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Your logline pulled me in because I have a somewhat similar theme in my script. Pretty good setup, but I wish you would have delved deeper into Graham and what happened to him as far as his physical condition. Is he dying of a natural disease and thinks God has forsaken him? Wish you would have clarified that. You had room for three extra pages, so you did have plenty of space to get into Graham and Mara's decision to fall into Satanism.
The Satanic chants were well done. Make them up yourself or was that research?
Like Stevie, thought the use of "jettison" was an odd choice in that sentence.
The ending was disappointing, IMO. The old man is Satan or some kind of demon? Why is he 55 years younger and why does he love that particular verse so much? Also, did Graham and Mara disappear or something at the end? After they finish the chant and the lightning strikes, all you describe is their screams in the fire. Are they actually gone from the room or just lying dead there?
So...intriguing setup, but I was disappointed by the payoff. However, good job cranking this out in a week.
Thanks for the reads. I'm disappointed the ending came out crooked, so here's what I was going for:
The idea is that the verse they're reading will release them of their demonic possession with a human sacrifice - but the twist I was going for is that Satanic verses may be a little dishonest, so this one actually allows Satan to take control of the sacrificial body and in turn the people reading the verse are actually sent to Hell. The ole' switcher-oo. That's why he loves it so much; releases him from Hell for a bit so he can chill and kill people or something.
I was playing with that for a few days trying to get it right but looks like it needs to be a bit clearer. Glad it was an okay read though.
Ryan - the first chant I researched, then wrote the others in a similar fashion. Glad you liked them!
I'm going to have disagree with the crowd thus far. It is not the (stereotypical) Satanism that bothers me so much but rather The Old Man himself. Consider this: when Graham gives the textbook quote to The Old Man of Why I Hate Religion speech, listen to how you write the old man. I'm not a devil-worshipper. I'm not a killer. But I damn well would assist in putting the gag over his potty mouth! That's pretty much all he has to say. I can understand a protest. I can understand if he pleaded for his life and begged like a dog - which he didn't. All he did was drop F bombs and call Mara a c**t. Not a bitch (or a witch) A c**t.
And Graham gives a lecture?
Look, I'm not taking a high moral road here or anything; I don't qualify for sainthood as much as I try. As far as the OWC req'd goes you, um, (forgive me) "nailed it". But I also call it like i see it. Good straight ahead horror, but The Old Man is set up as no big loss. I didn't have pity on him and Graham's speech thus falls flat. When that happens, the rest of the script as far as character goes didn't work.
However, I'm not opposed to The Devil's Trick - the lying backstabber has the last laugh. Oh- keep an eagle eye out for 'alter' and 'altar'. I noticed that in a bit of dialog.
It's not too bad, this short. I'll give you this: Hard Core. All that's missing is a Goat's Head Baphomet!
That mother@(*%*$ FADE IN: on the right is really bothering me in this challenge. It's almost as if everyone ran out and got Final Draft and didn't care to fix the one fatal flaw it houses.
You need to change FADE IN: from a transition to a "GENERAL" in the options. It will correct this problem for you. I use final draft at times, and even love the latest build. One of my favorites, but there are some quarks, as the one stated above.
Anyways, that aside... I actually like this one. It's different from everything else on the menu and comes to a satisfying conclusion. It's written good. It's clean and flows like a river. No problems there. You even use a ";" in there. Strange...
But, yeah, I liked it. Some say it's preachy and it is a bit. There are some bouts of wavering in there and the typical Tales From The Crypt switch is present. But it all works. I just hate that damn Final Draft FADE IN: junk.
It started off very well and I couldn't wait to read what it's all about. Great set up.
The ending is a bit predictable for me - they went to hell instead of him - a bit easy. Maybe if they read the verse in a wrong way (I know the verse reversed itself somehow but this is different, I want to see them slip...)... - somehow this way it comes off as no mystery ending. And somehow fast, almost rushed.
So this is my only gripe - the ending - which is not a small thing actually. But the only thing.
Few notes (I decided to start giving notes cus you guys do and I feel like I'm slacking and I also wish you all do it for my script some day too )
p1 - First you described the broken floorboards. Then you show them walk in but moving across the floor won't be easy (due to all the floorboards) - why not combine --show them walk in, note the floor... - just a suggestion.
p3 "The old man is in traumatic pain" - slows the pacing.
p6 - "grind it deep into his organs" - "his heart" would be so much better, I think.
p7 - "Screams of agony and torture echo off the walls" - at first I though that it's the old man screaming. But apparently not. What do we see on screen when we hear the screams. Maybe you could divert our attention to some object, spinning wheel in the room or something... "Torture" - makes me think they started torturing him. --not my favorite page.
It was written well, I will give you that. I liked the introduction to the house and characters, it did set things up nicely. The story was okay, the twist at the end better. As others have mentioned the characters could have done with a little more backstory for me to really care about them.
I think this is one of the more well written entries in the OWC, I will be keeping an eye out on what you write next.
I thought this was pretty neat. It was creepy, and held my interest up until the end.
I wasn't sure what to make of the end though until I read your comment about what you were trying to do. I thought the old man set them up to make him younger.
Now that I know what you were going for maybe you could show his shadow as what the devil would look like, horns, tail. You could always explain a little in dialogue, too. Something like Nice body this time. The old man was pretty fit for... (whatever age) Something like that. Or not.
It was a nice read though.
Award winning screenwriter Available screenplays TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
Congrats on completing the one week challenge! This read pretty well, despite getting a bit speechy in lieu of adding tension. Its a straight ahead story and its written pretty clean. I would have liked to know more about the doomed couple and how things happened. The ending felt a bit undefined, subtlety is not the word of the day for this OWC. Thanks for the read, I look forward to new material from you.
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The title tipped me off to the ending, so I was expecting Lucifer to rear his ugly head. I have some of the same issues as others, such as Graham and Mara's affliction. Maybe you can clarify.
Had a good laugh as to the sacrifice: No young, virgin female here.
I agree with khamanna regarding the early descriptions of the colonial-style home. You have a lot of description up front and it gets to be a bit much. But, it would work better if you could integrate description of the house with the actions of the characters.
Page 1, Mara “pulls with her an old man… “ Probably pushes the wheelchair.
The old man does cuss and swear a lot, and could use some pleading for his life. A little pleading could help define his character. Was Mara related to him, or his caregiver? She said something about changing his diapers… if there is a connection, maybe some of the old man’s rants can clue us in. Maybe that was meant that he was in their care for a while. But s**t, I would have left his diaper loaded if that's the case, and speed up the sacrifice.
The ending didn’t come as a surprise to me, as mentioned above. I would liked to have seen the old man/Satan interrupt Mara’s chants and then recite the verse he says he “loves.”
Last and this is just something we should all think about when writing a script, watch for characters sounding alike. Graham and Mara are kind of interchangeable. Maybe you can give one of them more distinction in speech pattern or using certain phrases.
That’s my take. Overall, very clean, smooth read. You had pages to use. Nicely done for a OWC.