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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  Here Comes The Bogeyman
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  Author    Here Comes The Bogeyman  (currently 1883 views)
Don
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 4:51pm Report to Moderator
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Here Comes The Bogeyman by Zack Akers - Short, Horror - When an evil entity demands that a single mother choose one of her two children for a blood sacrifice, she must find a way to save them both. 23 pages - pdf format

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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  December 10th, 2019, 11:31am
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Zack
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Thanks for getting this one up, Don. And thanks for helping me with the logline, Dave.

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LC
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Zack, I have to admit I have a low tolerance for longer Shorts (even though I tend to write them long myself) but at 18 pages this flew by, so all credit to you for keeping up the pace and the suspense.

A few niggles: fazed not phased, he lies back down (not lays), a loveseat (unless it was mentioned first in description, which I don't think it was) and, no need to mention when Mary reappears that she no longer has the wine glass. Decorative side table? I'd delete that amidst the action.You also don't need preambles in description like: With a sense of purpose...[/[i] Mary runs. [i]He WHIMPERS as stumbles and crawls underneath his bed.[/i] - missing word in action there.

Without further scrutiny those things stuck out tech-wise. You also do quite a bit of directing in this but that didn't faze me   - except for the CUT TO: BLACK and subsequent FADE on p.10, which slowed the pace for me.

You open on one light on in the house upstairs. For atmosphere maybe add the flickering light of the TV in the darkened loungeroom below, which you could then MATCH CUT with the first strobe of lightning strikes.

SPOILERS:



My main take-away is a bit of disappointment, sorry to say. After such a terrific build up and a logline that sorta promises salvation, (must find a way...) Mom sure does battle to save her sons but ultimately doesn't deliver.

It's a gripe of mine in modern horror that all too often evil triumphs despite the preceding valiant efforts of good. Call me old fashioned but I'd rather be in an audience of cheering and satisfied customers or else the flying limbs and blood splattered walls just seem in vain. Bring back the heroine! And have her slay that Boogeyman.

I still enjoyed it, but on screen I want to be cheering Mary on, not groaning and waving a fist at her cause she failed.


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Zack
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Thanks for reading, Libby. Happy you thought it read fast. I'm also happy the camera directions didn't bother you. I was really trying to get across how I see this story. Thought maybe I went a bit overboard. Lol.

Thanks for pointing out the typos/writing errors. A few always seem to slip past me. Also agree that I have a tendency to overthink my descriptions. Will try to clean this up in the rewrite.

Love the image of a flickering light in the downstairs window. Anything to add more atmosphere.

SPOILERS




You're reaction to the ending isn't a surprise. I did write another ending, that while dark, isn't nearly as graphic. In that ending, Mary actually chooses one of her boys.

You're not the first one to dislike thiending. But a few others actually praised me for it. I'm mixed, myself. Will think on it more, but I may end up going with the less graphic ending. Or maybe I'll try to write an ending like you suggested, where Mary actually prevails somehow.

Thanks again for reading. Always appreciate your opinion.
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eldave1
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:31pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Zack - gave it a read. A couple of logic issues for me:

This:


Quoted Text
INT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - BATHROOM - LATER

The white tiled bathroom is very clean. The shower is on
full blast, fog consumes the small room.


Struck me as an odd time for Mary to be taking a shower - she should be on full alert.

Why didn't she call Luke to see if he was the one that called from the phone?

Okay - overall - pretty solid writing. I think I saw everything you wanted me to see.

I did not care for the way it ended. It seemed so futile. Luke - or one of the boys - or even Mary needs to save the day, IMO.


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LC
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Ooh, I forgot to add and agree with Dave re the shower scene. Seems very much: huh? After a scare, if you're a bit shaken up there's no way you want to be naked and vulnerable. And, showering at midnight? It's not even a gratuitous scene thrown in as a horror trope either. Be different if we saw Bogeyman's shadow glide by the shower screen.  

Plus, she's not attacked in the shower so it seems unnecessary filler. Perhaps you were going for the calm before the storm so to speak, but it doesn't really add to the plot imh.

Did you have some other idea with this, Zack?


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Zack
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Thanks for read, Dave. Sorry the ending didn't work for ya.

About your issues with the logic of the story, I sort of see your point.

