Out of Body

GENRE: Supernatural/Paranormal/Horror
TYPE: Feature Screenplay
LOGLINE: A young man’s serendipitous discovery of the astral projection process leads him to sneak into his sick and dying uncle’s mansion in spirit form to secure his inheritance; only to have his uncle take possession of his physical body during the heist.


Orphaned at a young age, Martin Bartholomew was raised by his wealthy uncle Richard only to suffer loneliness and neglect while uncle traveled the world on safaris and anthropological expeditions.

Now in his 20’s, Marty’s passion for animal welfare takes a hit when his aging and ill uncle cuts off funding for his animal shelter and threatens to disinherit him if he doesn’t return to his anthropology studies by the time uncle returns from a healing trip to Lourdes.

When Marty then performs a seemingly menial task of incinerating some of his uncle’s old research journals, he discovers one titled, “Extricating One’s Spirit from One’s Flesh” and decides to take it home. This results in weeks-long seclusion from his not-so-faithful girlfriend Anna and ex-con best friend Chase, before Marty surfaces and requests they come to his apartment to see “…something awesome.”

On that “special” night, Marty has Anna and Chase lock him into a bathroom and wait in another room. They are then shocked by Marty’s voice in the room, followed by an angry apparition of his scowling face. Marty has learned to astral project and seeks his friends’ help with his plot to save his financially-strapped animal shelter. He must break into his uncle’s house and exchange Richard’s wills…one that leaves him nothing and one that leaves him everything…with fakes and hope the switch is not discovered before his uncle’s passing.

Marty explains the astral projection process he learned from his uncle’s journal; a way to induce an out-of-body experience (OBE) by ingesting a hallucinogenic with the aid of sensory deprivation. With Richard due back from Lourdes and Marty’s ultimatum upon him, the trio must move forward quickly. But not before Anna and Chase present their own ultimatum…half of Marty’s inheritance in exchange for their help.

The first attempt to secure Richard’s wills results in failure. Marty then compels Anna and Chase to learn the OBE process so they can better assist with the plan. That, too, results in problems when Chase develops an allergic reaction to the hallucinogenic. Anna ignores his demand that she not proceed without him and a second venture into Richard’s mansion proceeds.

Faced with Richard’s unexpected early return from Lourdes, Marty and Anna sneak into the mansion and perform the OBE process to assume their spirit forms. But when Anna sees the ghost of Marty’s sister, she freaks and bolts back toward the cellar. Unbeknownst to either of them, Chase has joined the party.

Determined to execute the plan, Marty continues to Richard’s private chambers where he discovers his uncle recently deceased in a bathtub. Matters worsen when he discovers that the wills he was to steal are fakes. Marty’s spectral image begins to flicker and fade. Time is running out and he must re-enter his body that is submerged in the cellar pool.

Marty makes his way quickly downward and as he reaches the final stairway to the cellar he hears a scream from Anna. He hurries to the cellar and follows the anguished cries to an incinerator room where he discovers Richard’s servants disposing of Anna’s hacked-up body. Anna’s spectral image writhes on the floor in horror.

During the creepy chaos that ensues, Marty flees to the cellar poolside to re-enter his own body. The pool is empty. A voice from a dark corner of the room draws his attention and Marty is suddenly confronted by…himself. Dark family secrets are then revealed along with the realization that getting his hands on the old research journal may not have been as serendipitous as it had seemed.

In a startling twist at the end, “Uncle Richard” has been Marty’s father, “Robert” (Richard’s twin brother) all along. And while Marty was in spectral form attempting to steal Richard’s will, his father took possession of his physical body. His out-of-body experience fading fast, Marty is given a choice: take possession of Chase’s body, or forever roam Richard’s mansion in spirit form.

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

—Joseph Campbell

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

—Leonardo da Vinci

“You’ll never feel so alive as the second right after you’ve been scared to death.”