The Dark Pier

When the clocks go back, evil comes forward. Whilst learning the ropes as Nightwatch on a popular pier amusement arcade an insomniac former child prisoner is confronted by her inner demons that physically manifest themselves into the world around her forcing her to relive a turbulent childhood.

  • Jonnie Hurn
    Do Elephants Pray?, In Circles, Riding Liberty
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, psychological horror
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Jonnie Hurn

Jonnie started writing at school, penning assemblies. His first feature, Animals, substituted for film school. His semi-autobiographical road movie Do Elephants Pray? was a festival favourite, winning multiple awards. It was released theatrically in the UK. Jonnie adapted the short film King John from the Shakespeare play. In 2014 came In Circles, the world’s first narrative film about crop circles. It has been released in 80+ countries.
2019 Jonnie was commissioned to write a script on the biggest white collar fraud in the UK. It’s currently in development. 2020 Jonnie wrote the short Riding Liberty, a coming-of-age polo drama, now out to festivals.

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Writer Statement

Based on real-life experiences of pavor nocturnus (night terrors) and psychological disturbances that plagued me as a child and even into adulthood "The Dark Pier" is a supernatural horror which blurs the ever changing line between reality and perceived reality. Told largely in real time the bulk of the film is set at night in the "anomalous" extra hour when the autumn clocks go back, this is a deliberate act to reflect the repetition of the terrifying events within the script across not only the night but also the life of the lead character. It is a visually dark film, pocketed with bursts of lighter memories, but even these slowly turn sombre as the sub-plot unfolds, resulting in their own climax in the grey slab of a sodden quarry, which mirrors in action the visually darker main plot ending. The themes and story are not meant to entirely understood, fusing the main and sub plots to create a duality in the climax, one simultaneously both real and unreal. The characters are diverse, female lead, with varying ethnicities, religious beliefs and social backgrounds. The answers are not spoon-fed to the audience, instead they are invited to draw their own conclusions about what is real and what is not, to question what they have experienced, just as I have done since childhood. To this day I still don’t know if what I experienced was real or just lucid dreaming, but it sure as hell felt real enough, and that is the sensation I want this film to deliver.