Nothing beats genuine acting.
The Multimedia Digital Arts elective is fun because of the professor. The Multimedia Digital Arts elective is hard because of the professor. That’s what they think, but I know it’s hard because of our procrastination, a common trait among Dewpoint College students. We did virtually nothing but watch movies, put off activities later, joke with the professor, chill with the air conditioning and surf the free internet. But we need grades, so we had to do virtually everything in the last day of our first semester. Submit our own movie, starring ourselves. Nobody among us was responsible enough to take the leadership, and nobody elected anyone as our director, so as a Stephen King-wannabe, I, Jon Roscoe, stepped up and introduced this idea. We had to do it Paranormal Activity style. It’s titled “I Didn’t Know She Could, Either.” They asked me why it was titled that way, but I promised them they’d know in the ending.
It was very worth it. Professor Ranier Du Couteau was very pleased. It was better than the 23 previous films submitted to him in his career but he had to transfer to another school before he gets swarmed by the media for their underground success. He was quite the shy type, no?
What we had to do was a bit of work. We had to install night vision cameras on key places in the morning, rehearse the script, believe in ad-lib, and make sure we nail the jumpscares. The plot is a bit weird, but they expected that because it’s from, I, Jon Roscoe, an authority of eccentricity. We will shoot it like it was found unedited by someone, after the gruesome murders that will happen. We will try to act the script and pretend that Rico Valdez, a plump curly guy, was the killer, but then something else will jump and kill all of them. The catch is, the antagonist can’t move if there is enough light bathing its body. The “true” antagonist will be played by Gail Belmont, a thin and long-haired classmate. What I told them was that I would watch all the footage live in a hut just outside the abandoned building, and direct them with lapels. I could envision a cheesy movie made of juggling flashlights in the dark and one dramatic ending. I handed them the flashlight and led them inside. I went to my hut.
Here’s how the short movie went, with proper editing.
“So we got this place, Academic Building 3. We’ve set night vision cameras on key points of this building, and we’re going to make it so that it looks better than Paranormal Activity,” Rico Valdez said with his costume. He wore a long black and frizzy wig, and fake long limbs with fake sharp claws. “Gail’s all set in the first haunting spot, right Jon?”
“Affirmative,” they heard me say. “She even looks way better than how I imagined her to be. Nice job with finding the costume, Gail.”
Gail answered with a weird gurgling sound, and I was delighted. “Wow, Gail. Sticking with the role too early? Guys, this is being based on a true story.”
They should have been alarmed with the English enthusiast’s error. Being based on a true story? But they were too late to get what I meant.
I cleared my throat. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Multimedia Digital Arts Class 2013 and this is I Didn’t Know She Could, Either. Aaaaaand action.”
After my professional talk, Rico ran to his location. “Wow. This place is creepy, don’t you think?” I said to Law, who wore school uniform at that time, with black headphones.
“You sure Paula’s notebook is here somewhere?” Law asked Tex, directing his flashlight on me. “I don’t care if it has your love letter to Josa, but you better make this quick.
“Why am I here again?” said Chris, flexing his muscles. “I’m not in the mood to bench press this entire facility yet.” It was hard to see him because he was naturally black, but not African American. He was actually Filipino.
“Chris, I’ve been wondering, what are you, half African - half American?” Tex asked him.
“My muscles can’t breath." Chris removed his T-shirt and slung it on his right shoulder. "By the way, I’m just Filipino.”
On this point I thought how terrible I wrote the dialogue. But it didn't matter. I was aiming for a B-movie.
Law chuckled as they reached a turn, following the long corridor. “More like half Neanderthal – half muscles. The building is clean, but nothing beats it being abandoned for half a year now. Why was it abandoned again?”
“Well, they say that Chikichik is here.” Tex said.
Chris kissed his left bicep and bit his armpit hair. “Chikichik? Sounds more like two things attracted to me. Chicks, and more chicks.”
“Why is it called Chikichik?” Law asked Tex, ignoring Chris and his dumb dialogue.
“Well… They say that it’s the sound it makes when it’s crawling, and its bones snapping and twitching. They say it can crawl on ceilings and walls. She was raped by 13 men in this building while they were shooting it with a cellphone camera and a flashlight, and then beat her simultaneously with baseball bats until her bones were no more. They threw her in the cement mixer afterwards. Some say she appeared in their rooms the same night in some form of statue while the lights were on. When they were to dispose of it outside, in the dark, she moved and the sole survivor said all he heard were screaming, flesh ripping, and this endless chikichikichikichikichikichikichik sound when she was chasing them. She chased him all the way to the control panel of this building, where he switched all the lights on and found her motionless. When he came back in the morning with other students, she wasn’t there anymore. He told stories all about it, and the death of 12 students in one night due to some sort of cannibal attack were all over the news. He was later that night found mauled to death, with a flashlight with dead batteries on his hand.”
Law cursed at Tex. “Why the fuck did you tell this legend to me, just now?!”
“Relax, Law my main man. Chris here and his varicose vein-filled rock biceps will suffocate the life out of Chikichik. Her neck? Between my biceps and my arm. Dead of asphyxiation.” He grunted as he posed like Hulk Hogan and Steiner.
Tex scratched his head. “Wasn’t Rico gonna attack us in this part?” Rico was supposed to in the script, but I said that they should ad-lib so that Gail’s haunting will be more convincing.
“Rico? Where are you bro? This isn’t part of the script.” Law screamed.
Chris grunted like a madman. “Rico! Don't anger Chris! Chris will clothesline you with adamantine muscles!”
It felt like everyone else was trying to make sense of the dialogue, but it didn't matter. They don't need to understand anything else.
They were answered with the dreaded sound that was very convincing. It started soft. But it was going louder very fast. Chikichikichikichikichikichikichikichikichiki-
“Ohhhhhh fuck!” They chorused as practiced as they ran like hell towards the entrance, but they saw Gail crawling towards them from the entrance. They did a quick 180 and ran upstairs.
“To the 2nd floor fire exit!!!” Tex screamed. He probably didn’t know why but he seemed to be really scared like hell. Plus points to genuine acting. Like as planned, the 2nd floor fire exit was boarded up. They did another 180 and it was time for Chris to die. Gail lunged at him with ferocity and the sound of ripping flesh was so real. There was so much blood splattering around, and they looked quite scared.
They ran up to the third floor and were racing to the fire exit, at the end of the corridor but they found something not part of the script, but part of plan. It was also boarded up, and Rico’s body slumped against it. His neck was realistically gnawed upon there was so much blood all over him. The chikichikichikichikichik sound felt so close behind them.
I spoke through the lapel. “Now turn around.”
They turned around and had a glimpse of Gail, before the flashlight that I enthusiastically handed them over lost power. As Law frantically tapped his flashlight, Tex gulped and spoke their last words. “Dude?”
“I didn’t know Gail could crawl on the ceiling.”
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