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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Happy Anniversary - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Happy Anniversary - OWC  (currently 2602 views)
Posted: February 15th, 2015, 10:05am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Happy Anniversary by Dr. Oliver Thredson - Short, Horror - {no logline} - pdf, format

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

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Don  -  February 15th, 2015, 10:21am
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Posted: February 15th, 2015, 12:07pm Report to Moderator

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A take on the urban legend about a couple who is killed by someone they randomly met in a parking lot.  The story is adequately constructed. It's also predictable since the legend is so well known.

A few items to consider:  

The passage about the kid at camp doesn't have any payback. Now, if he came back from camp, that would be up there with "drying off" the dog.

The phone scene was a tradtional way of exposition but try to do something more interesting.

I haven't stabbed anyone but I don't think blood flows slowly from a head wound. Nor is the knife easy to pull out of the skull.

The ending could have been drawn out a bit more so we have time to accept the death scene. Some catchphrase from the story might help,

Oh yeah, loglines do help.

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Posted: February 15th, 2015, 12:50pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Oh man...I wish I could be more positive here. I really, really do.  But I can't.

The writing on display here is very, very poor.  Incredibly awkward.  Mistakes everywhere.  Dialogue so wooden and phony, it actually comes across as a spoof, parady, or...pisser.  The asides do nothing but add to the irritation.  And, once again, we have CONTINUED on the top and bottom of every page.  Really?

The story and plot is just so heavily padded with stuff that goes nowhere, means nothing, and again, is just so completely unbelievable.

Nothing of any importance happens until the bottom of Page 4, and again, it's all written so poorly, it comes off almost comedic.  Then we get to the "party", which lasts an incredible 1/2 page.  The killer then shows up, violently kills both our Protags, and finally he puts the cute family dog in the microwave oven.  The end.

There's no tension here.  No horror, accept for the killings themselves, but again, the way they're written, all potential power is completely lost.

What's with the "Daddy cool" line?  No clue whatsoever, and it's used twice.

The POV's are completely unnecessary and incorrectly used and written.

Sorry for being harsh, but this did not work in any way, shape, or form for me

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: February 15th, 2015, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Lots of stuff going on here but it's not written that well as Jeff pointed out. Maybe the author was strapped for time?

It has its moments of horror especially the end. It just needs more work to get us there.

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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 2:58am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I really liked the ending - the wet pup put into the microwave for getting dried - that was the highlight of your story in my opinion. Because it's really funny, and because it's something we see in the set up.
Daddy forgot the pup outside and the pup got wet.

There are a lot of other things used in the set up. Like the kid in the camp. And the whole anniversary thing. These had to be played out at the end. Otherwise you have just a slasher here.
And it's easy to right a slasher - you describe some random person, his life, his wants, his plans. Then bam - he gets killed.

It's hard to make a horror script something more than that but some manage.

I think the kid in the camp should pay off somehow. And the "happy anniversary" theme as well. I like the song from Boniem - I love that song. Now it's in my head for the day))
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: February 16th, 2015, 3:18am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

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I could write the same review for 99% of these OWC scripts.

They are basically the same old story, extended to an enormous length. You have whole story lines here that are used solely for the purpose of extending the length of the script...few of them pay off in any way, either in terms of story structure or in terms of theme.

Sorry to be so negative. It was a brutally difficult challenge, and it's done for all the scripts I have read.
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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 4:28am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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This is obviously a writer that knows what they are doing... however:


DOTTY VANCE (51) - Her curly black hair so bouncy it
makes her face look thinner, when really itÔŅĹs not.

Asides are fine when done well... they definitely don't come under 'done well' when they simply reiterate information that precedes them. Makes her face look thinner, already says that it really isn't that thin. The aside is unnecessary here.


Be out in a minute.

(whispering into
Gotta go. Bye.

There's a line of action missing. Or perhaps another character's dialogue?

OK... a straightforward slasher. Not too bad. But not good enough either.

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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 7:00am Report to Moderator

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The lack of a logline will bite you, but it's a nice lesson for future scripts and OWCs.

So uh, he kills them because they smudged his car? Damn, man, really hope I never meet any of these psychos. There's a lot of setup but not much payoff, the Man really just ruins all flow in the script, too basic, too simple, needs more logic and needs more reasoning. Not for me unfortunately.
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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 9:44am Report to Moderator
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Huh.  This one didn't do it for me, I'm afraid.  No logline, for starters.  Then, the story seems to be all over the map. A husband who seemingly forgets his anniversary. And a murderous revenge story due to a parking lot scrape?  It just didn't make any sense to me.  There are several typos (primarily of the its vs. it's kind), but that's an easy fix.  The bigger issue for me was the story.  Stick to one urban legend, and that would be one way to tighten it up...!  )

There's obviously a decent UK writer behind here somewhere (lines like the description of Dotty's face hint at that.)  But the story itself?  For me, it really doesn't work.  
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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 1:23pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

Buy the ticket, take the ride

That's me in the corner
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I don't know...I found this one to be very dull, with lots of filler.  I mean, our opening scene spends half a page talking about sending some kid to camp, and it ends up having nothing to do with anything.

