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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    My Work In Progress  ›  Untitled Home Invasion-esque - Act 1 (or so) Moderators: bert
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Steven
Posted: May 16th, 2018, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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Here's a little something I've been working on over the past couple of months. I went through it recently to get rid of any errors I noticed, but some might remain.

Basically, the story follows a married couple going to visit their old college friend, who recently got married and lives in a nice lake house in Washington state.

Things aren't what they see to be, and all hell breaks loose. I did try to drop subtle hints as to why things are happening, but obviously things will be explained further as I flesh it all out.

On page 17 I believe, there is a break in the story where I stopped. I then picked it up later when the "turn" of the story happens. I had this idea of how I wanted the reveal to play out, so I wrote it and included it here.

I'm open to any suggestions on story, setting, dialogue, etc.

Hope y'all dig it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RqsQzBMv16hAlX_6_C513vfAbKzlkiXH/view?usp=drivesdk
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Zombie Sean
Posted: May 16th, 2018, 2:50pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steven,

I actually stumbled upon your thread on reddit but thought I'd turn to here for comments. To reiterate what you mentioned in your reddit comment...


Quoted Text
As to who they are - they're exactly who they say, though their history is a little more involved. Jeff used to date Susie back in college, and Richard never knew about it. Jeff got her pregnant but got an abortion and chose to be with Richard instead. Again, Richard knew nothing of this...but it will come out.

Richard has his secrets too - he hooked up with Elise in the past, and isn't really over her, which is why he's asking where she is when first getting inside the house. Jeff even hints at knowing about then when he states that Richard likes his coffee black.

The whole story is a set up by Jeff and Elise. They want to get revenge on Richard and Susie for things that happened in the past. I do plan on involving some brutal/uncomfortable interactions between certain characters but have yet to write any of that.


Looking forward to how you approach these character dynamics. Is Jeff against abortion? Or is he just upset that Susie chose Richard over him? It would be interesting to have Jeff get revenge on Susie for killing their unborn child, or at least have that be part of the reason. Like a, you murdered our child so you don't deserve to live, kind of mindset or something like that. Really bring out the crazy in Jeff.

Why is Elise planning on getting revenge with Richard? From what I've read so far, it seems like Elise is still interested in him as well. Or both of them?? Like that scene between Susie and Elise while Elise is in her panties.

Also curious as to why Jeff and Elise are arguing if they're working together to murder/torture this couple. I guess they don't have to have a perfect relationship, but if you're going to introduce Elise with an argument with Jeff, you could include their drama with their character dynamic. Jeff sounds like he suspects her of cheating on him. Did this actually happen between her and Richard, while she was with Jeff? That would give even more reason for Jeff to go after Richard, too.

Hopefully you will have some awkward or tense moments between the characters. Jeff with Susie alone, Elise with Richard alone. Helps bring out the character development more while moving the story forward and creating even more tension.

Much like the other comment in the reddit thread, I'm getting a close "Get Out" vibe from here, with the opening, followed by the couple in the car, followed by them coming to this remote home. Same with The Invitation, as well. Not sure how far you can go to stretch this out without turning it into a cat-and-mouse kind of game, like you had mentioned in the reddit thread as well that you didn't want to do.


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Steven
Posted: May 16th, 2018, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zombie Sean
Hey Steven,

I actually stumbled upon your thread on reddit but thought I'd turn to here for comments. To reiterate what you mentioned in your reddit comment...



Looking forward to how you approach these character dynamics. Is Jeff against abortion? Or is he just upset that Susie chose Richard over him? It would be interesting to have Jeff get revenge on Susie for killing their unborn child, or at least have that be part of the reason. Like a, you murdered our child so you don't deserve to live, kind of mindset or something like that. Really bring out the crazy in Jeff.

Why is Elise planning on getting revenge with Richard? From what I've read so far, it seems like Elise is still interested in him as well. Or both of them?? Like that scene between Susie and Elise while Elise is in her panties.

