A Dark Place (2018) - full transcript

When a young boy goes missing in a sleepy backwoods town, a local sanitation truck driver, Donald, plays detective, embarking on a precarious and obsessive investigation.

foodval.com - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food

You didn't flip
the lid down.

No, you don't...
You don't have to.

Why are you wearing
that hat today?

You know it's going
to be 90 degrees.

It's my work hat.

Why do you think
you forget so much?

Well, Donny, I don't know.

I guess I'm just
a forgetful person.

No, that's not it.

I think you're
a careless person.

It's more important
to get the job done

than g-g-get the job
done right.

- Is that right?
- Yeah.

Human nature,

Getting the job done
the easy way

is like running away
from the problem.

Because dealing
with the problem is...

It takes hard work.

Is that something you just
learned about people?

Is human nature the reason
you never shut up

or mind your own
damn business?

I'm dealing with the problem
by talking through the problem.

That's all.

What is this,
Pick on Donna Day?

All right.


You don't smell
so good.

Well, I need a wash.
Ma, why ain't you in bed?

I haven't been
sleeping nights.

Figured I might as well
skip the afternoon naps.

Fine, but you'll be
in more pain later.

- No, I've felt good this week.
- All right.

I got to take a shower.
I'm going to go see Wendy.

You want me to put you
in front of the TV?

No, no. Give her a kiss
for me, though, yeah?


- Hey, Don!
- Donny!

What do you want, Donny?

What do you think
I want?

She's playing in her room.
She doesn't want to see you.

What, did you not tell her
I was coming?

How was I supposed to know
you were coming?

It's Tuesday, Linda,
frick's sake.

- Is Randy here?
- No.

How's he doing?

He's fine.

You can come on too,
if you want.

I'm good.

All right.

I'm trying.

You're what?

I'm trying.

Yeah, you're always trying,

She's been asking me
shit about us.

She asked me if we used
to be married.

Wonder where she got that idea.
Is that what you're telling her?

No, that's...
That's not what I meant.

No, nothing ain't ever
what you meant.

- Daddy, you're here!
- Hey. Hey, sweets.

What are you doing here?

Mom said you weren't
coming today.

- Oh, did she?
- I want to show you some stuff.

Come here, come here.

Hey, come look.

I got the complete set now.

Oh, really?

- Yeah.
- You got Big Ben?

Yeah, I got Big Ben.
All of them.

All of them?
What you mean, all of them?

Well, I mean,
I got the regular card,

I got the Super Bowl card,
his All-Pro card.

- You got his All-Pro card?
- Oh, and check this out.

What, did Mom
get you that?

Oh, Randy got it for me.

No, but look.
I posted this video yesterday.

It's Big Ben in high school.

Can you believe he was a wideout
back then?

You're on social media now?

Dad, I'm 11.

Thirteen on here.

I ain't even on
social media.

Well, you ain't even
got any friends.

Who said I got
no friends?


Well, he probably got
no friends.

Who the fuck...

Who the hell
are his friends?

A bunch of them come over
a few nights a week,

and they drink beers
and play poker...

Wait, go back, go back.

Who's that?


Justin Ziegler.

- He's full of shit.
- Don't say...

Don't say "shit".

I know Justin.

His family's on my route.

- So?
- So, what's the brother called?


I think.

- Tyler, right?
- Yeah, Tyler.

- That's his name.
- Ask him what's going on.

Oh, no, thank you.

No, he waves at me every morning
from his window.

He wasn't there this morning.
Just ask him what's going on.

Dad, don't embarrass me.

Nothing ever happens
around here.

Well, what if...
What if it was you?

Randy get you them flags
and that?


But he don't like hockey.

He don't like hockey?

What, is he...

some kind of weirdo?

Hey, you want to go skating
in Cranberry this weekend?

- Get out of the heat?
- Yeah.

Yeah? All right.



You done?


This is so embarrassing.

- Sorry.
- School's tough as it is, Dad.

Justin's an idiot,

and it's like social suicide.

Everyone thinks
you got a creepy father.

They think I have
two fathers.

Well, you have one father,
Wendy, all right?

One. Just me.

Not Randy. I'm your dad.

Did he... Did he say anything
about Tyler?

No, Dad,
can you just please

stay out of that part
of my life?

