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Good to see another story from you. Hopefully everything has been good with you since the last time we spoke. The story itself was a bit hit and miss for me. I like where you were going with this but the ending didn't do it for me. How did Rachel know that Joel was who he was? Was she a cop? Also, since she did know that he was a crazed serial killer than why not be more prepared when he approached her. Wouldn't she carry a gun? A knife? Something to help defend against him? Another thing, from the moment she got hit from behind with a crowbar, everything went south for me. With no clear cut plan, what was she hoping for? She knew he was dangerous but she held her guard down and was hit from behind. A crowbar would do some serious damage to someone, even killing them if hit hard enough but Rachel was able to get up and be ready to fight like nothing happen.
You definitely have something here, Gabe. Just need a little reworking.
Starting off, I'm not feeling the logline on this one. It's very vague and doesn't really tease me into reading it but I gave it a shot.
It may be me but one thing that kills it for me is when settings from other movies are referenced in the action lines. It just comes off as a bit lazy and also dependent on the reader having seen that particular movie. Even if the movie is widespread and known by the greater population, there are always people who haven't seen it (I've never seen the movie The Hitcher btw). This is in personal taste but it's just how I feel.
"What you going has?" Should be, "What you going as?" This mistake tripped me up a bit and I reread it a few times before I pieced it together.
It got a bit chatty for me during the car ride. Just a little back-and-forth conversation, most of which could be snipped here and there. I think it could have used a bit more imagery and action as there wasn't much aside from the grins.
Dirk made a great point in that Rachael took a HUGE risk with this plan. She had a backpack but I don't think she could have gotten anything out of it after being knocked out. Perhaps a lock pick to undo the handcuffs though she would need to have already had it.
There's just too many questions between the attack and the revenge for me. The lead up to the kidnapping didn't really do it for me either. Car rides are awesome for planting the seeds of your story IMO so I suggest using it to your advantage. I hope this helped a bit. Take care.
What up, Mr. Ripley? Like others, I too am glad to see somethign new from a longtime contributor and decided to give it a look.
I'm sorry, but 1 page is as far as I got, as there are numerous mistakes, right out of the gate, and I already know exactly where this story is going to go.
Your 2nd line is very, very poor and it's like a big old red flag waving at me, telling me to beware. Check this out - "The setting looks like a something out of the movie "the Hitcher"." How many mistakes are in this 1 line? Well, let's see - "a" shouldn't be here. "the Hitcher" - "the" should be capitalized, since you're quoting an actual movie. But which Hitcher are you referring to, 1986 original or 2007 remake? You shouldn't ever quote a movie to descibe something anyway. Finally, the biggest mistake is even considering using such a cheesy, bad analogy.
Slug work is terrible, sorry to say. "DESOLATE HIGHWAY" becomes "HIGHWAY" just 2 SLugs later. "MOVING CAR" becomes "JOEL'S CAR" just 2 Slugs later. I skimmed ahead and see on Page 3, it becomes simply "CAR". These mistakes are simply unexcusable, IMO.
Why do we get Joel's middle initial? If it comes into play later, my apologies, but if it doesn't, it's downright goofy to give it.
"A lion in a jungle." - SOme may appreciate this line, but definitely not me. It's very cheesy. It's very cliche. And, it's either a very telling giveaway, or an obvious red herring. My advice is to stay far away from using analogies like this in a script.
"He slows, moves the car to the side, and stops near..." - Remember, this is an INT scene we're in, so this entire line is out of place, really. I guess you could film this from inside the car, but my bet is that your intent is an EXT shot here.
The comma after "short" in the next line is not only incorrect, it's humorous, and that's never a good thing. "long blue jeans"? As opposed to short blue jeans? Agan, this comes off as humorous and it just completely takes me out of the story.
Read the lines that follow in the next Slug, which is an INT scene again. Many of therse actions and lines are taking place EXT, not INT.
I was all done here, sorry to say. Don't mean to be harsh or mean but I think it's important to point things out that are downright incorrect, otherwise, you may never realize it. Keep at it, Gabe and work through these kinds of issues so what you present looks the part.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Assuming the title is after the girl's name...may want to spell them the same.
Need a new slug after this: Rachael enters Joel’s car. Bottom of page 1.
Used the wrong name: THOMAS. Bottom of page 2.
Dialogue like this and through needs work. I’m heading to a Halloween party that a couple of my friends are having until my car broke down. Read your dialogue out loud to yourself. That's what I do. Or read it to someone else. I never catch my dialogue issues when I read my work silently.
Typo: What you going has. Has should be 'as'. Top of page 3.
In Joel's dialogue: know where your going...your should be 'you're' page 3.
Rachael's dialogue: Where you’ve been? Sounds awkward...maybe So, where all you been? page 5
Two miles isn't that much of a trek....not for dehydration and stuff...may reconsider making the distance a bit longer a walk when she mentions it.
Gap between your sentence: back, and exits. page 7.