Also curious as to why Jeff and Elise are arguing if they're working together to murder/torture this couple. I guess they don't have to have a perfect relationship, but if you're going to introduce Elise with an argument with Jeff, you could include their drama with their character dynamic. Jeff sounds like he suspects her of cheating on him. Did this actually happen between her and Richard, while she was with Jeff? That would give even more reason for Jeff to go after Richard, too.

Hopefully you will have some awkward or tense moments between the characters. Jeff with Susie alone, Elise with Richard alone. Helps bring out the character development more while moving the story forward and creating even more tension.

Much like the other comment in the reddit thread, I'm getting a close "Get Out" vibe from here, with the opening, followed by the couple in the car, followed by them coming to this remote home. Same with The Invitation, as well. Not sure how far you can go to stretch this out without turning it into a cat-and-mouse kind of game, like you had mentioned in the reddit thread as well that you didn't want to do.


Thanks for the comment, let me answer some of that with some quick bullet points:

-Richard and Susie together in college, Jeff and Susie had a fling resulting in Susie being pregnant. She initially told Jeff she's break it off with Richard, but ultimately had an abortion and left Jeff behind.

-I'm modeling Elise as a "Baby" type character from House of 1000 Corpses. She's crazy in every sense of the word, but can hold it together if she needs to. Elise is one of those girls that you simply don't screw over, relationship wise. She's already a little off her rocker, but Richard sent her over the edge when he dumped her. Some women hold grudges more so than others.

-Jeff and Elise basically hooked up as a result of their failed relationships, and just kind of made it work. I don't know how much of this I'll flesh out, but there are obvious problems between the two, so I hinted at.

I actually had one last idea that I wanted to include, but the shit storm I got from fellow writers on reddit kind of put a halt on the idea. Let me explain.

Susie mentions that before she leaves, she'll be having sex in those really nice sheets. Kind of a throwaway line, but the plan was to have some sort of situation play out where Jeff is in the position to sexually assault her. I don't know what would lead up to this moment, but as Jeff very creepily touches her, plays with her hair, etc. Susie would give in. She'd be terrified at first but after a moment or two, enjoy it. I think the problem here is when does she start to enjoy it? If she gives in as he's touching her, fine, but what if he strips her down, and begins to rape her? What if she gives in at that moment?

Afterward, Susie would start to act differently toward Richard but eventually tell him about what happened. Maybe this is what leads up to the dinner scene, and the audience assumes that Richard is about to fuck Jeff up...but then the scene plays out who it's already written.

Lots to digest, but I have a lot of fucked up and uncomfortable ideas that will for sure offend some. Remember Knock Knock? That movie wasn't great, but it included a woman raping a man while she wore his daughter's panties.
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Zombie Sean
Posted: May 16th, 2018, 3:49pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
-Richard and Susie together in college, Jeff and Susie had a fling resulting in Susie being pregnant. She initially told Jeff she's break it off with Richard, but ultimately had an abortion and left Jeff behind.


Just to help flesh out Susie's character (and possibly Jeff's as well), is there a reason why Susie chose Richard over Jeff? Was Jeff crazy? Abusive? Rough? Not loving enough for her? What ultimately makes Susie choose Richard over Jeff?


Quoted Text
-I'm modeling Elise as a "Baby" type character from House of 1000 Corpses. She's crazy in every sense of the word, but can hold it together if she needs to. Elise is one of those girls that you simply don't screw over, relationship wise. She's already a little off her rocker, but Richard sent her over the edge when he dumped her. Some women hold grudges more so than others.


Okay, I can see that more now in the script. You definitely want her to come off as a psycho bitch if you're going to make her that way. There's lots to play around with that in this type of script.  I think you should make Richard's interest for Elise a little more obvious. Him asking her where she is when he first arrives isn't really showing much interest in her, moreso just where she's at. I like the line about how Richard likes his coffee black, though. More of that subtle, but not too subtle kind of writing.


Quoted Text
-Jeff and Elise basically hooked up as a result of their failed relationships, and just kind of made it work. I don't know how much of this I'll flesh out, but there are obvious problems between the two, so I hinted at.


