Honors Students' Abstracts
is a feature length thriller/satire about how the seemingly normal nuclear family can really be just a veneer for the horrible secrets boiling beneath the surface. Jay Davidson, a young teenager intentionally distanced from his own family, finds himself drawn back to their aid when a family of serial killers moves in next door. As if Jay handling the burden of his mother’s infidelity, his father’s alcoholism, and his sister’s rampant relationship problems weren’t enough, he now has to contend with the increasingly suspicious and hostile actions of his new neighbors. It doesn’t help that they seem so perfect and that their beautiful young daughter is exactly his age and seems to be attracted to him. Something has to give and inevitably, as his own family and the serial killers next door start to reveal their true colors, Jay is left to pick up the pieces. In order to create this work of fiction, I needed an idea. Strangely enough, that seed which would germinate into the tree that is my screenplay turned out to be my parent’s reaction to the fact that my next door neighbors were “harboring” a convicted sex offender. They seemed livid and, like most, imagined the punishments that justice would bestow such a deviant person. I took that idea a bit further and imagined what it would be like if a family, particularly the parents, embraced violent acts of vigilante justice. Then I took those parents and dropped them into the life of a recognizable teenager with problems of his own. A dash of creativity, a dash of generic formula, and you get art. The particular details all come on a need-to-know basis. In one scene, for example, I needed Allie to discover something strange about the killers next door and for the killers next door to have to try and cover up the blood she sees. The solution? Nothing a quick Google search of abstract paintings and Allie’s transformation into an art history major couldn’t fix. It’s the little things that make it feel authentic and that’s how I hope Riverview Avenue will ultimately be received: as reality, just stretched a bit.