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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  Flytrap Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: September 8th, 2018, 11:08am Report to Moderator
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Flytrap by Sean Elwood - Horror - Six friends take a trip to the mountains, only to find that the house they're staying in is alive, and it needs to feed. 81 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Cacutshaw
Posted: September 9th, 2018, 8:42am Report to Moderator
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A rollicking good time. Kind of reminded me of a toned done, all dude Hausu! Very fun.

Just a couple notes.

I like the idea of a "Guy's Weekend" horror film, but it seems like the only portrayals of women could be viewed as negative. The only woman we see is a bimbo called "Blondie" who puts a character's hand on her boob and the only ones we hear discussed are gals who have their boyfriend p-whipped. Perhaps if you balanced this by having a waitress who sees through the guys bullshit or something, these other portrayals wouldn't stand out so much.

A lot of the characters seem to blend together, probably because they all have the same goal, which is to have  a good ole time. Once the film is cast, of course we are going to be able to tell them apart, unless they cast quintuplets or something, but it might spice things up if they had more distinct personalities. Like having a character having outgrown "honouring" Connor by getting shitfaced and acting the same way they did when they originally ignored him. Or having a character peeved that Peter is coming along on "their" weekend. Or even have one of the guys bring his girlfriend to the other character's dismay, and this might help the script not feel like a sausage fest. Also, it would create some dramatic conflict while we wait for the full blown horror to kick in.

I liked the theme of suicide that runs through the script. I thought it might be interesting to have the guys worry that Peter might be relapsing when it is just the house trying to kill him (eg. the garage is filled with fumes when Peter leaves and Mikey has to take charge, unlike what he did with Connor. But the ironic thing would be he's wrong this time). Just a thought.

Lastly, I would like to understand a little bit more about Frank. I figured he's kind of the caretaker, providing the house with tasty treats, but it would be interesting to see a bit of his real personality rather than the "character" he plays to trick the guys into renting the house.

This was a really fun horror story that I'm sure would play like a movie version of one of those fairground Haunted Houses once it gets going. Great job!
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Zombie Sean
Posted: September 11th, 2018, 10:52am Report to Moderator
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Hey Christopher,

Thank you for reading and for the sufficient notes! Very good points that you've brought to my attention that I didn't think of before, or were moreso in the back of my mind than anything.


Quoted Text
I like the idea of a "Guy's Weekend" horror film, but it seems like the only portrayals of women could be viewed as negative. The only woman we see is a bimbo called "Blondie" who puts a character's hand on her boob and the only ones we hear discussed are gals who have their boyfriend p-whipped. Perhaps if you balanced this by having a waitress who sees through the guys bullshit or something, these other portrayals wouldn't stand out so much.


You are so right about this. I didn't want the script to come off as misogynistic in any way, shape, or form, but considering it's about a "guys weekend" and they act like men for the most part, it does really come off that way now that you mention it. Someone critiqued this script before I posted it and they mentioned something along the lines of making one of the characters female, even the main character Mikey (and just changing the name to Michele or something similar). I considered it, but I felt it would throw things off, though it's not completely unusual for one girl to hang out with a group of guys. That way there'd be a strong female character to help unbalance the "sausage fest" (lol) and also promote some strong feminism in the script. Let me consider more about making this less "manly" and more balanced with gender roles.


Quoted Text
A lot of the characters seem to blend together, probably because they all have the same goal, which is to have  a good ole time. Once the film is cast, of course we are going to be able to tell them apart, unless they cast quintuplets or something, but it might spice things up if they had more distinct personalities. Like having a character having outgrown "honouring" Connor by getting shitfaced and acting the same way they did when they originally ignored him. Or having a character peeved that Peter is coming along on "their" weekend. Or even have one of the guys bring his girlfriend to the other character's dismay, and this might help the script not feel like a sausage fest. Also, it would create some dramatic conflict while we wait for the full blown horror to kick in.


Gah, this was another issue that I had and tried to give each character as much as a voice as possible, but they still blend in with one another. I had Richard as the asshole, Kellen as the smart guy (who ends up doing a 180 with his attitude once Richard disappears), Peter as the pessimistic shy dude, Steve as kind of the mediator, Brandon as the drunk, and Mikey as the good bro. But I do understand that they all sort of blend together. I'll try working more on each of their voices. I like the idea of having one character peeved that Peter is tagging along, considering he isn't part of "the gang" and doesn't know who Connor is. I also like the idea of another character bringing a girlfriend along, though to me it'd be a bit difficult to squeeze her in there but I can make it work. Thanks for the suggestions!


Quoted Text
I liked the theme of suicide that runs through the script. I thought it might be interesting to have the guys worry that Peter might be relapsing when it is just the house trying to kill him (eg. the garage is filled with fumes when Peter leaves and Mikey has to take charge, unlike what he did with Connor. But the ironic thing would be he's wrong this time). Just a thought.


