Staring at Strangers (2022) - full transcript

Carpenter Damián runs away and hides in an armoire after his boss fired him. When the armoire arrives at its buyer's house, he decides to stay there, hiding in his new home living with an unknown family. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food

Everyone on my mark.

When you see the laugh prompt,
everyone laugh together.

Same for the applause prompt,
applaud together.

All cell phones on silent.

Take your seats.
Places, everyone!

Everyone, find your seats.

There will be a bathroom break.
For now, everyone to their seats.

All quiet.

We're about to start.

Yes, Juanjo, what is it?

Last touchups for makeup.

Sound is ready.

OK, on your word.

Good to go. We're on in 20.

If my dad could see me here,
he'd die of shame.

Why's that?

He thought this was trash TV.

He liked watching Iñaki Gabilondo.

That's for sure.

I see...

Iñaki couldn't make it.
You'll have to settle for me.

All right?

Five... four...

Here's your host, Sergio O'Kane!

Good evening.

Tonight, we have with us
a very special guest.

Welcome, Damián.
I'm glad you could join us.

Thank you very much.
I'm glad to be here.

Are you prepared to tell the whole truth
and nothing but the truth?

Coming to work that day,
you had no idea what was in store?

No idea.

How long
had you been working there?

Twenty years.

Almost half my life.

I started very young as an apprentice.

My dad was disappointed
I didn't go to college

but to technical school instead.

I was always skilled with my hands,
so that's what I did.

Hey, pal! Thanks.

What is consciousness?

It's powered by the mind,
evolution's greatest invention...

Can I see you in my office?

- Let me finish this.
- No.

Now, please.

Damián, what happened?


What the fuck?


Come back here!

Where are you going?

Come back here!


Come on, man!

Damián! Come back!
What the hell?

- Who's got it?
- Me.

You sure? Knowing you...

Yeah, come on.

Wait, take that.

Let's tape the doors
so they don't open up on us.

Can't we dismantle it for the haul?

It's too old,
we couldn't put it back together.

It's heavy as shit.

It's solid wood,
real wood from the old days.

Let's head out.

Wait here, I'll close the gate
and be right there.

OK, let's do this.

I'll grab here.

- Be careful with it.
- Of course.

You grab there.

OK, big lift on the count of three.

One, two, three...

Wait, put it on its side.

- Like this.
- Got it.

On its side, hold it.

I got it.

A bit more.

It's going to break in two...

- Don't let up.
- I got it.

We're clear.

This way.

- Is there a wider door?
- No.

Let's go in!

Watch the corners.
Follow me, it's going upstairs.

Keep it coming.

Let's take the doors off...

You can set it
in front of the other closet.

- In front of this?
- Yup, thanks.

OK, down, down.


Thanks, can I get you anything?

- Sure, thanks.
- Follow me downstairs.

- That was heavy.
- Yeah, but we did it.

- Thank you.
- No problem.

Take care.



- It came.
- Great.

You want it there? Not somewhere
where it won't block the other closet?


We already discussed this.

It's just that it's blocking
an entire closet

that we can't use now.

We have plenty of space in the house.

You don't like it.

I do, or I don't know.
I just don't see the point.

Hello, anybody home?

Hi, we're up here!


- Like out of a movie.
- Yeah.

A horror movie.


It's just a joke...

Wasn't it a joke, María?

María? Put the phone away.

Yes, it was a joke.
The wardrobe is nice.

I was only thinking
maybe it's not your grandfather's,

just a wardrobe that looks like it.


María, look.

See these marks?

Those are my height measurements
from age five to ten.

What are these other ones?

Those are...

For my brother Jorge.

I'll start dinner.

Let's stop there, Damián,

to ask one glaring question.

What were you feeling then,
hidden under the bed?

I think I was curious.

What I heard piqued my interest...

In the two of them or just her?

Yeah, more so about her.


Why take interest in any one person
over another?

I don't know.

In a way, it was like...

I already knew her.


I saw my psychiatrist today.

Oh, yeah?


She changed my medication.

That's good, right?

You don't care about what I'm saying.

Yes, of course I do.

Medication... what did she say?

It doesn't matter. Good night.

Good night.

- Can you go wake María?
- Yeah.

María, time to wake up.

Hurry up, María.

See you later.

- María, hurry.
- Coming.

You did the dishes?


There was a dishwasher,
but I like washing dishes.

It helps me clear my mind.

You're a bit... deep, aren't you?

I don't know,
but doing the dishes calmed me down.

- Gave me peace of mind.
- Peace of mind.





What are you thinking about?