Tyler's going to show up,
and then you can just

forget about the whole thing,
all right?

All right?

All right.

Hey. Hey, change your password.

It was too easy
to break into your page.

Good night, Dad.

Hey, Wendy?

...and no one took it

for the second time
in a month.

There is a big difference...

Big difference of opinion
going down here.

The coach is being criticized,

and I'm not sure
that's where the issue...

Been approved

against strong opposition
from local residents.

There will be a public meeting
held at some point

yet to be announced.

In Harburg County tonight,

police are still searching
for 6-year-old Tyler Ziegler,

missing since Monday evening.

Tyler has been described
as sandy-haired,

and was last seen wearing
blue jeans and a red T-shirt.

If you have any information,
please don't hesitate to call.

And in other news,

the heat wave continues
to sweep Pennsylvania...

Hey, Randy, what are you doing?

And some tragic news today

regarding the missing
6-year-old Tyler Ziegler.

Early this morning,
his body was discovered

in the creek not far from...

God, poor kid.

Do you ever just want
to jump aboard?

See where it takes you?


Or jump in front.

What the hell are you doing?

Hey, Mrs. Ziegler.

I'm sorry for your loss.

How are you holding up?

Tyler used to wave at me,
you know.

He didn't go exploring.


Cops say he wandered off
into the woods somewhere.

He didn't.

Justin would do that.

Not Tyler.

He's scared of everything.

Wouldn't even come
within 10 feet of the curb.

Well, you think something
happened to him?

It didn't have to happen.

What'd she say?

He didn't go exploring.

He wouldn't.

That's terrible.

Didn't you and your dad
used to play in the same creek?

I don't know, Ma.

I'm going to go out now.

You want me to put you
by the TV?

No, no.
Where are you going?

Just out.

Egg whites and hash browns,
light on the onions?

No, just a hot cocoa.

It's like 100 degrees out.

Can I ask you
a question?

Chicken still ain't

and we don't use
Krispy Kreme's recipe

- on the French toast.
- Not that.

What do you want
to know, Donny?

Have you seen
the Ziegler family recently?

Not since last week, why?

Because I don't...

Anyone strange come in here
the past couple days?

I ain't seen an unfamiliar face
in here in about three years.

What's the matter with you?

I got to get going.

Thank you for your

You want your hot cocoa to go?

No, it's all right.

But your eyes
back in your head, Jim.

Or I'll tell Nancy what
your pecker's been thinking.

Thank you, Tara.

Thank you.

What's going on, Donny?

- Oh, hey.
- What you doing?

I don't know.

Yes, you do.

Look, the Zieglers,

they're grieving for Tyler,

and you're kind of drawing
attention to yourself.

You know you're doing that,

Well, no, I was talking
to Mrs. Ziegler.

You guys think
he just walked off?

Donald, stop.

The boy drowned.
That's all there is to it.

Leave it to us, okay?


Let us handle it.

He didn't go exploring.

He's scared of everything.

Oh, hey, Max.

How's it going?

Not bad.

What's up?
Is something bothering you?


How about you?

Don, man, what are you
talking about?

The Ziegler kid.


It's been three days.


Yeah, so why ain't you
investigating it?

Because he drowned.

He ain't the first kid
to drown in the creek.

All right, just be straight with
me for a second, off the record.

Off the record?
What are you, a reporter now?

No, I'm still
in sanitation.

Yeah, I know you're in

Yeah, okay, come on,
we know each other 25 years.


Uh... yeah.

- Yeah? So?
- So?

What's going on?

There's nothing going on.

The parents don't want
to press no charges...

What's that got
to do with nothing?

Because he drowned
on the property.

No, his death.

Why aren't you
investigating his death?

Why are you asking me
about this?

- It's bothering me.
- Why?

Everyone's saying
he just wandered off.

He didn't.
Mrs. Ziegler told me.

All right, me and Pete...

You know Pete, right?

- Pete Stanford?
- Pete Stanford.

We was prepping
an investigation,

and we had these pictures
of the kid

we were going to take
to the coroner.

But Mooney comes in

and he tells us not to go.

Not to go to the coroner?


Then he took him from us,
and then he redirected us

to some bullshit meth head
in Evans City.

Man, every kid in that town
is fried.

