Little Ryan and the scary movie


Little Ryan peeked out from under his blanket. The only light he could make out was the little red glow from the lamp in the corner, which did not do much to illuminate the room. Instead it gave his room a spooky aura. Luckily for him, the moon was shining brightly and the moonlight streamed eerily through the little window. Though he couldn’t see clearly, he noticed that the door to his toy cupboard was open. And then he saw the monstrous shadow move. “I wish I hadn’t watched that scary movie” he thought.

Earlier in the day..
While he was playing in the attic, he came across a sealed cardboard box. Being at the tender age of 10, he had every bit of curiousness that kids of that age possessed. He slowly wiped off the dust from the box and fiddled with the masking tape that kept it together. He slowly tore it open and looked inside the box. He was surprised to see scores of DVDs stacked neatly inside, all tagged with his fathers name on it. Excited at his discovery, he quickly skimmed through the titles. Most of them were missing the original wrappers and just had the names written on them. Cautiously he isolated one which had caught his attention. “Yes” he thought “I’ve got a new movie to watch”. Though he was the eldest of his parents’ three kids, even he had very restricted time with the TV. Fortunately for him, his mother and father had a dinner planned with the next door neighbours, the Hernandes. He carefully hid the DVD under his shirt and climbed down the stairs.

Later in the evening….

As he sat down on the sofa, he mused about his brilliant suggestion of offering to take care of his 5 year old twin brother and sister for the evening. His parents seemed a bit concerned at first, but he managed to convince them, especially since they were only next door. Mouthing a silent thank you for making his siblings early sleepers, he pushed the play button on the remote. He was sure he was in for a treat.

Two agonising and horrifying hours later….

“I wish I hadn’t watched that scary movie” he thought. He looked around the living room and thought he saw something move near the kitchen door. He wasn’t sure what to do next. He knew he shouldn’t have watched the movie without asking his parents about it. And now that it turned out to be very scary movie, he was panicking, scared and tensed, all at the same time.

“Thud!”. Little Ryan froze on the spot. The sound had come from the kitchen, the very place where he thought he’d noticed  movement. He suddenly wanted to talk to his parents. He wanted to rush into their arms, and snuggle into bed with them. He knew they were just next door and they could get home in a matter of minutes if he called them. The trouble was that the phone was down the hallway, which was past the kitchen, which was suddenly the source of all the strange scary sounds.

He looked around and saw his mother’s precious pointed candle stand. Though only 10 years old, Ryan prided himself in being the bravest of his classmates. He had already succumbed to his fear once by watching that movie today. And now he desperately wanted to call his parents. After a few minutes, the noises from the kitchen stopped. Armed with the candle stand, Ryan decided to make a run for it. After all his dads number was on speed dial 1. As he rushed past the kitchen, his curiosity was piqued and he couldn’t help but glance into the room, when he knew he probably shouldn’t. The last thing he saw before he hit the floor and stumbled out into the hallway, was a big black ball of fur coming right at him.

With his heart in his mouth, and the candle stand in his right hand, he looked at his adversary. And then he smiled. It was Krissy, their furry black Persian cat. He quickly gathered himself up and phoned his parents.

Later than night…

As his mother and father tucked him into bed, Ryan couldn’t help but feel very fidgety. He had come clean about the DVD and though his dad had said a few stern words, they had eventually seen the episode from a ten year old’s point of view. His mom had even read him his favourite bedtime story, something that hadn’t happened for a long time. But the movie still haunted him. Even when he was dozing off into “sleep land”, he could see the “partially opened cupboard from the movie from which the long, ugly arms emerged”. He shuddered as he thought about it.

At some point past midnight…

Ryan opened his eyes. His pillow was drenched in sweat. He had seen scenes from the movie again. Though it was close to 30degrees, he was shivering. From under the safety of the blanket, he peered out across the large built-in cupboard that stocked his toys. The door was ajar. And as the room was illuminated by moonlight, he thought he saw a monstrous shadow emerge from the dark abyss of the cupboard. As the shadow crept menacingly close, Ryan pushed off his blanket and ran out of the room, where he disappeared into the comfort of his parents bed.

As he cuddled up against his mother, little Ryan said a silent prayer. “I wish I hadn’t watched that scary movie” he thought.

