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  Author    Relentless  (currently 1676 views)
Don
Posted: June 6th, 2022, 3:44pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Relentless by L.Chambers & Pia Cook & Gary M. Howell & Marnie Mitchell & Christopher Nash  - Horror - A domestic abuse survivor living off-grid is forced to confront the fears of her past when a camping reunion with her closest friends puts them in the path of a deadly extraterrestrial entity. 90 pages

Production: Pretty much a one location horror/thriller. Low'ish budget, but with some VFX. This script is a collaborative effort by five Simply Scripts members. We started out with eight writers in January 2021 with each writer writing one sequence. In the end, five writers were still onboard and helped see the project to the end. This is a third draft. Coverage: Two Considers - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work


Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.

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Grandma Bear
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Thanks Don!

Yep, here it is. Took awhile, but I'm proud to be part of this since I think it really has shaped up into something great.  


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LC
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Big thanks to Pia who conceived this project, kept us all on track and never gave up!
And to all the writers who added their words, ideas, and inspiration.


Relentless is The Descent meets Metalhead (Black mirror) meets Predator.
If you're a fan of any of these movies you'll hopefully enjoy this.
And give us feedback!




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eldave1
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Through the first 40.

Digging it.

Really an excellent job on handling a multi-character set-up. I felt each of their distinct personalities.

For what it's worth - my observations:


Quoted Text
EXT. FRONT DOOR - NIGHT

She faces a solitary red door, adorned with a pretty wreath. It stands alone, attached to nothing.

Behind her, FOOTSTEPS. She turns, sees the flicker of fire from a handheld torch approaching.

Panicked, Darby heaves open the door and disappears inside.

I got a little confused here Ė I think maybe because of the header. Itís just a mysterious door in the woods Ė yes? Not a front door (when I read front door I just assumed to a building). And if it is that Ė weíre really not changing scenes Ė weíre still in the woods. Maybe something like:

Then she stops. Stares straight at a --

SOLITARY RED DOOR

Adorned with a pretty wreath.  It stands alone, attached to nothing.

Behind her, FOOTSTEPS. She turns, sees the flicker of fire from a handheld torch approaching.

Panicked, Darby heaves open the door and disappears inside.


Quoted Text
EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

ETHAN (32), a faceless figure in the dark night, smashes a foot against the door. Again and again. The wreath falls.

Not clear to me if Ethan is at the RED DOOR or the exterior door to the airstream. If it is the airstream. Maybe the header should be EXT. AIRSTREAM/DOOR - night


Quoted Text
Her swimsuit reveals a nasty BURN SCAR spread across her chest and some of her right arm. Years old.


Her swimsuit reveals? Iíd just say Ė nasty burn scars on her torso and arm.

INT. 4RUNNER - DAY

Darby!

WOMANíS VOICE (O.S.)

Darby jolts awake. She blinks hard. Disoriented.


Quoted Text
You need more info in the above header. Are we in the woods, parking lot Ė Iíve lost my bearing location wise.



Quoted Text
EXT. 4RUNNER - DAY

Airstream in tow, the 4Runner travels down a long, two-lane road that cuts through a dense forest.

INT. 4RUNNER - DAY

Iíd just combine the two headers

INT/EXT. 4RUNNER Ė FOREST ROAD (TRAVELING) - DAY


Quoted Text
And in a pool of blood, Adrienneís mutilated fingers.

MEG
Oh fuck. Adrienne...

Unfazed, Shannon scoops up the fingers and pockets them.

I think this and the line that follows is way underplayed. They just found her severed fingers Ė their reaction is more akin to finding a phone or something. This should be a screaming WTF moment Ė itís too nonchalant.


Quoted Text
SHANNON
Sheís gonna want these when we find her. Címon.


More to come - very nice job so far.












My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: June 6th, 2022, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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Okay - done


Quoted Text
DARBY
Meg!

The 4Runner moves fast. Darby sprints after it. She pulls at the passenger side door. Locked.

This visual was a little tough/unbelievable to me. The 4runner already tore away at top speed (it moves fast) Ė But Darby can catch it and look through the window? I couldnít visualize how this was possible.


Quoted Text
EXT. WOODS - 4RUNNER - NIGHT

One of the tires sinks into a patch of soft dirt, allowing Darby to catch up on the driverís side.


But she already caught up in the scene before Ė they were staring at each other face to face. I think you need to change this to all of Darcy and Megs interactions happening after the tires sink into the dirt.



Quoted Text
SHANNON
We know the 4Runner can start, but the camper hitch is destroyed. Our only chance is getting to them.