So, what's bothering you?

No, I didn't say that.

I didn't say nothing was
bothering me. It's just that,

I hadn't heard nothing
about it in a couple days,

and, that's it.

So ain't the Zieglers
looking for answers?

I'm sure Sheriff Mooney's
got it all under control.

Can I get you anything, Donny?

No! Charlie, thank you.

Maybe you ought to leave
Officer Himmler alone, yeah?

- It's fine, Charlie.
- Fine, I'll get a beer.

A Diet Coke.

Diet Coke.

Just take it easy.

All right. I'm calm.

- Can I ask you...
- That's enough.

You want to have a beer
or you want to sit down?


Thanks, Max.


What the hell
are you looking for?


What, like bloodstains
and that?

You really think
they'd be stupid enough

to throw their evidence
in the trash?

What did you do
after work yesterday?



Yeah, I didn't do nothing.

I heard you was
in Murphy's Kitchen.


So you was acting funny.

I'm always acting funny.
I can't help that.

Do the presidents thing.

I can't do it
if I ain't nervous.

If I ain't nervous
I got to think about it.

I never get the VP names
if I got to think about it.

Oh, come on. Do it.


Well, I guess you was nervous

Just go. Go.

Donny, I just was asking.

Can we go!

What the hell's the matter
with you?


Donny, okay.

Calm down.

Can we just go?


Excuse me.

Where the hell you
think you're going Devlin?

Fucking Mick.

You stay away
from the Zieglers.

They said you was asking around
about the dead kid and that.

- Well, I was just...
- Told me to tell you to quit it.

Jerry Ziegler just told you that's
what he's worried about right now?

You've been told.


Uh, hi.

Is this, uh...

...is it Mickey?



You got the wrong number, pal.

Uh... uh...


Who did I call?

Good night.

This is Joel.

I'm not available
to take your call,

so please leave a message
and I'll call you back.

These aren't mine.

No shit. They're for Wendy.

There's a '78 Bradshaw in there.
He was MVP that year.

Why are you getting stuff
for Wendy?

She'll like it.



Yeah, Joel.

Are you sure
it wasn't Joe?

No, Joel. Joel.

Dr. Pomorowski,
he's a Joel.

Dr. Pomor...

Well, he's Wendy's

Yeah, he's everyone's

unless you want to go
all the way out to Cranberry.

Dr. Joel Pomorowski.


Why were the Zieglers
on the phone with him so much?

Was he a sick kid?

I don't know.

You're letting
the AC out.


Do you need something?

Uh, yeah.

Close the door.

When's the Ziegler viewing?

Sir, the child
was buried yesterday.

It was a private service.

Are you some kind
of cousin or something?

No. No.

Well, did he have
any medical conditions?

You're not family, sir?

I think you should leave.


Mom's mad at you.

Why... Why's that?

Because you ain't supposed
to take me skating.

Saturdays ain't part
of the deal.

Oh, I'll... I'll... I'll...
I'll talk to Mom, all right?

Hey, Wendy, do you know
if the degenerate kids

still hang out
at the old mill?

Yeah, by the old smoke stacks.

Dad, why?

Well, I...

I'm just... I'm looking
for Justin Ziegler.

Does he hang out there?


It's all right.
I'll go to the mill.

Don't... Don't worry.

All right, sweets.
I'll talk to you later. Bye.

Was that Donny?


I left a box of macaroni
and cheese out for you.

I'm headed out.






Are you Justin?

Are you Justin...
Are you Justin Ziegler?

Hey, I'm sorry for your brother.

I need to ask you
a couple of questions.

You a cop?

No, I'm a state-assigned
grief counselor.

What do you want?

Dr. Pomorowski.
Do you know him?

- Yeah.
- Yeah?

Was he ever at your house
for Tyler?

- For Tyler?
- Yeah, was he sick a lot?

- He drowned.
- I know he drowned.

I know that.
That's not what I'm asking you.

Was he sick before that?


So Pomorowski was never
at your house?

He was sometimes.

He was? Why?

For my mom.

For your mom?

I'm going to go now.


Wendy Connolly's cool.

Her friends told me to tell you
they broke into her page.

They were just messing about.
They didn't mean nothing by it.

Who the fuck
is Wendy Connolly?