The shower scene was supposed to imply that Mary is trying to push what happened out of her mind. The Deputy is parked just outside, so she feels relatively safe. She's more taking a shower to calm her nerves and help her sleep(that's what I do sometimes when I can't sleep).

I wrote a scene where she talks to Luke again before the shower, but cut it down to get the page count down.. Maybe I should put it back in.

I definitely think Luke needs to come back into the story at the end, to save the day or die trying.

Libby, yeah the shower scene is very much a calm before the storm moment. But if you are both thrown off by it, maybe I should rethink it.

As for further ideas for this, I do think it's worth rewriting, maybe even turning it into a feature. I just want to see if others feel it's worth expanding.

Thanks again for reading, guys.

Revision History (1 edits)
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I think the potential problem for an audience re the shower scene is: dumb female.

As for having Luke turn up and save the day I was rather hoping (as your logline suggests) ...she must find a way to save them both. i.e., Mary is the feisty protag. as advertised, and not have her boyfriend save her. Think:
Jodie Foster - Panic Room, Laurie Strode in Halloween.

Zack, If you can keep the terrific pace going as you have here I definitely encourage you to expand it to feature length. Just make your heroine smart and strong while still being terrified.

I'll butt out and let others weigh in now.


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Zack
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Quoted from LC
I think the potential problem for an audience re the shower scene is: dumb female.

As for having Luke turn up and save the day I was rather hoping (as your logline suggests) ...she must find a way to save them both. i.e., Mary is the feisty protag. as advertised, and not have her boyfriend save her. Think:
Jodie Foster - Panic Room, Laurie Strode in Halloween.

Zack, If you can keep the terrific pace going as you have here I definitely encourage you to expand it to feature length. Just make your heroine smart and strong while still being terrified.

I'll butt out and let others weigh in now.


Thanks for the vote of confidence, Libby. You've given me a good bit to think about. I agree that Mary and the boys shouldn't be saved by Luke at the end. And while I'm not opposed to having Mary defeat the Bogeyman, I'd still like to end this with a gut-punch. Potentially a bittersweet ending.

Not sure which direction I'd take this if I did turn it into a feature. I'd likely just use this short as a template.

Thanks again for all the awesome advice.

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Zack  -  August 31st, 2019, 3:33pm
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eldave1
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Quoted from LC
I think the potential problem for an audience re the shower scene is: dumb female.

As for having Luke turn up and save the day I was rather hoping (as your logline suggests) ...she must find a way to save them both. i.e., Mary is the feisty protag. as advertised, and not have her boyfriend save her. Think:
Jodie Foster - Panic Room, Laurie Strode in Halloween.

Zack, If you can keep the terrific pace going as you have here I definitely encourage you to expand it to feature length. Just make your heroine smart and strong while still being terrified.

I'll butt out and let others weigh in now.


Libby - I agree about the dumb female thing - it was my first thought. I also agree that Luke should not save the day - although I think someone should.

Zack - Promise of the premise is kind of what left me dry on the ending I think. The Sophie's choice - which one should I save - is under served.  I'd love a scene near the end where the Bogeyman is forcing her to make a choice - which one, if you don't select - both. That maybe she even offers herself up - no deal. He wants a young child. Then interaction between the brothers - does one volunteer, etc. etc. - Hope this makes sense


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Zack
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Quoted from eldave1


Libby - I agree about the dumb female thing - it was my first thought. I also agree that Luke should not save the day - although I think someone should.

Zack - Promise of the premise is kind of what left me dry on the ending I think. The Sophie's choice - which one should I save - is under served.  I'd love a scene near the end where the Bogeyman is forcing her to make a choice - which one, if you don't select - both. That maybe she even offers herself up - no deal. He wants a young child. Then interaction between the brothers - does one volunteer, etc. etc. - Hope this makes sense


Definitely giving me a lot of good ideas, Dave. I had considered having Mary offer herself, but one of the boys volunteering... Hadn't thought of that.  Still want Luke to show up at some point.

Thanks again for shooting some ideas my way. Really appreciate it.

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eldave1
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Quoted from Zack


Definitely giving a lot of good ideas, Dave. I had considered having Mary offer herself, but one of the boys volunteering... Hadn't thought of that.  Still want Luke to show up at some point.

Thanks again for shooting some ideas my way. Really appreciate it.


