. ParaNorman 15. 17 CONTINUED: 17 MR PRENDERGHAST (CONT'D) And I'll bet no one told you about the witch's curse, did they? NORMAN Actually, we're learning about it in school..? NEIL (BEAMING PROUDLY) I'm a tree! Mr Prenderghast impatiently turns his back on Neil and leans close to Norman. MR PRENDERGHAST There's something you really need to know! This is the most important thing you will ever hear! The fate of everyone depends on it! Now listen close... The witch's curse is real, and you're the one who has to stop it! Mr Prenderghast grabs Norman's arm and leans closer. MR PRENDERGHAST (CONT'D) You've gotta use your gift of talking to the dead! He breaks into a HACKING COUGH, face turning beet red and bloodshot eyes bulging. MR PRENDERGHAST (CONT'D) Because if you don't the witch's ghost... (COUGHING) And this is the most important thing of all... You have to go up to the old graveyard and... NEIL (O.S.) Leave him alone! An apple bounces off Mr Prenderghast's head. He turns to find Neil standing behind them on the path, lunchbox open in his hand providing leftover low-carb ammunition. NEIL (CONT'D) Don't make me throw this hummus! It's spicy! Mr Prenderghast thinks better of it and turns to flee the scene. He HISSES out of the side of his mouth at Norman. ParaNorman 16. 17 CONTINUED: (2) 17 MR PRENDERGHAST This ain't done with! You'll see it soon enough! Watch for the sign! As he hobbles away, Neil peers down the street after the old man. NEIL Jeez, what a dirty old creep! NORMAN He's my uncle. NEIL So is it true? NORMAN What? Norman just stares at him. NEIL Can you see ghosts? Like, everywhere? All the time? NORMAN Uh, yeah? NEIL Awesome! Do you think you can see my dog Bub? He was run over by an animal rescue van. Tragic and ironic. We buried him in the yard. Could you see him? Norman frowns disbelievingly, completely taken aback. NORMAN Maybe. NEIL Sweet! Come on! 20 20 EXT. NEIL'S DRIVEWAY Neil forcibly drags Norman up the front driveway of a pastel-painted house. A pair of legs spotted in oil stick out from beneath a pimped-up camper van. Neil's brother MITCH calls out from under the van. MITCH Neil? That you? ParaNorman 17. 20 CONTINUED: 20 NEIL Hey Mitch! We're gonna go play with the dead dog in the garden and we're not even gonna have to dig him up first! Mitch sits up. He's a strapping six-foot jock with tattooed biceps. The kind of guy who wears year-round flip-flops. MITCH What'd you say? Mitch pulls his brother aside so as to exclude Norman, who stands awkwardly a little way away, surrounded by cheery lawn ornaments and ineptly manicured topiary. MITCH (CONT'D) Neil, isn't he that weird kid? Y'know, "Look at me, I talk to ghosts so people will pay attention to me." Mitch makes a goofy face and twitches farcically. NEIL Can you stop doing that? It's kinda stupid. MITCH Now listen to me, you don't need to be hanging out with weird people. That's a tip. Neil scowls at his brother. NEIL Don't blow this for me, Mitch. This one's not weird. He talks to dead people. Neil has had enough and defiantly walks away from his brother. 21 21 EXT. NEIL'S GARDEN - LATER Neil rummages around in the bushes of his back yard, surrounded by a gloriously tasteless menagerie of lawn ornaments. Norman stands slightly to one side surveying the rows of plastic gnomes and wondering if he should have gone straight home after all. NEIL He's around here somewhere... (A BEAT) So does everyone come back as a ghost? ParaNorman 18. 21 CONTINUED: 21 Norman hesitates. This level of interest is new to him. NORMAN No. My grandma told me it's usually people who still have stuff to figure out. Or sometimes it's the ones who died suddenly, or in a bad way. A BARK, and Norman turns to see a translucent puppy wagging its tail cheerfully, despite being chopped neatly into two halves. NORMAN (CONT'D) Bub? NEIL Is he there? How's he look? Bub BARKS, then his front half notices his tail and runs behind to sniff his own backside. NORMAN Uh... good. Bub bounds over to Neil, runs clean through his chubby calves, then doubles back for another try. NORMAN (CONT'D) He's happy to see you. NEIL ("DOGGY" VOICE) Who's a good boy, huh? Good boy! (TO NORMAN) Can he feel it if I pet him? NORMAN Yeah, I guess. Neil bends over and kisses the air by his ankles, making a "coochy-coo" face. NORMAN (CONT'D) Uh... that's not his chin. Neil stops mid-smooch, and quickly stands up. Norman watches as Neil picks up a stick and waves it in front of Bub's nose, even though he can't see him. NEIL Go get it! NORMAN He can't fetch it, y'know. ParaNorman 19. 21 CONTINUED: (2) 21 NEIL Yeah well, it's still fun. Good boy! Bring it back! Go get it, Bub! Good boy! CLOSE ON Norman as he watches Neil toss the stick back and forth across the garden. The stick lands near his feet and he bends down to pick it up. NEIL (CONT'D) Why don't you try? NORMAN `Cos I don't really, uh... You can go. NEIL No, no, it's fun! Try it! NORMAN No I don't want to. NEIL You throw it. It's really easy. NORMAN No it's okay. You can throw it. NEIL No, c'mon, it's really fun. NORMAN Here. You go first. NEIL No, you try it. I already went like fifty times. NORMAN Okay, what do I do? NEIL You get the stick, you pull it back, and you throw it! Norman throws it and accidentally hits Neil in the head, knocking him over. NORMAN Neil? Sorry! As Norman runs over to him, Neil lies on his back GIGGLING, the stick held between his teeth. NEIL I fetched it! ParaNorman 20. 21 CONTINUED: (3) 21 CLOSE ON NORMAN, as a smile creeps across his face and he starts to LAUGH. NORMAN Are you okay? CUT WIDE as the two kids enjoy their play, the sun above them breaking through the clouds in a bright blue sky. 28 28 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, STUDY - NIGHT PANTING and WHEEZING, Mr Prenderghast staggers into his study, SLAMS the door behind him and heads for his desk. MR PRENDERGHAST I'll show him, and that scary little fat kid... He shakily rummages around the collected papers and trinkets, and pulls out the leather bound book, all the time GRUMBLING crazily. MR PRENDERGHAST (CONT'D) Doesn't he realize we're running out of t... With a strangled CROAK he clutches dizzily at his chest, then keels over backwards, stiffly hitting the floor with a THUMP. Silence, then, a stream of spectral orbs sputter out of him, sculpting his shape in the air. With a GASP, Mr Prenderghast's corpse sucks the spirit back in, and he staggers back to his feet. MR PRENDERGHAST (CONT'D) No! Not yet! Not yet! He CROAKS again, this time for real, CRASHING back down onto the ground. The ghostly shape re-emerges from the body. He blinks his eyes, looking around as if he's just been woken from a deep sleep, then down at the defunct body lying at his feet. PRENDERGHAST GHOST Aw, crapnuts. ParaNorman 21. 29 EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT 29 Lit by spotlights, a large banner over the entrance reads, "THE WITCH'S CURSE - presented by BLITHE HOLLOW MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA SOCIETY - written, produced and directed for the stage by Margot Henscher". A notice beneath it reads "SPELLING BEE - NEXT WENSDAY". A chorus of kids' voices can be heard SINGING from inside, belting out an operatic rendition of Donovan's "Season of the Witch". 30 30 INT. SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - SAME Rows of plastic chairs in front of the spotlit stage are occupied by expectant families. Among the sea of faintly buzzing video cameras, and a ripple of APPLAUSE, Sandra politely smiles at the acting talents of other peoples' children. Next to her, Perry struggles to fit a battery into his camera. PERRY BABCOCK Great, now we'll never get to remember this moment. ANGLE ON STAGE as Salma, in full witch get-up, waves her hands theatrically at the other children. SALMA I curse you accusers to die a horrible and gruesome death and rise from your graves as the living dead; your souls doomed to an eternity of damnation! The Pilgrims who aren't dying and rising from the dead begin to menace Salma with their farming implements, and begin a slow ominous chant. KIDS Kill the witch! Kill the witch! Sandra nudges her husband and cheerily points toward the stage. SANDRA BABCOCK Gosh, aren't they adorable? Norman hears a HOOTING sound from above. An owl with big glowing eyes wheels down over the audience from the beams of the gymnasium. Norman glances around, wondering why no one else seems to notice as it glides low and alights in the papier mache branches on Neil's head. It turns to Norman and HOOTS. ParaNorman 22. 30 CONTINUED: 30 He looks down from it and catches Neil's eye. Neil makes a puzzled expression. NEIL What? KIDS Kill the witch! Kill the witch! The chanting seems to deepen and slur and the air grows dark and thick. The shapes of the audience and the kids beside him swim around, blurring like a finger pulled through oil paint. The ceiling disintegrates into clouds, which CRACKLE with lightning. NORMAN (under his breath) Oh no! Not again! All around trees have sprouted out of nowhere, and through the darkness in the distance are occasional lights of small houses. This might be how this very spot looked three centuries ago. 31 31 EXT. OLD FOREST - NIGHT As Norman turns on the spot GASPING, he hears a RUSTLE in the bushes behind him and spots several dark and ominous figures in Pilgrim clothing scouring the undergrowth. PURITAN Witch! We know you're out there! Norman stands on a twig which, naturally, CRACKS loudly, and the figure turns around and points at him. PURITAN (CONT'D) There! NORMAN No! PURITAN Witch. More figures emerge from out of the darkness, wielding hayforks. They SHOUT threateningly and, as one man, surge toward him. Norman turns and runs. The trees around him are shifting, but there's no wind blowing the branches. Limbs GROAN as they twist, bearing down on him like ragged talons trying to stop his escape. Soon he can run no further, the way ahead tangled up into a wall of thorny fingers. ParaNorman 23. 31 CONTINUED: 31 Norman finds himself pushed up against the trunk of a huge tree, and a knothole grimaces at him, wood splitting open into a hag-like mouth. It furrows a mossy brow and speaks in a low rumbling voice. TREE The dead are coming! Norman GASPS and tries to push himself away, but the pursuing figures are drawing closer, and there's no escape. A familiar voice whispers out of nowhere. NEIL (O.S.) Hey buddy! Are you okay? Norman turns around to find the knothole is now Neil's face, bulging out of the side of the tree with a look of concern. This is the last straw, and Norman SCREAMS. 32 32 INT. SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - NIGHT Norman stands next to Neil on stage, eyes closed and WAILING. Everyone around him stares in stunned silence as, still SCREAMING, he runs into the spotlight. NORMAN THE DEAD ARE COMING! He continues running directly off the edge of the stage and lands on the floor with a THUMP. For a moment no one knows quite how to react. Mrs Henscher quizzically checks her script. Norman's eyes focus and he sees everyone standing around him, staring. Sandra pushes through the crowd. SANDRA BABCOCK Norman! MITCH Did he say the dead are coming? PERRY BABCOCK (NERVOUS LAUGHING) No, no, no! NORMAN YES! Everyone jumps as Norman abruptly sits up, eyes wild. NORMAN (CONT'D) The tree told me! ParaNorman 24. 32 CONTINUED: 32 Perry's face drains of color while the other parents MURMUR and MUTTER, crowd speak for "what a weirdo". Norman sees their expressions of disgust and suspicion. Worst of all, peering around parents' legs with a look of shock and fear is Neil. Norman catches his eye a moment, and Neil looks down at the ground. 33 33 INT. STATION WAGON - LATER Barely keeping his fury in check, Perry drives home, Norman sitting despondently in the back seat. PERRY BABCOCK This is where it stops! It's one thing being a mental case in front of your family, but not the whole town! There's not gonna be any more talking to ghosts, or grandmas, or, or... what is it now? SANDRA BABCOCK I think it's trees. PERRY BABCOCK You're grounded! You hear me? Perry pulls the car up in the Babcock's drive and gruffly climbs out of the car. NORMAN This is ridiculous. I wish everyone could see what I see! I didn't ask to be born this way! Perry mutters as he slams his door shut. PERRY BABCOCK Funny, neither did we. Norman catches the remark and feels it hard in his gut. His mother hears it too, and leans over her seat with a look of sympathy. A beat as she sees the pain in her son's face. SANDRA BABCOCK Y'know, sometimes people say things that seem mean, but they do it because they're afraid. NORMAN He's my dad. He shouldn't be afraid of me. ParaNorman 25. 33 CONTINUED: 33 Sandra's eyes are filled with sorrow. SANDRA BABCOCK He's not afraid of you. He's afraid for you. Sadly, Norman climbs out of the car. 35 35 EXT. SCHOOL - AFTERNOON Ominous clouds roll long shadows over the school building. Norman stands at the bottom of the school steps, trying to prepare himself for what he knows is going to be a bad day. He steels himself, and SIGHS. 35A 35A INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - MORNING Norman walks the familiar gauntlet of school kids, only this time the abuse is tenfold. KID #1 Look! It's AbNorman! KID #2 What'd the tree tell you today, Norman? KID #3 Are the dead coming soon, Norman? INT. SCHOOL BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS 36 36 An overhead bulb casts a dim light over chipped wall tiles and yellowed ceramic sinks with leaky faucets. The door opens and Norman hurries inside, a number of voices still SHOUTING behind him. He shuts the door, cutting them off, and leans against it, taking a breath. He heads over to the first stall. The door is locked, so he takes the next one. CLOSE ON Alvin, sitting on the toilet in the next stall scribbling obscenities on the wall to pass the time. He pauses as he hears the lid drop next door, then resumes his vandalism. Norman sits on the lid of the toilet, pulling his knees up under his chin feeling sorry for himself. ParaNorman 26. 