So the kid didn't have
any health problems?

His brother says not.

But that little punk's
got the IQ of a spoon,

so I don't know.

Kids today,
they're getting dumber.

Except Wendy.

So, what was he
doing there then?

He was there for Patty.
I just told you that.

Patty's, like, 45.


So pediatricians
treat kids, not adults.

What, he can't
treat Patty too?

Donny, maybe she was
sleeping with Pomorowski.


What's that mean?

They were banging.


Hm. You're so cute.

The phone calls.

Like, he's always
at their house and shit.

He's a doctor.
He can't do that.

You think he's above that

because of what he does
for a living?

I don't think...


What is it?

What does it say?


You going to tell me
what you're thinking?

Pull over here.

I'll walk the rest.

All right.

I'll be here.

I thought that was
your work hat.

It is.

Hey, you left a note
on my truck?


What do you want?

We know you fucking did it.
Now, jump.

Aah! No!




Shit, Donny,
are you okay?







I don't want
to do this no more.

We got to take this
to the cops.

Mc... McKinley/Hobart.


- Hey.
- What the fuck?

Did you send them
after me?

Send who?

What's going on, Max?
Everyone's saying I did it.

I'm being set up, right?


- Shit, Donny.
- Ain't gonna kill me, you know.

What's going on?
I could be dead.

I don't know what
you're talking about, man.

Oh, no? Two guys tried
to make me jump off the bridge,

and one of them had a gun,
but he didn't shoot it

because he wanted to make it
look like an accident.

Something's going on.

- Something's going on!
- Okay, shh!

I know something's
going on, okay?

You don't got
to tell me that.

Donny, shut up.

You're going to wake up
my fucking kids.

Jesus, Donny.

Why didn't you just
drop it?

Ain't you got a little girl,
Donny? Ain't that enough?


What are you
trying to do?

Are you trying to give
your shitty life some meaning?

Is that it?

He was an innocent
little kid.

And no one gives a shit.


You remember Bill Frankel?

From high school?

He works over
at the coroner's lab.

In Harburg?

No, not here.
In Pittsburgh.

What are you... What...

What are you asking me to do?

I'm not asking you
to do anything, Donny.

I'm just telling you
that you need evidence.

And with a dead kid,

there's almost always
abuse first.

And I found out
that there was no autopsy.

What kind of abuse?

Why was there
no autopsy?

Hello. Do you have
an appointment?

No. My daughter's a patient.
I need to see Dr. Pomorowski.

Oh, is it an urgent matter?

Yeah, I'd say it's urgent.

Sign in and have a seat.

Sorry about the wait.
It's been a crazy day.

I used to love the sound
this stuff made

when I was a kid.

So you were a patient?

No, I stopped coming when my mom
couldn't afford the insurance.

I think I'm overdue
a tetanus shot.

Well, we can certainly
arrange that.


I don't like shots.

Oh. Why don't you
have a seat.

So, um...

who is your daughter?

Uh, Wendy Devlin Connolly.

Wendy Connolly.

Should be Devlin.

All right, and what seems
to be the problem?

I ain't here for her.

So you do want
a tetanus shot.

Were you the attending physician
for Tyler Ziegler?

Mr. Devlin,
I can't give out

private information
about my patients.

So you were?

Again, how are you related
to the Ziegler family?

Were you sleeping
with his mother?

I seen the phone records.

Just tell me. I don't care.

your wife won't know.

Nobody will ever know.

Why didn't you call
for an autopsy?

Because he drowned.

He have any medical

No. Healthy people
can still drown.

Did you tell the police that?

Of course I told
the police that.

Was he abused?


That's what I asked you.

Mr. Devlin,

his lungs were filled
with creek water, all right?

He wandered off
and he drowned.

That's what the mother said
and that's what the police said.

That's not what
his mother said.

Mr. Devlin, if there was more
I could have done,

I would have done it.

Why wasn't there
an autopsy?

Because Patty
didn't want one.

Why didn't Patty
want an autopsy?


Huh? Why didn't she want
an autopsy?


Why didn't she...?

Because she had some suspicions
about Jerry, all right?

And frankly, I don't think
even she wanted to know.


Yes. The father.

Mr. Devlin, look,

I've been married 31 years

and I've had this practice
for 26.

