HORROR SUSPENSE/THRILLER DRAMA
David C. Cassidy
When a tormented horror novelist with a miraculous power unwittingly opens a gateway into the soul of an epileptic child with second sight, he must risk it all to destroy the relentless evil unleashed that twists peaceful townsfolk into psychotic crazies and cold-blooded killers.
Struck by lightning, Jared rises from a coma with the power to see souls. When he reunites with Marisa, he unwittingly opens a gateway to the soul of her son, Kit, an epileptic with second sight. A dark entity—the Shape—emerges, and Kit utters a strange word foretelling a bizarre murder-suicide.
As the body count soars, the Shape stalks its ultimate prey: Kit. With time running out for all and unable to close the gateway, Jared sacrifices himself to sever his link with Kit. The Shape is vanquished, and Kit and the town’s survivors are spared—with a startling twist for Marisa and her son.
The fictional town of Torch Falls, Montana.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse
Main Character Details
Name: Jared Cole
Key Traits: Clumsy,Complex,Desperate,Empathetic,Educated,Modest,Insecure,Selfless
Additional Character Details
Name: Marisa Judge
Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Educated,Insecure,Modest,Selfless,Desperate
Additional Character Details
Name: Kit (nickname, real name is Christian Judge)
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Clumsy,Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Flexible,Modest,Underdog,Insecure
Additional Character Details
Name: Judd Collado (Jared's older brother; Jared changed his last name to Cole)
Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Masculine,Uneducated,Blunt,Secretive
Gateway is a terrifying supernatural thriller that explores the depths of human frailty and shocking brutality, exposing the monsters inside of us. With intense family drama, betrayal and sacrifice, horror fans will love the flawed and tragic characters whose lives are deeply entwined and turned inside-out with unexpected twists, as unstoppable evil turns a small Montana town into a bloodbath of mayhem and murder. This creepy, mind-blowing story will leave audiences breathless: Your parents die in a storm; you hold your dying father beside your dead mother as he whispers his last words, words you cannot hear. You stir from a coma, those final whispers haunting your every thought, knowing you were the cause—you—and those scars on your hands, snaking lines from the lightning, remind you with every breath, every handshake. You are no longer you, you’re more circus freak than human, for you have changed; you can, no matter how deeply you don’t want to, no matter how impossible it seems, see souls. See souls. You can live another’s pain, their love and their sorrow, so deep do you fall that it swallows you whole—at that moment, for the good and the bad, the grace and the ugly, you are them. You are THEM. And now, you touch the soul of the untouchable and find only cold, a darkness so ancient it chills to the bone, and this vile thing has come not for you, not for family, but for all. For all. It is hungry and relentless, and it is here. And you—you—have brought its wrath. You.
Jared wakes up from a coma with the power to see through people's souls. But when he meets Kit, an epileptic boy, and sees through his soul, they open a portal that unleashes a murderous monster. The entire city is threatened, and a bloodbath begins until the monster decides to go after Kit, and Jared sacrifices himself to have the portal closed.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
It does. It seems accurate.
Draw of Story
It starts with a good backstory, in which we get to know a little about Jared's personality and the life he led before the coma. And the sequence of accidents and problems throws us into the story right away, especially when we see Jared's parents dying in an accident that apparently could have been avoided.
Jared's secret about second sighting through souls takes up a lot of time from the book. Marisa tries to take away from him what really happened when he saw the boy die, but he keeps saying he doesn't know. This situation takes pages, and more pages, in which Marisa asks questions and Jared cannot answer them. It ends up getting a little repetitive.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The external hook is this monster that came out through the portal and is threatening the whole city. The internal hook would be the guilt Jared feels for his parents' death and the almost psychological terror that surrounds this mixture of guilt and lack of memory.
It could appeal to horror fans, especially for the dose of psychological horror and drama the book offers.
Depending on the created atmosphere of suspense and horror surrounding the narrative, it could indeed attract awards in the category. If the narrative focus is more wrapped up in the psychological side of Jared's guilt that turns into a kind of rampant monster, it would have chances for more general awards.
Similar Films/TV Series
PACIFIC RIM: MONSTERS ARRIVE ON EARTH THROUGH A PORTAL IN THE OCEAN. THE DEAD ZONE: A MAN IS IN A COMA FOR FIVE YEARS AND, UPON WAKING UP, BEGINS TO HAVE VISIONS ABOUT PEOPLE'S FUTURE.
What’s New About the Story
The guilt carried by Jared that metaphorically transforms into a monster ends up giving a fresher air to the story.
Jared manages to capture our sympathy, as his trauma and guilt over his parents' death make him more vulnerable. He is a more complex protagonist and suitable for the plot. Marisa fits in well with her emotional role and still serves as a sidekick as she actually tries to help Jared get over his problems. It's nice to see a woman who has a role that goes beyond just being tied to a love relationship.
Uniqueness of Story
It's not a rare gem because there are already narratives very close to this one, but it certainly has good entertaining elements.
Film: Indie, Studio TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series
The author knows how to keep the suspense and brings good elements to Jared's plot. The story begins as a drama of internal conflicts that progresses through much of the book. This shows the author's willingness to go beyond jump scares. He actually introduces the character, his problems, his traumas, his new post-coma life so that we can step into this atmosphere of danger and fear. Jared's guilt makes us empathize with him and stand by him. Loss of memory mixed with visions confused by other people's eyes make the narrative more complex and more thought-provoking. Jared's father's inaudible whisper at the time of his passing carries a mystery that is only solved at the end, and manages to hold the attention well. That whisper actually reveals who the real killer is. The key to freeing Jared of his guilt and letting him get on with his life, further increasing our empathy for him as we find out along with him that he wasn't the one to blame in the accident. The monster can be seen as both an external figure and an inner monster, linked to the guilt Jared carries within him, which is excellent in making room for a double interpretation. The ending is unexpected, with Jared sacrificing himself for the good of a child and the community. The book has enough elements for a good movie or miniseries. It would only need to be refined in structure and rhythm, and building a more cohesive narrative focused on the main story.