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Been meaning to say I admire your generous spirit in responding to people's comments so objectively. It's hard work, all this script writing, revising, etc. Certainly can be frustrating trying to fine-tune everthing, that's for sure.
If the Mary El name works for you, stick with it. I thought it might be short for Mary Ellen.
I used alot of your suggestions in revising my script, & uploaded new version of "The Winter Boy". They keep showing old version, saying site hasn't been updated yet.
About the mace: That point didn't bother me, but maybe you could show Angel stealing it. Or have a character say she did.
Bert, I did miss the part about the keys. Maybe have them clank together at some point. I had a cat in one of the first versions of Halloween Games. A producer was the one who told me how much money it would cost to use one, and told me I should dump it, so I did, and he still wasn't interested. Said I had too many locations. So I've been through maybe 1,000 rewrites (well, it seems like it anyway).
I really enjoyed your script. Dialogue and story were good, and different. Good luck with it.
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
Wow, this was a different kind of story. You had many elements in this to make this enjoyable. I see this being a future cult film just because of its weirdness. I liked it though. The characters were likable and the atmosphere stayed creepy from the very beginning. I was very impressed by your format of the script, many complain, but its always better to have "directions" and "descriptions" than less. I guess whatever mood you're in at the time of reading this depends whether or not you find the cat/bear effective. I found it somewhat frightening and chilling(especially because when I was a young child I thought mine were the devil!!!). Well...I hope you rewrite this like you plan because I would like to see another version. I would suggest something...but everything has been said already. Good job.
Thanks! I am really glad you liked it. I have high hopes for this one once I have tightened things up a bit. I have a cat now, and even as an adult I think he may be the devil. Or at least a minion or something. Actually, it is my own cat that you find in this story...
Hi Bert, I heard a lot of hype about this script so I thought I'd give it a read.
Having read through the other reviews I had to scrap half of mine because my thoughts seem to echo what others have said before. Mostly the camera directions, describing what can't be seen, the mace coming out of nowhere, the whole frozen thing etc
All these things aside I thought this was a fantastic script. From the outset the atmosphere was very creepy. I love the way you describe the setting, you use some great imagery which really helps you picture the scene. For the first 30-40 pages I was really reminded of The Shining what with the remote location, the snow, the creepy child etc.
Contrary to what others have said, I actually like the conversational style of your writing. Although sometimes you describe things that aren't on screen, you succeed in helping us visualize the way the characters act. I've read a lot of produced scripts that have a similar style and I think it's okay as long as you don't go overboard.
Overall the story is great and kept me hooked throughout although the end of act 2 seemed to drag on slightly. Act 3 was great but again you could make it shorter.
As for the cat, I think it was okay until the end when I got a little confused. Were its eyes beaming blue and green? I couldnt really picture it.
I liked the teddy bear and his little battles with Ty, very creepy.
I thought the characters were well developed, particularly Ty, but I did wonder about his age at times.
Anyway, not much else to say except I really liked it. This is one of the best scripts I've read on this site. Good job!
Req...thanks so much. Finding this just makes my day, you know?
While you might have thought your comments on act 2 and act 3 were tossed off, I really appreciate them. It helps confirm some comments by others (and my own suspicions...), and helps me decide where trims need to be made.
I don't worry about repeating the comments of others when looking at stories -- hearing things more than once lets you know they might really have a point.
Thanks again, man. And I'll be sure to take a look at your birds story (the title escapes me now, but I recall it was a little strange...) when it goes up!
Wow. I can't believe you guys beat me to this! I haven't even changed my signature yet. Here is a quick rundown of some changes -- with SPOILERS (which you actually should read if you are kind and patient enough to actually have a second look at this. That is generous above and beyond...).