I inherited it from my father.
He inherited it from his.

I'd kind of like
to keep it.

My father's dead.

Did you do it, Jerry?

Did you do it?

Are you freaking crazy?
You out of your mind?

Do what?



Donny, stop it.
I'm calling the cops.

Did you do it, Jerry?

What are you doing?

What are you saying?

You think I hurt my kid?

Donny, I never hurt him.

I never laid a finger on him.

Did you send those men
after me?

What? No. Stop!

What, are you going
to run me over now?

- Maybe Jerry's lying.
- He ain't lying.

How do you know that?

Donny, you need to stop.

Attacking people? I mean,
you're making yourself look...



Hey, look at me.
Look at me.

I care for you, Donny.

- Don't do that!
- What? Why? Why not?

- Don't do that!
- Why?

- Because I'm with someone else!
- Who? Linda?

Jesus, don't you think if that
whore had any feelings for you...

Don't you call her that!
Don't you dare call her that!

- We're going to get married!
- Oh, you're getting married?

- Yeah, we got a kid!
- So?

So you don't know what it's like
to have a kid.

You gave your kid away.

Is that what you think I did,

Is that what you think?

Is it?

"Donald and Donna"
don't sound right!

They're going to fire you
if you miss another day.

I ain't helping you
with this shit no more.

You know what? You don't know
everything you think you know.


I just got off, Donny.

I know, I know, I know.
I got to talk to you.

I want to know
if you still think

there's a chance
for you and me...

and Wendy.

There was never a chance
for you and me, Donny.

Well, there was.

One time, there was.

Come on,
we're both Irish.

Both like the Steelers.

Are you serious,

You're really going
to make me say this again?

I barely knew you.
And we was drunk.

- I wasn't drunk.
- Bullshit.

I wasn't drunk. I can't drink!
My dad died of drink!

- I can't drink.
- Shh!

I told you that.

I don't want to talk to you
about this anymore, Donny.

No, I've been faithful to you.
I haven't been with nobody...

You sound like a psycho
when you say things like that.

We was never together.

I know you tell people
that we was, but we wasn't.


It's embarrassing
when that gets back to me.

- Why is it embarrassing?
- Oh...

Why is it embarrassing?

Don't make me say it.

You think I don't hate
the way I am?

You think I don't know
what people think of me?

I don't think you ever know
what people think.

Well, I know our daughter
loves me.

You know why
she's named Wendy?

She's named
after my aunt.


It's from Peter Pan.


You and me and Wendy...

in Neverland.

Come on.

- She deserves...
- Don't.

Wendy didn't stay
in Neverland, Donny.

She went the fuck home.

All right.

You need evidence.

You remember Bill?

Coroner up in Pittsburgh.

Where are you
going at this hour?

Ma, why are you still awake?

Can't sleep.

Ma, I got to go,
all right?

All right.
God will protect you.

He won't give you more
than you can handle.

What does that mean?

It's in the Bible.

Go to bed, Ma.

Oh, hey! Bill!

Hey, it's...
It's Donald Devlin.

From... I was a year
ahead of you in high school.

- Hey, Devlin. Yeah.
- Yeah.

I dated Linda Connolly.

Max Himmler asked me
to come down and see you.

He wanted to know
if you could help us.

Help you with what?

Well, you look
at the bodies, right?

Like a coroner?

Um... forensic evidence

Right. Like a scientist.

Scientist. Yeah, sure.

- That's what I am.
- Good.

He needs you to take a look
at something.

Why didn't Max
just come down himself?

Oh, he's meeting with the
forensics guys back in Harburg.

He wanted me to come down.

You a cop too?


What do you want, Donald?

I need you...

I need you to just...

I just need you to tell me
if a dead kid was abused or not.

I don't know.
I'd have to examine the body.

I'll show it to you.

Where are we going?

There's been no autopsy.


Are you crazy?

You can't fucking do this.

Do you know what you've done, Donny?

Are you crazy?

You went and dug the kid up!

That's not what
I meant, Donny.

This is a mess, Donny.

I didn't tell you to do that.

You fucked me on this, Donny.
Fucked us both!

Hey, Donny.

Oh, hi.

Come on, get in the car,
Mr. Devlin.

I just got home.

