Something Stared Back

Creator: Dan Pistachio
Genre: Horror
Age rating: 17 and older
Experience "Darren", a survivor of an abusive mental health institute. From his first-person perspective, we follow Darren as he struggles to find some measure of peace in a life haunted by abject, lucid hallucinations that threaten his mental well-being.
Synopsis: This is a story of Darren, a survivor of an abusive mental health institute, and his struggles with depression, psychosis self-identity. From his first-person perspective, we follow Darren's struggles to reconnect with his family and his desperate attempts to collect the pieces of his former life as a sculpture, all while fighting off abject, lucid hallucinations that threaten to ruin his mental well-being.

Neglecting his medication, Darren gradually descends into madness, becoming suicidal and spiteful towards the people he loves. Darren is constantly tormented by suicidal thoughts, phantom pains, and the specter of the Orderly, a grotesque avatar of Darren's abuse suffered while institutionalized. Unfortunately, Darren's mind eventually splinters, giving life to other inner-perspectives, most notably Melody, an optimistic disembodiment who refuses to be just a figment of Darren's imagination.

As Darren and Melody come to terms with one another, an honest and loving friendship is born. However, though Melody initially brings some measure of peace to Darren's life, his continued self-hate and pessimism begin to fray Darren's psyche beyond the point of any comfort. And after taking a fall from his roof and discovering that his "phantom pains" are actually the result of self-inflicted injuries, Darren once again finds himself institutionalized in order to get the help he really needs.

No longer content to allow Darren to hurt himself, several aspects of Darren's personality conclude that he must be stopped. The perspective that was Darren has allowed the worst of him to thrive and must be regrettably silenced.

Latest Work

  • Script 1 - Dan's Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    This film should strive to put its viewers in the passenger seat of horror and suspense. From the protagonist's first-person perspective, audiences will get a front row seat to Darren's descent into madness.