* Camera Angles: Gone. All of them. I'll give a dollar to anybody who can find one. * It's been trimmed. It's now at 103 pages, down from 112. * Multiple dialogue changes scattered throughout, some are subtle, but a few have undergone major overhauls, such as near the end of Act 2. * Many trims of the descriptions, trying to avoid the "show don't tell". However, very early in the piece, some of these are justified. You are setting the tone, and you are trying to convey the "type" of characters you envision. You stop doing this after a few pages, but right up front, it is acceptable. That is my understanding of this, and I'm sticking to it. * About the character of Mary El: The miscarriage subplot remains, but I have tried to make its effects on Mary El more explicit. All the criticism of her made me crazy -- in fact, George said, "There is a coarseness to her that wears off as we go on..." That was supposed to be a character arc, darn it. And nobody got it. Anyways, she is supposed to begin harsh, even irrational to a point, but become sympathetic as we come to understand the source of her behavior -- WHY she is drawn to Angel, despite all the weirdness. * Ty is a bit older, 13 now. I figured you guys were right that he should be a little older -- but just a little. * A description of the apparition watching Mary El sleep -- I am pleased with this one. * Oney suggested having the door shut when Ty confronts Angel. I liked that, and took it. Thanks Oney. * There is a new scene where the cat is buried in the graveyard. Instead of just "showing up", the cat now emerges from its burial site. * The language has been toned down to a PG-13. Somebody whose judgement I trust (who should actually KNOW) assured me that this was a good idea -- note to the rest of you guys, OK? * I lost the "dementia" angle for Yoder, it's more implied now. Wesley said, "he seems pretty normal to me.", and I really couldn't respond to that. So he is just a creepy old guy, and if you want to make him crazy, go right ahead. * Some winter things: Burying people? Fine, give them a pickaxe with the shovel. I always thought that one was kind of picky though -- I mean, people still die in winter, and they still get buried, right? And for the animal shed, I just put in an electric heater that dies when the power goes. Easy fixes, both of those. * The gun that the children must handle has been changed from a shotgun to a rifle -- specifically, something called a "varmint rifle". They are typically old-style, smaller rifles for killing small prey, not much bigger than a good-size BB gun. It is more realistic that a child could handle such a weapon. I actually had a six-year-old handle a similar (unloaded!) weapon, and it looked pretty cool.
And a bunch of other little stuff that fails to come to mind right now.
I hope this version works as well as I think it does. Please let me know what doesn't.
While reading this many thoughts came to my head. Like who, what, where, when and why? But as i read more i noticed who gives a fuck about that, this is a good script so far and i like it for what it is.
I never got the chance to read your version with all the mistakes so i don't know how bad it is and since i don't read the reviews till i'm done with the script i can't get a hint on it.
Okay now to the script. I hate pdf format so your lucky i am reading this haha.
I like your introduction and i found Angel very sinister as i was reading. I don't like your use of the word crap that you had in the beginning. On screen when someone screams CRAP, what kinda reaction do you think you would get?
Your settings in these pages are done great and i can get a good feel of where the people stand. The dialouge is good and everything has been going smoothly until... we meet Gaskins. As i read his dialouge i thought uhhh? I didn't like his character at all.
More into the story and i noticed this is not your average scary script. It had something different. Something called potential and i like that. The dialouge here and there in your script i thought could of been better.
Mostly the dialouge that comes from (let me look at your script for that names haha) Gaskins, Alona and Mary El. But Mary El later in the script. The first 30 or so pages i thought Mary had good dialouge. Bbut later in the script i started not to like it.
I am not going to use spoilers but the ending was alright. It had its ups and downs haha. Like i really liked it but at the same time i did not like it. Maybe i was looking for a more sinister ending or whatever.
But for what it was it was great. Definitly one of the best's i read and a few changes and it could be better then best. I hope to read more from you soon.
And i gave you 4 out of 5 stars on the star rating.
Wow. Even though I liked your original very much, this surpasses it. You have perfected the pacing of the script and it reads very smoothly. The one thing that I am so glad you've fixed is the character of Greg. He doesn't seem like another child to Mary El.
Once again, I think the setting and location of the Ereckson farm gives a very moody atmosphere to it.
Yoder, boy is he one darn creepy man. He sort of reminds me of that scary-ass dude from the Poltergeist II/III. Ugh...it's bringing back nightmarish visions! LOL.
I do believe this is a very strong story and script you have here. One of the best.
I never read the original version so I am going into this not really knowing what to expect.
OK Im going thorugh "The Farm" and it seems to start well, I like the descriptions you are giving. It sets a nice mood and atmosphere and I can picture what you are saying. I see you put up the screen heading "the same field we met angel". Then one line below, you mention that this is now to be called "Angels Field" Maybe it would be better if you reversed this and made it Angels Field as the screen heading and then described that this is the same field. No big deal or anything, just a suggestion. The painting is a nice touch, I liked this part. You can only see it when you are up on the stairs. ANd the fact the eyes have been removed is slightly odd! Like the spider bit, i know its only a small part but you described it well. Page 20 you mention how we float and see a panoramic view of the place. I think you said you wanted to delete all camera mentions so I brought this up. I dont have a problem with it myself. So far it is written really well, and Im definitly getting the mood and atmosphere that I think you wanted to put across. Angel and her eyes being scratched out on nearly every picture is a cool idea and it is obviously leading somewhere. When Mary El asks Angel if she is hungry or not, you put "apparently not". I know this explains she has declined, but what is her reaction? Is it a look of anger, a frown?A kind smile and a shake of the head? What is the expression that tells us "apparently not". I like the shed scene, even though it a small part again I like you mention that there is an orange heater light giving off an eerie glow to the dead animals. Can see it more clearly this way. The cat convo is quite funny. "I like her, she's a bad ass". lol. Again, I really like your descriptions that set the mood.