I got to make dinner
for my mom.

Get in the car.

Heard you like to talk.

You got nothing to say now?

Don't you got
any questions for me?

Okay, I'll start.

You know how many homicides
happen on my watch

in Harburg County?



How many accidents happen?


Anything else
on your mind?

The boy drowned.
It's damn tragic.

But it happens,
you understand?

Do you understand?


Can you not see
what you're doing?

Can you not see
what you're doing?

You ain't a smart man,

You're making it worse.

I could charge you right now,
the way you've been acting.

But I wouldn't hurt no one.

But do you think
I could hurt someone?

You let this go,

and you let this go
right fucking now.


Get out of my car.




Can't sleep.

Take your pills.


No, don't want to get dependent
on them.

Ma, you're not going...

you're not going
to get dependent.

I'm praying for you, son.

Well, don't.

You're a good boy, Donald.

- No, I ain't.
- Yes, you are.

The Bible says people's hearts
are good.

Sometimes we do bad things,

but no one's truly bad.

"The heart is deceitful
above all things,

"and desperately sick.

Who can understand it?"

That's what the Bible says, Ma.

I'd better go to bed.

Your dad'll be home soon.

What you doing?

I came looking for you.

What happened
to your face?


I called my mom today.

We talked, and...

she brought up this thing
that happened in the town

- when we were kids.
- You know what?

I don't want to hear
about it, all right?

- The kid drowned.
- You know he didn't drown.

He did drown.

I don't know if it's
the same thing or not,

but I looked it up
and I found this.

No, I don't want
to see it.

I think you should
talk to him.

He's working in a garage
down in Duquesne.

The name and the address
is on there.

Talk to him.

Can I help you?

Is George here?

What do you need him for?

Is he here or not?

Yeah, he's out back.

Follow me.

See that car
out in the end?

He's under the hood.


George Atzerodt?

Is that about you?

Did this guy hurt you?


Yeah. Yeah.

It's all right.

Hello, no on here is available

to answer your call.

Please leave a message
after the tone.

Donny, it's Max.

Flew up to the coroner's office
over in Pittsburgh.

They've opened up
an official inquest.

This is premature,

but Bill confirmed that they
did find evidence of abuse.

So I'm going to need you
to come down to the station.

Where the hell are you,

I know you didn't
touch your son.

I know you had nothing
to do with it.

Where's Mrs. Ziegler?

She's upstairs.
She always is.

Mrs. Ziegler?

It's Donald Devlin.

I found an abuse case
against Dr. Pomorowski.

It's from years ago.

Settled out of court.

I spoke with the victim this
afternoon down in Duquesne.

He's not the only one.

Was Pomorowski here that day?

Mrs. Ziegler?

You need to take this
to the sheriff now.

It won't make
no difference.

Well, he's got to listen.

It's evidence.

I was going to stop it.

Wait, what are you
talking about?

I was going to stop it.

I wasn't going to leave them
alone no more.

You left Tyler alone
with Pomorowski?

I thought he wanted me.

Did you know
what he was doing?

Did you know what he was doing
to Tyler the whole time?

I left Tyler alone with him
a couple of times

while I ran errands,
that was all.

And I was going to stop that,
I was.

I love my son. I...

I could go to prison.

For what?

Child neglect.

Sheriff Moon...
Sheriff Mooney told me.

Was Sheriff Mooney
doing it too?


You don't know?

They were friends
a long time!

My baby.


you did nothing?

Tyler never said nothing.

He never said nothing!

He was quiet!
He was always quiet!

He was quiet because he was
a shell of a boy...


that man took something
away from him.

Because you took something
away from him.

I loved him.

I didn't know.

You just ignored it
because it was easier.

He was just a little boy.

Why do I have to come home
and clean up after you?

What have you been
doing all day?

Why don't you call
that retard, D-D-D-Donny?

This has nothing
to do with him!

Why are you bringing him
into this?

Because he's
a fucking retard!


- What happened?
- Huh?

Oh... nothing.

What you doing?



What you doing?

Just came by
to pick something up.

They're at it again.


What you think of Randy?

He's okay, I guess.

I mean, he ain't my dad.


You don't have
to be scared of him.

You don't have
to be scared of anything.

I know.


I love you, sweets.

I know.