SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
It is April 5th, 2020, 2:02am
Please login or register.
Was PortalRecent PostsHome Help Calendar Search Register Login
If you wish to join this discussion board, please send me a message. Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship

Scripts Studios are posting for 2019 - 2020 award consideration

The Se7en Week Challenge script are due to March 2020 Challenge page by April 20th at midnight (edt)

Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production | Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the and domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Open House With An Empty Heart - OWC
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 1 Guests

 Pages: 1, 2 : All
Recommend Print
  Author    Open House With An Empty Heart - OWC  (currently 4055 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:26am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

Posts Per Day
Open House With An Empty Heart by Baltis Sinclair Schuller - Short, Gothic Horror - When you buy a house you buy the stories within its walls... Good or Bad. 12 pages, PG-13 Rating - pdf, format

Visit for what is new on the site.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 5:02pm
Site Private Message
Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 10:43am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
Great logline. There are so many scripts, I found myself skimming loglines, even good ones. So congratulations on standing out in such a large group. Although I would change it slightly grammatically:

When you buy a house, you buy the stories within its walls... good or bad.

Overall, I thought you did a pretty good job. It had its moments. And these types of scripts are usually scarier on screen than on the page.

I didnít see the connection with some of the scenes. I imagine it lost some of its cohesiveness in an effort to trim it down to meet the page requirement. Iím sure it would improve with a little more length.

There were a few lines I thought could be cut, for example, Karenís line at the end of page 3 and the realtorís at the beginning of page 4.

A few other things:

Whenever you have a character startle another character like on page 2, itís best to find a way to get to the characterís reaction quicker and construct the incoming characterís description around that. As it is, Karenís reaction is too late because of the realtorís description. Try having Karenís reaction first and then describing the realtor and see how that feels to you.

P4 - test should be tests.

P8 - Karen is called Mrs. Winslow by the realtor. Not sure if that was intentional.

Good job with the challenge. Good luck with it.


Private Message Reply: 1 - 24
c m hall
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 3:42pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

peninsula of Jersey
Posts Per Day
I think this is well written, it could be an entertaining film.  Because Karen seems so self absorbed and somewhat blank in the beginning, I think we get a nice jolt of interest when she makes such an effort to find the crying child, and then the bits of backstory that we get help to fill in some blanks.  Still, there could be more backstory, if you wanted, if you rewrite this without the page limits from the OWC.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 2 - 24
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 4:08pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

Posts Per Day
This definitely suffers from lack of pages. I enjoyed the story though. Wasn't sure if the house itself is supposed to represent death? Thats where she ends up after her crash. Its a bit sparse as to what happened to the realtor, but an intrigueing piece none the less. Good job completing an OWC...


Private Message Reply: 3 - 24
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 7:07pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Posts Per Day
Quite a good effort.

Didn't really get much of a Gothic vibe per se, but it was a decent ghost story. Had decent tension and didnlt over stay its welcome.

Well written, with only a few typos that stood out.

On the down side....nothing that hasn't been seen before....

Oh and House with an Empty Heart or The House with an Empty Heart would be a better title imho.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 4 - 24
Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 6:49am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
Posts Per Day
Hello Irene!

Not bad but I had a few issues, but in  essence this has decent potential.

My comments;

Realtor in first scene should be (o.s) as he is not seen, then he is not introduced so we know nothing about him. I had to check that I hadn't missed something.
Halliburton case - bit too much detail for me, breaks up the read
Insane profit - why say this?
Flashbacks - need to be finished with an end flashback or something similar, check the manuals
the end after fade out??
To me this was more ghost story rather than gothic but I think most scripts require some tolerance on the detail

As to the story, a house for the dead. Yeah, I can see this, has potential and the meeting of the three was well played at the end. I wasn't wholly sold on the running scenes inside the house, but may be that's just my taste.

All the best.

My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...

