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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  A Night In The Woods
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Don
Posted: May 26th, 2017, 7:27pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Night In The Woods by Jeff Hammye - Short, Horror - A young entrepreneur living a busy lifestyle plans one weekend to get away from it all. It all starts pleasant enough, however his excursion takes a harrowing turn when the sun goes down.  13 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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JakeJon
Posted: June 3rd, 2017, 11:34pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Jeff,
Scary camping stories are great stuff.  How about Bill Murray's in "Meatballs"?  Good Stuff.

I think you missed the boat here.   A creepy camping short?  
Just not harrowing enough and no horror.

So, an OLD MAN sits outside a campground and scares campers with a warning about "He".
and then "He", the Old Man, No?  (Plain Looking Man almost looking like the OLD MAN)  visits the campsites at night and wrecks  them while the campers sleep.  

Okay.  The Old Man's opening dialogues were cute but you kind of knew where the tale was headed; no big surprise.

Sean locks himself in the bathroom.   A hand passes the window, pounding and a threat to "Let me In or you will die".  Not scary enough.

I don't think the POLICE MEN added anything to the story.

In my opinion you need to pour some more "Scary Juice" on this one.

Mosquitoes, dead birds, pecker threats, not doing it. Also, not sure about , " The VOICE sounds inhuman.  Almost too life like".  What does that mean?

This has a structure for a really good scary, horrific short.   Downplay the humor and increase the "ScaryStuff".  Maybe add some gore. Just my opinion.

Regards,

JJ











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RichardR
Posted: June 6th, 2017, 8:05am Report to Moderator
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Some notes.

This one seems a bit long.  You might consider getting the protag to the woods more quickly. After all, that's where the action is.  The  old dude at the trail head is fine.  His warning is enough.  He only has to say it once, and it can be a joke as far as he's concerned.  He likes scaring people.

And as mentioned above, this needs to be scarier.  You might consider not putting the guy in a bathroom.  Let him battle this strange apparition.  Let him imagine what's going on.

In any case, it's not a bad concept.  Just needs some work.

BEst
Richard
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Warren
Posted: June 7th, 2017, 10:37pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Jeff,

I am in total agreeance with Jake.

It's a very long 13 pages. My mind started to wonder at about page 7.

No horror at all, there are attempts at a constant threat of it, but it never amounts to anything, and amidst all this horror Sean still manages to fall asleep. If your protag isn't even scared, how are you planning on scaring your audience.

Lots of passive writing which some don't care about, I personally think it does make for a harder read.

Not sure how to make this one better, sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Good luck with it.


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Penoyer79
Posted: June 7th, 2017, 11:50pm Report to Moderator
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giving this one a quick once over. few things that jump out at me for improvement.

You have a lot of errors in your formatting that need to be cleaned up. i'd suggest investing in some software if you are serious about this craft.

Lots of throw-away dialogue lines. character murmering to himself. only say what absolute needs to be said to further the story... leave the rest to the actors.

Lots of exposition too. the stuff with the old man i think could be trimmed significantly.

i do agree there is a lack of horror. maybe something at the beginning with another character in the woods to send us off.

and watch your passive writing... those dreaded "ing" verbs in particular. use them sparingly.  

see if you can get this down to about 10 pages.
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