Iím a bit lost as to why they just canít take the 4-runner and leave the camper. I know Adrienne is weakened Ė but itís her fingers Ė not her legs.


Quoted Text
EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT

The four trudge toward the 4Runner, Darby supporting Tress, Meg supporting Adrienne.

Behind them, the Airstream continues to flash, but the Stalkerís screams have stopped.

TRESS
You think you can get the 4Runner started?

Isnít the 4runner stuck in mud?


Quoted Text
DARBY
I thought it was him. I really did. Sending something to kill me, somehow. But he was just another voice this fucking thing picked up.

ADRIENNE
Alien...Terminator.

Too many times with the Alien-Terminator line. Itís getting over done.


Quoted Text
A second leg. The Stalker pulls itself out of the water and up onto the board.

DARBY
So much for plan B.


Not crazy about his line Ė too nonchalant for the situation.

Okay - overall - really good job, IMO - Couple of macro thoughts.

You had this great mysterious red door in the beginning - then we never hear of it again. I would either use it as a plot point somewhere or nuke it.

Not crazy about the ending - too abrupt.

I would add a plot point to close the Ethan loop ... Have Ethan he a cop or something that gives him access to a radio - somehow he is contacted (maybe one fo the girls contact him over Darby's protest - whatever - get him to the scene at the end and have the Stalker kill him just before Darcy takes care of the Stalker - maybe even add some tension that she could save Ethan but doesn't.

Not sure you need the baby angle.

I would have liked a little more time between the point where the girls show up at the site and the danger begins - like there ought to have been a campfire sit around sharing stories about what they've been up tp - maybe a foreshadowing of danger but no violence yet - it just came a bit too quick. Hope that makes sense.

Nice job on this - it was a quick read and you have a great villian.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
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Thank you, Dave, for the solid feedback!!

I'm going to wait for others (writers) to chime in on a lot of the individual relevant points you've made, so it's not just me.
Suffice to say I agree on pretty much every point you made, especially the need for more pace, rhythm and setup before the major inciting incident leads to the girls wanting to flee the campsite.

We debated long and hard and had/have a few different setups, including a slower burn, but went with this draft for now.

Re Ethan and his potential demise, I'll personally say I wanted him to cop it. We discussed this as well but the choices made here (for now) were primarily to do with keeping this low budget and to a limited cast, SFX etc.

There's definitely more already written that we could mine.

Very happy you enjoyed a lot of it.


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eldave1
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Quoted from LC
Thank you, Dave, for the solid feedback!!

I'm going to wait for others (writers) to chime in on a lot of the individual relevant points you've made, so it's not just me.
Suffice to say I agree on pretty much every point you made, especially the need for more pace, rhythm and setup before the major inciting incident leads to the girls wanting to flee the campsite.

We debated long and hard and had/have a few different setups, including a slower burn, but went with this draft for now.

Re Ethan and his potential demise, I'll personally say I wanted him to cop it. We discussed this as well but the choices made here (for now) were primarily to do with keeping this low budget and to a limited cast, SFX etc.

There's definitely more already written that we could mine.

Very happy you enjoyed a lot of it.


My pleasure - I do think you have something here.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 7th, 2022, 9:36am Report to Moderator
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Dave, thanks for the notes.  Agree with a lot of what you have said.  I feel like there's still a couple of more rewrites left in this thing and these type of notes are very helpful in that regard.

Gary


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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eldave1
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Quoted from Gary in Houston
Dave, thanks for the notes.  Agree with a lot of what you have said.  I feel like there's still a couple of more rewrites left in this thing and these type of notes are very helpful in that regard.

Gary


Gald I could help


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Grandma Bear
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Just read through your comments Dave. Thanks! There are always things to be tweaked aren't there?   I agree some things like a couple of slug lines need to be changed and it would clear some things up. I had no problem myself with the red door, but you have a good point in that maybe it needs to show up again or something for it not to seem random?

The thing about Ethan has probably a lot to do with me. I insisted on us not showing him or play a real part so that we could still call this an all female cast.

What has been hard working with so many writers is that we're all so different. Every time one of us rewrites it, whether partial or entire script, it changes to that person's liking. Naturally, the next writer puts his/her take on it. It also becomes easy to miss a few things because I think we've all read it numerous times by now, so we probably don't go over it with as close of an eye on the details. Like Gary said, we will do a few more rewrites, but I think there will be smaller and smaller changes each time. It's already COMPLETELY different than our first draft.

