The Vanishing (2018) - full transcript

Inspired by the Flannan Isle mystery. A small relief boat approaches the Isle, a tiny isolated island no bigger than a football pitch, 20 miles off a rugged coast. Its aim is to routinely replace the three lighthouse keepers, after 6 weeks alone manning the light. It nears the dock and none of the men greet them. The winch is broken. A call. Nothing. Experienced keepers Thomas, James and Donald have vanished. The lamps are clean and refilled; the table is laid for dinner. There is an upturned chair. Two sets of yellow oilskins are missing...The men were never found.

Subtitles by explosiveskull

[indistinct chatter]

- All right, James.
- Thanks. Much appreciated.

- Daddy!
- Hey! Lizzie!

Hello, sweet pea.



This should see you through.

But if you run out...

Just go to the NLB office,
and ask for an advance.

Hey. How're you doing there?

[man] Thomas?

Mwah! Best head off, now.

I love you, Mary.

I know you do.

[man] Hey, Jonny.

- You all right, son?
- Morning, Kenny.

What's happening?

Have a word with your man,
would you?

We agreed a price.

Hey, are we ready to go?

That wee job
working out for you?

Ah, we're very grateful for it.

Thanks for sorting it, Thomas.

Sure you can afford that?

No problem.


Now you turn up!

No, you don't scare me,
big man.

Permission to come aboard
your old wreck, Kenny?

Shut your mouth.

Where are you sleeping
these days, you little bastard?

Ah, here and there.

Is that all you're taking?

It's all I have.

Sorry to keep you, Thomas.

How much further?

Here. Fill your boots,
Donny boy.


At least the fish'll be
pleased to see you.

Don't think he's made
for the sea, that boy.

You got everything
you need, pal?

See you in six weeks, yeah...

Oh, just drive the bloody
boat, man.

- Thomas.
- Duncan.


Good to see you.

She took a big hit
the other night.

It's offset the balance
and upset the mercury.

Took hours to clean up.

That's a dirty job.
I'll keep an eye on it.

I see you've taken on
a new lad.


What happened to yours?

It's been a long trip,
this one.

And the winch is playing up, so I'm
afraid you'll have to carry the stuff.

And there's no signal
on the radio.

I'll sort it out.

Careful with that.

How are you keeping, Thomas?

We need to get going, now.

I'll pray for you.

You can try.

Keep the light.

I'll keep the light.

[dog barking]

Hey, Jed. Jed.


Come on, Don.

Now, turn it slowly.

What does this do, then?

It's a foghorn.

When do we use it?

When it's foggy.

[machine whirling]

[imitates foghorn]

Hey, don't touch.

Give it some more.

Pull. Pull it down.

That'll never hold.


There you go.

- OK? Let it go
- OK.


Well done, Donald.

- That's it?
- That's it. Let's go.


I've got you now,
you big bastard.

Ay, you feeling brave, lad? Uh?

- [grunts]
- [exhales]



Oh, you're a mess, son.

Eat it.

Don't murder it.

Here. Watch this.



called it "woolding."

If you want to get something
out of someone,

this is what you use.

You tie it 'round
the mate's head,

put the stick through the back,

ask a question,

and tighten.

No answer?

Ask the question again
and tighten.

No answer?


And tighten.



The pressure's so great...

it'll pop the eyeball right
out of the skull.

You and your bloody stories.

What do you call that thing
that you catch them with?

A hook.


♪ Duty sent me on ♪

♪ A distance from your hand ♪

♪ 'Til time allows return ♪

♪ My love
I'll keep your song ♪

♪ The hour has deepened
The wind has weakened ♪

♪ Your sails are hung and low ♪

♪ Tides unforgiving ♪

♪ Rocks lie in waiting
adrift of grace's hand ♪

♪ The light will
bring you home ♪

♪ The night won't
take you down ♪

♪ The light will
bring you home ♪

♪ The night won't
take you down ♪

♪ Duty sent me on ♪

♪ My distance from your hand ♪




Not all the coal, gents.

Remember, let's make it last.

This one's gonna be a howler.


All right, Jed.

Let's get you safe, come on.
Put you in the cupboard.

Thomas, the light.

The light!

Donald, stand back.

It's mercury.

What does this do, then?

Keeps the light turning.

Careful, lad.

