DETONATE contained action/thriller feature film screenplay

Logline: When a mechanic thwarts a bomb plot by his girlfriend’s psycho militant dad they get trapped in the basement with the bomb and must figure out a way around the booby-traps to disarm the bomb before it blows the building full of people sky high. (completed script available)


The movie opens as our leads, BRYCE ADAI and ALLIE FOSTER, fire through traffic towards the upper crust building where Allie and her hardass janitor father, DUKE, live and work in the basement apartment.

Bryce finally meets Duke who agrees to give him a job if he passes a physical challenge involving testing Bryce’s skill as a mechanic. If he passes the test he’ll give Bryce a job. If he fails he has to break up with Allie. Bryce has had a rough childhood and isn’t so good with parental types or dealing with pressure. Luckily he passes and helps Duke build a secret project.

Bryce and Allie discover the secret project is a bomb and confront Duke. Duke reveals his extortion plot to get revenge on his landlord boss who screwed him in a business deal. Bryce tries to destroy the bomb. Bryce dials 911 but there’s a scuffle. Duke’s knocked out. But the bomb is armed and ticking, the doors have been auto-locked and a cell phone jammer is triggered to cut ties to the outside world.

Meanwhile, DETECTIVE LAGA responds to the 911 call about a bomb and shows up at the building. She and the uptight building manager, FRANCIS, discretely scour the building for the bomb and the caller.

Now Bryce and Allie have to rely on his mechanical wizardry to figure out a way around the booby traps and disarm the bomb before it blows a city block sky high. As they think one disarming technique will work it only arms another timer. Ultimately a booby trap locks all of the building doors as the bomb counts down to killing everyone inside.

Bryce and Allie decide on one last ditch dangerous attempt to disarm the bomb as time is running out...

This movie is literally about being trapped inside a ticking time bomb. It’s about solving puzzles as you argue with your better half only to realize survival is going to be a two-person job. (completed script available upon request)


Walter Boholst (writer/director): "Detonate is a fun, kinetic, fast-paced action thriller that's a ticking bomb movie on acid racing at 100 mph."

"The two lead characters, BRYCE and ALLIE, are slacker millennials coasting through life adrift but in love with each other. Allie introduces Bryce to her dad, DUKE, who's the building janitor. After awkward introductions, the intimidating as hell Duke offers Bryce a job helping out with mechanical projects in his basement workshop."

"Bryce finds out the project he's been working on is a revenge bomb that Duke plans to use to extort the building's owner for 3 million dollars in retaliation for screwing Duke in a previous business deal gone wrong. Bryce tries to stop the plot but gets into a scuffle with Duke that leaves Duke unconscious. During the scuffle they all end up locked in the basement with the ticking bomb that's armed and counting down to apocalyse."

"Allie and Bryce strive to overcome their insecurities, fears and relationship drama as they unravel the puzzles of the booby traps. Every time they think they’ve solved a trap the solution triggers a new trap more difficult than the last one. At this cross-roads in their lives, they must throw away everything they know from their slow-paced care-free lives and make tough choices on pure adrenaline as hundreds of lives in the building above them hang in the balance."

"The bomb's booby traps are based on ones used in real-life bombs. These techniques were most famously deployed in the Harvey Casino bomb which the FBI called an “undefeatable” bomb. The bomb maker rolled 1000 lbs. of dynamite into the basement of the casino and built 8 booby traps into the bomb so that no matter what the bomb squad tried (drilling, tilting, flooding) it would set off the bomb."

See-through model of the Harvey Casino bomb control box and the actual bomb.

"When Bryce and Allie cut a wire that they think will disarm the bomb it arms another even bigger bomb. When they think they disarm that one they actually speed up the ticking timer. It’s one thing after another that constantly raises the stakes. As they get past the wires and traps, they uncover hidden motives and secrets that force them to confront their own fears in order to get out alive."

"I wanted to make a contained movie because I love contained thrillers. But I didn’t want it to be slow and talky like so many out there. I wanted to make an action movie that moves fast and is visual, visceral and has movement to it."

"It’s a really fun ride that doesn't stop. It’s a frenetic action puzzle. Could you think clearly as your life is running out of time? Bryce and Allie find out in DETONATE."