About how her hand...

was mere inches from me...

but actually,

we were in different dimensions.

So close, yet so distant.

I almost felt like I was invisible
in a way.


It's like God,

or call it what you want,
I'm an atheist,

was there behind a thin veil
the way I was behind a thin veil.

How did that strange idea come to you?

I don't know, just suddenly...

I felt like what was happening...

everything I was doing,
was for a reason.

It wasn't a coincidence.

And I also felt

that we couldn't see it
as we were in the same reality,

but someone in another reality,
on the other side of the veil,

could see clearly
where everything was leading.




Did you stop by the house
this morning?

No, why?

I thought we'd left the dishes dirty,
but they're clean.

Must've been María.


Maybe she came home.

But doing dishes?

Not a chance.

It wasn't you?

- I would remember.
- I know.

But seeing as... the doctor said
a side effect is memory loss...

Stroke and heart attack
are also potential side effects,

but highly unlikely.

Nonetheless possible.



Hello? Anyone home?


Does she seem a bit... odd lately?

As in?

Odd, tense, anxious... odd.

She's a teenager, what do you expect?


A question from our audience.

No one noticed your absence?

Someone who might worry
where you were?

No, my parents died years ago

and I'm an only child.

Maybe a friend or...

No, I didn't have friends...

You didn't have friends.

Acquaintances, yes.

That's all friends are, in truth.

Though no one would admit that.

You were completely alone
in the world.

You had no one.

- Did you feel claustrophobic?
- Quite the contrary.

I'd never felt so...

It was like being in a...
deep-sea trench or...

Or inside of a spaceship...
headed to Mars,

completely cut off from Earth.

- Must've been hard.
- Not at all.

That's what comforted me
throughout the night.

- Really?
- Yeah.

The idea of voyaging to Mars?

To do what on Mars? To meet people?

No, I knew enough people on Earth.

I was going to Mars
to escape having to deal with them.


So you thought
you would just live in the house,

and that'd be that?

I wasn't thinking anything.

All I know is those were
the happiest days of my life.

- Let's go, María.
- Yeah.

So, you've dedicated your whole life
to studying the mind.

That's right, Iñaki.

When I was little,
I read my dad's psychology books.

He was the town doctor.

It's fascinating how certain people

feel called to their professions
from a young age,

as if it were innate,
a kind of inner calling.

Is that happened with you?

Close call.


I suppose she thought
she'd imagined it,

that it was an illusion

or that she was in a dream state,
I don't know.

Were you getting too comfortable?
You almost got caught.


I knew their routine
and schedules by heart.

- Only weekends were complicated.
- Why?

Because they'd have company over
and I couldn't go out.

Hi, Mom.

I have to tell you about something,

but it's a little strange.

No, it's a not a bad thing.

Nothing's wrong, it's just strange.

How do I say this...

Ever since grandpa's wardrobe came...

I've felt...

a presence.


I don't know, like...

the dishes get done,
the beds get made.

The house gets tidied up.

You know what...

I'm fine, I think it's just fatigue.

That's all it is.

Plus, I've been reading
grandpa's old books,

and, you know...

Throw them away?
They have emotional value.

That was when
your relationship with Lucía changed.


For both of you,
the relationship got a bit...


That's a private matter
I don't wish to talk about.

You discovered something
about her then, right?

Fine then.


The whole truth.

Yes, I discovered something about her.

And that something, as far as we can tell,
involved this wardrobe.

We got a hold of a piece of paper
that Damián came across

stating that Lucía as a child
played inside this wardrobe

with her twin brother, Jorge.

What was their game? Well...

They would get naked

and pretend to climb back
into their mother's womb.

That is, until Jorge died tragically

from an allergic reaction
at age seven.

Then strange things began to happen.

Things that got put inside the wardrobe
would disappear.

Eggs, rabbits, a chicken...

all things that were edible,
but the grandfather

claimed they were simply vanishing
inside the magic wardrobe.

He told her that the things
that disappeared within

would one day return.

So Lucía continued to play
in the wardrobe,

hoping to one day find
her brother there.

After inheriting the grandfather's house,
she wanted to get the wardrobe back.

Now, isn't it quite a coincidence
that she found the exact wardrobe?

I have wondered...

Yes, tell me.
What did you wonder?

Just that...

her brother Jorge
may have had a hand in its recovery,

and in putting me inside it.


As if we, the living,
were instruments of the dead.

Not all living people, only those with...
extrasensory perception.

- Such as yourself.
- Correct.

And something else occurred to me.

Fede and their daughter

thought that the dishes and the cleaning
were being done by Lucía.