For the record, early next day Ryan discovered that the monstrous shadow was just his giant stuffed bear Mr. Huggles, whose light-weight fur moved ever so slightly due to the air form the fan. And incase you were wondering, the movie that Little Ryan dared to watch was 2005 movie “Boogeyman”, directed by Stephen T.Kay. As he was more accustomed to the new generation super hero movies such as “Iron Man” and the likes, he naively thought that Boogeyman was another superhero.

Replugging this post for a prompt by Project 365 at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. Today's prompt was: Safety First - share the story of a time you felt unsafe'.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out themes for creative writing each weekend for Indian bloggers.
wowbadgeThis week's WOW theme was "Repetition" and the aim was to have one sentence repeated at least three times in a post, without them being repeated consecutively. My sentence was the highlighted one: “I wish I hadn’t watched that scary movie” he thought.

Aye aye Captain - A review of Captain Phillips

It takes a lot to make me write a review for a movie. Not because I do not take the pains to dissect it; purely because I'm inherently lazy. But not this time. This movie deserves every bit of the praise. Captain Phillips is an incredible dramatisation attempt by director Paul Greengrass (of the Bourne Series, Greenzone & United 93 fame) to recreate the "true" story of how the American cargo ship "The Maersk Alabama" was hijacked by Somali pirates back in 2009. With two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks in the titular role and a  screenplay-to-act-for by Billy Ray (of The Hunger Games, State of Play, Shattered Glass fame), the movie should definitely be on any hard core movie buff's to-watch list!

Image Credit from the Wikipedia Website

As it is based on a true story, the plot itself is quite predictable. To put it briefly, it's about four young Somali pirates hijacking the behemoth of an American cargo ship, in the hope of making some money by holding them ransom. However it takes an immensely talented director to be able to keep us on the edge of our seats, with a story we know the ending to. Nevertheless, the director Paul Greengrass managed to do it with United 93, and has successfully done it with Captain Phillips too.

The plot itself has multiple layers, and people like me, who have a tendency to over-analyse will find much to feed our brains. Though in a nutshell, it is  a heroic survival tale against all odds, the plot also touches on a number of different issues from the plight of the fishermen in Somalia who have resorted to being pirate-raiders for the manipulative ring leaders to how globalisation has left as much as fifty people competing for one job.

Tom Hanks, as Captain Richard Phillips, lives and breathes the role of the eponymous merchant mariner to the letter. He sails effortlessly through every scene, be it the reserved and methodical Captain Phillips that we see at the beginning of the movie, or the sleep, water and food-depraved traumatic Phillips being held captive by the Somali pirates. Though he is splendid throughout, the last five minutes of the movie is when he truly delivers the performance worthy of another Academy Award®. You've got to 'see it to "feel" it'!

However it's not all the Tom Hanks show. He is matched step-for-step and act-by-act by newcomer Barkhad Abdi, whose electrifying performance of the pirate leader Abduwali Muse, has already gathered rave reviews. Perhaps the most enthralling scene the two of them have together is when Muse, after boarding the ship, looks dead-eye straight at Phillips and says  "Look me in the eye – I'm the Captain now!". As the ringleader Muse, Abdi portrays the perfect eclectic mix of intense determination and sheer desperation of someone who has gone way too far to turn back and has no other way out.

With a run time of 134 minutes, the movie starts off a tad slow, but soon has us gripped-by-our-throats with the suspense and tension. Greengrass makes good use of every available tool at his disposal, and be it the claustrophobic scene inside the "being-constantly-tossed-by-the-sea" lifeboat or the "unabated negotiations" between the US Navy and the pirates, he executes them with panache. Technically, the movie is exceptionally crafted and we find ourselves "virtually" present for every scene. The cinematography by Barry Ackroyd is exceptional and the riveting  background music by Henry Jackman adds to the overall mood.

As i said earlier, it takes a true genius to wring suspense from a screenplay that you know the end to. And once again, Paul Greengrass has done just that.

My final verdict: A pulsating survival story of the captain of an American cargo ship kidnapped by Somali pirates, executed brilliantly by Director Paul Greengrass and Academy-Award-worthy acting by Tom Hanks and debutante Barkhad Abdi.

P.S. I've not provided a detailed scene-by-scene description of the storyline on purpose. At the end of the day, it's a thriller, and though the story in its entireity  is available on the public domain, I'm of the opinion that its best if we just know the synopsis and "relive" the movie, as the director and actors meant for us to. 

Watch the YouTube trailer here for Captain Phillips by Sony Pictures: