Asylum of Darkness

Synopsis: After awakening in a mental asylum, a patient plans an escape to freedom, but finds an even more disturbing, supernatural world on the outside, one that threatens to keep him trapped in madness forever.
117 min

- My name is Dwight stroud.

I'm a prisoner here,

and I need to get out.

- Good morning, it's a

beautiful day outside.

- Every day outside is


- Come on now, let's not start

out the day being depressed.

- Thought I'd get a jump start

on it

especially since it's

so beautiful out there.

- Doc tells me that every day

you're here

you're one day closer to being


- Feels that way already.

Eh, look I'm sorry.

I don't mean to give you a hard


It's not your fault.

Cheer up.

I'm ready to be shrunk down to


- How you

feeling this morning?

- Don't you mean do I feel

crazy like I'm supposed to?

- But you

think you are crazy.

- It was my attorney's bright


- You pleaded not guilty

by reason of insanity.

The jury decided in your favor.

- Some favor.

I'm not guilty by reason of


- Innocent of what?

You can't remember.

- I was struck on the

head, I,

I, I don't remember anything

that happened that night.

- So how do you


you were struck on the head?

Then how do you know you

don't deserve to be here?

It's important for you to

understand why you are here.

- What's important for me is

to get the hell outta here.

Now, just gimme the shot

and let's get on with it.

- It's only

part of what might get you

out of here some day.

If you know why you're here,

that will help even more.

- So tell me.

- I do.

I tell you every time we meet,

and you always forget

every time you come back.

You forget lots of things,


- No.

Damn it.

- I'm sorry, very


I don't mean to upset you.

You have a very good memory.

That's why I'm so concerned

you can't remember,

even though I tell you every


Look at me, Dwight.

I'll believe you went crazy,

I'll believe you're insane,

just look me in the face and

tell me

so I can see it in your eyes.

- I'm not


- I wanna help you live again,


- Coming from you,

that's really absurd.

- Why?

What is it you see when you look

at me?

When you look at me?

Then tell me this, is what you

see real?

- No.

Couldn't be.

- Why is that?

- 'Cause if it was real, it'd be


- Don't feel

ashamed of your realization.

Be proud.

Knowledge is a powerful thing.

- It's this place.

I see things here that are


I try to ignore it as much as


just to go on living,

but every day it gets worse,

not better.

I gotta get out.

- An unbalanced mind is like


takes the shape of its


Sameness and stability of this


is all that's holding you


Holding you together,

holding you together.

That's better.

This hospital has had several

remarkable recoveries.

There's real hope for you here.

There's real hope.

- She always comes

to me after I get done

with my head-shrinking.

Almost like a reward.

I'm glad you're here.

- Glad to be here.

- I gotta get outta here.

- Soon.

- I don't know her name or her


All that matters is that she's

beautiful and intelligent.

I can't really say if she's real

or just more proof of my


She's my ideal woman,

and I hope part of my future

rather than my past.

She is my hope.

- It's time.

- Do I thank you?

- For what?

- Well, for treating

me like a real person.

- I will be there for you

when you get out of here.


- He's a friend of


Sometimes, I'm the only one

he'll talk to.

But, at times, he's

inapproachable even to me.

Like the time when he

pulled out one of his eyes.

Hey, Da Vinci, lookin' good!

- I told

you to call me Van gogh.

Lookin' good is what

you say to a drunk woman

right before last call.

- Yeah, like I remember what

to say to a drunk woman.

- So lend me your eye.

I'm a bit short.

And tell me somethin' I don't


about what I'm doin'.


- Let's see.

Uh, maybe add a bird or two.

- If you, if you insist.

- Jesus.

Why'd you do that?

- I thought that's what you


Look, Dwight, you and I are the


Much of what we see is a cause

rather than an effect of our


That's why I took out my left


I didn't like what it made me


and it was makin' me worse.

But there's danger in what we


This insane reality can

look back and see us.

- I, I don't see them.

- I only paint what I see.

My paintings are like x-rays.

- Yeah, or you're much

f***in' crazier than I am.

Hey, what are those things

stickin' out their heads?

- That's ectoplasm

risin' out of 'em.

- Yeah, ectoplasm, yeah.

Can you explain that to me in,


non-psychobabble, please?

- Ectoplasm is a physical


of spiritual matter.

It can escape from the

body through any orifice.

- Wow.

You're both a lot crazier than i


- That is very interesting.

What do you call it?

- I haven't finished.

- That's a very interesting


- It's a stupid title.

There's no tellin' what it'll be


or what it'll be called when

it's done.

- While I despise poor choice in


your friend here has

been doing much better

and will be soon be ready

for a monitored release.

- What if I'd rather stay?

Can, uh, Dwight go instead?

- Doesn't work that way.

It should motivate him to get


so you can both be outta here.

Fall, season of life.

Birds know it.

Oh, how sad.


Remove this, please.

I don't know what happened to

its head,

but I don't want it to disturb

any of the patients.

Thank you.

- I guess Van

gogh's power over it is real.

I see so much stuff that can't


that I guess I assume everything

i see is just a delusion.

Do I have some X-ray type vision

like his?

I pestered Van gogh about all of


for weeks after that day.

- No, I, I don't have the

power over life or death.

My paintings show things

as they really are

or will be.

- So if you paint the doctor


I mean, if you're able to paint


then it's, it's meant to be,


- So you really want me

to help you escape, huh?

- Goddamn right I do.

I tell ya, when I look at him,

I see a dead man.

- Then paint the picture.

I quit the day that bird died.

I don't want my paintings

to be blood on my hands.

I'm through with that!

- Look, I can't, you know that.

Look, they say that

you're leavin' tomorrow.

They say you're cured.

- What do they know?

- Nothin',

but what does that matter if

you're free?

- Exactly!

- Maybe we were both crazy that


Maybe nothing we saw was real.

Look, do it as a farewell

present for me.

- One last crazy thing

for old time's sake, huh?

- And when nothing happens,

then I'll know and accept

that I have to stay here.

My man Van gogh, thank


It's beautiful.

Now in an hour, I have

the session with the doc.

That's when I want you to finish


- What I saw was too horrible.

- Nurse.

Somebody come quick!

I'm sorry.

You should've stopped.

- What I saw,

I saw more clearly than ever


and the more clearly I saw it,

I felt my mind, not

goin', but bein' taken.

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Jay Woelfel

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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