36 CONTINUED: 36 ANGLE ON toilet paper in an industrial-sized roll. It jitters on its mount and begins to turn slowly on its own, unspooling sheet by sheet toward the floor. Norman frowns and watches as it stops unravelling and a draught of wind blows out of nowhere, ruffling his hair. The toilet roll suddenly spins violently, flinging the paper into the air in reams. The screws holding the dispenser to the wall RATTLE fiercely. The toilet underneath Norman begins to shake and shudder, spilling water over the floor. Norman WAILS loudly as he jumps onto the back of the cistern. Alvin is frozen in place in his stall, hearing the noises and really not sure how to react to them. He glances down and sees toilet water leaking across the tiles. He quickly pulls up his pants to cover his dignity, and jumps up off the toilet with a SQUEAL. In Norman's stall everything stops dead and the lid of the toilet slowly CREAKS open. Norman GASPS as Mr Prenderghast's face stares up at him out of the toilet bowl. With some effort the old man's ghost shimmies out of the toilet, eventually POPPING out like a cork from a bottle, hovering in the air in front of Norman's face. NORMAN You died?! PRENDERGHAST GHOST Yeah, but I got unfinished business here! NORMAN Ew! Couldn't you use another stall? PRENDERGHAST GHOST My ghost isn't going anywhere until I pass on my duty to another! And that would be you! NORMAN Me? No, you must have it wrong! PRENDERGHAST GHOST Oh it's you all right! I've been holding back the witch's curse for years, but now I'm dead. It has to be you! NORMAN But I... I don't know what any of it means! ParaNorman 27. 36 CONTINUED: (2) 36 Before Norman's eyes the bathroom stall and everything beyond it is ripped away, revealing thick undergrowth and tall trees. Norman is suddenly sat on the toilet in the middle of a forest. PRENDERGHAST GHOST It means the past is coming back to haunt you! Time is running out! The anniversary of the witch's death is tonight. Her ghost is going to wake up, and when she does she'll raise the dead! You gotta keep her in her grave! The toilet paper on the ground twists up beneath Norman's feet, sculpting skull faces and clutching hands that reach for him as he shrinks back. NORMAN But I'm just a kid! How am I supposed to stop it? In an instant the air and trees around him are eaten away, the school bathroom reappearing through the holes. PRENDERGHAST GHOST Read from the book at the spot the witch was buried! NORMAN What book? PRENDERGHAST GHOST The one in my hands! Norman looks at the ghost's wispy hands. PRENDERGHAST GHOST (CONT'D) Not these hands, my other hands! The me that's at home in my study starting to smell a little funny! Norman looks sick and overwhelmed, but the ghost doesn't let up, swirling right up to his face. PRENDERGHAST GHOST (CONT'D) Get the book and read from it! Before the sun sets tonight! NORMAN But this is crazy! PRENDERGHAST GHOST Do I look crazy to you? Norman pauses a beat. Mr Prenderghast is floating upside down, various bits of bathroom detritus orbiting around him. A piece of toilet paper dangles off his nose. ParaNorman 28. 36 CONTINUED: (3) 36 PRENDERGHAST GHOST (CONT'D) Tell me you'll do this! NORMAN I... I... PRENDERGHAST GHOST Swear! NORMAN Y-you mean like the "f" word? PRENDERGHAST GHOST I mean promise! NORMAN Okay, okay, I promise... PRENDERGHAST GHOST That'll do! Mr Prenderghast's ghost begins to disappear, bubbling and melting at the edges like a burning photograph. NORMAN No! Mr Prenderghast, wait! Alvin, hearing only Norman's voice, gingerly peeks around the corner of his stall. PRENDERGHAST GHOST Sorry kid, I'm done here! I'm free! I'm finally free! NORMAN Wait! No, you can't leave now! Please! I don't understand. Mr Prenderghast hangs in the air a moment, face scrunched up as he awaits his release, CACKLING crazily. The ghost explodes into a million particles of light, blowing open the stall door and catapulting Alvin backwards across the room. The mirrors behind him crack and the light bulb shatters. From the floor, Alvin groggily looks up and sees Norman framed in the stall with the door hanging off its hinges. He reaches over and flushes the toilet. NORMAN (CONT'D) Uh... yeah. You might want to give that a few minutes. He grabs his bag and runs out of the room. ParaNorman 29. 40 INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY, LOCKERS - CONTINUOUS 40 Norman sprints madly for the main doors, passing Neil and Salma who glance up from their lockers as he stumbles by. NEIL Norman? Alvin tears around the corner in pursuit, but Neil stands in his way, waving his arms indignantly. NEIL (CONT'D) Hey! What's the big deal? ALVIN Don't get your bra in a twist, fat boy, this has nothing to do with you! Keep out of my way! NEIL Or what? ALVIN Or I'll punch you in the boobs! NEIL I don't have boobs. These are pectorals, gaywad! Alvin jabs him in the chest. NEIL (CONT'D) Ow! My boobs! Neil swiftly steps aside. Alvin reaches the door to see Norman disappearing along the path as fast as he can. Alvin YELLS after him. ALVIN You're dead, freakshow! Do you hear me? D-E-D! DEAD! You're gonna be so dead you're gonna have to talk to yourself when you're dead! 41 41 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - EARLY EVENING Wearing her fanciest dress, Sandra bustles out of the kitchen to the front door. PERRY BABCOCK I really don't think we should be leaving him. SANDRA BABCOCK Perry, you promised me a meal that someone else microwaved. ParaNorman 30. 41 CONTINUED: 41 PERRY BABCOCK He's probably up there right now fiddling with his ouija, or his orbs, or whatever it is he's got up there. This is not good. 42 42 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, NORMAN'S BEDROOM - EARLY EVENING Norman paces his room looking pale and anxious as he hears the front door shut downstairs. Everywhere he turns he finds himself face to face with some zombie related novelty, from his lurid horror posters to his shelves of ghoulish action figures, and it's not doing anything for his nerves. His cell phone BEEPS from his pocket, giving him a start. He takes it out and reads a text; "COME TO THE WINDOW". Norman cautiously walks over and peers around the edge of the window frame. A figure stands motionless in the yard below, sheets of laundry billowing off the clothes line beside it. It stares up at Norman through the blank eye holes of a hockey mask. Norman GASPS and jumps back. With a frown, he re-emerges and opens the window. The figure lifts the mask, and Neil beams out from underneath, waving excitedly. NEIL You wanna play some hockey? Norman SIGHS. NORMAN I've kinda got other things on my mind right now. Neil looks a little uncomfortable. NEIL Is it all that walking dead stuff again? NORMAN Mr Prenderghast appeared to me in the bathroom! NEIL Ew. ParaNorman 31. 42 CONTINUED: 42 NORMAN No, his spirit! He says the witch's curse is real and I have to go up to the old graveyard to stop it! Before the sun sets tonight! Neil shifts uneasily as he processes. NEIL So you wanna come play a bit later? NORMAN Didn't you hear what I just said?! NEIL Yeah, but I thought my idea was less likely to get us eaten. Norman knows he's on his own in this. NORMAN Just go home, Neil. I'm better off on my own anyway. NEIL But... NORMAN Go home! Norman reaches up and closes the window. Neil's shoulders sag and he turns away. Across the room, his Grandma materializes, and squints her eyes through the window as Neil awkwardly pulls himself over the garden fence. GRANDMA BABCOCK Jeez, who rattled your chains? NORMAN No one. Norman isn't in the mood for any more discussion. NORMAN (CONT'D) Dad says I'm not supposed to talk to you any more, Grandma. GRANDMA BABCOCK Jackass. If I were a poltergeist I'd throw something at his head. Y'know, by rights I'm supposed to be frolicking in paradise with your grandfather, but I'm not. ParaNorman 32. 42 CONTINUED: (2) 42 Norman looks up as she drifts closer to the bed. NORMAN So why did you stay? GRANDMA BABCOCK I was never one for frolicking. I'll bet there's no cable or canasta up there either. Besides, I promised I'd always look out for you. She smiles, floating in a sitting position at the end of Norman's bed. She bobs gently, like a balloon. For a second, this seems to comfort Norman, but then another thought crosses his mind. NORMAN So it's your... duty? GRANDMA BABCOCK In a manner of speaking... NORMAN And you'd do it no matter what? GRANDMA BABCOCK Of course. NORMAN Even if it was something really scary... Grandma eyes him curiously. GRANDMA BABCOCK There's nothing wrong with being scared Norman, so long as you don't let it change who you are. Norman thinks this over, then smiles up at her again. She goes to rub his head affectionately, but her ghost hand just passes right through his spiky hair. She gives him a wink, and drifts away through the wall. He is still scared, but now determined too. He steels himself and grabs his jacket from his bed. 43 43 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, COURTNEY'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS The tiny room is crammed full of posters, pom-poms, plush toys and plastic trophies. Pretty much everything is pink. Courtney sits talking on her phone, cotton buds between her toes as her painted nails dry. ParaNorman 33. 43 CONTINUED: 43 COURTNEY So I said to her, "Girl, come back and talk to me when your basket toss gets twelve thousand hits on YouTube!" Yeah, no, I said that. (listens and nods) Yeah, I'm stuck on lame patrol. Tonight's gonna be a total yawn. From downstairs, a door SLAMS. Courtney frowns, puts her hand over the phone and shouts out. COURTNEY (CONT'D) Norman?! 44 44 EXT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, FRONT YARD - MOMENTS LATER Beneath a florid evening sky, the Babcock's drive is in darkness. Pedalling furiously, Norman rides his bike out of the shadows into the light of the street. COURTNEY (O.S.) You better not be sneaking out you little weirdo! 45 45 EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - CONTINUOUS On a street corner two teenage girls approach Alvin and Pug, who have laid out a breakdancing mat and a beatbox and are doing their best to impress. Alvin imagines he is wowing the girls with his krumping, his ham-like limbs flying around and Pug hollering support, but in truth they watch in morbid fascination. A faint CLATTERING sound down the road grows louder. Norman suddenly THUNDERS past them on his bike, spinning Alvin on the spot and knocking him onto his butt. Show over, Alvin blunders to his feet, his eyes following Norman's trajectory up the dark road, and GROWLS. 46 EXT. WOODED LANE, MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING 46 Tall conifers rise up high on either side of the road, now little more than a dirt track. Norman pedals up the hill and swerves, skidding to a stop in the gravel. He climbs off the bike, eyes fixed on a ramshackle house partially hidden in the foliage, its porch door swinging and CREAKING eerily in the breeze. He cautiously advances past a crooked mailbox on which is written "PRENDERGHAST", and steps onto the wooden porch. ParaNorman 34. 47 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 47 The fading light of day spills across the floorboards and faded wallpaper of a long passage. NORMAN Hello? Mr Prenderghast? Motes of dust float around Norman as he moves slowly toward a door, slightly ajar, muttering to himself. He quietly makes his way past all manner of objects that epitomize the state of Mr Prenderghast's mind; a mannequin in a shopping cart, a pile of broken typewriters, a suspended bag of spoons, a closet full of identically soiled hobo suits, a Nordic track... 48 48 INT. PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, STUDY - CONTINUOUS The study is filled with teetering piles of junk and old furniture draped over in dust sheets. A crucifix hangs over a metal cot with rumpled bedding. This is evidently where the old man lived his whole life. Starlight from a window picks out a macabre halo on a shape on the floor: Mr Prenderghast, dead where he fell, tightly clutching a leather-bound book. CLOSE ON Norman's face as he swallows nervously and steps closer to the body. He gingerly takes hold of the book and gives a gentle tug. It holds fast in the rigor mortis grasp. He tugs harder, shaking the book repeatedly, the corpse shaking with it. NORMAN Let go! Norman spends several strenuous moments dragging the body across the floorboards, Mr Prenderghast's head glancing off table legs and smacking repeatedly against the floorboards, as Norman tries to wrestle the book free. With a final yank the book pulls loose and, GASPING, Norman grips the book to his chest and runs to the door. 49 49 EXT. WOODED LANE, MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE - SAME Norman careens through the door, leaps off the porch and sprints along the wooded lane up the hill, watched by Alvin, concealed behind some bushes. 50 50 EXT. WOODED HILLTOP, OLD CHAPEL GRAVEYARD - LATER Norman emerges from the woods, his long shadow preceding him as the sun begins its descent behind the tall trees. ParaNorman 35. 50 CONTINUED: 50 He pauses and stares out across weathered tombstones poking out amidst tangles of thorns. Clutching the book tight, Norman wrenches open the heavy gate, its rusted padlock crumbling apart. Eventually the track runs up to a stone slab surrounded on either side by thick bramble. Norman brushes aside vines and reads an epitaph engraved into the stone; "HERE LIES BURIED THE SEVEN VICTIMS OF THE BLITHE HOLLOW CURSE. MAY YOUR SOULS FIND EVENTUAL AND EVERLASTING SALVATION. 