Revision History (1 edits)
Reef Dreamer  -  October 27th, 2011, 10:31am
Private Message Reply: 5 - 24
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 10:20am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
While I didn't really feel any Gothic vibe too much, on the plus side it was a great logline and overall well written. I think this one was inked by one of the SS regulars.
If it is who I think it is, this is the best OWC you have done yet. If it isn't who I think it is, you are on same level as Sandra. I think that's saying something of leaps and bounds. I really liked this a lot.

So far it's in my top three. Even if I'm wrong.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
Logged Offline
Site Private Message AIM YIM Reply: 6 - 24
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 11:10am Report to Moderator
Guest User

This one's got potential.  Interesting premise, workable ending - definitely in the realm of gothic (with a misunderstood ghost, so it fits the criteria.)  The writing's clean as well - good to see that the submitter is someone who knows their craft.

Re: details.  I think this one needs more "atmosphere and tone" vs. all out horror, at least at first.  Not quite sure how you'll accomplish that, but a bit of a rework and a trim could do the trick.  

Kind of find it hard to believe that a full sized SUV could float in a basement - even if it is a ghostly one.  

I do enjoy the deceased realtor - nice touch and character.

Another question, though: if Karen's husband was killed, then who exactly is Dan.  The new boyfriend?  Also, since you show the daughter and the dead husband at the end, it would help to see them live at the beginning of the flashback for reference.  Just a thought.

Needs some restructuring, and added "ambience" - but a nice submission.  Enjoyed it, and see additional promise with this premise....
e-mail Reply: 7 - 24
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Posts Per Day
One of the stronger scripts in the OWC, not much gothic going on but thats becoming a given.
It came across as very well written but with some odd errors such as "she test the" "the realtor gone" "Dinning Room"
Spell check, check and check again!
Other than this, very good though I was confused by the plain white business card and why she didnt react to it, I read on to see if this was deliberate and sure enough, it had turned into a newspaper clipping.
I think that whole element of the tale doesn't work for me. Why would a ghost give someone a newspaper clipping of their own death? to gloat afterwards?
And, if he was helping her, why would he have a sinister smile?
Minor nitpicking perhaps, but I could tell this was written by someone with at least some experience so minor things like that become major.
That said, this is one of my favourites so far, great dialogue and beleivable characters (as three dimensional as you can get with limited pages)

Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 8 - 24
Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 12:40pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
Posts Per Day
Lot of realtors showing up in the later entries.
Six pages chatting with the realtor is way too much IMO.
Multiple times you type ďtestĒ instead of ďtestsĒ.
Very forthright supernatural behavior. Too blunt for me.
The realtor tells the protag the house is evil.
Why would he divulge that and still show the house?
I had a hard time following the action.
The ghostly motivations were unclear to me.
Thanks for playing OWC.



CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
Private Message Reply: 9 - 24
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 3:29pm Report to Moderator

just another ego maniac with low self esteem

Posts Per Day
This was a nice effort, but I didn't really see in fit within the parameters of the challenge. Save for the Neo Gothic reference, it lacked the atmosphere for a Gothic horror, even in a comtemporary setting.

Alot of the dialouge was very mechanical and jarred on me alot. Sound out your dialouge or have someone read it back to you.

Small gripe about this:  'He draws attention to an obscure carving whittled out of the door - a human skull with a brass door knocker pierced through its nose protrudes.'

A brass handle set in a piece of wood like that would (pardon the pun) be snapped off in a week, this would be an all brass piece - occupational hazzard.

On page 5, what purpose does the realtor opening and closing his brief case serve, other than breaking up a huge block of dialouge? Action descriptio should move the story forward.

A few little typos here and there and 'done by a children', need to tidy those up.

The story showed some imagination but was more like something from the Twillight Zone. Overall a solid effort.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 10 - 24
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 4:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
This script had a lot of ideas swirling within it.  Some worked, some didn't.  I knew there was something  wrong with the realtor the way you introduced him.  Those wire-rimmed glasses.  Guaranteed trouble.

A house in a modest suburb with twenty-six rooms?  

The entire first half of your script is nothing but a conversation between Karen and the Realtor.  The story needs to be set in motion quicker.