Ah, okay. I like that. Kind of like a, I can't have him/her, so I will just put up with this, type of relationship. Those exist out there where people don't necessarily love each other but they make it work because they won't (or, in this case, can't) have anyone else. Now that I think about it, this is kind of a good opportunity to present the whole "If I can't have him/her, then no one can" type of movement once shit hits the fan.

However, what makes them stick together? Do they work well with one another, non-relationship-wise? That would make sense if they work together to torture/murder this couple. Do they have crazy sex that keeps them together? Are they more like best friends/companions than lovers? What if they created a pact where if they're 30 and still single, they get married? Okay, now I'm just spouting ridiculous ideas


Quoted Text
Susie mentions that before she leaves, she'll be having sex in those really nice sheets. Kind of a throwaway line, but the plan was to have some sort of situation play out where Jeff is in the position to sexually assault her. I don't know what would lead up to this moment, but as Jeff very creepily touches her, plays with her hair, etc. Susie would give in. She'd be terrified at first but after a moment or two, enjoy it. I think the problem here is when does she start to enjoy it? If she gives in as he's touching her, fine, but what if he strips her down, and begins to rape her? What if she gives in at that moment?

Afterward, Susie would start to act differently toward Richard but eventually tell him about what happened. Maybe this is what leads up to the dinner scene, and the audience assumes that Richard is about to fuck Jeff up...but then the scene plays out who it's already written.


That is definitely a risky move, but maybe have Jeff forcing her down and keeping her quiet, and he says something like, "Remember how rough you used to like it? You miss it, don't you? Richard doesn't give it to you like I did. You like it forceful. Hard. Dominating." or something along those lines. And then Susie can go back into that state of mind, and THEN start to enjoy it. Maybe she has her own little craziness to her, which comes out at the end when she kills off Jeff and Elisa (assuming that they get killed off).

I'm hoping you hint more at Elise's and Jeff's craziness and intentions. Right now they seem too normal (which I'm sure is your intention) so maybe have them throw off some quirks here and there to have Richard and Susie question them. Maybe Jeff is always playing with a knife that he later uses to stab Richard's hand with. Or Elise can make some crass comments to Susie while they're talking alone, and then just be "joking" to not scare off Susie. Just small, subtle things to show that they're a bit off. I dunno, just a suggestion.

Interested in seeing how you flesh this out though.


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Steven
Posted: May 16th, 2018, 3:55pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zombie Sean


Just to help flesh out Susie's character (and possibly Jeff's as well), is there a reason why Susie chose Richard over Jeff? Was Jeff crazy? Abusive? Rough? Not loving enough for her? What ultimately makes Susie choose Richard over Jeff?



Okay, I can see that more now in the script. You definitely want her to come off as a psycho bitch if you're going to make her that way. There's lots to play around with that in this type of script.  I think you should make Richard's interest for Elise a little more obvious. Him asking her where she is when he first arrives isn't really showing much interest in her, moreso just where she's at. I like the line about how Richard likes his coffee black, though. More of that subtle, but not too subtle kind of writing.



Ah, okay. I like that. Kind of like a, I can't have him/her, so I will just put up with this, type of relationship. Those exist out there where people don't necessarily love each other but they make it work because they won't (or, in this case, can't) have anyone else. Now that I think about it, this is kind of a good opportunity to present the whole "If I can't have him/her, then no one can" type of movement once shit hits the fan.

However, what makes them stick together? Do they work well with one another, non-relationship-wise? That would make sense if they work together to torture/murder this couple. Do they have crazy sex that keeps them together? Are they more like best friends/companions than lovers? What if they created a pact where if they're 30 and still single, they get married? Okay, now I'm just spouting ridiculous ideas



That is definitely a risky move, but maybe have Jeff forcing her down and keeping her quiet, and he says something like, "Remember how rough you used to like it? You miss it, don't you? Richard doesn't give it to you like I did. You like it forceful. Hard. Dominating." or something along those lines. And then Susie can go back into that state of mind, and THEN start to enjoy it. Maybe she has her own little craziness to her, which comes out at the end when she kills off Jeff and Elisa (assuming that they get killed off).

