Home of the Brave

Logline: A solider returns from the war to discover that everyone he loved has betrayed him. Will this solider settle this fight the same way he settled scores on the battlefield and become a cold-blooded murderer?

In the desert a man is walking alone down an abandoned highway. There is a flicker of light on the barren horizon, the man walks towards the light. As he approaches the light he begins to hear the sound of singing and realizes that the flicker of light is actually the ornate stained glass window of an old church bearing the story of Saul encountering Jesus at the gates of Demascus. The man enters the church to find a choir practicing.

Other than the choir the church is empty. Or is it? There seems to be one small exception – a young boy sits alone on the front pew listening to the choir. The man approaches the boy from behind and places his hand on his shoulder. The boy turns exposing the charred disfigured mess where his face should be. The man panics looks to the choir that is still singing… now, only louder and… at him?

As he looks to their faces… he knows them all… and they are all dead. He knows because he saw them die. He killed them. Because that what men do at war. They kill. The man turns to run out of the church. As he heads for the door, he realizes there’s something in his way. A bed. There are people in it. Fucking. He knows them, too. Doesn’t he?

MARTIN awakes at home agitated and disoriented. LISA, his wife, comforts him. It is only another bad dream. Nightmares have been more common since Martin got back. Something about the war won’t leave him. After almost two years in Afghanistan and Iraq, it takes a while for things to return to normal. They call it PTSD. Whatever you call it. Nothing has been normal for Martin since he returned. That’s why Martin quit and left the army behind. He has done his duty, but his duty isn’t done with him.

His daughter JULIE doesn’t know her father at all. He is just a stranger to her. But he knows that will change – just like he has changed. Time can change everything. His wife hasn’t been in the same war, but she has changed too. Martin expects the worst. His wife is a beautiful but needy person. Two years of raising their daughter without him might make her go looking for something more. Is she getting what she needs. Martin intends to find out.

Martin leaves for work in the late afternoon. After the sun has set, there’s another man that approaches Martin’s house. Enters without knocking. Martin was right his wife is looking for more. But can Martin blame her? Could this story get any worse for Martin? Yes – the other man happens to be Martin’s best friend DANIEL.

Once inside Martin’s house, it is clear that Daniel has been here before. He and Lisa fall directly into each other. The kind of comfortable conversation you would expect from old lovers. At first, Lisa is upset. Why are you here. This has to end. They might get caught. What would Marin do if he found out? But her fears are surpassed by her desires. Martin and Lisa make love on the floor of the living room.

As Lisa and Daniel make love, Martin sits in his car outside of the house. He never went to work. He went on a stakeout. His fears were realized. He starts his jeep and rubber burns as he drives off. What will he do? One thing is for sure. He will do something.

Back inside the house the lovers are done with what appears to be a rather passionate exchange. Lisa and Daniel are both getting dressed. Clothes scattered about. Martin is about to leave and he tells Lisa that he loves her. He tells her that he wants to stop sneaking around. He tells her that he wants to tell Martin. She agrees. She is finally ready. He is not the man she married. This is not the life she wanted. His sacrifices have become hers.

Daniel exits the house. As he sheepishly sneaks out the back door, he slowly makes his way through the dark backyard dodging all the trappings of a suburban family existence. As he rounds the corner of the house heading back to the street, a dark figure emerges from the shadows. Martin. He quickly overpowers Daniel without making a sound.

Daniel slowly regains consciousness. Once awake he discovers his mouth has been gagged and he has been tape to a cheap plastic chair. Martin stands over him and confronts him for sleeping with his wife. Martin, clearly disturbed, remains cold and calm. Martin has placed Daniel in his golf practice net. He punches Daniel in the face hard. Then, starts hitting golf balls at him. He misses at first but finally hits him in the chest. The pain is excruciating. Martin isn’t going to kill him, but he will kill Lisa. Martin says that Daniel will have her blood on his hands. Martin kicks Daniel over in the chair and knocks him out cold. He then leaves the backyard to go kill his wife.

As Martin enters the house, he heads for the kitchen and grabs a huge chef’s knife. He walks up the stairs to his bedroom where Lisa is sleeping. Carrying only the knife and a roll of duct tape. What is his going to do? The look in his eyes is wild. On the way he passes Julie’s room. He peers into her door as she is peacefully sleeping. Peaceful. Innocent. Martin remembers his dreams. The killing. He sees a picture of himself holding a newborn Julie. He exits Julie’s room. He throws the knife at a picture of Lisa hanging on the wall. Martin will not kill today.

He opens the door to a room filled with lost love. A place that used to feel safe and happy. She is laying there sleeping. Beautiful. Exposed. Martin caresses the side of her face and puts her hair gently behind her ear. She wakes. She asked how work went. He says he didn’t go. He wanted to find out who she was fucking.

With this, she sits up in bed. Martin grabs her by the throat and pins her down. As he jumps on top of her, she can’t breath. She panics. Her life in his hands. Holding her down and covering her mouth. Martin says he knows everything. The only reason she will live is Julie. He doesn’t want to lose his daughter. He doesn’t want to kill. The daughter he doesn’t know. There was once a time when Martin would do anything for Lisa. Now, Julie saves her life.

Martin hears sirens and sees blue lights flashing outside his window. He slaps Lisa hard across the face and throws her off the bed as he rushes to the window. Its over. He leaves the room. He knows when to fight and when to surrender. This fight is over for now. As he exits the front door of his house with his hands raised, the cops have him surrounded, guns drawn. They came to fight. They swarm on him. He does not resist.

Martin is dominated like an animal. Thrown against a police car. As he is being handcuffed, he sees his daughter peering out a second story window. Martin mouths “I love you” to her as he is being placed in the police car. Julie cries.