1712." Norman pushes through the thick bushes into a secluded plot of land behind the slab with seven gravestones sticking out from the undergrowth. NORMAN This is it! The sun continues its descent, casting an ever lengthening shadow of treetops across the graveyard. NORMAN (CONT'D) Read from the book, stop the curse, go home and pretend this never happened. Norman steels himself, opens the book and starts to read. NORMAN (CONT'D) "Once upon a time, in a far-off land there lived a king and queen in a magnificent castle..." He pauses, confused by what he's reading. NORMAN (CONT'D) What? A fairy... tale...? A hand reaches over his shoulder from nowhere, whipping the book out of his grasp. He spins around to find Alvin standing behind him. ALVIN What ya got there, Geekula? Norman launches himself at the book, but Alvin holds him back at arm's length. NORMAN Give it back! ALVIN Can't wait to see everybody's faces when they hear about this one! ParaNorman 36. 50 CONTINUED: (2) 50 NORMAN No, don't! Alvin! ALVIN Hey! Nobody makes me miss out on a possible date with a girl that almost had some interest in talking to me. Yeah? Thought so! You got nothin' to say! NORMAN Uh-oh. ALVIN Damn straight "uh-oh". That's what happens when Alvin gets around here. Uh-oh is that Alvin? Uh-oh Alvin's gonna make me run home to mommy. As Norman twists and wrestles against the bully the turbulent clouds in the sky above them twist and coalesce into the vague semblance of a huge grinning face. The face of a witch. There is an enormous RUMBLE and a flash of lightning silhouettes the boys. ALVIN (CONT'D) Uh-oh. What is that? The wind has picked up, HOWLING through the gravestones. Norman looks at the face leering out of the clouds. NORMAN It's her! Another violent CRACK of thunder and flash of light, and the wind instantly cuts out. The boys stand stock still. Reaching down like a colossal arm, a great plume of cloud spirals over the cemetery, enveloping the tumbledown chapel and seeping around the gravestones. Fingers of murky fog slither across the ground, occasionally pausing and hanging in the air as though sniffing it. There is something eerily playful in the movement of the tendrils. The boys are jolted as an awful high pitched SCREAM blows through the graveyard like a shockwave, pulsing through the fog like a heartbeat. Norman and Alvin cover their ears and cower as the fog suddenly rears up like a claw and fiercely gouges into the earth in front of the boys. ParaNorman 37. 50 CONTINUED: (3) 50 Silence, then the ground begins to RUMBLE beneath their feet and ripples beneath the tombstones. Stone slabs GRIND and shift. One CRACKS right through the center. ALVIN What's that sound? Norman watches, horrified, as the wet earth atop one of the graves splits and a skeletal hand bursts through! Norman watches as more graves bulge and break open and mud-encrusted shapes begin to emerge through the earth. The air is filled with anguished MOANING, the glowing fog dancing and whirling about the hatching figures. The two boys are rooted to the spot, mouths hanging open. CLOSE ON one of the figures crawling out of the ground into a patch of moonlight. Ragged and rotten it wears the mud-encrusted clothes of a colonial Puritan. It stares down at its hands, almost in disbelief, then lifts its face up to the sky and lets out a HOWL. Thunder that sounds like deep and abysmal LAUGHTER echoes through the turbulent clouds. The boys find themselves backed up against another headstone, this one engraved with the name "JUDGE HOPKINS". They leap aside as the ground swells beneath their feet, and the DEAD JUDGE punches through the dirt, bolt upright. His face wears a rictus grin and he looms over the boys like the Grim Reaper in a powdered wig. He tilts his head curiously when he sees the book in Alvin's hand, and HISSES through yellowed teeth. Norman makes a last ditch attempt at reading the book as the Dead Judge approaches, the other zombies gathering behind him. NORMAN Once upon a time in a far-off... Once upon a... In a... ALVIN Make it stop right now, please! NORMAN It's not working! The Dead Judge gives a hideous GROWL, but Norman frowns, confused, because he can hear words. DEAD JUDGE STOP!... YOU... MUST... STOP! ParaNorman 38. 50 CONTINUED: (4) 50 ALVIN Norman? What are you doing? I think I peed my pants! Survival instincts finally kick in and Alvin makes a run for it, scrambling through the graves toward the gate. NORMAN Wait! Norman follows, leapfrogging over headstones. 52 52 INT. NEIL'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS Neil sits on the floor in front of a huge TV, remote control in hand, as the doorbell RINGS loudly from the hall. MITCH (O.S.) Neil! Will you get the door? NEIL I'm busy! MITCH (O.S.) Are you freeze-framing Mom's aerobics DVD again? ANGLE ON TV, with a still image of a Lycra-clad instructor bending over. Neil quickly turns it off. NEIL No! The doorbell RINGS again. MITCH (O.S.) Neil! Would it kill you to get off your butt and answer the door? 53 53 I/E. NEIL'S DRIVEWAY, FRONT PORCH - CONTINUOUS COURTNEY I'm gonna kill them. She impatiently leans down to push open the mail slot. COURTNEY (CONT'D) I know you're in there! Slumber party's over, dorks! The door opens and she finds herself face to navel with Mitch, out of the shower with a towel around his waist. ParaNorman 39. 53 CONTINUED: 53 MITCH Um, can I help you? COURTNEY (under her breath) Hell yeah. Courtney catches herself and quickly affects a LAUGH. COURTNEY (CONT'D) Sorry to bug you so late, but does, erm... (checks page in hand) ...Neil live here? MITCH Yeah, he's my brother. COURTNEY Oh wow! That's great! Your brother and my brother are like best friends! I'm Courtney. She tries to regain her composure as Mitch turns away. MITCH Hey Neil! You come here a minute? There's a girl asking for you. Neil's face emerges dubiously from a room down the hall. Courtney flashes her widest fake grin and puts on a high pitched sing-song voice. COURTNEY Hey there! How ya doin'... little guy... NEIL Neil? COURTNEY Yeah, Neil. Do you know where Norman is? He kinda disappeared. NEIL Oh no... (CATCHES HIMSELF) ...idea! I have no idea where he is. Sorry. Bye! Neil goes to turn around but his brother stops him short. MITCH Whoa, Neil! Better start talking, buddy. ParaNorman 40. 53 CONTINUED: (2) 53 NEIL I didn't really think he was serious about going up to the old graveyard on his own! COURTNEY So Norman! MITCH Oh, man. That place is bad news! Total slasher movie vibe! Why'd he go up there? NEIL I don't know. Maybe we should go look for him. MITCH I told you he was trouble. (TO COURTNEY) Sorry. But I did. COURTNEY No, it's fine. He sucks. But I really gotta make sure he doesn't die or anything tonight. Will you help me? Please? Mitch gets an eyeful of her best damsel in distress act, then SIGHS. MITCH Okay... I guess I should go get some clothes on. Courtney gives a disappointed WHINE as he heads off down the hall, shoving Neil's head as he goes. NEIL Uh, is Norman in trouble? 54 54 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, HALLWAY - LATER The front door is kicked open and Norman and a near hysterical Alvin rush inside, slamming and locking the door behind them. ALVIN Are they gonna try to eat our brains?! NORMAN I think you'll be safe. ALVIN Oh, thank God! ParaNorman 41. 54 CONTINUED: 54 He manages to think this through, and frowns. Alvin watches curiously as Norman turns his attention to the book, frowning as he runs his hand over the embossed leather cover. NORMAN I don't get it! Why didn't it work? He opens the book and leafs through page after page of ornate calligraphy and woodcut illustrations. NORMAN (CONT'D) "The Story of Sleeping Beauty". This doesn't make any sense! His mind racing, Norman heads off along the hallway. ALVIN Wait! Where are you going? 56 56 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, STUDY - CONTINUOUS The room remains as before, with Mr Prenderghast's corpse lying on the floor. Norman enters with purpose and approaches it, leaving Alvin horrified in the doorway. Norman crouches low over the body, holding the book out in front of Mr Prenderghast's blank eyes. NORMAN Mr Prenderghast, I don't understand! Tell me what to do! ALVIN Dude, what are you doing? NORMAN (points to corpse) He told me to read from the book to stop the curse! I thought it was a spell or something, but... Norman narrows his eyes as he sees Mr Prenderghast's desk, still strewn with pictures and newspaper clippings. He hurries over and begins rummaging through the mess, scattering papers across the floor. NORMAN (CONT'D) Come on! There has to be something... ALVIN I really need to get home! I've got like a seriously early curfew. (MORE) ParaNorman 42. 56 CONTINUED: 56 ALVIN (CONT'D) My mom gets really upset when I'm not... Something CLUNKS loudly from down the hall, sending Alvin into a desperate babbling panic. ALVIN (CONT'D) We gotta defend ourselves! We gotta shoot them in the head with like silver stakes or something! I'm way too awesome to get eaten! Norman, are you listening to me? You really have to do something! Norman uncovers a couple of faded photographs of the old graveyard. One is of the seven tombstones, the other is of the stone marker, which reads "HERE LIES BURIED THE SEVEN VICTIMS OF THE WITCH'S CURSE..." Beside the photos is a torn page from an old book. An engraving illustrates the seven members of the witch's trial, solemnly seated at a bench within the courthouse. NORMAN Seven victims... Frowning, Norman glances up and sees a page from an old book tacked to the wall. It is an illustration of a hideous old crone, cackling evilly. Another THUMP from down the hall. Norman looks again from the photographs in his hand to the image of the old witch. There's something he's not seeing... He looks at the pictures in front of him. Graves. Jurors. Witch. NORMAN (CONT'D) Seven graves. (EYES WIDEN) The witch's grave! It wasn't there! He turns to Alvin. NORMAN (CONT'D) I was reading the book in the wrong place! Down the hallway, another loud THUMP. NORMAN (CONT'D) Hide! ParaNorman 43. 57 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 57 CLOSE ON the door knob RATTLING furiously, then a CRACK as a mottled hand punches it right through the wood. A figure limps slowly into the hallway, dragging one crippled foot behind the other. It stops halfway along and tilts its head, as if listening, and emits a dire MOAN. More shapes appear behind it in the doorway and fan out along the hallway. 58 58 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, STUDY - CONTINUOUS The boys tremble in their hiding places trying not to make a sound; Alvin crouched behind a stack of books and Norman lying underneath the bed. The footsteps grow louder as the zombies shuffle into the room. NORMAN'S POV - rotten legs step up to Mr Prenderghast's body, lying where he fell on the floorboards. Two withered feet suddenly step right up to the bed. Something drops onto the floor inches in front of Norman's face with an unpleasant SLAP. Norman's eyes bug out as he realizes it is a zombie's dislodged ear. A weltered arm reaches down to grope around for the body part, until Norman pushes the ear, as carefully as he can manage, back into the zombie's fingers. The hand retreats back out from under the bed. There is a loud SCREAM as Alvin, unable to contain himself any longer, jumps out from his hiding place and makes for the door. The corpses look up as he disappears down the hall, then stagger after him. Norman takes this chance to follow, but the Dead Judge blocks his exit. They both stand quite still, staring into each others' eyes. The corpse tilts its head, almost quizzically, and its eyes widen as it notices the book under his arm. Norman steps sideways to run past it, but the corpse does too. Both it and Norman step one way, then the other, and back again. Norman feigns one direction and quickly bolts in the other, past the corpse and out the door. 59 59 INT. MR PRENDERGHAST'S HOUSE, HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Alvin reaches the front door and throws it open. Directly in front of him is another zombie on the doorstep, opening a mouth full of jagged teeth. Alvin SCREAMS like a little girl, smacks it ineffectually with his spatula, and the door is abruptly SLAMMED in the zombie's face, a surprised and muffled GROAN coming from the other side. ParaNorman 44. 59 CONTINUED: 59 Alvin, still screaming, looks down to see Norman beside him, leaning against the door. The Dead Judge leads the advance of zombies down the hall toward them. Norman hears his MOAN. Norman swings the door back open, the zombie on the other side moving with it, teeth firmly embedded in the wood. As it attempts to pry itself free, Norman grabs Alvin by the arm and they both dart onto the porch behind its back, headed for the road. NORMAN Come on! 60 60 INT. MITCH'S VAN - SAME Mitch drives along dark roads. Neil sits behind him looking bemused while Courtney, in the front passenger seat, extols her life history. COURTNEY And she said I could totally consider a career in formation swimming. But I was like, "I wanna do something that helps people less fortunate than me", thank you very much, y'know, like the poor or people who are like dying or ugly or something, `cuz I really think that ecology and world peace are like totally important today. Do you use free weights? Your deltoids are huge. MITCH I've never used deltoids in my life, I swear. You can test me. Neil lies back in his seat, eyes rolling. NEIL Kill me now. COURTNEY Thank you for doing this Mitch. He means an awful lot to me. I love him like he was a brother. NEIL He is your brother. Courtney counters the backseat barbs by smiling demurely, but Mitch's attention has been drawn by something else. MITCH Whoa! Look at that sky! ParaNorman 45. 