Mentioned before about taking a slightly new direction on the script, and that is fully underway. I don’t know if I explained exactly why I was taking it there. After the mixed reviews of “The Bet” – and believe me, I would never give up the polarized reaction for a middle-of-the-road meh – I wanted to do something a bit more straightforward. Detox is that. But I also wanted to do something that was just downright nasty and mean, not like Hostel cos that sucked, more like Wolf Creek or Audition which truly fucks with your head. Detox, in its current iteration isn’t really getting there. It is, right now, an emotional, dramatic character study with some horror and thriller elements thrown in. If I can keep the character study (which really is the heart of the story anyway), but really take it to a place a deeply disturbing and dark and unforgiving as drug addiction, kidnapping and obsession lend themselves, then I think it’ll really benefit.
So why do I say the “mean” version. Put it this way, there’s a scene in the script where Matt (who has kidnapped Julia to detox her) puts his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming and she bites him. In the third draft I added a little extra something: after the bite, he instinctively slaps her, leaving a smear of blood from the bite on her face. When I added that little bit, I thought “Wow! I can’t believe he hit her (characters tend to live in my head, running their lives, over which I have no control) and realised that’s what was missing. The detox was too easy. Yes, she was suffering, but it was too nice. Everything was to nice. Too easy. And I wanted these people to really work to get out of the messes they had made for themselves.
I’m going more Less Than Zero and less The Breakfast Club. These folks are gonna have scars both physical and emotional that will last the rest of their lives, if they manage to survive this little ordeal. That’s not to say I’ll enter torture- or tragedy-porn territory; I’d really rather steer clear of that. I’m not a big fan nor do I think I’d be doing the story justice taking it there. But I’m not gonna play nice, either.