Back to the cat... lol. Fish-Head. I kind of like that name for some reason, but prefer Lucifer. Anyhow, back to the script. Ty has now killed a teddy bear, lol. Well, that was quite bizarre. So this is now an Amityville type film. Kind of. Scene was written well, and carried off well. Now the shower scene that immidielty follows is great. I have only read the first few parts but the children apprearing from nowhere would be so effective. I like it.
P33 - Ty looses a round. Is this loses as in dropped or? A gun shot is heard so he must have fired a round. I dont think Looses is the right word, FIRES a round might be better. Greg seems not to beleive his son for some reason. I know he wanted to go to sleep but damn! Now they want to make popcorn since they are up. Well, fair enough.That could ease the kid into relaxation I guess from the bear attack. I liked the snowball incident, thought you wrote this well. The windmill has now fallen down. On to their car. That ends their escape route.
We have now been introduced to Yoder, and told we will never see him smile. Not sure why you decided to put this in as if he was going to smile then surely you would write that he was smiling. In any case, I can assume he is either grumpy or the following situations will make him not best pleased.
The raccoon thing was quite amusing but why they seemed so concerened about covering up last nights incident was odd. And letting a complete stranger talk to a little girl on his own was baffling.
Nice scene with the whole Angel chasing FishHead cat scenario although the popping eyeball made me smile. The whole scene was well done and made for some action to happen with Greg saving Angel. This must be about the half way stage now and things are starting to happen. Right now, Im not sure what will happen next but Im pretty sure ghosts are connected with the whole deal. Lets see.
M view at the moment is it is ok. .It is a bit slow. I like Greg, he seems to be the hero here but I cant really name another person I enjoy.
I like the part with Yoder and the changing picture. Written well and is now giving us the something I needed to keep my interest going. This scene is good.
Mary El and co. are at a graveyard one moment then the next time we see them, its as if the scene has not happened. They buried the cat and found the tombstones relating to Yoder but noone talks about it.
After all that has gone on so far, I am left wondering why they dont just leave?
Yoder is now explaining the history of the farm, and I do like the description and the way you write this. It does come across in a very small bit like Children of the Corn, but thats probably because its set in a corn field and you have flames rise up from the ground. Thats pretty much where them similarities end! The rest of this flashback is good, very strong and well written.
And onto the finale, which was good and had its moments. The cat coming back was quite cool.
This is very much like anAmityville film, at least it reminded me of the sequals. Although this was better then any Amityville sequal, it had a lot in common with it. I guess thats just my reaction to a haunted building.
I do like the fact you spend some time bothering to describe mood and atmosphere. I am the same as you on this. I love all that and you did a great job on this.
The characters, Im not sure on. Greg was probably the best in my opinion, and probably Yoder was my second lol. He was different and interesting whilst the rest were pretty plain and ordinary. Which is good because I dont think you need anyone different in this apart from Yoder. ANd Angel of course lol I think this is a good haunted house, or farm in this case, movie and I think you succeed in what you aimed for. It has its moments, and it moves at a decent speed. What I most appreciated probably was the mood and atmosphere you had in this. You set up some nice scenes and using a farm at Xmas time...I cant think of that being done before. Overall, it is solid and entertaining. I look forward to seeing some more stuff from you in the future! Good job!
I'm at work so I've only got through the first 40 pages or so. So far, it's a big improvement. You've tightened things up without losing any of the atmosphere. It reads a lot quicker without the camera directions.
In a script containing so much vivid, elegantly written description, this one sticks sticks out like a sore thumb. I know it's a quick transition to the bedroom but a brief description of the farmhouse interior would be nice.
Is the videogame image new? I don't remember actually seeing the game in the last draft. It's a nice transition but to me it screams MATCH CUT rather than DISSOLVE. (Wait! does that count as direction??? somebody owes me a dollar)
EXT. THE SAME FIELD WHERE WE FIRST MET ANGEL- DAY It's been said before but this a real awkward scene heading. Just have EXT. ANGEL'S FIELD- DAY and then explain in the description that it's where we first met her.
Pages 5 and 6. Greg asking "Why is she looking at you like that?" and "it's kind of weird". I think this was in the original draft and I didn't mention it but this dialogue feels off to me. I know why it's there but they've just met Angel and he's talking like she's not there. Mary El should at least say something to Greg to signal that he's being rude or insensitive. Perhaps consider having Greg and Mary El introduce themselves to Angel first and then show Angel react when Gaskins enters. Just a thought. As a whole, the scene works extremely well.
Mary El's character in the early exchanges seems much better. I'm not sure what exactly you changed but it's definitely better.
The backstory with Mary El losing a child seems have improved.
The shower scene is really creepy, don't know if this went through a rewrite but works great.
I still love the Ty - teddy bear thing. Awesome.
I'm gonna have to stop here cos I have work to do. I'll review the rest later.
So far, as your signature says, "tighter, scarier, better". It's great to see you've incorporated a lot of the feedback from these boards. It's made it a much tighter script.