Lucía knew it wasn't her,
why didn't she say so?

Why do you think
she didn't say so?

I think she didn't say anything

she didn't want to share me
with anyone else.

She didn't want to share you
with anyone.

She became your accomplice.

Is that it?

Who are you?

Is it you?


Why are you here?

When I first felt your presence,
I thought I was losing my mind.

I thought part of me
was doing the housework

so the other part of me
could believe it was a ghost.

But not anymore.

I know you're here.

Was that you?
Tell me if it was.


This is very moving,

but I'm being told
we have to cut to commercial.

We'll be right back.

OK, we're off.

Hi, what is it, Juanjo?

Yeah, I know, I know...

We're five minutes out!

If you need to use restrooms,
it's now or never.

Mind the mic while talking,
don't forget it's there.


Sergio, can I say something?

Go ahead.

I don't want to talk
about Lucía anymore.

Why's that?

We agreed this wouldn't get
too personal.


OK, OK...

But it's like this, Damián,
you don't make the rules on my show.

I made them long
before you got here.

Plus, I'm hearing
our viewership is down.

We're at risk of getting canceled.

You promised me...

Key word promised, past tense.
That was then, Damián.

Listen, you're doing fucking great.

You're made for television.

You are.
Look, we have a surprise for you.

Listen, you'll love it.

- Trust me, you will.
- I don't like surprises...

Make it quick, we have to hurry.

It's just skipping school, María.

What if my parents come home?

Don't they work until 7 p.m.?

- Yeah.
- Well?

I'm sorry, but they need it now.

Or they'll cut off my balls.
These guys don't fuck around.


Take it all.

- No, just another week.
- No fucking way.

- The last favor I'll ask.
- No, I told you.

What's it matter?
I'm taking half.

What will I say if I get caught?

Fuck your parents, María.
You said they don't give a damn.

- It's just...
- What?

What's wrong?

- Are you scared?
- No.

You are.

You're shitting yourself.


You don't have to be scared.

What's wrong?


What are you scared of, María?

- OK, fine.
- That's good.

- What are you doing?
- Cutting it.

Not right here.
In my bedroom.

In your room?


What's wrong?

What are you doing?

- Do you mind if I film you?
- I'd rather you didn't.

- Why not?
- Not today, please.

I'm not sure, Raúl.

- Why? What's wrong?
- I don't know.

Chill out.

It's fine.

- So what?
- Raúl, stop!

- Don't you like it?
- Please, stop.

- Don't lie, I know you like it.
- Raúl, really, stop.


- What's wrong?
- Christ, Raúl. Stop it.

I know what you were thinking.

Had you intervened,
they'd have found you out.

I replayed that situation over and over.

Each time, I saw myself
doing something different.

Different? How so?

Maybe kicking the guy's ass.

But in reality...

you did nothing.

But I...

I'm a good person.

I don't doubt that.

Being a good person
is what's cut me off from the world.

Good nature drives people away?


Of course.

Do you believe the world is evil?

Tell me if you like it, OK?

Tell me what you like.

This is what you wanted to see, right?

Like it like this?

Tell me, please.

Mom, have you seen it?

- What?
- My phone.

No, let's go, we'll be late.

- María, let's go.
- Just a second!

- You don't need your phone.
- I just had it.


Be back later.

I'm going downstairs.

- Come on, María.
- My phone!

I'm sure you put it
in your backpack.

Even more dangerous
are spiders that nest underground.

They can mime
and camouflage masterfully

to lure prey unlike any other

with their fast reflexes, powerful fangs,
and venom.

Equipped with these,
they possess a distinct advantage.

Once within a few inches of its prey,
the spider strikes suddenly.

- Is María here?
- Come in.

Come on in.

- Where's María?
- Come in, have a seat, by all means.

Where is she?

María isn't here.

How are you, Raúl?

Everything OK?

This is too weird. I'm out.

The door is locked, so if you want to
leave, you'll have to pry these from me.

Are you insane?

Sit down.

Please, sit.

Got hash in there?

- Dope, chocolate, whatever you call it.
- No.

I have nothing on me.

I know what you do, Raúl.
Don't lie to me.

You got that?

Go on, roll up a joint.

Let me see this.


That's awful.

I hope your prices aren't high.
This is shit.


This is María's phone.
You've seen it before.

You treat her like dirt.

And she isn't dirt.

Is that how you treat all girls?

- I don't know.
- What do you want?

Stop asking her for money
and to keep your stash here.

Stop threatening
to show the video to her parents.

I'm her father.
I've seen it.

I don't care.

I want you to leave María alone.

Don't even look at her.