You may want to look at your descriptions and action sentences and shorten them up or reword them ...edit mostly. Like: With the duffel bag at tow, he opens the passenger door and carries Rachael out and into the WOODS. .....could be: Duffel bag over one shoulder, he pulls Rachael out, throws her over the other. Heads for the woods. ...not saying that is better...but just read and edit your work.
Instead of putting the slug and Joel’s car is the only thing on this highway...it may be better to show a semi zoom by the deserted car or something. If we think there may be some hope for the victim...it ups the stakes I think.
Is this part of your job too. "?" Page 7. And I'm wondering why is she not more concerned that she has a knot on her head and is tied to a tree.
How does she punch him if her hands were handcuffed behind her back as they were earlier? Did she get out of them? I was thinking she was handcuffed and secured to the tree. It would be hard to get a punch out like that (even for me)
crouch should be 'crotch' on page 9.
Very quick, her nails grow and pierces Joel’s crouch. Blood juts out. 'crotch' again and blood does not 'jut' out...well usually. Page 9.
And why does her nails grow? There was no hint earlier she was anything supernatural. Is she something supernatural? If so, you may give us a tiny few subtle hints maybe. I like the way the shit was turned around on Joel. He got what he deserved sort of.
How did she get out of the handcuffs and all?
This was pretty good...could be better I think. I didn't care too much for the characters. There was mostly dialogue and you can't really skirt around that if they are in the car the whole time...but it needs sprucing up and I'd rather see three pages of good dialogue then to see a slug just used to break up the long pages of dialogue. It slows the reading and if it isn't necessary...why put them in? I like your stories. Enjoyed reading this. Keep up the good work Gabe.
you read a lot so I hope you get a lot of reads in return.
Page 1. I've never seen the Hitcher, I don't think. Maybe describe it instead of comparing?
A lion in the jungle? What does that mean? Don't they live on the savannah?
What young girl hops into a car with a strange man in his mid 30s? I think you need to come up with a really strong reason for her to get in the car with him. It's too stupid a move of her for me to buy into it. Even if later it turns out that she's a killer, she needs to act apprehensive about it.
Page 2. Unnecessary orphan. I'm sure you can rework the snake sentence to lose it.
Page 3. What you going as…
Not sure why you added the description of the car in a low angle passing from right to left. Is it significant to the story or are you just trying to make a break from inside the car? If you are, maybe try some O.S dialogue over some EXT visuals instead. The passing from right to left, just seemed really weird and off. IMHO.
Page 4. You describe King as a quiet place, but in the next sentence, it's a dangerous place with some poor people acting like animals. I know you're trying to foreshadow, but IMO, you should probably be a little more subtle and not make Joel's comments so contradicting.
Hmmm….here we have the low angle car passing again. What's the significance?
Page 5. Too on the nose here from Joel, unless we're going to see some reversal here soon.
I actually haven't seen Friday 13th either. Or maybe I have but it's been so long ago and it didn't make an impression on me that I have no idea what the scenery is supposed to look like here.
If two miles are too far too walk then youth is indeed in trouble these days. Dehydration would have got her????
Page 7. You have a space/line break in the first paragraph.
Another odd action paragraph with just one sentence telling us that his car sits alone by the highway. Maybe add something to it? Reads odd right now, IMO.
Page 8. She punches him with a right hook? I thought she was handcuffed?
I'm having a bit of an issue with Rachael overpowering Joel with just her physical self. No weapons or tools or anything. You described her as very short and she's also young. He's a 35 year old man. Unless there's some supernatural stuff going on, I don't by it.
Finished. Good job Gabe!!! Not confusing or anything! My only real issues here were that I predicted the ending from very early on. You pointed out Joel to be the bad guy so strongly that I felt the opposite would turnout to be the truth. Well, he was a bad guy, but I knew Rachael would be even worse. I think the title sort of gives that away too.
Maybe have Rachael act more hesitant about getting into his car in the beginning. Let their dialogue speak about ordinary things while showing subtle hints in their actions that reveal who they really are. Let us read between the lines. Keep us guessing.
Hey Gabe, one thing I'll say when I read something from you is I know it's going to be quick, no over writing, straight to the point.
Anyway, my thoughts on this piece...SPOILERS
I've never been a fan of introducing a character as 'female' then giving her name one line later. I'd just name her straight away.
Your slugs could be a bit more consistent.
Rachel or Rachael?
Did Joel turn the car off? He starts it up but I don't recall him turning off the engine. No biggie though.
There's a strange scene on page 3, his car passes from right to left? Not sure why it's included, maybe become clearer later?
Joel's speech about the Bachmann area is a little odd, a bit 'on the nose' and 'out of left field'.
'The Hitcher' and 'Friday the 13th' references aren't great, what if someone hasn't seen them?
2 miles is not far at all, or is that just because I walk about 10 miles a day at work?
If Rachael is secured to the tree how does she attack Joel? She was handcuffed in the car so did he not use them to secure her to the tree? Oh wait, Rachael wasn't human, sorry I was a bit slow there.