Thanks again, Dave.  


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eldave1
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
Just read through your comments Dave. Thanks! There are always things to be tweaked aren't there?   I agree some things like a couple of slug lines need to be changed and it would clear some things up. I had no problem myself with the red door, but you have a good point in that maybe it needs to show up again or something for it not to seem random?

The thing about Ethan has probably a lot to do with me. I insisted on us not showing him or play a real part so that we could still call this an all female cast.

What has been hard working with so many writers is that we're all so different. Every time one of us rewrites it, whether partial or entire script, it changes to that person's liking. Naturally, the next writer puts his/her take on it. It also becomes easy to miss a few things because I think we've all read it numerous times by now, so we probably don't go over it with as close of an eye on the details. Like Gary said, we will do a few more rewrites, but I think there will be smaller and smaller changes each time. It's already COMPLETELY different than our first draft.

Thanks again, Dave.  


My pleasure.

I think you guys are really close on this one and I thnk it is a real marketable concept.  Got a THE BIG CHILL meets PREDATOR to it.

A thought I forgot to mention, I would be real tempted to make one of the ladies (probably Tress) a medical expert (Doctor/Nurse) is I think it is ripe for some immediate medical attention ala Adrienne's condition.

On the door - I loved it in the beginning - thought it was a great device - but alas, not sure if it is warranted given that it is abanondend. For example, if it was a door that lead to the mast and the future that Darby knew about and that they had to get to it to escape the Stalker - okay. But just by itself - I don't know. I know as a reader that I was constantly waiting for it to come back somehow - so tne single mention of it kind of ultimately served as a distraction.

Also though it would be nice to be specific about the girls get together - e.g. they were best friends way back and promised that they would never go more than 10 years (or whatever) without a reunion. (Note: it was also an idea for an alternate title for me -  REUNION).

Anyway - a remarkable job by you guys blending your voices on a single project. You all should be very proud of the product.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
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Quoted from eldave1


My pleasure.

I think you guys are really close on this one and I thnk it is a real marketable concept.  Got a THE BIG CHILL meets PREDATOR to it.

A thought I forgot to mention, I would be real tempted to make one of the ladies (probably Tress) a medical expert (Doctor/Nurse) is I think it is ripe for some immediate medical attention ala Adrienne's condition.

On the door - I loved it in the beginning - thought it was a great device - but alas, not sure if it is warranted given that it is abanondend. For example, if it was a door that lead to the mast and the future that Darby knew about and that they had to get to it to escape the Stalker - okay. But just by itself - I don't know. I know as a reader that I was constantly waiting for it to come back somehow - so tne single mention of it kind of ultimately served as a distraction.

Also though it would be nice to be specific about the girls get together - e.g. they were best friends way back and promised that they would never go more than 10 years (or whatever) without a reunion. (Note: it was also an idea for an alternate title for me -  REUNION).

Anyway - a remarkable job by you guys blending your voices on a single project. You all should be very proud of the product.


Dave, interestingly we had Tress married to a doctor in our early character bios. We had her happy to be a mother and homemaker, but maybe she picked up a lot of knowledge or abandoned her own medical career to be a Mom.

Re the door - this was actually Marnie's inspired work. I never thought of it coming back at some point and thought it pretty self-contained symbolism. I'm still not convinced it needs a top n tail.
A door opening to the past and future is nifty though, as is a door of choices/opportunities, but I might be delving too deep now.  

How it came to be is that we were discussing the much used (and not liked by some) trope of opening scenes in films with 'woman running and being pursued in the woods'.

To me the door worked to break up that trope, added a WTH moment of unpredictability, and added a Lynchian bit of surrealism and symbolism.

I think your suggestion of taking out 'front door' in relation to the door slug is spot on.

Re the title: Reunion. Would just need something as a prefix imh. Dark Reunion, maybe? Hmm, not quite.
Relentless works on two fronts for me - Ethan stalking Darby and now this outerworldly malevolent force. I think I can say for all of us that we remain open to title suggestions though.


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eldave1
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Quoted from LC


Dave, interestingly we had Tress married to a doctor in our early character bios. We had her happy to be a mother and homemaker, but maybe she picked up a lot of knowledge or abandoned her own medical career to be a Mom.

Re the door - this was actually Marnie's inspired work. I never thought of it coming back at some point and thought it pretty self-contained symbolism. I'm still not convinced it needs a top n tail.
A door opening to the past and future is nifty though, as is a door of choices/opportunities, but I might be delving too deep now.  