BRYCE, early 20's, is a confident mechanical wiz who's lost his way. He's the anti-model minority who's bounced from foster home to foster home in search of his purpose in life. He finally finds it in his girlfriend, Allie, and will do anything to keep her safe. He's used to running from his problems but there's nowhere to run when he's trapped with a bomb. (click on image to enlarge)

Clockwise from top left: Christopher Larkin (The 100), Choi Woo Shik (Parasite), EJ Neri (Free Guy), Ryu Kobayashi (Zaps Inc.), Remy Hii (Spider Man: Far From Home)
  • Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)
  • Tim Jo (The Neighbors)
  • Ross Butler (13 Reasons Why, Riverdale)
  • Lewis Tan (Iron Fist)
  • Mackenyu (Pacific Rim: Uprising)
  • Kris Wu (Valerian, XXX: Return of Xander Cage)
  • Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6, Supah Ninjas)
  • Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
  • George Young (Containment)
  • Shannon Kook (The Conjuring 1, 2)
  • John Harlan Kim (The Librarians)
  • Christopher Lark (The 100)
  • Edward Zo (The Jade Pendant)
  • Wesley Wong (Pacific Rim: Uprising)


ALLIE, early 20's, is a free spirit, carefree, conscientious and struggles with anxiety when faced with extreme stress. This does not help when a bomb is ticking down. (click on image to enlarge)

Clockwise from top left: Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 3), Brec Bassinger(Stargirl), Esme Creed-Miles(Hannah), Kiera McCarthy(Frank and Ava), Mille Bobby Brown(Godzilla v. King Kong), India Eisley (Every Breath You Take)
  • Lilly Collins (Mortal Instruments, Mirror Mirror)
  • Anna Sophia Rob (Bridge to Terabithia)
  • Victoria Justice (Victorious)
  • Haley Lu Richardson (Split, Columbus)
  • Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men)
  • Kaitlyn Dever (Detroit, Last Man Standing)
  • Isbell Furman (Masters of Sex, Orphan)
  • Madison Davenport (Noah)
  • Courtney Eaton (Gods of Egypt, Mad Max)
  • Taisa Farmiga (American Horror Story)
  • Ella Purnell (Churchill)
  • Zoe Deutch (Before I Fall)
  • Liana Liberato (If I Stay)
  • Olivia Cooke (Me, Earl and the Dying Girl)
  • Emily Kinney (Walking Dead)
  • Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones)
  • Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)
  • Ariel Winter (Modern Family)
  • Peyton List (Diary of Wimpy Kid)
  • Dove Cameron (Barely Lethal)
  • Elizabeth Gillies (Dynasty, Vacation)
  • Bailee Madison (Good Witch, The Fosters, Once Upon A Time)
  • Madeline Carroll (Resident Evil: Extinction)
  • Emily Osment (Young and Hungry)
  • Joey King (The Flash, Fargo)
  • Bianca A. Santos (The Duff)
  • Mae Whitman (The Duff)
  • Skyler Samuels (Scream Queens, American Horror Story)
  • Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect 2)
  • Shelley Hennig (Unfriended)
  • Renee Olstead (Unfriended)
  • Courtney Halverson (Unfriended, True Detective)
  • Heather Sossaman (Unfriended)
  • Hannah New (Maleficent, Black Sails)
  • Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)


DUKE is a driven, bitter mastermind who would be spiraling downward out of control if it weren't for the love of his daughter, Allie. But is love enough to save him from his own mad vengeance? (click on image to enlarge)

Clockwise from top left: Bryan Cranston (Godzilla), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead), JK Simmons (Whiplash), Michael Shannon (Man of Steel), Nicholas Cage (Ghost Rider)
  • Ian Mcshain
  • Jackie Earl Haley
  • Rutger Hauer
  • Chris Cooper
  • Hugo Weaving
  • Sharlto Copely
  • Stephen Lang
  • Mads Mikkelson
  • Mickey Rourke
  • Ron Pearlman
  • Gary Busey
  • Geoffrey Rush
  • David Strathairn
  • Brian Cox
  • John Goodman
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Kenneth Branaugh
  • Jon Hamm
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Kevin Bacon


DETECTIVE LAGA is tough as nails, sarcastic, witty, dry and to the point. She gets things done. But that doesn't mean that she's not haunted by past bomb incidents gone wrong. In fact, they may cause her to do more harm than good.