The may-or-may-not-be-scratched car provides only the thinnest of motivations, and the final two lines fail to justify all that went before in search of an urban legend.

There are a few nice passages here and there, but it is decent writing in search of a story.  Swing and a miss for me.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 1:02pm Report to Moderator

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Too much fluff in this one.  Setups need payoffs, and payoffs need setups.  That this is an anniversary doesn't make any difference.  Could be just a quiet night at home.  Unless the killer is one of the guests, brought along by someone else.  Putting the dog in the  microwave is simply cruel.  Why kill the dog?  In any case, this would be much scarier if the parking lot man had terrorized them before killign them.  

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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 5:52pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I like the Anniversary element of the story but there didn;t seem to be enough setup or foreshadowing of the ending.

Writing perfectly good, but didn't do it for me.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 10:59pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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There's some interesting stuff here, but some things don't quite work.

The title page is bold. There are a few typos, missing words, on-the-nose/unnatural dialogue, ...

and the proper way to write a phone scene would be:

Quoted Text
(into phone)
Hey, Paul! 'Sup, man?

Are you alone? I've got bad news...

Not the best dialogue above, lol, but just to show you how to write phone conversations.

I saw several orphans in action lines. Try to keep it on one line or add one more word to the empty line.

The POV stuff is unnecessary, and usually a no-no in specs.

I found quite a few missing commas that read awkwardly.

The anniversary party is too short and the killer is too random. He just seems to appear out of nowhere/thin air. That said, the ending was a highlight in this otherwise muddy script.

Grading method:
Remember Me For Centuries = A+, A, A-
An elephant never forgets = B+, B, B-
Don't You Forget About Me = C+, C, C-
I Forgot to Remember to Forget = D+, D, D-
I forgot = F

I'm gonna have to go with the Breakfast Club theme, Don't you... forget about me. A solid C+

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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 11:56pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Pg. 3 ďKNOCK KOCK!Ē Immature typo

The comments knocked me for more of a loop than the script did. My take is that there isnít supposed to be a story here. I took this to be like Fruitvale Station. A simple recounting of this coupleís last day alive told in as unadorned way as possible. Itís meant to feel naturalistic. Common narrative tropes would be disruptive. Life doesnít have set-ups and payoffs and the appearance of them would detract from the purpose. Itís a character piece, except even making this couple too interesting would defeat the point, because normal people arenít interesting. Their days are mundane, purposeless and when death comes itís just as devoid of meaning. Here's a puppy...

That the Man has the most pointless of motivations is the essence of this UL and can only be conveyed in a broader story by emphasizing the narrative-less nature of life.

Other things that surprised me? The writing was easy for me to get through. Itís not perfect. A number of punctuation issues, but I stumbled on far less than most Iíve read. The only flub that actually made me pause was that there was no proper intro for MAN. Maybe thereís a point about keeping him vague, but you need to set him in the scene properly. I thought the couple was likable, which was all they needed to be. The dialogue was good, but ďmovieĒ good. Itís not quite as naturalistic as youíd want it to be for what Iím assuming this is.

My only major gripe is the killing, which isnít as brutal or real as youíd want it. Stabbing someone in the head with a knife is not easy (looking at you Walking Dead) and it cheapened what you had. Iíd even consider switching to a blunt instrument like a tire iron and just have the Man beat them to death. Finally, the microwaved dog might be over the top. Cruelness for the sake of cruelness. I think it would be just as oddly disturbing to see the Man throw the dog some scraps from the table before leaving.

So writer, if all this sounds like what you were going for, at least one person got it. Though to be honest, even when you nail this kind of thing, most people still donít care for it.
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Posted: February 18th, 2015, 6:44am Report to Moderator

At my signal, unleash Hellboy

St Albans, England
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There seems to be a fair few dogs turning up in these OWC's. Some of them coming off second best it seems as well.

Story wise, it didn't hold much for me unfortunately. I wasn't expecting the ending, but that's because I was expecting something to happen with the relationship between Dotty and Larry, rather than the nutcase from the car park.

I'm also not too sure what the significance of the times on the watches were. Was that something specific about the urban legend?

Writing wise, it wasn't too bad, but there were typo's and the occasional odd sentence which I had to go over again.
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