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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  After Mom's Funeral
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  Author    After Mom's Funeral  (currently 374 views)
SimplyScripts
Posted: May 14th, 2017, 9:51am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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After Mom's Funeral by Julio Weigend - Short, Horror - Daniel receives a call from his dead mother. His mother's phone is right downstairs. Is she?  4 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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eldave1
Posted: May 14th, 2017, 10:25am Report to Moderator
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A very interesting premise.

Some of the dialogue felt a bit stilted to me - like as if someone was playing the mother rather than actually being the mother.

I would have liked to discover what the nature of their rift was.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LuisAnthony
Posted: May 14th, 2017, 11:59am Report to Moderator
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The premise is very interesting, i agree with eldave. The story itself fell a little short, and let me explain why.

First off, the whole thing felt like a joke, I don´t know if it was intentional, if it was, my apologies.

The first example presented itself right away.

Code

Of course. She was such a good woman.
Much love xoxoxox



I feel like this wouldn´t be a text you would send to a friend who recently lost his mother. I´m specifically talking about the xoxoxox part, it´s just too informal, and if someone sent it to me I would think they were being sarcastic.

Which takes me to the dialogue, I agree with eldave1, it felt like the mom was making fun of him and it didn´t feel like something a mom would say. I would work on polishing up the dialogue. If it was your intention to make the mom sound like a stranger teasing him, I would work on making it more apparent.

Also, this is a nitpick but rememnber to put (O.S) next to the MOM in the dialogue, as she´s talking on the phone.

I like the ending, if you polish up everything before the ending, I think it can really sell the script. Best of Luck!

- Luis
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: May 15th, 2017, 9:49am Report to Moderator
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Thank you very much for the critiques.

My goal with this was to write something very simple that I could shoot myself as a micro-budget short film (I don't want it to exceed 5 minutes/pages). As such it's very limited in scope.

This is exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for. I've kind of gotten this idea in my head of just making something recently, even a small thing. I want to improve the dialogue and story progression with the next draft. I'm not too concerned about the prose and formatting, since I'm the only one who will use the thing.

ElDave: I understand that, but I'd also like to keep things very, very short here, and in a single location. If I could find a decent balance for a more specific implied backstory without lengthening the script too much, I'd go for it. And I will, if I can come up with a way to do it!


Quoted Text
First off, the whole thing felt like a joke, I don�t know if it was intentional, if it was, my apologies.

The first example presented itself right away.

Code
Of course. She was such a good woman.
Much love xoxoxox


LOL. Unfortunately, I've had somebody send me this exact text before in a similar situation.

There is certainly some black humor in there (I think horror is at its best when there is some humor to it). Like...
"Actually, she was a totally abusive bitch and I'm glad she's dead. :3 :3" right after, the reply Dan doesn't send. Definitely want to make people laugh uncomfortably, but I also want to creep them out.


Quoted Text
Also, this is a nitpick but remember to put (O.S) next to the MOM in the dialogue, as she�s talking on the phone.


Not a nitpick at all. That was a total rookie mistake on my end and I can't believe I didn't notice it. I tend to do (V.O.) (filtered) but valid point nonetheless.

NOTE: Some minor typos in the first draft have been corrected. Submitted new draft, but no story content is changed yet. Amazon Storywriter's spell-checker is kind of strange.

Revision History (6 edits; 1 reasons shown)
ReaperCreeper  -  May 15th, 2017, 1:37pm
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Fausto
Posted: May 15th, 2017, 1:21pm Report to Moderator
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Julio,
I liked the story a lot. Interesting shades of irony, mystery and dark humor. Decide between "Danny" and "Daniel" (Oh, that is so hurtful, Daniel.)...I would think that his mom would call him "Danny" Great ending.
A few adjustments as indicated by Eldave and Luis Anthony and you're ready for production.
All my best,
Fausto
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Kirsten
Posted: May 20th, 2017, 7:04am Report to Moderator
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Giving up is not an option....

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Hi Julio,

The premise is good, son still can't get rid of abusive mom even when she's dead.
I felt the story needed more depth, more insight to how horrid the mother was. We could envision this through the dialogue more and maybe something with the son, some kind of quirk from the abuse. I didn't feel for the son.

Her calling him and the phone being in the basement added a good creepy factor, basements work...
I see this more as an eerie spine tingling psychological piece, where the son is already haunted by his mothers abuse, and now she is haunting him still but in a different even scarier way..... she's dead, she can be anywhere now and he has no control......