The use of a small child laughing or crying as a device to get the main character running into a dark room should be retired from the horror genre.  It's been done so often, time to put it on the shelf.

Good visual with the scattered wedding rings all over the floor.  Not quite sure of its meaning, however.

As for the ending, I understand Karen had come to rejoin her dead daughter.  But now the husband is dead too?  I reread this, thinking I missed something, but I don't understand how  Dan could be there to greet her at the door.

Some good ideas here, but like several of the scripts I've read, too many questions and not enough answers.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 11 - 24
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 12:14am Report to Moderator

Posts Per Day
This was a very well written script. I enjoyed it.

On screen I think this would be very scary indeed. A good horror fan would love this type of movie.

The dialogue between them sounds very believable but it might be too long. If you rewrite this don't cut it out so much that it sounds fake, because it really helps with the whole story the current way you have it set up.

The only bad thing about this was that I thought there was too much going on. Too much stuff happening and I had to read it a second time, just to soak all the information in. But hey, that was just me.

Overall, it is a very good entry. Nice job,  

Private Message Reply: 12 - 24
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 2:58am Report to Moderator
Guest User

I liked the dialogue here.  Whoever wrote this has a gift for that.  The narrative was a bit sloppier.  

It was a good story, albeit a bit on the illogical side but it worked for the theme and genre.  

I think maybe it's a bit too big of a story for the page count and therefore may be a bit crunched which gives it the feeling of being underdeveloped.

Or perhaps as some people have suggested, maybe the editing is what made it seem a bit sloppy.  

Either way, you have something that will work here.  Get another draft together without worrying about the page count and see where it goes.

Good work for a week.    
e-mail Reply: 13 - 24
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 10:50pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Victoria, Australia
Posts Per Day
It was a bit confusing, but other than that, I really liked it. You captured the mood, and I really liked the torment with the daughter's death.

One thing that especially needs to be clarified is the ending when she returns to the house - did her husband just die between her driving off and running into the semi?

Good job! It's on my list
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 14 - 24
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 1:08am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
Posts Per Day
Pretty good.  Good usage of the ghost along with creepy imagery and effective storytelling.  The problem I had is that the first half is significantly slower than the second to the point where it seems like it's going in a completely different direction and then radically changes course.  Threw me off for a second.

Maybe I missed something but wouldn't the card with just a fingerprint on it be a little suspicious?  What did I miss here?

But this was a good read.

Nice job.


Site Private Message Reply: 15 - 24
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 1:33pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
Posts Per Day
Well, the good news is that it's not bad.  It has the makings of something pretty good, but the execution is off.

The writing itself, isn't bad either, but it's filled with so many mistakes, it appears this was thrown together in a mad rush by a good writer. Sad to see so many typos, awkward writing, misspellings, incorrect word useage, etc.  Really dragged the read down.

What's with the Slugs?  Your use of parentheses is incorrect.  Some use these when noting whether or not a car is moving or stationary in an INT. CAR scene, but that's about it.

You had incorrect dialogue boxes with character's speech, before they were intro'd.  I don't think the Realtor was ever properly intro'd, and not naming him was also a mistake.  The whole thing with the business card and thumb print was odd, as well.

Things really turned on a dime on page 7, and things got wierd and hard to follow.  Too much story for 12 pages and too much time spent (first 6 pages) getting to the "meat" of the script.  The ending also seemed tacked on.

But for all the problems, this still showed some promise and is easily one of the better entries - but does it really meet the qualifications of the challenge?  Is it Gothic?  Is it Horror?  Is there a misunderstood ghost?  I'd lean towards "no" on all accounts, but again, there's something here that the vast majority of scripts were missing.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Private Message Reply: 16 - 24
Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
Posts Per Day

This is a good story. I liked the use of visuals like the business card with nothing on it. One thing I would recommend with this style of story and the way I feel it coming through...

On Page 9

>Positioned around the table, a large gathering of decayed corpses. Each feast upon large portions of human entrails.

I think we've went with what felt to me a general audience kind of ghost story to heavy gore.

I think my using more subtle influence, you could still show heightening fear without resorting to that.

