CENTRAL PARK DARK: synopsis
Although DR. DASH almost has a year sober, he decides to have a toast with his old boss at his retirement party. Thus, Dash begins an alcoholic binge while BRENDA, his wife, is out of town. He meets ANNA, an elegantly dressed woman. Dash brings her back to his Upper West Side pied-a-terre apartment. LUCKY, his dog, greets them. They drink more and make love. In the morning, Anna wants to have a picnic in Central Park.
Anna gives Dash her private tour of the park. She tells him that when she was a child, she and her mother would explore the park for hours. Anna and Dash drink heavily in the park. She shows him some off-limits areas of the park: an old graveyard, a waterfall, and a trail beyond it. She says that she feels something in the woods and tells him that she is sensitive to forces. Suddenly, she remembers her mother burying something in these woods. Dash tells her to cut the crap. Anna wants to build a fire. Dash tells her that's a bad idea but he has drank too much. She lights a fire and he passes out in front of it. Dusk arrives. Anna stares into the fire, circles it, slowly, then quickly, then almost dancing. She walks off into the woods. Dash wakes up alone in the dark. Stumbling on the trail, he's shoved hard from behind. He can't see what or who pushed him. Frightened, he starts to run back.
Back at his apartment, Dash calls Brenda, then his daughter, MANDY. He looks out of his window at the park. It sits empty and quiet. Just before dawn, while Dash sleeps, Anna comes back into his apartment. Anna whispers to him in the dark. She recalls that her mother used to say that New York City is home to many love stories. But, it’s also the graveyard of many broken hearts, broken souls, called The Unrequited, and they don’t rest in peace. Her mother was one of them. Her one wish was that her daughter would never become one. In Dash's dream, he's in the woods again and sees Anna kneeling in the woods. She starts digging with her fingers, animal-like. Anna's song begins. In Dash's apartment, Anna lights a candle. Her fingers are dirty. Silently, she lets herself out.
After work the next day, Dash leaves his apartment to walk Lucky. Anna waits outside of his building. Dash tells her to leave. She says that they should say a proper goodbye. She enters Central Park with Dash as he walks Lucky. They say goodbye. She walks off into the ramble, the thickly wooded area. Dash walks Lucky. Then, Dash hears ear-piercing screams. Dash runs over, finds Anna lying on the ground, and asks her what happened. She is in shock and not speaking. A few other people in the park approach, Dash tells them that he knows her and that he's a doctor. He offers to bring Anna to the hospital, she refuses. Dash brings her back to his apartment, lies her down on his bed. Anna seems to be out. He drinks heavily, then sleeps on the couch.
In the middle of the night, he hears Anna whispering. When he approaches, she grabs him and starts kissing him. He says no, pushing her away. She throws his whiskey bottle against the wall. He asks her to leave. She tells him that she thinks that she loves him. He finds this absurd. Anna mentions something about a ritual, and that they've already completed it. Dash asks her what she's talking about. Then, he tells her to go to hell. She says okay. When he's in the kitchen, Anna jumps out of his window. He looks out of his window and down into the back alley. He thinks that he sees her leg and shoe. He races downstairs. The alley is empty, except for trash. Dash looks around his building, his apartment, then eventually passes out in his bed.
After Anna's disappearance, Dash's life begins to unravel into darkness and despair. She torments him in his dreams. In the daytime, he thinks that he sees her. Until finally, In the deep woods he experiences the darkest night of his soul...