Many a keeper's lost
their mind to quicksilver.

That's 22 minutes
we've been dark, James.

We have to move.

I'm moving.

Hey, boy!

Don't you look at me!

You can't touch me!


Come on, Thomas. Come on.

[Thomas sobbing]

[door opens]

[door closes]

Good morning.

Survived your first storm.


We good?



Get out here.
Bring the shovels.

You ever seen this before?

No, but it happens.

Let's clean up.

You may have to break
the wings to get 'em in.


[seagulls calling]

[dog barking]

What is it? Huh?


What is it?

Jesus Christ!

Who is it?

Can we haul it up?

Fetch the rope, Donald.
You're going down.

Why me?

'Cause I'm telling you to.

What about James?

Because he's too big,
and he's too valuable.


- All good?
- Well, I guess it's going to fucking have to be.

Watch your language.

Make sure you hold that tight.

Hey, hey, I got you,
don't worry.


Fucking hold it!

- Easy. Easy.
- OK, OK.


I'm nearly there!


Is he alive?

He's not breathing!

That boat's too small
to be out this far.

Where do you think
it came from, then?

I don't know.

The trunk!

It's locked!

Should we haul the body up?


If he's dead, he's dead.

Let's get that chest up
before the tide comes in.

All right!

- Hoist her up!
- Heave, lad.

- Heave!
- [grunting]



Donald! Donald!

[both groaning]

- No, please...
- Let's get this up!

[groaning] No!


Hold on, Donald!


Get it up!

- Help!
- Hold on there, Donald!


- I'm coming down, Donald!
- OK!

Here, drink this.

Look at me.

There was nothing
you could've done.

Forget it.

- What are you doing?
- I'm opening it.

No, it stays shut.

- But, it's the...
- James, it stays shut.

- You don't want to know...
- To know what?

What made the man
almost kill Donald?

It stays shut.
We put it out of our minds.

And the night's drawing in.
You're on lights.


You all right?

What do we do about the body?

Once the radio's fixed,

I'll call in.

The boat'll come out, and
we'll shove him back home.



you've done nothing wrong.

[foghorn sounds]

[foghorn sounds]


I didn't know about your...


Excuse me?


He told me.

I'm sorry.

Why don't we have a cup of tea?

I keep seeing his face.

Is that so?

[sighs] I keep going
round in circles.

People, they say things,
you know, I'm just...

What "things" should they say?

Uh, I knew this girl.

Her name was Ishbel.

She was beautiful.

She had milky skin.

She was from Links.

I looked at her for hours,
but never spoke.

I was...

I was too nervous.

I'd been with girls before,
so it wasn't that.

I had a habit of being
places she might be.

The bravest thing I ever did

was ask her to go
for a walk with me.

She looked at me,

glanced up the street,

stared at the floor.

I asked her again,
and she said,

"You're a bastard boy.

I'm not meant to speak to you."

[chuckles sadly]

She ran up the street,
and I just stood there.


I knew then I would always
be that bastard boy.

Get called a bastard
often enough,

you become one.

Uh... [sniffs]

What was your wife's name?


You, uh. You have any children?


What does that mean?

We had twins.

Both died.

I mean, that sort of thing's
got to change you.

Try and get some rest.

[floor creaking]

[radio static]

Any news?

I can hear things,
but they can't hear me.

Where is Donald?

He OK?

He's outside. He'll be fine.

Bloody old radio.

Need help?

I can handle a broth.

Fetch me the...

Never mind, I'll get it.

Hold this spoon.
Give it a stir.

Not too much.

Did you touch this?


You did,
you greedy wee bastard.

I had a spoonful.

Smells good.

So, what? We'll just sit here
until someone comes?

Well, we're not going anywhere.

I need to know who he was.

Sorry, did I not
make myself clear?

I need to know.

Soup's getting cold.

And when someone
does come, what?

- We tell the truth.
- Oh.

What, that I killed
their friend?

He was trying to
rip your eyes out.

Someone might be
missing him, Thomas.

Or missing the...

- What?
- The chest, Thomas.

If it was enough for
one guy to almost kill.

It stays closed.

I can't sleep.

I just keep seeing him,
over and over.

I need to know what he wanted.

Let's just say we do open it.

What do we get?

Hm? What do we gain
from opening it?

I'll just know.



