Monday, October 8, 2012

Point Thriller: Silent Witness (Carol Ellis)

Lucy wakes up in the middle of the night hearing her neighbor Allen playing basketball in the driveway. Then she remembers that he died just a few weeks ago and feels bad about losing one of her best friends. She remembers that he fell off a cement embankment that kids climb all the time, and that his mother gave her a box of things to pass onto his friends. She goes through the box and finds a videotape that she watches. She sees a few random scenes before falling asleep and doesn’t see the person staring at her from his house.

The next day at school, she passes the box along to some of his friends. His friend Brad takes his comic books and his girlfriend Suzanne acts snippy towards Lucy, saying that it’s morbid for anyone to want any of his stuff. She also gives his basketball to his friend Jon because they used to play together.

She gets two calls later that night from someone who just breathes and hangs up. When the phone rings again, she goes off on the caller but it’s Jon. He tells her that Allen always said he should ask her out, so they agree to go out the following night. Their date goes pretty well at first, but then he excuses himself to pick up his little brother.

Lucy hears Suzanne on the phone, shouting at someone that she will take care of things. Suzanne then stops by her table, acts doubtful that Jon will show up again, and keeps asking her to sit with them. Jon does come back, but he acts aloof and distant. He finally apologizes after taking her home, telling her that his little brother hates that the family moved to the area a few months before.

Lucy notices that the garage door is open, but she thinks it was her parents. The inside of the house feels creepy and she finds two hang up calls on the answering machine. She runs outside and waits until her parents get home. They do a walkthrough of the house and she sits down to watch some more of his tape. She gets creeped out after seeing two shots of Jon angry and yelling at the camera. She turns it off and wonders how much she knows about him.

She runs into Allen’s friend Robert and asks him for notes for an upcoming history test. She also runs into a mutual friend Jenny who wants to use Allen’s video for a special project. Robert gives her a script to give Jenny after school, and Jon waits with her for awhile before taking off. She goes to get a drink of water, and when she comes back, she finds that someone went through her book bag.

She also discovers that someone broke into her locker. She tells Jenny that she thinks she has a stalker, but Jenny thinks she’s just paranoid. She makes a comment to Suzanne who works in the office about her locker, and Suzanne flips out thinking that she’s accusing her. She later pops up and apologizes to Lucy for acting that way.

Lucy heads home and falls asleep studying. She wakes up to hear someone walking around outside. She runs around the house, locking all the doors and turning off the lights, but she still hears someone creeping around outside. The doorbell rings and it’s Robert dropping off the notes. He takes a flashlight and walks around the house but doesn’t find anything.

Lucy gives Jenny Allen’s video so she can make a copy for her project. She calls Jon and leaves a message with his surly brother but he never calls her back. Jenny never calls and every time she calls her house, no one answers. The next day, Jon is a horrible mood and Lucy chickens out before she can ask him for a second date. Then she hears the bad news that someone attacked Jenny the night before.

She skips school and rushes to see her in the hospital but she’s asleep. When she goes back to school, she sees Suzanne in the parking lot with some random guy named Dave. Jenny calls her the next day and tells her what happened, how some guy grabbed her purse and ran off. Lucy passes the story on to everyone in school, but then realizes that Jenny was wearing her poncho and someone thought she was Lucy. She goes home, only to find that someone broke into her house. They didn’t take anything, but the front door was unlocked and her cat was outside.

Since she needs to see the video and her own VCR breaks, she sneaks into the video lab after school. Naturally, everyone else leaves while she’s watching it. After getting past the scenes with Jon, she sees Suzanne making out with that guy Dave. She decides to take the copy Jenny made from the closet and take both home.

Someone sneaks into the lab, slams the closet door shut, and locks her in the closet. She hears the person taking the tape out of the machine and sneaking outside. After pacing back and forth in the closet, she starts shouting and banging on the door when she hears someone open the lab door. It’s Jon and he saves her, but she doesn’t trust him.

Blah, blah, blah. Let’s say that it’s a few days later and she’s back at the school to watch the tape. She sees Allen filming a guy walking down a dusty road and sees a car come out of nowhere and hit the guy. The guy gets out, stares at the other figure, gets back in the car, and takes off. Oh and the guy driving the car is Robert.

Robert suddenly pops up behind her and reveals that he knew what was on the tape. He attacked Jenny and did all the other stuff to get the tape back. Basically, Allen told him that he filmed it and urged him to go to the cops. Robert agreed but never did, so Allen asked him to meet him somewhere. They fought and shoved each other, Allen lost his balance, and fell to his death.

He starts chasing her around the video lab and she tries to knock some shelves over. The shelves are too heavy so she drops the tape and kicks it under a table. Robert keeps chasing her and she grabs a tripod. When she tries to hit him, he ducks and loses his balance and falls into the closet, so she locks the door behind him.

Later that night, she’s sitting with Jon and telling him about calling the cops and them picking up Robert. Jon admits that his little brother got messed up with a bad crowd and he’s been worrying about him ever since. The scenes on the tape were him and Allen practicing how he would talk to his brother. He apologizes and tells her that his brother is getting better. She is so happy that they decide to start dating or something.


  1. Are Carol Ellis books mystery or horror?
    This seems like a mystery to me

  2. I would say it's a mixture. I haven't read all of her books, but I know there were a few that creeped me out as a kid/teen.

  3. I did read this one, but even from your post here I can't remember it really ;)

    My fave Carol Ellis book that I can think of at the moment is the Window. Have you read that? It's about a ski trip.

  4. Yeah, I pretty much blocked this one out after reading it, not a whole lot of memorable stuff happens. I have a copy of The Window and even wrote a recap, but my old computer died and I lost it. Hopefully I'll get around to redoing it :)