60 CONTINUED: 60 The wooded hill rises steeply a few miles in front of them, and at its top is the old chapel. Pressing down upon it, huge seething thunderclouds shift into otherworldly shapes. Mitch and Courtney are mesmerized. Neil suddenly points past Mitch's face. NEIL Look out! Mitch slams on the breaks, twisting the wheel. MITCH Oh no! 61 61 I/E. MITCH'S VAN ON WOODED ROAD - CONTINUOUS Running down the middle of the road, blinded by the glare of the van's headlights, are Alvin and Norman. The van swerves around them and grazes the trees, the side mirror flying off as it hits a branch. Mitch fights to control the van as Courtney SCREAMS. NEIL That was Norman! Shaken, Mitch realizes another figure is looming out of the darkness in front of them. He slams on the brakes again, but too late. The tall dirty-looking figure stands stock still as the van plows straight into him. Dust flies up from the wheels of the van as it skids to an eventual stop in the center of the road. 62 62 INT. MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS Mitch turns to everyone as he pulls off his seat belt. MITCH Is everyone okay? Courtney and Neil answer in unison, both of them upside down in their seats with their legs sticking up in the air. COURTNEY NEIL No! No! Mitch, trying to stay calm, looks in his rear-view mirror and sees a prone shape on the ground some yards back. ParaNorman 46. 63 EXT. WOODED ROAD - CONTINUOUS 63 Mitch climbs out of the van and sees the figure lying still on the moonlit road. He nervously jogs over to it. As he gets closer, Mitch can see the man more clearly. He is wrapped in filthy tattered clothing of a bygone era and is covered in dirt. Flies BUZZ around him. MITCH Er... hello, sir? He hunkers down and is immediately hit by the stench. A mud-encrusted face stares up at him. ANGLE ON the van, as Courtney leans her head out. COURTNEY Is he dead or what? MITCH I... I don't know! He's not moving! The figure's head lets out a faint GASP. MITCH (CONT'D) He's still breathing! Mitch reaches out to gently lift the figure's head but as he does, there is a CRUNCH and it comes off in his hands. COURTNEY So he's okay? MITCH Uh... not exactly. COURTNEY What? What did you just say? Mitch looks from the head back to the van, then at the head again. He licks his lips nervously as he thinks. MITCH Does anyone know CPR? Further down the road, Norman runs back toward the van, Alvin still in tow. He sees Mitch ahead of him, getting dizzily to his feet, still holding the head. NORMAN Run! The head in Mitch's hands suddenly GASPS again, opening its mouth. Mitch SHRIEKS as the headless figure on the road sits up and reaches out its arms. Mitch drop kicks it like a football. It flies, WAILING, into the bushes. ParaNorman 47. 63 CONTINUED: 63 As if struck by the same blow, the rest of the corpse staggers backwards. Alvin and Norman run past him toward the van, bustling past Courtney and clambering inside. More corpses are emerging from the trees on either side of the road. She SCREAMS and leaps back into the van, as Mitch leaps into the driver's seat beside her. 64 64 INT. MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS MITCH Did you see that? COURTNEY That was insane! MITCH I know, right? I kicked that like a hundred yards! COURTNEY Norman, what just happened?! ALVIN Zombies! I swear, okay? We saw them burst out of their graves! For real! He realizes Mitch and Courtney are staring at him, and tries to disguise his raw panic with nonchalance. ALVIN (O.S.) (CONT'D) (TO COURTNEY) Just so you know, I totally saved his life, and I could totally save yours. COURTNEY (O.S.) Sorry, who are you? ALVIN (O.S.) I'm Alvin. I'm in his class. Norman, not so easily distracted from the problem at hand as the others, glances uneasily through the window. NORMAN'S POV - The zombies lurch arthritically toward the van, GROANING and GURGLING. NORMAN Uh, guys... maybe we should actually drive away now. MITCH Oh, right. ParaNorman 48. 64 CONTINUED: 64 Mitch starts the engine with a YELL, just as the nearest zombie leers in through the window. 65 EXT. WOODED ROAD - CONTINUOUS 65 CLOSE ON the front wheel, spinning and SQUEALING. The van spits out a cloud of exhaust fumes as it accelerates away. A beat as the smoke clears. The soot-covered zombies SPLUTTER as they cough up what's left of their lungs. They turn from one to the other, awaiting direction from their leader. But the Dead Judge is nowhere to be seen. A zombie points down the winding road where the woods eventually thin out into leafy suburban drives. The ragged shape of the Judge is clinging to the back of the van, thrashing around and WAILING as it picks up speed. The zombies quietly watch until the van moves out of sight behind the trees, then turn their attention to the lights of the town center below them. They weigh up their options and, MOANING, shuffle toward civilization. 69 69 EXT. SUBURBAN STREETS - NIGHT Further down the hill, Sheriff Hooper is taking a break from ticketing borderline traffic violations by drinking a giant malt shake in a plastic cup. She leans against her parked motorcycle, squinting up at the unnatural clouds. SHERIFF HOOPER Pesky kids with their cell phones burning up the oh-zone, that's what this is! She finishes her shake and throws the non-recyclable cup into the bushes. Mitch's van shoots past at high speed in a cloud of dust. SHERIFF HOOPER (CONT'D) What the..? Hooper watches the van tear away, the dark shape of the Dead Judge visibly clinging to the back doors, his voluminous cape flapping out behind him like a windsock. 70 70 EXT. WOODED ROAD, MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS Unseen by the kids, the Dead Judge claws his way up the rear doors of the van by his ragged fingernails. ParaNorman 49. 71 INT. MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS 71 Courtney lets out an infuriated GROWL. COURTNEY I just knew something like this was going to happen tonight! MITCH You did? Wow, `cos that zombie bit really threw me. Courtney turns in her seat and glares at her brother. COURTNEY Why d'you have to go and get everyone involved in all your weird stuff?! NORMAN Well, you weren't supposed to follow me, were you? NEIL Sorry. My fault. When I'm nervous I get mouth diarrhoea. ALVIN Ha ha! Diarrhoea! COURTNEY Oh my gosh, I think I'm having an aneurism! This is so typical of you! NORMAN You don't understand! I'm the only one who can stop this, Courtney! COURTNEY Oh, I understand! I understand that this is all getting completely out of... The van's sunroof is suddenly ripped open, and the Dead Judge's arm reaches down into the vehicle, clawing inches above Courtney's head. COURTNEY (CONT'D) ...HAND! The Dead Judge leans further into the van, MOANING horribly. He seems to have his sights set on Norman, and reaches one arm down toward Norman and the book peeking out of his shoulder bag. Norman shrinks back as the zombie GROANS horribly. ParaNorman 50. 71 CONTINUED: 71 Alvin disappears behind the back seat with a WHIMPER, but Neil valiantly leaps into the fray, wrestling the clawing fingers away from his friend. NEIL Whaddawedo? Whaddawedo? Mitch?! MITCH I don't know! I don't know! NEIL You're the oldest! MITCH Not mentally! Mitch hears a SIREN wail out behind him, and looks in his mirror to see the flashing light of Hooper's bike. MITCH (CONT'D) Oh great. The cops. Hooper pulls level with the passenger seat window, waving angrily. SHERIFF HOOPER Pull over the vehicle! The Dead Judge leans further into the van, Neil hanging off him like a pendulum. COURTNEY Norman! How do we stop them?! Norman looks again at the book in his hands. NORMAN I'm supposed to read from the book at the witch's grave! NEIL We've got to go back to the graveyard? NORMAN She wasn't buried with the others. I don't know where else to look... COURTNEY Well you better think of something quick! Norman wracks his brain. NEIL I have an idea! ParaNorman 51. 75 INT. SALMA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT 75 Salma sits at her computer in an immaculately tidy bedroom. Even her collection of dolls are flawlessly groomed and sit on a shelf looking like they're waiting to be called in for an interview. Salma talks into her cell phone with an expression of withering disdain. SALMA So Norman, let me get this straight; you guys all go on this big supernatural adventure and you're calling me in the middle of the night because you need someone to help you do your homework? INTERCUT KIDS IN THE VAN/SALMA Norman talks into his cell phone, occasionally ducking as Neil's flailing limbs are shaken from side to side by the GROWLING upside down zombie hanging above their heads. NORMAN Uh... yeah. 76 76 EXT. WOODED ROAD - CONTINUOUS Hooper steers her bike closer and swings her backside into the side of the van in an attempt to ram it off the road. The van lurches, flipping the Judge up and over the front of the vehicle, planting his face with a SQUELCH against the windscreen. 77 77 INT. MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS Neil drops back down onto his seat. The Dead Judge's arm, torn off at the shoulder, is still clutched in his hands. He stares down at it, wide-eyed, as it wriggles like an animal in his grasp. The Dead Judge slides slowly down the windscreen of the van with a dull SQUEAK. COURTNEY Mitch, do something! Mitch flicks on the windscreen wipers, which wipe the zombie's rotten flesh from side to side across the glass. Mitch and Courtney's eyes follow the Judge's movements from side to side. ParaNorman 52. 77 CONTINUED: 77 Behind them, Neil SQUEALS as the dismembered arm crawls all over him, fingers scuttling like a spider's legs. The arm frees itself from Neil and turns on Norman, leaping at him like a viper. Norman holds the book up as a shield, and manages to swat the zombie arm away, flipping it across the front seat, where it lands on the back of Mitch's neck. Mitch SCREAMS as the rotten hand clamps down onto the top of his head, and madly tries to shake it off. It hangs onto him grimly, bony fingers hooked around his nostrils. With Mitch no longer steering, the van swerves crazily across the road, shaking the Dead Judge off the windscreen. He disappears under the front of the vehicle, his one remaining arm clinging onto the underside. INTERCUT KIDS IN THE VAN/SALMA Norman shouts pleadingly into the phone as he and Neil are flung violently from side to side across the back seat. NORMAN Salma! We need to find out where the witch is buried! I went to the old graveyard but her grave wasn't there! SALMA Well, duh. People found guilty of witchcraft weren't considered people anymore. Norman, your witch was buried someplace else... in an unmarked grave! (REPROACHFULLY) If you cared to pay attention some of the time, you would know that we covered this in fifth grade history class. NORMAN Salma! Please! Hurry! Y'know, I would Google this myself if there wasn't a 300 year old dead guy trying to rip my face off! With a SIGH, Salma types at her computer. SALMA Okay. It says here she was tried in the old Town Hall on Main Street. There may be a record of her execution and burial in their archives. ParaNorman 53. 77 CONTINUED: (2) 77 Norman listens intently then shouts over to Mitch, still struggling with the zombie hand gripping his face. NORMAN Quick! She said go to the Town Hall! 79 79 EXT. WOODED ROAD - CONTINUOUS Mitch hangs a sharp right and accelerates off the road and into thick undergrowth, sending up showers of twigs and thorns. Close on his heels, Hooper swerves her bike around in pursuit. 80 80 EXT. SUBURBAN STREETS - NIGHT The six zombies inexorably continue their march, breaking cover from outlying woodland into the suburban streets of the town proper. At the bottom of a long driveway, spotlit by a street lamp, Mrs Henscher is taking out the trash in her bathrobe. She looks up from her garbage as the zombies approach. Her face is caked in a terrifying green avocado face mask. Barely a few feet in front of her, a similarly green face stares back, only this one has been dead for three hundred years. Henscher SCREAMS, bolting down the street like a runaway locomotive. 81 81 EXT. WOODS, MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS The van ploughs through bracken and bushes at breakneck speed. A little way behind, Hooper careens precariously in the van's wake. 82 82 INT. MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS Mitch finally manages to pry the Dead Judge's arm off his head. He throws it, thrashing around violently, over his shoulder. Alvin lifts his face tentatively over the edge of the back seat to see what's going on. The zombie arm plants him in the eye, sending both sprawling against the floor. Alvin SQUEALS as the arm snakes around his neck into a bizarre approximation of a wrestling hold. ParaNorman 54. 83 EXT. WOODS - CONTINUOUS 83 Mitch swerves his van down the hill toward the more affluent suburbs of the town. Hooper's police bike bounces along behind them, red light flashing and SIREN wailing. 84 84 INT. STATION WAGON, NEARBY ROAD - CONTINUOUS Perry and Sandra Babcock are driving home from their evening out. Neither look especially happy. SANDRA BABCOCK I really think it might help if you tried to see things from his point of view. PERRY BABCOCK I don't want to. 85 85 INT. STATION WAGON - CONTINUOUS The Babcocks' discussion continues as they drive. SANDRA BABCOCK Perry, not believing in the Afterlife is like not believing in Astrology. PERRY BABCOCK I have no idea what you're talking about. Seriously, where did you learn that? SANDRA BABCOCK Calm down. Perry rolls his eyes and GROANS. 86 86 EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - CONTINUOUS Mitch's van explodes out of the thinning woods and back on to the winding hill road. Hooper careens through the trees behind it, but fails to make the turn and smashes through a fence across the other side of the road into a suburban back yard, splinters of fence showering down in her wake. Scattering lawn ornaments, plastic garden toys and deck furniture, Hooper rides directly up a kids' slide, shooting high up into the air like a rocket. ParaNorman 55. 