All you have to do...

is learn to keep your
big bloody mouth shut.

I wish you'd never
lowered me down.

[James laughing]

Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ.

- Where do you think they come from?
- Heaven!

Heaven! My guardian angel
sent me a package!

Oh, just you?

[chuckles] Well, us!

I couldn't give a shit,
it's here, isn't it?


What do you think, Thomas?

What do I think?


About whether to go
to New York or Paris.

[James laughs]

Someone's going
to come after this.

What do you mean?

I me...

You don't know that for sure.

Thomas, listen,
that fucker almost killed me.

OK, as far as
I can see it, this...

this is payback!

For having to live
the rest of my life

with his face etched
into my brain.

How do you explain to Kenny?

Or Trinity House, or anybody,

that the dead body,
whose head you smashed

wasn't after something?

- What are you saying?
- I'm saying if we keep this,

what will people think?

When you show up

with a whole new set of clothes,
or throwing money at some girl?

- Well, now wait a second...
- No, you wait a second!

That's a lot more dangerous
than you seem to think!

People are gonna ask questions!

We're gonna have
to give answers!

Will you be able to
keep your trap shut?

What are you saying, Thomas?

How can we trust you?

[scoffs] Why are you looking
at me and not him?

Because if you get
in trouble with this,

then I get in
trouble with this.

And I'll not have
a career of 25 years

undone by some
careless bastard.

You old cunt.

- Easy, Thomas!
- I'm finished.

I don't need this.

I'm done.

You're leaving us, Thomas?

You're just gonna walk out?

We do exactly as I say.

We get rid of the body.

We weight it down.

Take it to the end of the jetty,
and we toss it into the sea.

When Kenny gets back, we each take a
share of the gold and hid it in our cases.

- And when we get back?
- Nothing.


We go home. We carry on.

Six weeks later, we come back,

we finish a shift. Six weeks
after that, same again.

Nothing for at least a year.

I'll find a buyer in Edinburgh.
Someone we can trust.

And he'll turn
the gold into cash.


Now, we don't talk about this.

And you tell no one, and
I mean absolutely no one.

And you do exactly as I say.

One word spoken, hinted,
or suggested about this

and we are dead.

You want to impress a girl?

We're dead.

You tell your kids, "we're
gonna have a better Christmas,"

we're dead.

If suddenly we don't seem
concerned about money,

we're dead.


So you will stay with us?

Go back.

Go back! Now!

Take the body back
to the chapel.

Hide the gold.

- Go back!
- Where should we hide it?

Anywhere! Just go!

[seagulls calling]

Whew, many steps!


Can I help you?

Have you seen any boats?


We've lost one of our crew.

He took off in a lifeboat
just a few days ago.

Have you seen him?

Oh, sorry. I'm Locke.

- Thomas.
- This is Borr.


I'm sorry.

I have some bad news for you.
We were...

We found a lifeboat
just a few days ago, and...

and the dead body
of your crew mate.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Han sier Ger er dod.

Dritt. Er han lyver?

This is very distressing
news for us, Thomas.

I understand. I understand.

Would you...
If you follow me, I could...

show you where we found him.

James, what's he doing?

He's showing them
what happened.

Be quiet.

Stay still.

I don't like this.

I sent my man down.
He hauled up the body.



Was there any cargo?

Yes. Yes, there was, uh...

a large wooden...


Can we see it? And him?

No, I'm sorry. No.

No, I'm sorry, I...

I called it in. It has to
be collected. It's protocol.

- So, they're no longer here?
- No.

No, they left about
three hours ago.

How many of you are
out here, Thomas?

There's three of us.



Can I talk to them?

No, I'm sorry.

My men are very busy.

What's going on?

Hi, hello, how are you?

- Oh, pretty good.
- Good.

Donald, I was just...

- telling Locke about the tragic...
- Yeah, we...

You found something?


Yeah, we found, um...

The body.


A body.

He was dead.

Anything else?

Remember, you found the chest. You found
the boy, and you found the chest, remember?

Mm-hmm, yeah.

We found, uh...

wooden chest.

[speaking Norwegian]

[speaking Norwegian]

[speaking Norwegian]

Something wrong?

No, no, just emotions are high.

Just lost a crew member,
you know?

And he had the chest.

He's back on the mainland,


- Yes. All gone.
- Yes.

