I can’t really watch horror movies or shows or whatever media (I absolutely do not want to give myself nightmares) thus I am super unfamiliar with most of the horror stories out there. But my scumbag brain likes to imagine things. I don’t know if something like this exists (and this is not a ‘please recommend me similar horror movies’ post, thank you!!!), but I just had some inspiration for a horror movie plot:

  • A family is shown moving from the city to into an obviously haunted house in/near a small town. You know, that kind of house out in the woods, has some history/rumours, maybe some suspicious locked cellar or attic, etc.
  • No specific composition for the family, except must have one child and parent of the child. Small family, no bigger than five. Child is maybe a bit rebellious, does not get along well with people. The parent is maybe very controlling or foul-tempered but hides it well from outsiders.
  • There are some family issues causing friction in the family, specifically between the parent and the child.
  • The family as a unit gets along well with people in the nearby town, which is a very normal town, no weird suspicious people at all.
  • But the woods has a reputation for some creepy history.
  • The family friction keeps escalating.
  • Town’s people or something mentions that there is a local superstition that on a certain night that’s approaching soon (maybe coincides with some spookily suspicious date or Halloween or something), doing a certain thing is forbidden (like maybe stay out after a certain time or something).
  • On that particular night, the child does the forbidden thing. The parent is scared shitless and argues with the child. Then after some time has passed in the night, something ominous is shown to happen to said parent, like lured out to the forest and implied to be killed, or equivalent kind of thing. Child has a perfectly normal night.
  • Next morning, the parent is shown to go about the day as per normal, like the ominous scene never happened. There is something a little bit odd about the parent, a slight behaviour change but not in a bad way. They apologize for the argument/fight or the issue and promises to be a better parent. They seem just a bit happier/calmer/relaxed.
  • Plot continues to show some very normal days, but the parent is increasingly more supportive or caring of their child, which confuses the child because even though the parent made a promise, said parent also has a track record of breaking such promises.
  • Other than that, the parent’s behaviour is very normal. Except for one thing. When the parent is alone doing something completely innocent, one small physical gesture that is super unnatural (like for example, one eyeball sometimes randomly rolls a full rotation, or a wrist twists 360 degrees and back quickly, etc) is shown to happen. Other than that, they have no new weird habit, no new weird purchase or weird people hanging out with them.
  • Things continue like this, and the one small unnatural physical thing happens a couple more times, but the parent is still very normal and increasingly more supportive/caring of the child. Then sometimes smiles a little creepily at the child when the child is not aware.
  • Meanwhile, the atmosphere in/around the woods and town is shown to get increasingly creepy and scary though. Random dead wildlife and stuff. Creepy wood stuff. The one unnatural physical thing starts showing in some of the town’s people that had contact with the family, and some town’s people supposedly left town even though they are shown to be long-time residents who have no wish to leave.
  • If there are other members of the family, they start noticing the increasing creepiness everywhere (except the parent’s behaviour, which puzzles them, but they convince themselves that the move is doing wonders to the parent) and are uncomfortable with staying. If there are no other members of the family, the child is the one who notices and is uncomfortable. In any case, there is a push to move to some other place. The parent agrees, but shows obvious reluctance to moving away.
  • One night, it is extra creepy. The parent’s unnatural physical thing happened several times, but somehow the child still hasn’t noticed any of it. The child is scared badly by what happens though and then they did a repeat of the forbidden act they did on that one certain night some time back. Something unknown and sinister is shown to be approaching the child (but camera is in 1st person view of the sinister something) and as it almost reaches the child, the parent is shown to flicker onto the screen, then scene goes black.
  • Next scene shows the town. There are a lot fewer people now, a couple of them are chatting, saying even more people had moved out, including the family, how strange it is. One of them commented that it’s funny how the family stayed the same amount of time as a previous family that moved into the house before them, and how similar both families were. They laugh and conclude it must be a coincidence.
  • Last scene shows that the family is back in a city and is settling well. Both the parent and the child are getting along super well with other people, to the amazement of people who previously knew them. They comment on the change and the family/parent/child answers that perhaps the move to the town was a good thing after all. Final shot is of the child doing the unnatural physical gesture.
  • And that’s it.

This definitely blew up into something bigger than the small idea that spawned initially…