Standoff

Stand Off

Run Time: 85 Minutes

Rating: R

 

Director: Adam Alleca

Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Thomas Jane

Writers: Adam Alleca

Synopsis

CARTER is struggling with the recent death of his young son, and has turned to alcohol and isolation to cope. He lives alone in his abandoned house, among the decay of packed boxes and sad memories. Desperate, and on the verge of suicide, he composes a letter to his estranged wife, MARA.

Meanwhile, BIRD, a 12-year-old girl coming to grips with the loss of her own parents, witnesses a brutal murder at a cemetery. She captures photos of the event on her camera, and attempts to flee. Bird and her guardian, ROGER, search for each other on the grounds, but Roger is shot by the killer. Ruthless in his task, SADE, turns his attention to Bird.

Sade has seen the camera around Bird's neck, and will stop at nothing to pursue her; she has seen his face, and now she must pay the price. In a panic, Bird runs toward Carter's house, calling for help. Concerned, Carter greets her on the porch, but is shot by Sade from a distance. The two victims dash inside and up to the second floor. Armed with a single-barrel shotgun, Carter shoots Sade from the top of the stairs as he enters the living room. Both men assess their wounds and their firepower, and Carter realizes that he has only one shell left. A narrow staircase and a thick wardrobe prevent the men from taking a clear shot, so a game of psychological manipulation ensues.

Sade will stop at nothing to convince Carter to hand Bird over. He warns that they are isolated with no phone, injured, and fighting against time. Sade finds Carter's cellphone downstairs. Both their conditions deteriorate as they tend their respective wounds, and both turn to alcohol to manage. Upstairs, Bird and Carter take precautions against the pursuing Sade; shattering glass on the stairs, and submerging Bird's film in the bathroom sink in case of a fire.

Suspense and action build as Sade and Carter continue their battle of wits. Sade uses anything and everything to his advantage; he wants to get under Carter's skin. No topic is off limits: Carter's suicide note, his family, his broken life. Still, Carter won't back down. As Sade's anger grows, a rookie cop, OFFICER BAKER, arrives at the door to investigate. Sade shoots Baker in the stomach, and uses him as a pawn in his sick game; torturing him in front of Carter before murdering him.

Time is running out – as night approaches, Carter realizes his generator is running low on gas. Soon the lights will go out, and they will be in complete darkness. Carter and Bird remain upstairs, while Sade is up to no good in the living room. Hours into the stalemate, headlights appear outside the house; it is Mara. Sade tricked her into coming by after finding her number in Carter's cellphone. Sade uses Mara as the ultimate leverage.

Desperate and out of options, Carter hides his Swiss Army knife in his belt, hands the shotgun to Bird, and surrenders himself downstairs. Sade is uninterested; he wants Bird. The struggle continues, and the lights begin to flicker wildly. Sade shoots Carter in the kneecap, Bird walks down with the shotgun, and Mara is used as a human shield. The lights go out. Mara smashes her head into Sade's face. Carter takes advantage, and stabs Sade in the neck with the knife. Carter is shot in the stomach, and Mara tries to pull Bird to safety. Mara calls 911. Vengeful, Bird walks back into the house in an attempt to destroy Sade, but the shotgun is a dud. On the verge of death, Sade points his gun at Bird but he slumps down dead at the last moment. Bird runs to Carter's unmoving body, fearing the worst... but Carter wakes. He is alive, though badly wounded. The two share a heartfelt moment of relief.