Shall I, uh...

show you on a chart

how to get back to land?

I think I know where we are.

How long have you been
keeping the lighthouse?

I've been here about 25 years.

[chuckles] That's a long time.

And your family?
They must miss you.

Not anymore.

My wife's not...

with us any longer.

- Oh, sorry.
- Mm.

May I ask you how she died?

No, you may not.

What's your radio channel?

D-55. Shortwave.

Thank you.

[speaking Norwegian]

All right, James, turn around
slowly, go back inside.

Nice and slow.


James, better fix that radio.


You stay there, and you don't move
until they pass over the horizon.

- You understand?
- Ay.

- You understand?
- Ay!

Higher. Higher, get it higher!

Mate, it's stuck.

Hold this, will you?
Here, quick.

Don't move it. Keep it there.

- I'm holding.
- OK, this one.

- OK. This one down here.
- This one?

Hand down there.
Hand down there.


- Fine.
- Thomas? Can you hear me?

This is D-55, can you hear me?

Thomas, calling on D-55.

This is D-55, can you hear me?

Thomas, can you hear me?

This is D-55, can you hear me?

They're fucking with us.

The liars.

They can't hear us.

They're coming back, come on!



James, James! No. No.

Too vulnerable down there.

We will stay here,
not let them on.

You're saying we just...

We stay up here!

Maybe they'll see sense.
We don't...

start a war over this. We...

stay here, and
we don't let them on.

They're looking for a weakness.

- Yeah, let 'em, I'm not scared!
- Quiet, Donald.

Not in us.

In the island.



Let's go on.

What are they doing?

They're flushing us out.

Here we go.


[dog barking]

They're on the island.

- One of them's here.
- How the hell...

James you guard the stairs.

Donald? Donald, the lighthouse.




Fucking pigs.





Don't make yourself
into a fool, Thomas.


The cargo's still here.

Isn't it?

What about Gherd?

Yeah, that's right.


Where's Gherd, Thomas?

Is he dead?

I thought that men
who give out light

would stand above this.

But no.

I was wrong.

The gold.

Where's the gold?

It wasn't yours to keep,

Where's my gold?


Where's my fucking gold?

Look at me!


Where's my fucking gold?


Talk to me.

Just talk to me!

The gold, Thomas!

Come on. Nice and easy.
Just spit it out! Spit it out!

Where's the gold, huh?
Where is it?

[both shout]

[Thomas groans]

[footsteps approaching]




Stay here!

Get off me!

Donald! The rope!

Get the rope on him!

[skull cracks]




We did well.

We stuck to the plan.


There was nothing else
you could do.

They came for us.

His fucking head.

Glasses, please, James.

They came for us.
They came for it.

Stop staring at him.

So what do we do now?

- Thomas?
- Drink.


It's the same as before.

We scuttle the ship
before Kenny gets back.

What if they were spotted here?

- Or they radioed their position?
- We don't deny it.

We say they stopped off
for some navigational charts.

We gave them the charts,
and we sent them on their way.



Ay. Donald, clear?


There's more of them.

[James shouts]

Who are they?


Get him, James!


It's only a... It's only a boy.

He looks like Cha...

He... He looks like Charlie.

Why didn't you say?

It was too dark,
I couldn't tell.

It's OK now.









I cleaned up.

Just like you like it.



Hey! Hey! Hey!

Stay where you are.

Just drink your tea.

We have to do something.
We can't carry him like this.

That's awful big talk, wee man.

I've got to get off
this fucking island.

Do you trust me?

Then go up top.
I'll deal with James.

Caught much?


- We need to...
- I'm scared.

I can't feel anything.

I think of Mary,

and she's...

just a face.

Lizzie and Charlie, just...


- I can't...
- They'll come back.

They'll come back.

- Will they?
- Mm-hmm.

When you're home,

with your feet
in front of the fire,

they'll come back.

I promise.


I don't know if I want them to.

Remember them.

And all I have to do,
son, is switch it on.

Depending on the lens
and the cloud.

I can shine on you.

I'm minutes from shining.

Be careful, Thomas.

You hear me?

How's your knot-board?

I can't...

put it...




How's your knot-board?

I can help.

[Donald] Ugh, that the
fuck are you talking about?

Shut up!

You'll hook my brains out too,


What's the matter, James?