87 EXT. SUBURBAN INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS 87 Preceded by an ear-splittingly guttural WAIL, Mrs Henscher runs through the streets, waving her arms about hysterically. Moments later, the Babcocks' station wagon pulls around the corner. 88 88 EXT. SUBURBAN INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS Mitch's van SCREECHES through the intersection, swerving in front of the Babcock's station wagon, which veers wildly as Perry brakes hard. He leaps out of the car as the van drives away. PERRY BABCOCK Delinquent drivers! Where are the police when you need them? Hooper's bike hurtles through the air and bounces off the hood of the station wagon with a CRUNCH. Before Perry can react he is buried under the mass of Sheriff Hooper, dropping like a meteorite onto his head. 89 89 INT. MITCH'S VAN - CONTINUOUS The kids, hanging on for dear life, hear a loud CRUNCH from the back of the van. They all turn to see the van's rear doors ripped open. Silhouetted in the space is the one-armed Dead Judge, cape muddied and torn from his crawling back out from the vehicle's undercarriage. The zombie lunges toward the startled kids, and MOANS. Mitch turns his attention back to the road ahead, but too late, and he YELLS as green-faced Mrs Henscher runs SQUEALING into the van's headlights. Mitch throws all his weight onto the wheel, tires SCREAMING as the van misses Henscher by inches. The violence of the turn flings the Dead Judge backwards like a slingshot, disappearing out of the doors and shattering into a dozen pieces as he SMASHES into the hard road. 90 90 EXT. SUBURBAN BACK YARDS - CONTINUOUS Having completely lost control, Mitch's van ploughs through cookie-cutter back yards. ParaNorman 56. 90 CONTINUED: 90 It bounces down the hill, flipping over and over, the kids inside tossed around like rag dolls. Somewhat the worse for wear, it eventually comes to a stop in a parking lot, neatly crashing into an empty space. 91 91 EXT. PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS The kids clamber out of the far side of the van. MITCH Oh my god! I'm gonna be sick! COURTNEY Oh, I broke a nail! As Alvin climbs out, he gingerly holds up the Judge's arm, as if it were a dead animal, and dangles it limply in front of his face. ALVIN Yeah! Alvin the zombie slayer! I got you... The hand suddenly bends back on itself, slaps him on the face, and as he SQUEALS it drops to the ground and skitters away into the shadows. Mitch sizes up what's left of his van, and bids a tearful farewell. MITCH (WHISPERS) Baby, I'm so sorry. You'll be alright. We're gonna get through this together. Courtney pouts moodily when she realizes the tender words aren't for her. Norman looks up at the sky. A thick bank of cloud looms over the town, and in its center is the unmistakable otherworldly face, ebbing in and out of visibility, and grinning horribly. NORMAN Uh oh. C'mon! NEIL Oh yeah! Neil HUMS his very own action movie score as he runs to follow Norman out of the parking lot. ParaNorman 57. 91 CONTINUED: 91 COURTNEY Perfect. Now the geeks are in charge. The kids make toward the parking lot exit. 93 93 EXT. MAIN STREET ALLEYWAY - SOME TIME LATER The town center retains even less charm when the sun goes down, and its remaining denizens are now drunk, high or looking for trouble. Provided one requires alcohol, junk food or pharmaceuticals, it's the place to be. A ruddy-faced drunk, SLOB GUY, inserts a few coins in a vending machine at the end of an alley, and waits as the metal coil inside curls a candy bar toward the front of the machine. The man notices the approaching figures further down the back street and frowns. He turns back to the machine, waiting. The zombies draw closer, GROANING, and the man fidgets uncomfortably. The man begins WHIMPERING. The candy bar slowly shifts forward. The zombies are close enough to touch. The man YELLS and runs away, leaving the candy bar to drop to the machine's trough with a CLANG. A beat then, still SCREAMING, the man runs back to the machine, grabs his candy, then runs away again. The Undead emerge onto Main Street, and slow down as they take in their surroundings. VARIOUS ANGLES ON the garish town center nightlife intercut with CLOSE-UPS of the wide-eyed zombies. -Two teenage girls in mini-skirts walk along the curb. A pickup truck crawls by, driven by red necks who wolf- whistle and gesture rudely. The girls GIGGLE. -In the nearby "GOBBLER'S" parking lot, a huge woman sits in her vehicle cramming a burger into her mouth. As she bites down ketchup spatters across the inside of the windscreen like arterial spray. -A corpse stands agog before a billboard. The poster is for a line of "Lady Luck" lingerie and features a buxom woman in her underwear draped over a roulette wheel. The tagline is "FANCY YOUR CHANCES?" The corpse's one eye pops out of its socket and dangles by its optic nerve. -Outside the Bar Gento, LOUD MUSIC and raucous revelry blare out into the street. ParaNorman 58. 93 CONTINUED: 93 -A group of loitering teens cluster in a group, some sitting upon a stolen shopping cart, others kicking a tin can from one to the other. One daubs misspelled naughty words on the wall beside them. Another is attempting to use his bare hands to rip open a parking meter. -Another corpse stands in the light of a store window, a bank of TVs showing all kinds of programs. Racing car explosions; scantily-clad singers gyrating in music videos; talking animals and Viagra commercials. QUICK CUTS OF ZOMBIE CLOSE-UPS as they all raise rotten fingers to their mouths and SCREAM. Slob Guy suddenly bursts out of the door of the Bar Gento, dragging a group of dubious drinkers. SLOB GUY See! I told you! Zombies! It's the witch's curse! Everyone in the street freezes in place, wide-eyed. Someone GASPS. SWEET GIRL Mama? RAPPER GUY What? A couple of the zombies exchange glances, waiting for the other shoe to drop. GUCCI LADY What should we do? Barely skipping a beat, the townsfolk shift seamlessly from shock and awe to bullish aggression. Crystal pulls a pump-action shotgun from somewhere about her person and scowls menacingly. CRYSTAL Kill them in the head! Within seconds, the seedy-looking townsfolk have armed themselves with pool cues, mops, toilet plungers and any other household implements that can be waved threateningly, and the mob advances on the group of quivering zombies. 94 94 EXT. URBAN STREETS - CONTINUOUS The disembodied Judge's arm skitters along a secluded street, eventually coming upon the rest of the Dead Judge, sitting in the gutter trying to arrange and re- attach his body parts in the right places. ParaNorman 59. 94 CONTINUED: 94 Having SNAPPED his head back onto his neck, the Judge scoops up his remaining arm and gets unsteadily to his feet. 103 103 EXT. MAIN STREET - MOMENTS LATER NORMAN Hurry! This way! Norman leads the way, but stops dead as they run headlong into a scene of zombie invasion mayhem. Townsfolk fill the streets, SHOUTING and acting generally mob-like. One or two of them have even got hold of burning torches from somewhere. It's apocalyptic chaos. The fat woman from the Drive-Thru runs past SCREAMING, her face and T-shirt covered in blood-red ketchup. COURTNEY Oh, this is awful! The zombies are, like, eating everyone! Norman points beyond the bedlam to the dark shape of the Old Town Hall in the plaza. NORMAN C'mon! They skirt around the edge of Main Street, avoiding flying bottles and limbs as best they can. Following the noise, the Judge staggers along some way behind. He surveys the scene as he emerges, his featureless face doing a nevertheless effective job of expressing horrified shock. After a moment, he comes to his senses, and spies the kids in the distance. A look of resolve crosses his face, turning quickly to surprise as a SHOT rings out nearby. The Judge looks down to a large hole blown through his midriff. Framed within it is Crystal, several feet away, rifle smoking. He looks up again, weighs up his chances, then lets out a ROAR of retreat to his beleaguered companions before running off into the shadows. Those zombies who haven't already tried to run for cover manage to extricate themselves from the frenzy and follow the Judge's CRY, some of them breaking into a sprint. 106 106 EXT. TOWN HALL PLAZA - NIGHT Formerly the district courthouse, the Town Hall has now been relegated to storing the local archives. ParaNorman 60. 106 CONTINUED: 106 It is an old timber building, surrounded by graceless modern office blocks around the cobbled square. The kids race across the plaza, pausing to catch their breath at the ugly witch statue in front of the Town Hall. They GASP as they slow their pace. NORMAN Is everyone alright? Nobody got bitten? Neil flops down heavily against the statue, panting and holding his mouth. NEIL (MUFFLED) I bid dy tongue! Dud dat count? Norman moves toward the steps leading up to the Town Hall's doors, the rest of the gang falling into line behind him. Another flash of lightning paints the kids' shadows across the width of the square. Norman nervously watches the clouds above them. NORMAN Does anyone know how to pick a lock? Everyone immediately looks at Alvin. ALVIN Sure. Picking locks is my thing. Alvin walks over to a notice board beside the door, upon which is a poster for a "CRIME PREVENTION SEMINAR". He yanks it out of the ground, hefts it through the window, then reaches through to unfasten the door latch. ALVIN (CONT'D) Boom. 107 107 INT. TOWN HALL LOBBY - CONTINUOUS The kids hurry through the door. The lobby is dark, but moonlight glistens off polished wood through a lofty circular window. Norman shouts out from the other side of the lobby, where he stands beside a door labelled "HALL OF RECORDS".. NORMAN This is it! ParaNorman 61. 107 CONTINUED: 107 NEIL This is? NORMAN Now we can find out where the witch was buried! Norman pushes his shoulder against the door and steps inside. 108 108 INT. TOWN HALL ARCHIVES - CONTINUOUS The door swings open and reveals a labyrinth of shelves and glass cabinets stretching out into the shadows in front of him. Row after row of dusty cardboard file boxes and ledgers stacked one on top of another. Norman stops in his tracks, color draining from his face. NORMAN Uh-oh. Courtney follows, faking enthusiasm. COURTNEY Great! I'm super psyched! This is turning into the most fun night ever! The overhead light clicks on as Alvin steps into the room behind her and GROANS. ALVIN Man. Zombies take over the world and we lock ourselves in a library. Are you kidding me? There's an adult video store just across the street! Neil is more optimistic, and brightly makes his way over to a shelf, and pulls down a slim ledger. NEIL This'll be a piece of cake, you'll see. He pauses, and frowns, squinting up his eyes as he reads aloud, very slowly. NEIL (CONT'D) Page... One... Okay, page one. Mitch hefts a particularly heavy box file off a shelf. He seems to read the filing notes written across its front, then ignores them and begins curling it like a dumbbell. ParaNorman 62. 108 CONTINUED: 108 MITCH I really hate these places. Norman sizes up the masses of documents all around them, face panicked. It would take days to go through them all. NORMAN Come on! No, that's not it. Time is running out! 110 EXT. MAIN STREET - CONTINUOUS 110 Sheriff Hooper looks around and sees an awful lot of armed people beginning to bay for blood, and she sees trouble on her hands. SLOB GUY Ain't room for no more zombies in this town! Standing behind him, Teddy agrees with a slack-jawed MOAN. TEDDY Yeah. 104 104 INT. STATION WAGON - NIGHT Perry drives into town in silence, his nose bloodied and stuffed with tissues. Sandra sits beside him and Sheriff Hooper is in the back seat, scouring the streets. SHERIFF HOOPER Would've been a quiet night too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids. Huh! As Perry and Sandra exchange uneasy glances, Hooper suddenly points through the windshield to the riot in progress on Main Street. SHERIFF HOOPER (CONT'D) Sweet baby jesus! 105 105 EXT. MAIN STREET - CONTINUOUS Perry brakes hard just a few feet in front of the advancing mob, moving menacingly en masse in pursuit of the fleeing Undead. Hooper bustles out of the car, making a beeline for Deputy Dwayne. Crystal turns and fires into the street, taking out a lightbulb over a store sign. A dog somewhere in the shadows YELPS and runs away. ParaNorman 63. 105 CONTINUED: 105 Sheriff Hooper is outraged, and snatches the gun out of Crystal's hand. SHERIFF HOOPER What do you think you're doing, firing at civilians? That is for the police to do! DEPUTY DWAYNE It's okay Sheriff, we've only been shooting at the dead ones! It's the living dead, come to take us all to Hell! We gotta stop them before they get away! 109 109 EXT. TOWN HALL - MOMENTS LATER In the alley down the side of the old Town Hall, the zombies tiptoe through the shadows. They look slightly the worse for wear; some have lost limbs, others have large holes in them. One has a toilet plunger stuck on her head. The Dead Judge looks up at the sky. The turgid supernatural storm RUMBLES closer, pressing down upon the nearby rooftops. The Judge motions to the other zombies to hurry, and grabs hold of the Town Hall's side door. He rips it open, and furtively motions the zombies to file inside. 