I'm hoping you hint more at Elise's and Jeff's craziness and intentions. Right now they seem too normal (which I'm sure is your intention) so maybe have them throw off some quirks here and there to have Richard and Susie question them. Maybe Jeff is always playing with a knife that he later uses to stab Richard's hand with. Or Elise can make some crass comments to Susie while they're talking alone, and then just be "joking" to not scare off Susie. Just small, subtle things to show that they're a bit off. I dunno, just a suggestion.

Interested in seeing how you flesh this out though.


I like some of those ideas, and I may steal a few. I can't really answer those questions yet as they're beyond what I've thought up at the moment.

The last idea that I've toyed with is that this house doesn't belong to Jeff and Elise. I took this bit out, but when we first see Jeff, I mention that his smoking jacket is either too small or too big. That's just one of those hints you'd pick up on after you get the reveal. That, and how Jeff gives no real answer to Richard's question of how in the hell he got a place like that.

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Zombie Sean
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Quoted from Steven
The last idea that I've toyed with is that this house doesn't belong to Jeff and Elise. I took this bit out, but when we first see Jeff, I mention that his smoking jacket is either too small or too big. That's just one of those hints you'd pick up on after you get the reveal. That, and how Jeff gives no real answer to Richard's question of how in the hell he got a place like that.



I actually do like that direction. They kill the original owners of the house and hide their bodies somewhere, where Susie or Richard later find them. The idea of murderers killing the original owners of a house and calling it their own sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't quite put my finger on where I've seen it before, though. However, that would leave room for Jeff and Elise to kind of show off their oddness. Like, they don't know how to work an appliance, or maybe Susie or Jeff find a hidden room somewhere that Jeff and Elise don't know about. Maybe that secret room has weapons or something. I'd say toy around with that 'cause I like it, but that's just me


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Steven
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Quoted from Zombie Sean


I actually do like that direction. They kill the original owners of the house and hide their bodies somewhere, where Susie or Richard later find them. The idea of murderers killing the original owners of a house and calling it their own sounds vaguely familiar, but I can't quite put my finger on where I've seen it before, though. However, that would leave room for Jeff and Elise to kind of show off their oddness. Like, they don't know how to work an appliance, or maybe Susie or Jeff find a hidden room somewhere that Jeff and Elise don't know about. Maybe that secret room has weapons or something. I'd say toy around with that 'cause I like it, but that's just me


Yea, I could take this down a really dark and brutal road if I wanted to but I'm still unsure. I also had a scene during Jeff and Richard's hunt where Jeff aimed in the direction of Richard, and when Richard noticed, Jeff didn't stop aiming immediately. There was a strange pause, but it gave away too much. Alternatively, Richard was taking a leak, and Jeff pretended to shoot him from behind, which could have been taken as a joke to the audience.

I just like the idea of a character's mentality being "we're friends now, but I'm going to kill you later."
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Warren
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Quoted from Zombie Sean

The idea of murderers killing the original owners of a house and calling it their own sounds vaguely familiar


The Visit - M. Night Shyamalan

Havenít read the script, probably nothing like it. I just happened to be talking about this movie the other day.




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Zombie Sean
Posted: May 18th, 2018, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren


The Visit - M. Night Shyamalan

Havenít read the script, probably nothing like it. I just happened to be talking about this movie the other day.




That's it! I had a specific shot stuck in my mind and I was like, "What is that from??" And that's the movie! Thanks.


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Steven
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Quoted from Warren


The Visit - M. Night Shyamalan

Havenít read the script, probably nothing like it. I just happened to be talking about this movie the other day.




Nothing like it.
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Steven
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Quoted from Zombie Sean


That's it! I had a specific shot stuck in my mind and I was like, "What is that from??" And that's the movie! Thanks.


The Visit was a pretty good movie - better concept than delivery - but I didn't even take it into consideration when thinking this up.

I did refer to The Invitation.
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