|Directed by||Steven R. Monroe|
|Music by||Corey A. Jackson|
|Running time||88 minutes|
It Waits is a 2005 American horror film directed by Steven R. Monroe and starring Cerina Vincent, Dominic Zamprogna, and Greg Kean. Written by Richard Christian Matheson, Thomas E. Szollosi, and Stephen J. Cannell, the film is about a female forest ranger who encounters a terrible creature who has been killing people in the remote national forest where she works. When the creature attacks her isolated ranger station and kills her forest ranger boyfriend, she goes after the creature. Filmed on location in British Columbia, Canada, It Waits was a direct-to-DVD release in the United States and worldwide.
In a remote national forest, five archeology students discover a cave associated with an ancient Native American legend. Using explosives to blast an entrance to the cave, they enter and find prehistoric drawings and bones strewn across the cave floor. From the shadows, a creature emerges and slaughters the students.
Two months later, forest ranger Danielle "Danny" St. Claire (Cerina Vincent) is sitting on the floor of an isolated ranger station tower in the same national forest—drunk and crying—remembering the tragic car crash that killed her best friend Julie Cassidy. Danny blames herself for Julie's death because she was driving after a night of heavy drinking. Her boss Rick Bailey (Greg Kean) calls to tell her she will be alone at the station for the next few days while her colleagues battle a forest fire. He also informs her that cracks have developed in nearby Devil's Gate Dam and that she needs to remain at the station and drain off water to relieve the pressure.
That night, awakened by nightmares of the accident, Danny hears sounds coming from outside. With rifle in hand, she descends the tower to investigate and discovers claw marks on the toolshed door—marks she believes were caused by a bear. The next morning, Danny's forest ranger boyfriend Justin Rawley (Dominic Zamprogna) arrives by jeep to keep her company. After they drive to the dam, they return to the station for a romantic dinner during which Danny confesses she was the one driving the car when it crashed—that she allowed the police to think Julie was driving. Justin consoles her and they make love.
During the night, they're awakened by the sound of the emergency siren on the roof. They discover that something destroyed the satellite dish, rolled the jeep over into a ditch, and disabled the jeep's radio. The next morning, the two venture off on foot to the nearby dam to use its radio. They meet up with Carl and Evelyn Nash—two campers that went missing the previous Sunday after losing their camping equipment. Despite Justin's warning that they should stick together, the Nashes head out on their own. Not long after, they are hunted down by the creature and killed.
Meanwhile, Justin and Danny make it to the dam, only to find the radio room completely trashed. They make their way back to the station and discover the jeep was moved and the engine was torn out. As they enter the station, Evelyn's bloody corpse swings down from the ceiling on a chain. They rush outside only to have Carl's body thrown off the roof onto them. Justin now believes the same killer that murdered the five students is responsible.
After burying the Nashes, Justin heads out on foot to get help while Danny stays behind. That night in the woods, the creature viciously attacks and kills Justin. The next morning, Danny notices the toolshed was broken into. Inside she finds Justin's severed head on a shelf and his bloody body on the roof. Devastated by her boyfriend's death, Danny buries Justin's remains and decides to fight back. She ties empty food cans to nearby trees to alert her to the creature's approach. That night the creature attacks the station, but Danny is able to shoot and wound it.
The next morning, Danny discovers a trail of green gooey blood, and she follows the trail to the cave. There, she meets Joseph Riverwind (Eric Schweig), the teacher of the students who were killed in the cave. Riverwind reveals what he knows about the creature, including some of its weaknesses. He also explains that the demon is drawn to Danny's negative energy—her guilt over her friend's death—and provides her with documents about the ancient legend.
Back at the station, Danny finds the dug-up corposes of the Nashes and Justin arranged around the table, with Justin's severed head on a plate. After burying the bodies again, it starts to rain and Danny remembers Riverwind saying the creature doesn't like water. She goes off to hunt for the creature. When the rain stops, however, the creature attacks her, rips flesh from her leg, and then flies away. Danny makes it back to the station and finds the Nashes' cellphone. She calls her boss Rick and tells him to bring the SWAT team, but he dismisses her request believing she's drunk.
The next day, Rick arrives at the station alone, unaware of what's happened. Intending to blow up the cave, Danny packs several sticks of dynamite and the two drive off. Soon they discover Riverwind's body impaled on a pole in the middle of the road. The creature then flies by and drops Justin's headless body onto Rick, killing him. Danny drives off with the creature in close pursuit. As she approaches the cave, the creatures lands on the hood and attacks Danny, who steers the vehicle directly into the opening of the cave, sending the creature flying inside. When it attacks one last time, Danny lights the dynamite and escapes just as the dynamite exlodes, sealing the entrance to the cave with the creature trapped inside.
Afterwards, Danny returns to the station and finishes her job draining the water from the dam. She lays her ranger badge on the table before leaving. Sometime later, Danny tells a policeman about the killings, but says she doesn't know who did it. Then she explains that she was the driver in the accident that killed Julie, accepting responsibility for her friend's death.
- Cerina Vincent as Danielle "Danny" St. Claire
- Dominic Zamprogna as Justin Rawley
- Greg Kean as Rick Bailey
- Eric Schweig as Joseph Riverwind
- Matt Jordon as Wakinyah Creature
- Miranda Frigon as Julie Cassidy
- Sean Wei Mah as Ben Wheelock
- Tinsel Korey as Lark Rainwater
- Fred Henderson as Carl Nash
- Chilton Crane as Evelyn Nash
- Sean Campbell as Lt. Morris Black
- Michael Bell as Voice of Hoppy
The original screenplay was written by Richard Christian Matheson and Thomas E. Szollosi, and was initially purchased by a French producer who intended to shoot the film in the United Kingdom. After this initial deal fell through due to lack of financing, Stephen J. Cannell purchased the project for his production company and signed a deal with IDT Entertainment/Anchor Bay. Cannell rewrote the original script, changing the lead male character "Mike" to a female forest ranger. Cannell also added the love story between Danny and Justin.
The creature in the film is modeled after the Wakinyan or thunderbird that appears in myths from the Dakota people of North America. The Wakinyan are birds of enormous size and protect the four cardinal directions. There are four types of Wakinyan: blue-feathered creatures with no eyes or ears, yellow creatures with no beaks, creatures with bright red feathers, and creatures with black-feathers and huge beaks.
Cerina Vincent was director Steven R. Monroe's first choice to play the lead character Danny. Monroe was convinced that Vincent could bring to the role an appeal to both men and women, and that she could deliver the dramatic screenes in the film. Cannell also felt that Vincent had the talent to carry the film. After appearing in Cabin Fever in 2002, Vincent was not eager to do another horror film. After reading the script, however, she was immediately attracted to the character and the acting challenges it presented.
It Waits was filmed in November 2004 on location in the Watershed area about 25 miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia around Buntzen Lake. Four separate caves were used, including an old copper mine. The 26-foot ranger station tower was constructed in two pieces. A few shots show the tower assembled. Most of the interior shots of the top half of the tower were filmed while that piece was on the ground.
- "It Waits (2005)". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- Stephen R. Monroe (director) (2006). It Waits (Blood on the Pines documentary) (DVD). Troy, MI: Anchor Bay Entertainment. ASIN B000CEXF5G.
- "Wakinyan". Mythical Creatures List. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- Stephen R. Monroe (director) (2006). It Waits (Audio Commentary) (DVD). Troy, MI: Anchor Bay Entertainment. ASIN B000CEXF5G.