110 110 EXT. MAIN STREET - CONTINUOUS SHERIFF HOOPER Move along now people, there isn't anything to see here! The townsfolk around her refuse to be allayed by this. Perry and Sandra have emerged dubiously out of their car and watch from the periphery, utterly bewildered. Mrs Henscher, newly arrived and wearing her avocado face mask like war paint, shakes her shotgun and points down the street. MRS HENSCHER I saw them! I saw them! The zombies are in the Town Hall! The information sweeps across the crowd like wildfire. Several faces turn to Henscher, who is pleased to have an engaged audience and hams it up shamelessly, coming on like Braveheart in curlers. ParaNorman 64. 110 CONTINUED: 110 MRS HENSCHER (CONT'D) Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war! The faces around her don't react; waiting patiently for a clearer translation. MRS HENSCHER (CONT'D) Let's rip `em apart! Mrs Henscher points the crowd toward the Town Hall. Despite Hooper's protests, the townsfolk are on lynch mob auto pilot and surge like a force of nature along the Main Street toward the Town Hall plaza. 111 111 INT. TOWN HALL, ARCHIVES - LATER Dozens of books and cardboard boxes lie scattered across the floor. The glass cabinets around the room have been ransacked as the kids drag documents off shelves and rummage through binders. Norman sits on the floor flipping through sheet after sheet of records. Courtney wades through documents toward him, holding up a fist full of old rolled-up papers. COURTNEY We're not going to find it in here, Norman! This is useless! ALVIN Yeah, I know, and it's also really boring. MITCH I thought I was driving the van. No one told me I was gonna have to do this other dumb stuff. NORMAN If I'd known there was so much reading involved, I would have brought a completely different group of people who hate me. Neil suddenly YELLS out victoriously. Everyone turns to him, hardly believing he might have found the answer. He waves a book triumphantly above his head and grins at everyone. NEIL Yes! Book number one! Finished! That is right, twenty six pages, oh yeah! Everyone GROANS and turns back to their bickering. ParaNorman 65. 111 CONTINUED: 111 COURTNEY I can't believe this is your plan! I'm gonna get bitten and start eating peoples' brains! I'm supposed to be Vegan! Mitch suddenly SHOUTS out from the doorway. MITCH Guys! There's something moving out there! I think it's the zombies! ALVIN (HYSTERICAL) Hide! MITCH Oh, no it's not. It's just grown- ups. ALVIN (MORE HYSTERICAL) Hide! 112 112 EXT. TOWN HALL - SAME The square outside is awash with threatening townsfolk, led by Mrs Henscher and Deputy Dwayne. Some charge up the Town Hall steps, JEERING and WHISTLING. 113 113 INT. TOWN HALL LOBBY - CONTINUOUS Blurry silhouettes move across the outside of the window, occasionally SMACKING against them with their fists. A brick SMASHES through a window and CLATTERS across the floor between Courtney's feet. 114 114 INT. TOWN HALL ARCHIVES - CONTINUOUS The kids start to hurry toward the lobby, leaving Norman sitting amongst the spilled documents. MITCH That sound. Y'know what that is? That's not awesome... things... NORMAN Guys, come on! ALVIN Just give it up, weiner! NORMAN We have to keep trying! ParaNorman 66. 114 CONTINUED: 114 COURTNEY We tried and look what happened! (SIGHS) I'm scared, Norman, and I can't listen to this any more. Norman looks at the faces in front of him. The kids are scared and confused and angry. Even Neil has nothing encouraging to offer. Norman's brow furrows. NORMAN You never listen! No one ever listens! I'm scared too, but I've still gotta do this. COURTNEY I do too listen! And whatever it was you just said, it's not working! You think you're going to go out there and do your talking to the dead thing and this is all going to be okay? What are you going to do, ask the zombies not to eat you? NORMAN I should've known you wouldn't understand! No one ever does! COURTNEY Norman, you need to stop all this weird stuff and start living in the real world! NORMAN Everyone in the real world thinks I'm a freak! And you know what, maybe they're right, maybe I am a freak! But I never asked for your help... just go! Get out! Courtney, Mitch and Alvin back off a half step as Norman advances on them. MITCH Jeez, that was dramatic. Courtney shoots him a look as if she's about to fight back, then shakes her head and shoves her way through the door. She turns to go, snapping at the other kids behind her. COURTNEY C'mon! ParaNorman 67. 114 CONTINUED: (2) 114 One by one, the kids turn and file out, but Neil still insists on remaining, folding his arms defiantly. NEIL I'm not going anywhere. You can't make me. Mitch shrugs and picks his brother up, scooping him under one arm and carrying him out the door. MITCH Dude, you're really heavy. NEIL I'm not speaking to you. You can't make me. Norman watches the doors shut behind them, and his anger begins to ebb. Alone in the archive room, he slumps to his knees feeling useless and frustrated. 115 115 INT. TOWN HALL LOBBY - CONTINUOUS In the lobby, no one can hear him over the sounds of the mob. The kids have nervously approached the barricade at the front door, hoping to appeal to the figures outside. COURTNEY Um, excuse me? Hello? Unmistakably living hands and arms suddenly SMASH through the barricade, clawing into the Town Hall. The kids recoil from the windows, SCREAMING as they bat ineffectually at the grasping hands. 116 116 EXT. TOWN HALL - CONTINUOUS Slob Guy reaches in through a gap in the broken woodwork, managing to grab a hold of something. SLOB GUY They're in there alright! I can feel its clammy flesh! 117 117 INT. TOWN HALL LOBBY - CONTINUOUS Neil SCREAMS as Slob Guy gropes at his chubby arm. 117A INT. TOWN HALL ARCHIVES - CONTINUOUS 117A Norman notices his backpack on the floor in front of him, the book of fairy tales poking out. He picks it up and runs his hand absently over the embossed leather cover. ParaNorman 68. 117A CONTINUED: 117A Something CLATTERS behind him, and Norman hears someone approaching. NORMAN Hello? He turns around to face his friend and finds himself staring up at a zombie, moving toward him along the dark aisle, pale moonlight shining off its exposed bones. Norman GASPS. He realizes zombies are converging on him from all directions, barring his way out through the door. The Dead Judge GROANS as he approaches. Norman backs away, clutching the book to his chest. Out of the corner of his eye Norman spots another doorway in the shadows of the wall behind him and moves toward it, calling out desperately. NORMAN (CONT'D) Help! Somebody help me! 118 118 INT. TOWN HALL STAIRWELL - CONTINUOUS Norman runs up a tight stairwell leading to the roof of the building, the zombies just a few steps beneath him. 119 EXT. TOWN HALL - CONTINUOUS 119 MRS HENSCHER Let's burn `em out! Obligingly, a couple of townsfolk hurl Molotov cocktails at the windows. 120 120 INT. TOWN HALL LOBBY - MOMENTS LATER The kids manage to pull back just as a burning bottle flies over their heads, SHATTERING glass. It lands in the middle of the room and a puddle of burning alcohol spreads across the floorboards. Tendrils of black smoke are also beginning to creep under the edge of the front door. The kids stand in a group, terror-stricken as the smoke thickens and flames begin to lick along the floor. Courtney is quick to lose what remains of her composure. ParaNorman 69. 120 CONTINUED: 120 COURTNEY We're all gonna DIE! 121 EXT. TOWN HALL, ROOFTOP - CONTINUOUS 121 Norman heaves himself through a tiny hatchway onto a flat roof at the highest point of the building. He shuts the hatch, inching away as the zombies beneath beat on it with their hands. Norman finds himself backed up against a flimsy wooden rail, which CREAKS warningly. He leans over and sees the square beneath, filled with angry people. He has nowhere left to run. Above him the red sky RUMBLES, clouds churning into a ghastly grinning mouth. 122 122 EXT. TOWN HALL - CONTINUOUS Far below, the gathered townsfolk grow increasingly erratic. A pair of visiting tourists happily take in their surroundings with their cell phones and cameras. Sandra tugs at her husband's arm as they are buffeted by the increasingly erratic townsfolk. SANDRA BABCOCK Oh my gosh, do you think this has got anything to do with Norman? Perry waves her hand away irritably. PERRY BABCOCK Of course not! He is interrupted by a SHOUT as someone sees Norman's tiny figure silhouetted against the raging sky on the roof of the building. LIBRARIAN Everyone look! Perry and Sandra see their son begin gesticulating wildly at the clouds. SANDRA BABCOCK Perry, do something! He cups his hands around his mouth and YELLS at Norman. PERRY BABCOCK Norman! Get down from there this instant! You're supposed to be grounded! ParaNorman 70. 123 EXT. TOWN HALL, ROOFTOP - CONTINUOUS 123 Distraught, Norman bellows into the sky, waving the book angrily above his head. NORMAN You horrible old witch! Is this what you want? The roiling face above him seems to CACKLE mercilessly. 124 124 EXT. TOWN HALL - CONTINUOUS The mob begins to lurch to all new stupid conclusions as Norman waves his arms at the clouds. MRS HENSCHER Necromancer! FEMALE TOURIST This is all his doing! SANDRA BABCOCK Norman! Perry feels the shift in the crowd. They're not just baying for blood. They're about to start baying for his son's blood. 125 125 EXT. TOWN HALL, ROOFTOP - CONTINUOUS Norman continues YELLING at the sky, waving the book. He madly flicks through the pages, attempting to read aloud over the ROARING wind. NORMAN Once upon a time in a far-off land there lived a king and queen... in a magnificent castle... The horrible cloud face above him CACKLES monstrously, drowning out the story. NORMAN (CONT'D) Why won't you listen to me? Why are you doing this?! The face in the clouds turns inside out as a tongue of lightning spits out. It SMACKS into the book held in front of Norman's chest, lifts him up off his feet and throws him back onto the old timbers of the roof. The air is knocked out of Norman as, trailing smoke, he SMASHES through the wood into the fiery chasm of the building beneath. ParaNorman 71. 125 CONTINUED: 125 CAMERA follows him as he plummets, SCREAMING, and is enveloped in thick black smoke. There is a loud THUD, and silence. 126 126 INT. TOWN HALL, OLD COURTHOUSE - CONTINUOUS Norman lies on the floor, shifting painfully. With some effort he sits up, rubbing his head. The book in his hand is now a blackened cinder with a large smoldering hole gouged through the middle. Norman realizes he is no longer inside the burning building. Around him indistinct shapes begin to pool into clarity. He is in the courthouse, but three hundred years ago, and a trial is about to begin. A crowd of onlookers gather around a platform at the head of the room where officious-looking gentlemen in austere Puritan clothing stand around a table. Two dour men in black skull caps are seated, an empty chair between them. Norman moves unnoticed through the crowd toward the platform. The hubbub of the townsfolk dies down. The imposing figure of Judge Hopkins, tall and august, marches out of a side chamber, steps up onto the wooden dais and seats himself silently between his solemn peers. He glares down at Norman with cold, humorless eyes. JUDGE HOPKINS Agatha Prenderghast of his Majesty's Province of Massachusetts... As the Judge's voice continues, Norman sees played out against it a MONTAGE of the preceding court case. The notary stands up, waving a wad of testimonies. JUDGE HOPKINS (V.O.) (CONT'D) ...on this day you have been arraigned for the horrible crime of witchcraft... A pale woman fiddles nervously with the ribbon on her bonnet as she is questioned by the Judge. JUDGE HOPKINS (V.O.) (CONT'D) ...witnessed by those whose testimonies have been heard. A wiry woman with a pinched face gestures fearfully with her arms as she recounts her evidence. ParaNorman 72. 126 CONTINUED: 126 JUDGE HOPKINS (V.O.) (CONT'D) You have, by this court, been found guilty... NORMAN No! A young farmhand bows his head shamefully, as he adds further ammunition to the prosecution. JUDGE HOPKINS (V.O.) ...and it is passed on you, according to your grievous crimes... Another village woman SOBS into a handkerchief as she tells her story. QUICK CUTS of the accusers, one after the other, as the Judge finishes his verdict. The notary, the preacher, the townsfolk. All point at Norman. JUDGE HOPKINS (CONT'D) ...execution. Camera swings slowly around Norman to reveal AGGIE PRENDERGHAST, standing in chains right behind him. AGGIE No! Norman reacts with horror. The "witch" cowering next to him is no more than eleven years-old. Her long hair is unkempt and dirt on her face is streaked with tears from her eyes. Her manacles have been specially made to fit her tiny wrists, and weigh her to the floor. She SNIFFS, scared and confused. JUDGE HOPKINS Do you have anything to say for yourself? AGGIE I was only playing! JUDGE HOPKINS Aye, with fire! You were speaking with the dead! The crowd GASPS and MURMURS fearfully. JUDGE HOPKINS (CONT'D) I'll not risk damnation on these good people. The town Sheriff grabs Aggie by the shoulder. ParaNorman 73. 126 CONTINUED: (2) 126 JUDGE HOPKINS (CONT'D) You are to be taken to the place of execution where you will be hanged by the neck until you be dead... Norman shouts out but no one can hear or see him. NORMAN Wait! No! You can't do this! The grim-faced Sheriff moves toward Norman and Aggie. She backs away, tears flowing down her face. AGGIE I didn't do anything wrong! A terrible panic comes over her face. AGGIE (CONT'D) Stop! Leave me alone or I'll make you sorry! I'll make all of you sorry! Norman feels unsteady on his feet, the room seeming to spin around him. The faces of the townsfolk, pale and skull-like, swirl around and around, blurring together. In the center of it all, glowing like a bonfire, Aggie SCREAMS. The world turns black and Norman collapses in a faint. 