Good luck with it!
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Busy Little Bee
Posted: May 20th, 2017, 3:46pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Julio

That was nice quick read. I agree with some of the others about some of the dialogue but the descriptive narrative flew by. Most importantly when she emerges from the darkness I thought that would be creep as shit.
Then he wakes up great red herring because he's relieved but then sees the phone, knife... phone (suspense). I was like it's going to be so creepy if she's hovering over him behind the couch, haha. But door being open was nice more suspense. Might I suggest that a single "CREAK" of the step. This actually could of went longer but would great short to shoot as is. Good job.

BLB


Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: June 22nd, 2017, 9:56am Report to Moderator
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Sorry, people, got tangled up in life and work. Reads are appreciated.


Quoted Text
Julio,
I liked the story a lot. Interesting shades of irony, mystery and dark humor. Decide between "Danny" and "Daniel" (Oh, that is so hurtful, Daniel.)...I would think that his mom would call him "Danny" Great ending.
A few adjustments as indicated by Eldave and Luis Anthony and you're ready for production.
All my best,
Fausto


Thank you. I always have trouble when people have different names for people they know. The guy's name is Daniel and he calls himself Daniel. His mom calls him Danny to tease him, Daniel when she's acting serious. It's a silly thing for me to get hung up on, but I always fall into it. Like if you've seen/read "Daredevil" -- is the main character Daredevil (his hero ID), Matt (given name), Matthew (full given name) or Red (what Punisher calls him)?


Quoted Text
Hi Julio,

The premise is good, son still can't get rid of abusive mom even when she's dead.
I felt the story needed more depth, more insight to how horrid the mother was. We could envision this through the dialogue more and maybe something with the son, some kind of quirk from the abuse. I didn't feel for the son.

Her calling him and the phone being in the basement added a good creepy factor, basements work...
I see this more as an eerie spine tingling psychological piece, where the son is already haunted by his mothers abuse, and now she is haunting him still but in a different even scarier way..... she's dead, she can be anywhere now and he has no control......

Good luck with it!


Thanks for reading. I do think the story's concept has power than my script gives it credit for; I just didn't want to get too carried away with it since I wanted something small I could shoot myself. If I end up not doing anything with it, I could very well expand it a little. I'll take your comments on Daniel to heart, since even in a short length the main character should always be sympathetic.


Quoted Text
Hey, Julio

That was nice quick read. I agree with some of the others about some of the dialogue but the descriptive narrative flew by. Most importantly when she emerges from the darkness I thought that would be creep as shit.
Then he wakes up great red herring because he's relieved but then sees the phone, knife... phone (suspense). I was like it's going to be so creepy if she's hovering over him behind the couch, haha. But door being open was nice more suspense. Might I suggest that a single "CREAK" of the step. This actually could of went longer but would great short to shoot as is. Good job.

BLB


Thanks. That's the kind of thing I was shooting for with this -- a short, quick, creepypasta-ish little tale. Good idea adding a few more creaking noises.

-Julio
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MarkItZero
Posted: June 27th, 2017, 2:20pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Julio, some decently creepy stuff here. I agree with others on the phone conversation being a bit off.

I can see you not wanting Mom to be her real self because then she'd probably be shouting insults into the phone at her son which wouldn't be scary. So it has to be a "changed" version of her that's nicer and a little creepy.

I just think you went a little too far. Too much "sweet boy" stuff.


Quoted Text
MOM
What do you mean, honey? I'm just
calling you from my phone. That's
all.


**And places like this where she's blatantly toying with him. I mean, she's obviously calling him on the phone. I don't know why she'd say that. Even a prank caller wouldn't be that blatant. It just felt off.


Also, I would have liked more familiarity in the conversation. By that, I mean teasing that involves things she knows about her son. Instead of just her slyly repeating variations of "But it is your mother". For example...


Quoted Text
DANIEL
My mother's phone is in a box in
my basement. She's in the ground.
You're not her. Like I said: not
funny. Who the hell is this?

MOM
Danny, dear Danny. It
is me. It's mother. Why are you talking to me
like this?


**Instead, maybe she could just say a scolding "Language" cuz he said hell.


But, yeah, overall it was pretty creepy. I'm not entirely sure I got the ending. I thought it was him waking up and coming to terms with the fact that he murdered his mother and her body's in the basement. So the dream was kind of a guilty tortured nightmare related to what he'd just done. But after reading some comments I think it's a "waking up from dream then realizing it's not a dream" scenario?


That rug really tied the room together
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