Or else what?

Tough guy?

Or I'll call the police
and let them know about you.

Or I'll call your parents.

I'm sure they'd care.

- Look, bitch...
- I will fucking kill you. I'll murder you.

You forced me to do this.

- What are you doing?
- Calling your parents.

And I'll send them
your texts to María.

Don't call my dad, OK?

I'll forget about María.
She's dead to me. Don't call my dad.

Get out.

- The door.
- The door's unlocked.

Tough guy.

Due to unforeseen circumstances,
we interrupt this broadcast.

It will continue momentarily, thank you.

Sit down, everyone, sit down.

Find your seats.

Places, everyone.

- Stand up a second, please.
- OK.


What's up? I know, Juanjo.

Three minutes.

I'll cue the pianist.
Tell me if you hear him.

Luis, play something
to check your levels.

As I was saying, how was I supposed
to know he threatened the guy?

Let me keep working on him.

Great, I'll get on it.

Fifteen questions in three minutes,
you'll see.

When are we back on?
How much time do I have?

Please, remain in your seats.

Excuse me.

Hide in the guest bedroom...

Alone in the dark

They can't see you

Stay by my side

No more walking away

Thank you.

Sometimes at crosswalks,
when there's someone next to me,

I imagine the person getting pushed
in front of a bus,

and I see the person getting run over.

Or I fantasize about
someone close to me dying,

and I don't feel pain or anything.

But if I say that,
I know what the response will be.

I'm depressed, afraid of change,
and too passive,

so I wait for something to happen, but...

I feel...

good, I think.

What do you think?

Maybe no one's listening
and I'm talking to myself.

I don't think you're my brother.

I think you're something else.


an imaginary lover...

Or... a ghost lover.

I picture what you'd be like
if you were real...

and I could touch you.

So, you listened to Lucía
only to help you...

No, not that.

Be honest, Damián.

- I am being honest.
- Come on, Damián.

Tell us the truth.

Believe whatever you want,
I'm being honest.

And who cares?
This interview is imaginary.

You're imaginary.
I'm the only real thing here.

You, the ghost, is real?

That's right.

- Ghosts aren't real, Damián.
- You're the one who's not real.

Why are you talking to me?

It's just habit, or because it's better
than talking to myself.


Do you see what you're doing?

Are you aware of it?

That's it, everyone out.

Come on, everyone out.

You're angry at me because I'm asking
about your obsession with Lucía.

I said get lost, dammit!

Are you OK, Damían?

No... I'm not OK.

I need to talk.

OK. That's why I'm here.

To talk.

I need to talk to a real journalist,
a serious one.

Serious, like whom?

Like Iñaki Gabilondo.

The only journalist
my father respected.

Hello, Damián.

Hello, Iñaki.
Can I call you Iñaki?

- Call me whatever you like.
- Thanks.

My father spoke of you as a pillar,

treating topics seriously
in a way no one does anymore.

Is that why you called me?

Yes, and because I want to ask you
what you think of all this.

- You mean your relationship with Lucía?
- Yes.

So, you began
to have feelings for Lucía

and stepped in
to defend her daughter, María.

Is that right?


How would your father feel
if he knew how you defended María?

How would my father feel? Well...


Or maybe not.

I don't know.

Dad, how could you?

This nonsense about choking him,
threatening him,

and the phone,
I have no idea what's going on!

- I'm innocent!
- Raúl said you did!

- What did he say?
- That Dad's crazy.

I don't even know who Raúl is! Do you?

- No.
- Me neither!

- Calm down and tell us who Raúl is.
- Why don't you stay out of this?!

- Because you're calling your father crazy.
- I did nothing!

- Then why is Raúl saying all this?
- I don't know who he is.

He's the best thing
to ever happen to me.

- Oh, isn't that sweet?
- I hate you! OK? I hate you!

- María, open the door.
- Go away!

- Your father did nothing.
- He's lying and so are you!

María, I'm not lying, I promise.

So, I'm just making all this up?

- I just want to understand.
- No, you're both just insane!

Completely crazy!
Now leave me alone!

I don't know, Mom.

I just can't...

I forgot it's a long weekend.

No, Fede's working.

OK, I can bring María.

I can, it'd be good
to get out of the house.

I'm... not sure what's real
and what's not anymore.

I may have screwed things up.

Life isn't like the movies.

Things don't always just work out,
everything's complicated.

But you helped María.

You think?

If she wants to go back to Raúl,
she will.

You see what she's like.

And Lucía?
Aren't you worried about her?

Don't you feel partially responsible
for her current state?

That did occur to me.