127 127 INT. TOWN HALL ARCHIVES - CONTINUOUS NORMAN'S P.O.V. - the high timbers of the hall roof swim into focus, and then faces peering down at him. Skeletal, rotting faces. The dead Puritans are standing around him in a half-circle. He sits up terrified, and looks around, shuffling back across the floorboards on his bottom. The dead villagers stand where they are, staring intently. Norman sits a moment, heart pounding, WHISPERING SHAKILY. NORMAN How could you?! She was just a little kid! She was no different than me! The Dead Judge takes a step forward. NORMAN (CONT'D) Keep away from me! The Dead Judge stops, then opens his horrible mouth and speaks in a guttural voice. ParaNorman 74. 127 CONTINUED: 127 DEAD JUDGE You... must... stop... the... curse. A beat. Norman is stunned. NORMAN What? You don't want to kill me? The Judge shakes his head and points down at the book beside Norman's feet. DEAD JUDGE You can speak to the dead. To us. To her. We need you to read from the book to send us all back to the grave. NORMAN But it didn't work! It's a fairy tale! Just a bedtime... story... He narrows his eyes at the Judge. NORMAN (CONT'D) That's it, isn't it? A bedtime story to keep a little girl asleep for another year. And now you need my help because I'm the only one who can read it to her! He bends down to pick it up. His eyes flash angrily at the zombies and he hurls the burnt book at the Judge. It hits him in the chest and falls to his feet with a THUD. NORMAN (CONT'D) Here's your book! Try reading it yourself! The zombies stare down at the blackened lump of charred paper, and several of them GASP. The Dead Judge's eyes are filled with fear and desperation. NORMAN (CONT'D) Why did you do it? DEAD JUDGE We were scared. NORMAN Of what? DEAD JUDGE Of her. (GESTURES BEHIND) I believed we were doing what was right. I was wrong. Now this is our punishment. (MORE) ParaNorman 75. 127 CONTINUED: (2) 127 DEAD JUDGE (CONT'D) We thought we knew our way in life but in death we are lost. Norman knows they're telling the truth. DEAD JUDGE (CONT'D) Please help us. Norman looks at the book of fairy tales, lying at his feet. Its pages are curled and blackened, embers still glowing around the hole blown right through it. NORMAN Every year someone reads the story at her grave. Before me it was Mr Prenderghast, and before him there were others, but the curse doesn't ever go away. Nothing gets better. It's not enough. Norman looks at it a moment, thinking. He knows what he has to do. DEAD JUDGE What will you do? NORMAN Something nobody ever did before. I've gotta go talk to her. 128 128 INT. TOWN HALL - CONTINUOUS Smeared with soot and COUGHING, the kids are trapped in the lobby. They cower together as burning wood CREAKS and CRACKS all around them. The air is grey and caustic and filled with flakes of charcoal and burning ash. A burning timber GROANS as it splits from the ceiling and tumbles toward the children. They SCREAM and scatter as it hits the floorboards in a shower of glowing sparks. Mitch shouts out from beside a heavy wooden counter top. MITCH Guys! Guys! Under here! Under here! The kids scramble beneath the shelter of the counter as more glowing embers rain down around them. Courtney grabs Mitch by the bicep and whispers weakly. COURTNEY Mitch, if we die tonight, this might be the last chance I get to tell you how I feel. ParaNorman 76. 128 CONTINUED: 128 MITCH Uh, well, no. Unless we get brought back as zombies, and then technically you'll have longer. Courtney opens her mouth to continue, but her love train is thoroughly derailed by the nearby CRASH of breaking wood, and the archive door beside them CLATTERS to the ground. The cowering kids all watch in silent horror as several dark figures limp and shamble out of the smoke and make their way past them across the room. It's the zombies, and they're being led by Norman. COURTNEY Norman? NORMAN Come on! This way! COURTNEY You've gotta be kidding me... Norman, his mouth shielded by his sleeve, heads purposefully toward the front doors. 131 131 EXT. TOWN HALL - MOMENTS LATER A loud THUD from within the Town Hall causes the gathered crowd outside to GASP, and those closest to the doors to take a few steps back. The crowd GASPS again as the charred front door of the Town Hall is wrenched off its hinges by a huge piece of timber and CRASHES down the steps in a shower of flaming splinters. A ripple of shock runs through the crowd as a number of skeletal figures emerge, SPLUTTERING and WHEEZING through the smoke, shielding their faces from the heat. The gathered crowd are even more aghast when they realize a child is being guided out of the flames by the zombies. Unseen by the crowd, Courtney and the other kids crawl to the splintered opening of the front door, blinking and COUGHING for air. Hooper pulls out her gun and marches toward the zombies. SHERIFF HOOPER You stay right where you are! You may be dead already, but I will still shoot you! ParaNorman 77. 131 CONTINUED: 131 The zombies stop on the steps, burning building behind them and the hostile townsfolk in front of them. Norman pushes through and stands firmly in the way of Hooper's gun, arms spread defensively. NORMAN Wait! Courtney and the other kids GASP as they watch from within the doorway. SANDRA BABCOCK Oh my gosh! Far above, the clouds THUNDER like demonic laughter. Perry steps forward, face red. PERRY BABCOCK Son! Step away from the zombies! NORMAN No! I won't! Sandra comes up behind her husband and holds his arm. SANDRA BABCOCK Perry, calm down! You're going to have a heart attack and then what are you going to do? PERRY BABCOCK I'll come back and haunt Norman! Maybe then he'll start listening to me! NORMAN No! You don't understand what's happening here! I spoke to them and it's not what you think! Courtney edges forward out of the doorway, shocked but transfixed. NORMAN (CONT'D) The curse isn't about the zombies hurting you! It's about you hurting them! I figured it out, and I know a way to stop this! MRS HENSCHER He's in league with them! A few members of the crowd try to push past Perry toward the steps. DEPUTY DWAYNE Let's hang him! ParaNorman 78. 131 CONTINUED: (2) 131 GUCCI LADY No! We can't hang him, stupid! It's the 21st Century! DEPUTY DWAYNE Then let's burn him! Sandra turns despairingly to the crowd behind her. SANDRA BABCOCK Can you stop being a mob for just one minute?! NORMAN Listen to me! CRYSTAL Get them before they eat us! Punctuating every shout, the roiling clouds continue to RUMBLE their horrible laughter. COURTNEY Leave him alone! Courtney suddenly emerges, standing right in front of Norman. Following her lead in true "I'm Spartacus!" fashion, Neil, Mitch and Alvin step forward too, creating a barrier all around him, all joining hands in solidarity. CLOSE ON Courtney's face as she hisses sidelong to Alvin. COURTNEY (CONT'D) Hand, Alvin! My hand! A ripple of confusion seems to run through the crowd. COURTNEY (CONT'D) Everybody, listen up! You all need to stop trying to kill my brother! You're adults! Stop it! I know that this seems crazy, believe me I'm with you on that, but I think he does actually know what he's talking about! NEIL All night he's been trying to save you from the witch's curse! MITCH Yeah, and all you want to do is burn and murder stuff, burn and murder stuff! Just burning and murdering! ParaNorman 79. 131 CONTINUED: (3) 131 ALVIN Shame on every single one of you! How dare you all! Amongst the crowd, doubt is beginning to show. Even the rumbling clouds have gone quiet. CRYSTAL So they're not going to hurt us? NORMAN No, does it look like any of them are trying to hurt you? They're just people. At least they used to be. Just stupid people who should have known better. Norman looks at the line of Puritans. They look quite sad and pathetic really. Hardly monstrous at all. NORMAN (CONT'D) They did something unforgivable because they were scared, and they were cursed for it. Now it's happening all over again. Don't you get it? They were just like you. But now it has to stop. For good. Across the crowd, weapons are being lowered and faces are starting to look a little guilty. There is silence as the modern townsfolk stare at the line of three hundred year-old townsfolk. Throughout the crowd various weapons CLATTER as they hit the ground. A small girl tiptoes up the steps and silently offers one of the zombies his arm back. The quiet is shattered by a deafening SCREAM. It blows out of the storm clouds and whips through the plaza on a hellish wind. The street lamps around the square shatter in bursts of sparks, raining down on the amassed people. The sky above is blood red, clouds twisting and contorting into a vast unnatural vortex. The Town Hall erupts in a fireball, tongues of white fire ROARING out of the embers as the ground shakes and the crowd scatters in terror. Neil turns to Norman as they duck for cover behind a parked car, and SHOUTS over the noise of the wind. NEIL Jeez, what is her problem? Norman takes in the chaos around them... ParaNorman 80. 131 CONTINUED: (4) 131 -An arc of white lightning hits the base of the witch's statue with a CRACK. With a terrible GROAN, the statue is lifted up into the air by the supernatural wind. It CRASHES down at the foot of the Town Hall steps, shattering into a hundred pieces of rubble. -Windows blow out of tacky tourist stores, their cheap front displays ripped apart by the wind. -A bolt of lightning tears through the huge billboard in the plaza, ripping apart the idealized image of the town's history in a spiral of splintered wood. Norman struggles over to where a group of townsfolk and zombies cower from the destruction. Sandra runs over to her son and hugs him. SANDRA BABCOCK Oh, Norman! NEIL So what do we do now? NORMAN I... I really don't know... COURTNEY Yes you do, Norman! You've got to get to that witch's grave! NORMAN But... COURTNEY But nothing! You listen to me, buster, we didn't turn away when Daleridge High was slaughtering our volleyball team, did we? NORMAN I thought we did. COURTNEY No we didn't. I've cheered the uncheerable, Norman, and I'm not letting you give up now! Norman turns to Perry, his eyes all business. NORMAN Dad, could I borrow the car? PERRY BABCOCK Excuse me? ParaNorman 81. 131 CONTINUED: (5) 131 Norman looks squarely at his dad, and the Dead Judge beside him. They exchange uneasy glances. CUT TO: 132 132 INT. STATION WAGON - CONTINUOUS The Dead Judge sits rigidly between Norman and Courtney in the back of Perry's station wagon, Perry and Sandra in the front. Perry drives in silent discomfort following the Judge's instructions through town, glancing in his rear-view mirror at the passengers in the back seat. Sandra takes a small perfume spritzer from her purse as surreptitiously as she can and sprays the air around her. 135 135 EXT. SUBURBAN STREETS - CONTINUOUS The car turns a corner into the path of an overturned truck, caught by the spectral wind. It cartwheels down the middle of the street, tearing up the asphalt. I/E. STATION WAGON - CONTINUOUS Perry swerves out of its path of destruction. Inside, Sandra cranes her neck around to watch the truck CRASH down the road behind them. She faces front again. SANDRA BABCOCK Boy, the traffic tonight! COURTNEY Norman! He's on my side of the seat! NORMAN She wants you to move over. The Judge MUMBLES. COURTNEY I heard that! Mom! Tell the zombie to stop saying stuff about me! NORMAN Can you quit using the "z" word? PERRY BABCOCK So help me I will stop this car right now if all three of you don't quit it this instant! ParaNorman 82. CONTINUED: After a moment, the Judge lets out a sepulchral MOAN. NORMAN He says "take a left here". Perry gives a distasteful look, but turns the steering wheel. He peers out through the raging storm, windscreen wiper batting ineffectively at the onslaught of debris. PERRY BABCOCK We've already been this way. We're going around in circles! SANDRA BABCOCK Maybe we should pull over and ask someone? PERRY BABCOCK Oh, right, you think maybe we should stop at a graveyard and dig up some other eighteenth-century corpses? SANDRA BABCOCK It's not a bad idea. PERRY BABCOCK I wish I understood you. 136 136 I/E. STATION WAGON - CONTINUOUS From the back seat, the Judge turns to Norman and GROANS. PERRY BABCOCK Please don't tell me he needs to use the bathroom. Norman listens as the Judge continues GRUMBLING, then leans forward over his father's seat, pointing. NORMAN Turn down there! 137 137 EXT. OLD FOREST TRAIL - CONTINUOUS The car turns tightly off a secluded road onto a dirt path running into the thick of the surrounding woodland. SANDRA BABCOCK Oh my, do you think that's it? ParaNorman 83. 139 EXT. OLD FOREST TRAIL - MOMENTS LATER 139 The headlights of the car illuminate a huge fallen trunk ahead along the path, and Perry pulls the car to a stop, wheels CRUNCHING on dirt and roots. Everyone gets out of the car. The trees around them are thick and dense. Aggie's furious storm WHISTLES through the branches far above them. Norman turns to the Dead Judge. The Judge nods solemnly, pointing ahead. Norman steels himself and begins to march forward through the thick brambles, the others following behind. PERRY BABCOCK So, why are we here? NORMAN Someone's gotta talk to her, Dad. PERRY BABCOCK Yeah, um, why's that person you, exactly? As they continue, the surrounding trees press in on them, just like in Norman's vision. Branches and thorns lash at their faces while thick roots entangle their feet. Norman's family are falling behind and realize too late that the encroaching trees are about to crush Norman. SANDRA BABCOCK Oh my goodness, look out! NORMAN Mom! SANDRA BABCOCK Perry! Do something! Perry is finding it difficult to move; a tree bears down on him, its roots snagging his thrashing limbs. PERRY BABCOCK I'm trying! SANDRA BABCOCK Kick it in the knothole! Norman hops nimbly between two huge trunks as they SMASH together, blocking off the way ahead with gnarled wood. Sandra struggles free and shouts over the branches. SANDRA BABCOCK (CONT'D) Norman?! ParaNorman 84. 