You're scared your kids are
gonna find out their daddy's a...


How'd you think I feel?

- Bastard!
- You're not the only one's who's killed!

You're a wormy little bastard!

Not a thought to
anybody but yourself!

You little fucking...

- Come here!
- [Thomas] Enough.

- Come here!
- Enough, James! You, out.

- Donald!
- I should've left you!

- Out. Out!
- Oh, you fucking...


I'll fucking kill you!

He's a rat!
He's a fucking worm!

You're a fucking headcase,

Shut up! Shut the fuck up!

Go to your room!


[James shouts]

If he hadn't
fucking killed him,

- none of this would've happened!
- James.

He's a kid.

It's Donald.
You saw it, you were there.

He was defending himself.

Just defending himself.

We're all in this together,

You, me, Donald.

All of us.

The wormy little...


has gotten to you too, now.



James, he's just a daft lad.
There was no malice.


brought this...

on us, Thomas.

He doesn't...

care about what he's done.

He's a, he's a rat, Thomas!

You know that, don't you?

From now on,
you say nothing to him.

If we don't stick together,
God help us.

I'm sorry.

Get up to the light, and
make yourself useful.


Always looking out for me, eh?


You're gonna need
your jumper, Thomas.

We could all see
she was ill, Thomas.

And needing help. Did you?

You let her die.

We'll all have to pay
for what we've done.

All of us.

We can't wait.

We have got to get of this
island, we have no chance

with James the way he is.

The only chance
we've got is with James.

If he leave, he talks.
If he talks, he's hung.

I don't think you realize
what's become of us.

No way we can explain
away any of this.

The gold.

The dead bodies.

The deserted light.

We have to stick to the plan.

- And if more come?
- Jesus Christ!

- You trying to kill me?
- Fuck your plan, Thomas!

Me and you, we take that gold,
and we leave right now.

[foghorn sounding]

- Go check on James.
- What?

Go check on James!

[machine winding down]

Listen, James is gone.
He's not in the chapel.

You get back to the light.

I'll check out the boat.

Be careful.

[door opens]


- Anything?
- No.



What should we do?


Do you think
he could've jumped?

I don't know.

- Let's just leave.
- We're not leaving without James.

You've done
all you can, Thomas.

We will do right by him.
We will do good for his family.

- We have to leave.
- [door opens]

I didn't mean
to scare you both.

I've not been myself.

Off somewhere, boys?

- You're leaving me?
- No.

James, no.

No, no, we'd never leave you.

Do you want a cup of tea?


Good man.

- [footsteps]
- [dishes clinking]

[water pouring]

I missed you.



We missed you, James.

I didn't mean those
things I said, Donald.

It's all right, James.

I didn't mean
those things either.

It's been a hell of a week.

[Donald chuckles]

I'll tell you, James. I wasn't
looking for this either.

No one should ever
be ready for this.

I'm sorry, boys.
I'm just tired.

♪ Duty sends me on ♪

♪ A distance from your hand ♪

[James chuckles]

Go and get a fiddle,
Thomas, eh?

Let's have a song.


I'll get whiskey.

[all chuckle]

Don't be short
with those measures.

I'll be the judge of that.

- And the Dundee cake?
- Ooh!

How did you know
about my Dundee cake?

You came back, James.


Glasses, James.


James? James!

- [knocking on door]
- James!

[banging on door]


[scoffs] Fuck.

What are you doing?




- [chair rattling]
- [grunting]

Donald! James!


- [Donald grunting]
- [struggle stops]


You're not leaving, Thomas.

It's just me and you, now, eh?

Can you hear me?

I let you die.

I held those babies in my arms.

I willed them the breathe.

I willed them to live.

Wasn't your fault.

I didn't forgive you.

Wasn't enough good
in me for you.

Do you forgive me?

The gold's on the ship, James.

Time to go.

[Thomas grunting]

Good night, son.


Let me.

I can't do that, James.


Come on, now.
Think of your family.

I do think of them.

They didn't deserve this.


A murderer.

You're a good man.

You're an honest man.

This? We can bury this.

- We can...
- I can't hide this,


I can't.

Only you can do it.


Only you can keep our story.

Not anymore.

Please help me, Thomas.




It's OK.

It's OK.

It's OK.


Subtitles by explosiveskull