Creator: John Jantunen
Genre: Horror
Age rating: 17 and older
Precious is a supernatural thriller about three siblings who return home for their father’s funeral and find themselves at the mercy of the old man’s dying wish.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: James Carver built the perfect family town for his precious wife Clara and together they had three children — Julie, Christian & Angela. Bayview prospered under James’ benevolent patriarchy until cancer took Clara and his dream crumbled. Bitterness drove his children away and for twenty years James has lived as a recluse with only his memories for company.

One night, James dies while watching a home movie of the last Christmas the family spent together and his grief unleashes a terrible curse. As he lays undetected in his hilltop mansion the residents of Bayview suffer the same fate, in life, that his body does in death.

It starts with the flies. Swarms of them. In every home, in every room, in every open wound, mouth, nose and ear. All laying eggs. Then come the maggots. Hatching. Feeding. Devouring from within. No one is safe.

Summoned home for their father’s funeral, Angela and Christian arrive in a seemingly deserted Bayview. While searching for Julie they discover, in house of after house, the grisly remains Bayview’s inhabitants. To escape a fate worse than death most have killed themselves and their loved ones. The actively decomposing people that do remain have only one chance to end the curse — reunite the Carver family six feet under.

Evading the homicidal townsfolk, Christian and Angela learn that they are not immune to the curse as maggots begin hatching under their skin. They hurry to the local hospital where they find their brother-in law Steve and their twin nieces in hiding, all three of whom are curiously unaffected. Steve leads Christian to Julie in the morgue fridge, a victim of Cousin Jimmy.
While Christian, a doctor, tries to find a way to stop the living death, Cousin Jimmy shows up with his own remedy — a twelve gauge shotgun. Angela takes the first dose of medicine and, in his flight, Christian stumbles upon Steve’s and the twins’ bug infested corpses. Steve and the twins aren’t uninfected after all, they’re ghosts. Reeling from the discovery, Christian tries to flee town but the only way out is a tunnel filled with the good folks of Bayview, all dead and seeking retribution. Escaping these vengeful poltergeists, the road that should lead to freedom leads Christian straight back to Bayview. Stranger still, upon his return it’s snowing and Christmas music plays over the town’s P.A. system.

Pursued by his cousin, his two spectral sisters and the over four hundred varieties of insects that colonise a body after death, Christian races to the cemetery to confront his father. There he finds an open grave with his name on the tombstone. James ambushes Christian and unceremoniously buries his son alive.

Moments later, Christian awakens in his childhood room. Christmas music beckons him downstairs and into the dining room where Christian enters a familiar scene — his sisters and father gathered at the table for the last Christmas dinner they shared with his mother. Trapped in the hell of his father’s private heaven Christian, now seven, can do nothing but fidget with his tie as he waits for his mother to make her long awaited re-appearance with the Christmas turkey.

Latest Work

  • Script 2 - John's 2nd Draft
    Creative Notes:
    The most significant change is that Julie is still alive when Christian and Angela arrive. This allows old patterns to re-emerge amongst the siblings and sets up a heart wrenching scene where Julie is reunited with her family to climax act 4. The new title Buttercup is a reference to James' pet name for Clara. It is unspoken in the film but the flower makes a couple of appearances.

All Work

  • Script 1 - John's Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    I wrote the original draft in 2002, years before the other Precious was made (coincidentally I took inpsiration for the title from another Oprah film, Beloved). I wanted to create the ultimate homage to the horror films I loved growing up but which I have since found lacking due to the complete disregard most of them had with creating a compelling story.