Clockwise from top left: Frances Mcdormand("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"), Lucy Liu("Elementary"), Ashley Judd("Allegiant"), Maria Bello("NCIS"), Carrie Anne Moss("Jessica Jones"), Margaret Cho("Bright"), Diane Lane("House of Cards"), Carla Gugino("Haunting of Hill House")


FRANCIS, the building manager, is an erudite, self-important, brown-nosing ball busting manager who'll stop at nothing to protect the reputation of his building and his own job. But when he's thrust into a precarious situation he has to come to grips between self-preservation and taking a chance on the instincts of Detective Laga.

Clockwise from top left: Jason Schwartzman("Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later"), Alec Mapa ("Chick Fight"), Rodney To ("Good Girls"), Brennan Brown("Man in the High Castle"), Nico Santos("Crazy Rich Asians"), Stanley Tucci("The Devil Wears Prada")



Clockwise from top left: Crimson Tide, Das Boot, Birdman, Out of the Past

I intend to make the space a character whose walls seemingly close in as the pressures mount. (Examples: Crimson Tide, 12 Angry Men). The lighting will be harsh, reminiscent of noir films since this starts out as a 3-hander about mistrust in an enclosed space. As the story unfolds and the stakes heighten the lighting, the set and the camerawork turn chaotic and jumbled.


Top Gun
Terminator 2

This movie is really man vs. machine. Blue and gray symbolize the stark reality of the bomb's steel and the concrete of the basement walls. They also symbolize Duke's coldness as the warmth is driven out of him to the point where he'd kill for revenge. The cold tones represent dark themes of authority, intimidation and fear but they're contrasted with the orange that symbolizes the humanity the characters must connect with to escape their predicament. (Examples: Top Gun, Terminator 2)


Dunkirk, Apollo 13

Everything is a frantic countdown in this movie. The pace is an unrelenting march towards doom. The editing rhythm and sound design increase the sense of dread much like the pacing in DUNKIRK was measured by a time-piece ticking down to oblivion, sometimes literally. The countdown is punctuated by moments of sheer pandemonium where the entire story spins with new obstacles that threaten the death of all involved. (Example: Apollo 13)

Contained Thriller Hits

COMPARISON FILMS in the contained thriller genre

ESCAPE ROOM: $9M budget/$153M gross

GET OUT: $4.5M budget/$252M gross

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE: $13M budget/$110M gross

THE PURGE: $3M budget/$89M gross

OCULUS: $5M budget/$44M gross

YOU'RE NEXT: $1M budget/$19.5M gross

Making It Go Boom


We can play off of the iconography of destruction, revenge, young love, machines and madness depending on whom the marketing is tailored to. (click on image to enlarge)


Cutting the red wire is just the beginning.

Time to die.

Stuck in a situation they can’t re-fuse.

Man. Woman. Bomb.

Tricked. Locked. Tick. Tock.

Trapped with 1000 lbs. of firey vengance.

Revenge is best served at 4500 degrees F.

They missed the day in class that covered bomb disarmorment.

A million ways to make your last wrong move.

The only man who can disarm it is the one who helped build it.

Kill it. Before it kills them all.

A boom with a view.

The couple that tries together, dies together.

Just cut the blue wire. Yolo.

Go out with a bang.

Girl Meets Boy. Boy Meets Dad. Boy and Girl Meet Bomb.

Come see my new toy. It’s dynamite.

When some men get mad they blow up a building.

They can't get out. So they have to go in.

Just when you thought it was safe to meet her dad.

The bomb squad’s not coming. You are the bomb squad.

If only dad showed him his shotgun.

Dad’s secret in the basement is a bombshell.

She wasn’t kidding when she said her dad could blow up at any minute.

My dad is kind of explosive, she said.

This could mushroom into an awkward situation.

Blast supper.

This movie is the bomb.

She brought the boyfriend home and her dad went ballistic.

The Master Bombmaker


Walter Boholst will be the writer, director and producer of DETONATE. Walter is an experienced creative who wrote/directed/co-produced the horror feature film "Voodoo Possession" with Danny Trejo that was distributed in the US by RLJ Entertainment and is available worldwide including territories in Europe, all of the Middle East and all of Latin America. He is also an entertainment attorney of almost 20 years with a specialization in film/TV distribution and foreign sales. His business consulting clients and employers have included Image/RLJ Entertainment (distributor), Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment (production, distribution, foreign sales) and XYZ Films (foreign sales). His previous industry stints include Assistant Story Editor for MGM Pictures, as a reader for John Davis' Davis Entertainment (Predator, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and in foreign sales at Initial Entertainment Group founded by Graham King (The Aviator, The Departed)


Contact: Walter Boholst - gowalterb@gmail.com

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