A very nice job here.  


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 17 - 24
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 10:07pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
Liked it. Ryan mentioned the conversation being long at the beginning. He might have a point, but I thought the conversation was good. Sounded natural, appropriately creepy. I'd keep it.

I might come back to this when I have more time, if the reader reviewed my script.
Private Message Reply: 18 - 24
Posted: October 22nd, 2011, 12:32am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
Posts Per Day
Locations & Sets -   EXT & INT neo-gothic house w/ flood-able basement, EXT creek/small river bed, EXT light business district
Actors  -  KAREN (30), man & girl (use girl for V.O.), REALTOR (40), rotted hands & corpses extras x 3, paramedics x 3 (double as corpses!), DAN (45)
Costumes  -  jacket, dated suit, paramedic uniforms x 3
Props  -  real estate open house sign, photo of man and girl painting house, glasses, briefcase w/ documents, business card w/ thumbprint, key on key ring, front door w/ skull carving and brass knocker, house dust and cob webs, oak table and chairs, dozens of wedding rings, bedroom lighting, children's paintings x12, 3liters dripping blood, break away floorboards, pile O' entrails, wooden beam, break away plank,  inverted and submerged SUV (obviously IRL this is a partial build, likely fiberglass), floating kid corpse, body bags x 2, baby doll, umbrella, newsprint obit
Audio FX -  brass knock on door, coins down stairwell
Visual FX  -  storm clouds swirling overhead, extra protection for stunt, car vs semi truck crash w/ road debris
Other -  car, paint can w/ brushes x 2, paint brush, MUA for rotted hands,, police car and paramedic van, vehicle side camera mount
Comments  -  Very nice story. Tops. "Ghosts just misunderstood" theme not strictly adhered to, but forgivable. The intestine eating may kick this up to an R rating. That upside down truck and flooding a "basement" are real budget killers on this one. Consider something less expensive.

Private Message Reply: 19 - 24
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 12:36pm Report to Moderator

Dreamer of dreams.

Posts Per Day
I found this one to be really interesting and a joy to read. I found it, in parts, to be one of the screenplays I had the easiest time visualizing, although I don't necessarily agree with the random cellar gore. It seems that if you're going to use gore, you should commit and not just have it passively for a few seconds, and a little bit of blood.

It seems like the sort of thing which would be much more frightening filmed, and I really did enjoy the ending. It wasn't the most jaw-dropping twist ever, but it wasn't a total cliche and was good for tying the story up neatly.

Overall, nice effort!
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 20 - 24
Posted: October 24th, 2011, 2:53pm Report to Moderator

Posts Per Day
Enjoyed this one quite a lot.
Things became a little strained when Karen starts to find the little girl but you had to pick up the pace and I'm sure with more time on your side you could either trim the opening or just extend the story some more.

Although this does seem to follow standard haunted house procedure, it was fun to read, good work!

Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 21 - 24
Posted: October 26th, 2011, 11:43pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
The dialogue was definitely the highlight here.  Nothing stale.  It sounded natural, not expository.  I don't think the actors would mind having to tackle those lines at all.

The set up, I feel, was also good.  But then, when the supernatural things started happening, I kind of checked out.  Not checked out like stopped reading, mind you.  I mean that I continued reading, but just to get to the ending (that I knew was going to be no surprise to me.)  I wasn't too involved in the story after the supernatural stuff came out of nowhere, eventhough I was expecting it.  It was too much of a jerk.

But the dialogue remained consistent throughout.

It was good all in all.  Just a little uneven.

- Mark

Private Message YIM Reply: 22 - 24
Posted: October 29th, 2011, 9:19pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

Buy the ticket, take the ride

That's me in the corner
Posts Per Day
Nearly always reliable with horror, this one from Balt is the first post-reveal OWC that I gravitated towards -- trapped at home on this snowy evening.

I have read no previous comments.

On page 1, the dialogue from the Realtor should be O.S., I think.  And it is unrealistic that Karen would not comment on the unusual business card -- though I suspect you were forced to delete a few things due to page limitations.