After all,
you're indulging her fantasies.

She thinks she's living with a ghost.

One could say
you're taking advantage of her illness.

What can I do?

- Tell her the truth?
- You can leave.

The best way to help her
may be to leave.

I don't want to talk anymore.

No more.

Hello, this is your voicemail box.
You have no new messages.

Drive carefully, yeah?

And call me to check in.

I'll say when.

- Wait. Slow down.
- Since when?

I'm not used to this.

- Is this where you and your wife sleep?
- Yeah, why?

You're too unfeeling to understand.

I have feeling.
I'm feeling you.

- Which side does she sleep on?
- This side.

That's where you go.

Like making love to you and your wife
at the same time.

God, you're turning me on.


What a surprise. What brings you?


- I hear nothing.
- It's Fede. With a girl.

They're colleagues
fucking like rabbits.

You've got the wrong show.

Best stick with Sergio O'Kane
for that kind of thing.

- But...
- No.


What was that?

- What?
- You didn't hear it?

- No.
- The wardrobe.

Maybe it's a ghost.

Or a detective your wife hired.

Haven't I told you?

Lucía believes in ghosts.

What do you mean
she believes in ghosts?

She's convinced...

that this horrific wardrobe
from her grandparents

brought into the house...

the ghost of her dead twin brother.

Look out!

Run, run!

Help! Help! Save me!

Oh, yes!

Oh, yeah!

Imagine if your wife came home now.

She'd lose it.

- When did you last fuck?
- I don't know.

I don't remember.

How did you meet?

You want to know?

Well, it was in a hospital.

We're both allergic to wasp stings

and were both admitted to the ER.
As I was getting discharged,

the nurse asked me
to help cheer up another patient,

a girl who was in bad shape.

From a wasp sting?

Yeah, your throat closes up...
you can't breathe.

So, if she gets a wasp sting,
she dies?

If she doesn't get treated in time.

That's how her brother died.

You two have the same allergy?


No, I'm at home in bed.

No, I'm a bit tired.

No, I'm getting up early
to do inventory.

Yeah, how about you two?

Ah, well...

All right, good night.

Have you ever thought
about your wife dying?

Yeah, more as a kind of fantasy.

You've never fantasized
someone's death?

Of course, everyone does.

It's like that.

I can get wasps.

You're not right in the head, Paula.

- I'm only joking.
- Sure.

Damián, what did you feel
in that moment?

- I was where I needed to be.
- OK.

- Living in a built-in closet.
- Right.

That closet and right here
are where I belong.

I can be in both
at the same time.

The way an idea can be
in two minds at the same time.

Are Paula and Fede
still fucking or not?

That's not a question
I'd expect from you.

Or are you not you?

Are you Iñaki?

- Or O'Kane?
- What's it matter?

I'm whoever you like.

I'm whoever you want me to be.

This is all in your mind.

And you know that.

I know,
but that doesn't mean it's not real.

The mind is a bitch, Iñaki.

Let's keep going.

Let's go.



- Fede...
- What?

Your neighbor.

What's on your mind, Damián?

What are you thinking about?

I'd rather not say.

You don't want to tell me the truth?


Are you fantasizing about something?

I don't know.

Yes, you do.

But you won't acknowledge it.


do you still think you're a good man?

Is this happening?

It's starting to happen.

All right...

I'm leaving.

So soon?

Tomorrow you'll see me at work,
like every day.

Don't be like this.

You know something?


I'd stay late at work,
even though I had nothing to do...

just to be near you.

Even if you didn't see me
or talk to me,

it was worth it just to be near you.

I didn't peg you as a romantic.

I'd better leave
before Lucía gets home.

See you tomorrow.

- You'll bring in the bags?
- Yeah.




Mom, help! Do something!

Mom, help!

Call someone! Do something!

Fucking call someone!


Nothing here either?

There's an open window
and food all over.

But nothing here.

I've looked and can't find a nest.

- Where are the wife and daughter?
- With the grandmother.

No need to tape off the house off.
They can come back in.

- I'll tell them.
- I'll finish up the report and...

I felt like a god.

Or a spider, if you like.

A spider no one notices,

but she's there in her corner,
pulling the strings of the universe.

I felt something else, too.

I felt I was on the verge
of being reborn.

That's it.


The interview.

It's over, Iñaki.


This wardrobe...

What about the thing
you said was in here?

The wardrobe brought back
so many memories,

I think I was just overwhelmed.
It's passed.

Darling, sure you don't want me
to stay with you?

Thanks for watching María.

Don't give up hope.
You heard what they said about...


Oh, honey...

Call me.

Call me!