Good thought. That's sort of (emphasis on sort of) what I tried to bring up when Steve goes into Peter's room to talk to Peter after he and Mikey have their little fit. I might have an idea or two to play off of this. Thanks for the suggestion.


Quoted Text
Lastly, I would like to understand a little bit more about Frank. I figured he's kind of the caretaker, providing the house with tasty treats, but it would be interesting to see a bit of his real personality rather than the "character" he plays to trick the guys into renting the house.


You're not the only one who wants to know more about Frank. I tried to make him as minor as possible, and be the "lure" of the house, allowing the guys to enter the house, and then he disappears because he's done his job. I want audiences to wonder if he really exists, or if maybe he was a previous victim of the house and he's moreso a ghost or a manifestation of the house itself. I originally had him as a real person who actually owned the house and was luring people into the house so that it can feed on them and whenever he stayed there the house would be too full to eat him, something kind of like that, but I felt it was too cheesy and trope-y, so I made him more as a manifestation of the house itself.

I maybe have an idea for an extended ending, and thought about having a car pass by Mikey and Peter as they're walking down the road that contains a family of, say, four or five, and they're the next victims to stay at the house for vacation. And they arrive to the house, and see Frank standing on the porch the same way he was when he was out to greet the gang earlier in the script. Just to kind of play on his character a bit more. I dunno. We'll see.


Quoted Text
This was a really fun horror story that I'm sure would play like a movie version of one of those fairground Haunted Houses once it gets going. Great job!


Thanks again for reading! I wrote it as a B-horror movie and was entertaining myself the entire time I was writing it, so I hope it shows that I had fun writing it, and I hope you had fun reading it as well.

Sean


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Dreamscale
Posted: September 17th, 2018, 6:09pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Sean, thought I'd give this a shot, as I see the comments aren't rolling in.

I read the first 10...actually a few times...and then read/skimmed to Page 15.

Obviously, these are just my thoughts, questions, suggestions, etc., so take them for what they're worth.

As I always suggest, don't go generic...whether or not it really matters, naming places and using real places (cities, etc) adds depth, realism, and enhances the read.  You open with "INT. BAR", then go to "EXT. BAR", meaning, we have no clue where we are or what season we're in.

Your opening passage is a real turn off to me, starting with a "sentence"  beginning with a contraction "it's", and ending with a slang "hoppin'".  Then we go the 2nd sentence, and you end it with another slang, this time a swear word.  Not good, IMO.

You intro your main Protags as "FRAT BROS", which again is a slang, but also very confusing to me.  All in all, there are 6 of these guys, with ages ranging from 23 all the way up to 29!  WTF?  In reality, even 23 is just about as old as a college kid, or Frat Bro would be, but 29?  What the Hell is this guy doing in college still?  Is he on the 12 year plan or what?     OK, obviously, situations vary, and 1 guy is in his Doctorate, but these ages don't make sense to me and I'm wondering why you would choose these ages, when normal college kids would be 18-22, 23 at max.

You use the phrases "guys" and "gang" early on, but when we jump forward 4 years, you actually refer to the group as "the boys" - one of these "boys" is 33 years old!  Just seems kind of weird to me.

It's not super apparent, but I do understand that Peter is Mikey's younger brother.  And we find out they live together.  For me, this is another unrealistic plot point...at 25 and 29, they share a house, but the way they communicate doesn't sound like they even know each other, based on the fact that Mikey has to explain what the trip is about/for, and then Peter's comment of, "Wow, you accountants can really afford a lot." - just doesn't sound remotely realistic to me...which leads me to the next issue...

...this "cheap as shit" vacation house for $175/night outside Winter Park.  Although it does sound very nice, it's nowhere near cheap as shit, and I actually even did a few google searches and found even better deals on bigger places.  Don't get me wrong, it sounds like a good deal, but it's far from this amazing deal Mikey is making it out to be.  And, with 5 or 6 dudes going, we're talking around $30/night each (at this nightly rate), which is jackshit, meaning, who cares about the cost?  At $300/night, it's a cheapass vacation.  Know what I'm saying?

For me, way too much banter that doesn't really go anywhere or individualize any of the characters.  As the other reviewer said, this feels like a sausagefest in the making and I implore you to add some babes...if not immediately, have some chickies make their way to the vacation house, as all good horror movies need babes...and butts...and tits.

Concept-wise, I actually really like it!  A house that needs to feed and a mysterious man who leads the innocent to the hungry house.

I also like how you revealed that the house is in Winter Park and even threw in some real-life bar/restaurants (yes, I looked them up and I've also skied Winter Park numerous times).

I don't like how we don't know where the guys all live/went to college.  Are we to believe it's somewhere near Winter Park?  Do they all still live nearby each other or did some of the group have to fly in?  Little details go so far to bring things to life.

Hopefully this will help.  Best of luck with it, bro.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Anon
Posted: September 21st, 2018, 8:21am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


...this "cheap as shit" vacation house for $175/night outside Winter Park.  



I did the season in Winter Park. Loved it. Are you writing from experience, Sean?
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