139 CONTINUED: 139 NORMAN (O.S.) I'm okay Mom! Wait for me here! Don't worry! SANDRA BABCOCK Be careful! Now separated from the others, Norman turns to go ahead on his own. Ahead of him a phosphorescent glow shines off the trees, and he knows he is very close. 140 140 EXT. OLD FOREST CLEARING - CONTINUOUS Exhausted but determined, Norman finds the source of the supernatural storm; a clearing sculpted out of the forest by Aggie's fury. In the center of it all is the tree, bleached white as bone and grotesquely twisted. The trees around it CREAK and GROAN as though they'd like to uproot and plant themselves someplace else. Beneath this tree lie Aggie's remains, buried three hundred years ago. Now a mess of roots and rocks open out like an ugly wound, and within them a tiny childlike figure is barely visible through a spitting furnace of spectral energy. Ectoplasm rages up around the tree's finger-like branches like a mushroom cloud of negative energy. It's a child's tantrum turned atomic. NORMAN Hello? Words echo around him in response. AGGIE You're not welcome here. Go away. Norman shivers as the voice RUMBLES coldly. The raging wind intensifies as Norman turns back around. NORMAN Uh... I really need to speak with you. AGGIE Who are you? NORMAN I'm Norman. Norman Babcock. You don't actually know me, but I know you. We're actually kind of the same, you and I. Norman takes another step closer, ducking as petrified branches and rocks fly over his head on the wind. ParaNorman 85. 140 CONTINUED: 140 AGGIE You're not dead. NORMAN Well, no, apart from that. AGGIE And you're a boy. NORMAN Well, yes, that too. AGGIE You're not like me at all. Norman hesitates, knowing he's on dangerous ground. NORMAN Well, I know how you feel? AGGIE No you don't. You don't know anything about me. NORMAN I know your name is Agatha Prenderghast. The ghostly voice wavers for the first time. AGGIE What? NORMAN And I know you're probably tired. Right? Because, I mean, it's really late and it's been a long night and we're, like, only eleven years-old, and... The voice snaps back like a clap of thunder. AGGIE I don't want to go to sleep, and you can't make me! I burnt the book into dust, and now I don't have to listen to that stupid story any more! Leave me alone! Norman is terrified, but advances on the tree, the rocks under his feet churning. NORMAN No. I'm not leaving. Just listen to me. (takes a breath) Uh... once upon a time... long ago... there was a little girl... ParaNorman 86. 140 CONTINUED: (2) 140 AGGIE What? NORMAN A little girl who was different from the other people in her village. The voice chants petulantly over him as if putting its demonic fingers in its ears. AGGIE I'm not listening! LA-LA-LA-LA-LA- LAAA! NORMAN She could see and do things that no one could understand, and that made them scared of her. AGGIE I don't like this story! NORMAN She turned away from everyone, and became sad and lonely, and had no one to turn to. AGGIE Stop it! If Aggie weren't floating three feet above the ground, she'd be stamping her feet. Her voice blows bits of bark off the surrounding trees. NORMAN But the more she turned away from people, the more scared they were of her, and they did something terrible! Arcs of white energy CRACKLE through the air. Where they hit the ground, they send up white flames. NORMAN (CONT'D) They became so scared that they took her away and killed her! AGGIE No! NORMAN But even though she was dead something in her came back. AGGIE Stop! ParaNorman 87. 140 CONTINUED: (3) 140 NORMAN And this part of her wouldn't go away, not for three hundred years... AGGIE Shut up! NORMAN And the longer it stayed, the less there was of the little girl! AGGIE I'll make you suffer! NORMAN Why? Aggie goes to shout, but stops, unsure of her answer. AGGIE Because... because... NORMAN Because you want everyone to hurt just as much as you are! So whenever you wake up you play this mean game, but you don't play fair! AGGIE They hurt me! NORMAN So you hurt them back? AGGIE I wanted everyone to see how rotten they were! NORMAN You're just like them, Agatha. AGGIE No I'm not! NORMAN You're a bully. AGGIE No I'm not! Norman has almost reached the eye of the storm. The world behind him is a whirling torrent of burning white chaos. NORMAN They did something awful, but that doesn't mean you should too! (MORE) ParaNorman 88. 140 CONTINUED: (4) 140 NORMAN (CONT'D) All that's left of you now is mean and horrible! He sees her clearly now. True, she is floating above the ground, and her hair is writhing madly about her, and plumes of spectral fire are pouring off her body, but she's still just a little girl underneath. AGGIE That's not true! Norman climbs up a tree root, Aggie's flames searing his skin and clothes as he gets close enough to touch her. NORMAN Then stop. This is wrong and you know it! You've spent so long remembering the bad people that you've forgotten the good ones. There must have been someone who loved you and cared for you. You don't remember them? AGGIE Leave me alone! NORMAN But you're not alone! You have to remember! AGGIE Keep away from me! Norman reaches the end of the root and jumps. His outstretched fingers shake madly as they approach Aggie's tiny hand, as though the air is fighting against him. NORMAN Remember! There is a flash of white, and silence. FADE TO: 141 141 EXT. NEW FOREST CLEARING - BRIGHT SUNNY DAY Dappled sunlight falls through shimmering leaves and blossoms. Norman and Aggie are standing in thick grass, replete with wild flowers, the dead white tree now quite alive and blossoming behind them. Aggie is no longer an indistinct specter, but flesh and blood and as real as Norman. She stares down at her hand as Norman holds it gently by the end of her finger. AGGIE Aggie. My name was Aggie. ParaNorman 89. 141 CONTINUED: 141 A brightly-colored butterfly flutters between them. Aggie starts to remember as she follows its flight. AGGIE (CONT'D) I... I remember my mommy brought me here once. We sat under the tree and she told me stories. They all had happy endings. (BROW FURROWS) And then those horrible men came and took me away and I never saw her again! She scowls angrily at the butterfly flitting past her face. It instantly crumples up into ashes. Surprised, she GASPS and watches the blackened dust fall to the ground. There's anger in Aggie, but there is confusion, sadness and regret there too. She isn't quite so scary anymore. NORMAN Sometimes when people get scared they say and do terrible things. I think you got so scared, that you forgot who you are. But I don't think you're a witch. Not really. Aggie looks into his eyes. AGGIE You don't? NORMAN I think you're just a little kid with a really special gift who only ever wanted people to understand her. He smiles softly. NORMAN (CONT'D) So we're not all that different at all. AGGIE But what about the people who hurt you? Don't you ever want to make them suffer? Norman thinks this over, and shrugs. NORMAN Well, yeah, but what good would that do? You think just because there's bad people out there that there's no good ones either? I thought the same thing. (MORE) ParaNorman 90. 141 CONTINUED: (2) 141 NORMAN (CONT'D) For a while. But there's always someone out there for you. Somewhere. Aggie frowns, looking lost. AGGIE I just want my mommy... NORMAN I'm sorry, Aggie. She's gone. AGGIE That story you were telling. How does it end? NORMAN I think that's up to you. Aggie blinks through tears at the grass beneath her feet. AGGIE Is this where they buried me? NORMAN It's a pretty good place to sleep. Then you can be with your mom again. Aggie holds Norman's gaze, then looks down to the ground, her tiny frame heaving with a last SOB. She sits down on the grass and curls up, resting her head on her hands. Norman kneels down next to her as she closes her eyes. Her breathing grows deeper and more peaceful; her tiny frame shifting softly under her long hair. The air around them grows blurry and indistinct. Aggie softens as though out of focus, and the whole world becomes a swirling dance of glowing orbs. Norman closes his eyes as a blizzard of light engulfs him, spiraling up into the clouds high above his head. Lightning flashes white far above and thunder RUMBLES softly through the sky, as if moving away. 143 143 EXT. TOWN HALL - CONTINUOUS The zombies form a group in the center of the square, all of them looking up into the clouds. The people around them stop and stare, awestruck as a breeze buffets their clothes and the air around them begins to shimmer. As the modern townsfolk watch on, some of the zombies take each others' arms for support. Those with eyelids close them. One by one their bodies dissolve away, leaving ethereal figures in their place. ParaNorman 91. 143 CONTINUED: 143 For a moment they float where they stood, ghostly apparitions of the people they once were before the curse. They stare sadly out at their flesh and blood descendents, and in an instant become just specks of light that are caught by the breeze and carried out of sight. 142 142 EXT. OLD FOREST CLEARING - NIGHT Norman blinks open his eyes, taking a moment to survey the scene around him. He sits upon the upturned root of the tree, the earth around broken and twisted, a testament to what has happened. He looks up into the sky and gives a sad smile. NORMAN Sleep tight. He clambers down through the roots back toward the path. 144 144 EXT. OLD FOREST TRAIL - CONTINUOUS Norman wearily walks through the splintered roots to find his family. Sandra shouts out when she sees him. SANDRA BABCOCK Norman? Norman! Sandra runs over to him and scoops him up in her arms, hugging him tightly. SANDRA BABCOCK (CONT'D) My brave little man! I thought I was going to lose you! NORMAN Mom, you're embarrassing me. SANDRA BABCOCK That's my job. COURTNEY Good job, Norman. Perry takes a deep breath and looks at his son. There is relief and a hint of admiration in his eyes. PERRY BABCOCK Well done, Son. You did it. The Judge, stood some way behind them, lets out a GROAN, and the Babcocks turn to look at him. ParaNorman 92. 144 CONTINUED: 144 They watch in awe as the Judge begins to turn to dust, his ragged clothes and decayed body dissolving in the rain. For barely a moment a shimmering ghostly figure is left behind, an image of the man that once was. The spirit blinks sorrowful eyes, then becomes nothing more than a million glowing fragments dissipating on the breeze. 146B 146B EXT. NEW TOWN HALL - LATER The sky has lost its lurid pall, and the clouds are now lighter and less menacing. In the Town Square, clusters of townsfolk are trying to come to terms with the night's events. Norman weaves through the crowd away from the Babcock's station wagon, searching for Neil. He hears small snippets of conversation as he goes. Dwayne waves his notebook under Hooper's nose. DEPUTY DWAYNE So, uh, are we gonna need statements? She slaps it out of his hand. DEPUTY DWAYNE (CONT'D) Ow! That was my finger nail. Slob Guy, Crystal and Mrs Henscher are convincing each other of their excuses. MRS HENSCHER You know what it's like. You join a mob and you say things. I was merely inhabiting the role. SLOB GUY Yeah, it was the others. They pushed me into it. Norman smiles as he passes Alvin, regaling a bunch of teenagers. ALVIN Yeah, me and Norman are in a lot of the same classes. Pretty much inseparable. Best buds. And we do a lot of psychic investigations together. We have a blog actually, you should check it out. Nearby, Courtney wastes no time cozying up to Mitch. ParaNorman 93. 146B CONTINUED: 146B COURTNEY So I was thinking, maybe we could catch a movie sometime? Nothing scary. MITCH That sounds great, Courtney! Y'know, you're gonna love my boyfriend! He's like a total chick-flick nut! Courtney stares at him, at a loss for words, then successfully reads between the lines and turns away MUTTERING. Norman eventually finds Neil sat upon the witch statue's broken plinth, attempting to piece it back together pebble by pebble. NORMAN Hey Neil. He climbs up beside his friend, who beams at him gleefully. NEIL You did it! You stopped the witch's curse and made the zombies go away and saved pretty much everything! NORMAN I guess. I just wanted to say thanks. You stood by me. All the time. NEIL Yeah, of course. Don't get weird or anything. So you think now everything's gonna turn back to normal? Norman looks across the square. The smoldering buildings, the fallen signposts, the warped trees, the rubble... NORMAN As normal as it could be. 148 148 INT. BABCOCK'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - EVENING Norman sits on the floor in front of the TV. A news report shows the wrecked Main Street with the headline "TOURIST TOWN HIT BY MYSTERY TORNADO". Perry enters the room, and Norman quickly changes the channel on the TV to a noisy monster movie. ParaNorman 94. 148 CONTINUED: 148 PERRY BABCOCK Son. NORMAN Hi Dad. PERRY BABCOCK What're you watching? NORMAN A scary movie. PERRY BABCOCK Your, uh, your grandma here is she? Norman looks around and sees his father and grandmother sitting side by side on the sofa. He nods. PERRY BABCOCK (CONT'D) Right. Of course she is. Perry tries his best to maintain his composure, and wriggles a little in his seat. PERRY BABCOCK (CONT'D) Is she... Is she sitting next to me? Norman nods. Perry "hem-hems" and turns awkwardly to face her, nose to ear. She doesn't seem to notice. PERRY BABCOCK (CONT'D) Hi Mom. Perry tries to downplay his discomfort and turns back to concentrate on the movie his son is watching. Sandra and Courtney enter from the kitchen carrying snacks. Sandra takes a seat on an armchair and Courtney lies down on the floor beside her brother, munching popcorn. They all settle in to watch the movie. A beat, then Perry and Grandma speak at the same time. PERRY BABCOCK (CONT'D) GRANDMA BABCOCK So what's happening now? So what's happening now? Norman sits as he is, facing the TV, and grins. THE END.