Actually that's my beef here, the story is okay but there's little to no indication that Rachael is not human until the very end and as a result I feel a bit cheated. Also the speech about the dangerous town folk played no part so I wonder why it was included. Apart from that though I kind of liked this. A nice easy, fast read.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
Hi Gabe, I won't go over any of the technical points others have, cause that will just get boring fast.
The main problem I have with this is it's just a bit too linear. I got the sense from the get-go that Rachel has the upper hand and nothing really came from left field for me. In that sense I didn't get the impression Rachel was ever in any danger and with a piece like this it's vital that at some point I'm surprised or shocked.
By inserting the movie references also, it came across as telling me I must feel scared (plus that's a 'writer' thing, your audience won't get any of that anyway) but the real scares/shocks have to come from the story itself.
I just think you need something else added to the main plot - perhaps another character that looks as if he/she might set Rachel's plan of action off on a tangent?
You've got a really nice mood happening here and it's intriguing from the outset. I just needed a bit more to catch me off-guard.
Hi. Glad to have a chance to read this. Aside from all the technicals mentioned, as well as Rachel's name being spelled differently as in the script, on the while I enjoyed this read. I think your visuals came off fine and descriptive, especially the opening when the Joel's car first appears. Rachel's description was good too--def liked the snake tattoo. It sort of have us an indication of who she was--someone not to be trifled with, athletic, etc. I can't remember if you actually gave her an age. Sorry.
But the part of the story that didn't quite work for me was the ending. We learned that Rachel is somehow superhuman, perhaps vampire or something. Her nails grew quickly, you wrote. That would explain how she escaped from being tied up on the tree. But that all seems a little to neat. Perhaps a cheap way for our heroine to overcome Joel the maniac.
Not big into someone changing into a whatever Rachel was to escape. Personally, I'd much rather see Rachel be a regular woman and use her wits to turn the tables on Joel. But that's just me!
Anyway, a good read nonetheless, even if the end was tied up too "neatly. "
Pg. 3 You write: "From the side at a low angle, Joel’s car passes from right to left." Then on page 4 you write: "From the opposite side at a low angle, Joel’s car passes from right to left." Either Joel is driving back toward Rachael's car, which there's no way for us to know that since the car is still moving right to left, or he's driving in reverse and the camera is on Rachael's side of the car. Either way, it needs to be clarified.
Pg. 5 You write: "Where you've been?" Should be written, "Where've you been?" As you have it, it means, "Where you have been?". Granted this is a line of dialogue, but it doesn't sound right.
Pg. 7 Everything between "BAM!" and "he drops his duffel bag." can be removed. We don't need to see Joel go to the back of his car. We don't need to see the car on the side of the road. All we need to know is Rachael was knocked out and then she wakes up in the woods tied to a tree.
Pg. 8 Don't call it "the choke hold". There isn't just one choke hold.
Pg. 8 Why is Joel's speech muffled? Does he have a rag in his mouth? Is his tongue cut out? Was his mouth sewn shut with the hair of his victims?
::SPOILERS:: Was Rachael was some sort of She-beast exacting revenge on Joel for his crimes? I'm not really sure. I could see this twist coming from the beginning. ::END::
I recognize this from a while ago and it doesn't seem like much has changed. Unfortunately I don't have anything good to say about this script.
Thank you all who've reviewed this short. Now onto my explanations.
GRAMMER AND OTHER WRITING SUGGESTIONS - will go back and look at it. Thanks.
My explanation for my writing choices is that I'm trying to come up with my own writing style in regards to how I write descriptions, character, and dialogue. I always ask myself what is the best way to get an image, a meaning, or a story across. It may take me a while, but I'll eventually get it to a point that some people understand.
But I'm human and will make mistakes. Probably a lot. lol. So I appreciate those who let me know about it.
RACHEL or RACHAEL - didn't even realize this mistake. lol. Fuck! I'll pick one.
THE BELIEVABILITY OF RACHEL KICKING JOEL'S ASS - I guess I wanted that to be the twist. The fact that she is not what she looks to be. Don't judge a book by it's cover.
And what she actually does in terms of fighting is not that much. She mostly punches and dodges. lol. It's not like I have her do a Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter upper cut. lol.
I was even thinking of two actresses to play Rachel while writing her. Either Danielle Harris or Hayden Panettiere. Imagining only the actress' physicality not personality.
I intend to put her in a feature so I'm using this short to develop her a bit.
WHAT IS RACHEL? - Rachel's a demon, but I'm not getting that on paper so well.
I'm going to rewrite this short soon since I've gotten some ideas that can possibly fix that. Crossing fingers.
Hopefully this answers the majority of the questions. If not, feel free to ask.
Haven't read over the thread so these are all first impressions. Also keep in mind I've been out of the screenwriting game for a few months so feel free to take all my words with a grain of salt.
I really like the idea of having the characters going to/coming from locations based on writers. It's a unique little gimmick and helps establish the characters right away, but at the same time kinda spoiled the ending for me. Once I found out Rachel was going to King I knew she was gonna be some sort of monster.
Still, I found the whole read quick and enjoyable. The ending call from Satan made me laugh out loud.
Based on what others have said in this thread I gather the draft I read is very different from the ones they did, eh?