Most of the dialogue flows pretty well, but once the Realtor disappeared (for a while), I had kind of a hard time following Karenís journey through the house.

She moved from room to room to room and encountered strange events a little too fast.  I would lose track of where she was, and failed to grasp the significance of some of the ghostly happenings -- the wedding rings, for example.

And I kind of knew where this was going, suspecting it was similar to another tale of yours ("Faceless", or something like that).  Not that it is a bad ending -- or even predictable, really -- it is just that I kind of know where you like to take stories like this, I suppose.

Ultimately, what kept this from working completely for me, I think, was how abruptly you disposed of Karen, and also that Karen was pretty much responsible for her own demise.

If I could recommend anything for this one, I would say that Karen should be ripped from this world by forces beyond her control.  That just makes more sense to me.

All in all, the skeleton for this story is certainly in place, but I suspect you had a lot more to say with this one and most of the weakness in this story spring from the page limitations.  I would check this out again if you were to rework it.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
Private Message Reply: 23 - 24
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 12:10am Report to Moderator
Guest User

Been out much of the day -- Big Halloween parade!  My daughter was Dora, I was Jason and my wife was Mrs. Piggy.  It was a lot of fun, had a ton of picture opts on my costume from random strangers.  (not a cheap knock off Jason costume to be sure)

Anyways, few things to note here...

When the criteria was released I was drumming up ideas and doing Google searches for Gothic Horror.  Why?  Cos' I certainly knew very little about it -- and it shows within the script overall.

A lot of things perplexed me the week this was to be written, things I'm not going to get into here -- but when I sat down to write this script it was around 4:30 the Friday it was due.  I ended up writing a 23 page script on Nitro Pro 6 on an HP-mini... I spent roughly 5 hours writing it and 2 hours editing it down to 12 pages.  Wasn't ideal.  I remember sending it to Don at 2 min before the deadline.  That's how close it was.

To shed light on the whole story I had written:

-- Karen was involved in a car wreck 2 years prior that killed her husband and her daughter.  She's been tormented by the event ever since.

-- Karen and her husband were to buy this house, the Winslow house, as their 1st big investment, but tragedy struck and well... he and the daughter died.

-- Karen, in a moving on process, decides to undertake the house by herself.  The Realtor was actually the ghost who governed the house...

-- Dan was the Realtor she was suppose to meet, but he got tied up.  In conversation, lost in this draft, he calls while she's waiting and says he was running late and that he'd send another agent to unlock the house.  That is why the ghost says "Must be" when faced with the question "You must be the Realtor Dan spoke of".

-- There are way more scenes inside the house that piece the overall picture together, and paints the back story in a more clear plausible way.

-- The zombies around the table were actually eating unborn babies, but I omitted it in this draft cos' it wasn't going to make sense as you wouldn't have known Karen had a miscarriage when she had the wreck.

-- The house itself is evil --The Realtor was not.  The house reflects all the bad that lives or torments a person and puts it on exhibit for them to see.  The house had already gotten to Karen and thus she died on account of it, rather than herself.  Also of note, the only ones who can live among the house are the dead.

--  The ending was certainly rushed.  Like the very end, end... I've since been re-working the script, adding back in the pages and trimming it up a bit.  I've cleaned up all the formatting errors using actual software and am 80% happy with what I came up with in the span of just hours it took me to write the whole thing.  

And ultimately that's why I love these OWC... they motivate you into coming up with things you'd never normally even consider doing.  Even if they're sloppy, which this script is, the idea, the rough outline, the blueprint, is still there to build upon like I've done.

I might not always be around, but I'll always come around for a OWC and over stay my welcome if it gets me thinking enough.

Again, thank you all for the reads and feedback.  Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out.

P.S. The door knocker would work cos' the Vaile Mansion in Independence has one very similar to how  I described it.  

Revision History (1 edits)
Reef Dreamer  -  October 30th, 2011, 12:35am
e-mail Reply: 24 - 24
 Pages: 1, 2 : All
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    October, 2011 One Week Challange  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on

Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006