A thoughtless parking impulse leads a slick young ad executive into captivity and back to a crime he may have committed while in school --- as a botched revenge plot traps him and three women in an apartment with no escape from one another or the past.
In flashbacks, his memory unfolds. He had awakened after a night of carousing running late to an important client pitch at the agency. When he got there, he had, as usual impressed the client --- and he himself had been impressed by a pretty client executive, ANNE GUSTAFSON.
Feeling pumped after his success, he had flirted with Anne and taken her to dinner. Searching for parking at her home and eager to get with her, he had impulsively pulled into a space reserved for #202. Anne assured him that the tenants were never around.
He recalls hot sex in Anne's flat. What went wrong? How did he end up here? He intermittently blacks out. Slowly between bouts of unconsciousness he recalls that he had left Anne's flat at 3 a.m. and let himself out as she slept. A clean getaway!
But in the dark parking structure, somebody had let the air out of his tires and left him a nasty note. With no pump and his phone inexplicably dead, he had decided to confront the owner of the space and demand to use their phone.
We see Scott persistently knocking at the door of #202, to no response. He complains loudly this is no way to get his car out of their space. As he is about to leave and start walking in this deserted neighborhood, he notices that the door has fallen open. He calls out, pushes the door a bit father with a finger. Looks around inside. A phone is lying on the coffee table. Against his better judgment, he advances into the darkness.
Suddenly, the lights go on. Terrified young ALLISON VANDERVEER appears in her underwear begging him not to kill her.
Scott tries to explain about the flat tires. She doesn't know what he is talking about. But when he turns to flee, Allison inexplicably produces a gun: he is under “citizen’s arrest” she announces for breaking and entering. Her roommate, serpentine attractive JASMINE COYNE awakens and sleepily confesses to deflating his tires. Allison and Jasmine argue about whether to let him go. But this feels scripted to Scott: they are playing a game and have no intention of releasing him.
Scott has had enough. He bolts desperately for the door. The gun clicks unloaded and Scott wrenches it out of Allison's hand --- but Jasmine clubs him unconscious from behind with a lamp.
That's how he got here. He gags and vomits. Instantly the door opens and Jasmine enters cheerily with cleaning supplies. "Don't you just hate when that happens?"
Whenever he tries to explain himself, the women scold, dismiss, mock or lecture him. His concussion and the bonds (his hands and feet are bound with brassieres) don't give him opportunity to overpower them. His injury forces him to cooperate in their "care" of him.
The women blame "men like you" in their lives for abuse, betrayal, exploitation. When Scott points out their own decision-making flaws, they unexpectedly agree. Scott manages to drive a wedge between the two. Jasmine likes "bad boys like you" --- but Allison is younger, more volatile, angrier and bipolar. Potentially psychotic from childhood sexual abuse.
Scott's absence from work doesn't arouse much concern: We learn that he is an oddly isolated character despite his talent and is estranged from his family.
When his date, Anne, suddenly appears, Scott thinks he is rescued at last! But she is not really Anne; her real name is Terri. He knows instantly what this is all about. In 6th grade he and his friends had lured Terri --- the class’s prettiest girl --- to a remote area of the playground and held her hostage. It was just a prank. But Scott's memory is hazy. He denies that a rape occurred. We never meant to hurt you," he tells Anne/Terri. "We worshipped you."
But under Ann/Terri's prodding, Scott now recalls a repressed memory: the boys had torn off her clothes. One boy had raped her. But not Scott. They had then debated whether to kill her and blame it on a stranger --- paedophile. After holding her hostage for hours after school, they finally settle for terrorizing her, threatening her siblings if she tells. She promises. Terri keeps their secret and her family eventually moves away. The boys rationalize their guilt and repress their memories.
Anne now reveals that her life had been shattered by the crime; she became self-destructive and suicidal. When she meets Allison and Jasmine in a mental ward, they plot revenge on Scott, the ringleader.
Now Scott wonders, is he really a monster? The women don't know how to get out of the situation and debate killing him --- just as the boys had considered killing Anne/Terri.
Scott decides he has to reconnect with his dark side to survive. Perhaps he is that monster. Scott uses his charm to manipulate Jasmine into untying him for sex and then attacks her, choking her unconscious. As he tries to escape, Allison discovers him. She has found the bullets to the gun and secretly loaded it. She shoots Scott in the leg as he topples from the second story. The neighbors see; he hears sirens.
Time has passed. We see Scott at another door, knocking. We learn that under wildly differing accusations, the police had dismissed all charges and sent them on their way.
But back at work, though lauded as Creative Director on a big account. Scott cannot rest; he is obsessed with reenacting his captivity. He has driven to another complex and pulled into a reserved space. He knocks; Jasmine answers; they fall into each other's arms. Slowly, she ties him up. Only then does he realize that she is not alone. The nightmare begins again.
a young Marisa Tomei
Author page: www.lindaboroffauthor.com Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Boroff/e/B00NWE6J3I
I wrote the feature film, Murder in Fashion, about the killing of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The film played at theatres and festivals and was reviewed in the NY Times: https://www.