THANATOS

what if your unconscious mind wanted you to die?

A darkly disturbing thriller about a police detective who finds himself paralysed and close to death after falling from a building, and must master lucid dreaming in order to survive.

 

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Status: DEVELOPMENT

Director: Tom Sands

Writer: Mick Sands (story by Tom Sands)

Producer: Phil Harris

In a rooftop chase, police detective Leonard falls four storeys and wakes up in hospital with a horrific list of injuries.  Was it an accident? Or was it suicide?

 

Leonard is assigned a psychiatrist, Poppy, who was once a well-known dream therapist before suffering a breakdown. Poppy doesn’t think there’s much to be done for the possibly suicidal Leonard - he probably won’t live for more than a couple of days. She is unsettled by the ICU ward, which is run by a cold and detached head nurse called Edward. Poppy fears that Edward has recognised her methadone dependence.

 

What Poppy doesn’t know is that Edward, a clever psychopath, is dispatching the patients he doesn’t think will survive in order to make his department run more efficiently. Leonard has taken his only spare bed, and Edward wants to make sure he isn’t in it for long.

 

Poppy’s attitude towards Leonard changes when her new patient develops night terrors.  Quizzing him about his nightmares, she learns that he was able to manipulate his dreams as a child. She realises he has a chance of surviving if he can enter deeper into his dreams and uncover the unconscious death urge that put him in hospital.  She is only too aware that her own experience of lucid dreaming caused her breakdown and addiction. 

 

Reluctantly, Poppy schools Leonard, and he enters into an epic but disturbing dreamscape. As Leonard acquires some control in his dreams, his vital statistics improve, and he even gains some movement in one arm. But when his dreams confront him with things he doesn’t want to see, his condition worsens. Poppy panics and walks away from her patient. Meanwhile, Edward furthers his plans for Leonard’s demise.

 

Leonard’s pregnant young wife refuses to give up on him and persuades Poppy to continue her work. Slowly, a picture emerges from Leonard’s dreams. His death urge was triggered by his wife’s pregnancy, which provoked pre-natal memories in him. He must now discover what happened to him in utero. But his morphine dose is clouding his experience. When Poppy lessens his dosage, he dreams of what seems to be the attempted abortion of him in utero. His mother denies she ever tried to terminate the pregnancy. Leonard doesn’t believe her.

 

To find out what provoked the attempted abortion, Leonard needs Poppy’s help. But she has her own problems. Edward discovers that not only has she been supporting Leonard’s survival, she has also been stealing morphine for herself. Keen to put an end to both activities, he arranges for her to have an overdose. Then he drastically increases Leonard’s morphine dose.

 

Fighting to increase the small movement in his arm, Leonard manages to turn off his morphine. In spite of considerable pain, he forces himself into sleep and dreaming.  He must find the answer before Edward discovers he’s turned off the drip. He dreams of his early beginnings and finally discovers he was the product of a rape during the Ugandan Civil War in 1982. Leonard is still critically ill, but at last he has resolution. 

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