How it came to be is that we were discussing the much used (and not liked by some) trope of opening scenes in films with 'woman running and being pursued in the woods'.

To me the door worked to break up that trope, added a WTH moment of unpredictability, and added a Lynchian bit of surrealism and symbolism.

I think your suggestion of taking out 'front door' in relation to the door slug is spot on.

Re the title: Reunion. Would just need something as a prefix imh. Dark Reunion, maybe? Hmm, not quite.


All food for thought. PS - re: the title - I think you have a real good one as is - it was just an alternate suggestion and I like your modifier (Dark)....


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts

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ghost and_ghostie gal
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Hmm, you guys seem pretty set on were you are with this, so most of this are just general comments and meaningless thoughts.

Just my humble opinion, etc. I am not a professional screenwriter. Use whatever comments or suggestions you happen to find useful, throw the rest away without a second thought.

I have to say you pulled me in. As I'm reading I was thinking - at first - "Oh, here we go. an opening dream sequence." But  it's well suited in this situation. It reads quite good. Nice pace and tempo to it as it unfolds, quite exciting. You conjure real torture for Darby - horror relies more on mood an atmosphere than dialogue. So kudos.  

But what I really liked about the opening, it gave us a peek into Darbyís psyche, which gave her character arc throughout.

The red door;  Look at it this way - I believe in doing your best to give the reader the experience you want the audience to have. Therefore, if you want the dream to look a little unreal in the movie, you might want to find a way to put that into your description, and that red door helps.

Whilst the script's paced well, believable and well written, youíve got sorta like an ensemble piece here which is never easy...imbuing enough character in the players for me to care. I've rarely ever watched an ensemble piece where I gave a damn about anyone, because no-one ever seems sufficiently fleshed out.  Good job I thought overall, especially with Darby. Personally I didn't care much for Adrienne initially -


Quoted Text
MEG
I canít believe I used to have a
crush on her.


Me neither.


Quoted Text
SHANNON
Itís this, or sit and watch
Adrienne die.


I'm like - "Let her." Sorry.

Trivial as some of my reasons maybe. So, I did take that in to account. I eventually came around towards the end.

When the girls first get together while the set up was good,  It didn't feel potentially scary for me at this point. Sure, the Lenticular Clouds, the owl crashing at Shannon's feet, the high pitched sounds and all, but them packing up to leave cos of that - I just don't think it was  enough to justify them wanting to go at this juncture. I suspect it was to get the ball rolling faster. Minor quibble.


Quoted Text
Adrienne slumps back, her face pale.
ADRIENNE
Okay...Iím just going to nap here.

MEG
No. Adrienne, stay awake.
(to Darby)
How are you gonna get the gas?
Youíll be a sitting duck out there.

Why would Adrienne say this?

Maybe just have her struggling to remain conscious, then cut to Meg's line instead. Just a thought. Unless Adrienne is delirious at this point. Then OK. I can see her saying it.

The third act was good for the most part, but it got to a point where it was driving me bananas. I ran outside and had a primal scream -- feel much better now.   

I mean things just sorta got a bit silly.  Bottom of pg 66, the exchange between Meg&Adrienne about the lucky number forty-three is good. Definitely keep that, but this on pg 73...

Code

GROUND
Meg winds up for another throw.

MEG
Canít hurt me! Iím lucky fortythree.

Meg throws the beer. This one hits hard. Soaking the Stalker
in beer.



I get it, but it comes off as a little bit too silly. Sorry. Also a waste of good beer.

The dialogue was good - some nice quips but some not so much.


Quoted Text
TRESS
Fry, you son of a bitch.


Quoted Text
MEG
Thatís right! Fucking BURN you
piece of shit!


Quoted Text
ADRIENNE
No! No no no. Donít die on me.


There is a coupla others' - I dunno - if anything, one or two are disposable methinks.

Oh oh - I do think itís more effective that we donít really get to see Ethan at all.

On a somber note: Adrienne's sacrifice there at the end, I luv it, I do, but it is almost as if you are missing that special... something... can't put a finger on it. Maybe being a bit more methodically early on would have made it more impactful than it currently is, at least for me.

That's as far as I go, critique-wise. I do like it. It's evident that you ladies&gents have  poured your heart and soul into this. Thought the extraterrestrial angle was very cool...different spin.  Concept is what? Like 90% of it.

Anywaz, I know nothing. G'luck with this.



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mmmarnie
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Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such thoughtful feedback Dave and Ghost!  It will definitely help with the next rewrite!!


ZERO tolerance for RUDE people.
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