No prob - my pleasure


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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PKCardinal
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I too was thrown by  the shower scene (even before reading Dave and LC's notes.)

I'd highly suggest dropping it. It really adds nothing, and kind of damages your main character.

The only thoughts I had regarding a different potential ending are:

1. I agree with Dave's comment regarding Sophie's Choice. You really set up a scenario where she must choose... but, she never faces that decision. Even if she doesn't make a choice... there should be a moment where she's feeling directly forced to.

2. I, too, think Luke should show up. Which made me think... would Mary offering up Luke satisfy the Bogeyman's bloodlust? Mary simply can't give up one of her children... but, Luke... he's replaceable. It might feel just a tad comedic... but, maybe that would work?

3. I don't think Luke should be the hero. This is Mary's story. If anyone saves the day... it should be her. Though, you could make the argument for Devin saving the day. But, it HAS to be one of those two for sure.


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Zack
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Thanks for reading, Paul. Glad you were able to enjoy it.

Guess it's time to cut the shower scene. Lol.

Appreciate your suggestions for a new ending. I think I've got a pretty good idea on how I can cover all three of your points, while still keeping some dark edge of the original ending.

Thanks again, Dude.
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PKCardinal
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*******SPOILERS AHEAD*******

Readers: I'm not sure if he's posted the new version, yet... but, these notes are for an extended version of the short.


Zack,

Okay... here's what makes it work...

You didn't just go: haha, it was all a dream. If you had stopped it right there, major eye roll.

But, by extending it another 6 pages or so, it felt like a smaller part of a larger story, which worked. And, by making the dream critical to her understanding of how serious the Bogeyman is... it made the dream integral to the story.

So... I liked it.

Poor Devin, though, is going to have major trust issues.

Good job!


PaulKWrites.com

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Zack
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Thanks for reading through this again, Paul. Much appreciated.

I want to do another pass before I share it here. Won't be too long though.
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khamanna
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Well, that was a fast read.

So, as I understand she was the Bogeyman, right? If that's correct you better show why she flipped. Was she sick and tired of caring for the children or else.

If that's not the case (which I doubt very much) then It kind of starts abruptly. I want to know why he chose her. Even for a slasher I'd say show that. Why them?

Did she promise him a child in return for something?

At any rate it starts abruptly for me. I wish there's more explanation to what happened in there. And also I'm not sure if she flipped - so a bit of clarity.

But it kept me on my toes. So, fast read on one hand which is very good.
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Zack
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Thanks for reading, Kham. Happy you were able to get through this quick. Means my writing is getting better.

I did not intend to sugguest that she was the Bogeyman. That tells me that this story isn't clear enough. I'm really curious how you came to that conclusion.

I'm working on a new draft that expands the ending and actually brings the "Sophie's choice" into play. Will hopefully have the new draft submitted soon. Still working out a couple of kinks.

Thanks again for the read. If you'd like me to look at something in return, shoot me a PM.

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Thanks for getting the rewrite up so fast, Don. You're a machine.

Tweaked a few things with this. Axed the shower scene, replaced with something that hopefully works better. Also have a new ending that I think is much more satisfying, why'll still delivering a gut-punch.

Looking for suggestions on how I can squeeze more suspense out of this.

Kham, you mentioned that you felt this started abruptly. And suggestions on how I could punch up the opening?

The plan is to enter this into some competitions.
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khamanna
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Oh ok, Iíll take a look either today or tomorrow. What I meant is - provide some sort of answers. I think that would take care of the start. Why her kids - that question. But maybe just me. And I havenít read the rewrite just yet. Iíll be back...
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Zack
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Thanks, Kham. Looking forward to you thoughts.
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Zack
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Not sure what happened, but some of the pages seem to be blank. Anyone else have this issue? Should I resubmit?
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LC
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Quite a few pages blank. Weird. Wasn't like that when I read it. I think resubmit Zack/query Don?


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Zack
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Not sure what happened. Just resubmitted.
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Revised draft is up. Thanks, Don.

Excited to see what people think of this now.
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Whew! That put me through the wringer.

So, you've combined an exhaustive (eighteen pages) 'it was all a dream' culminating in a spin back to reality and a Sophie's, (or in this case Mary's) Choice denouement.

Zack, am I right in saying Tyler cops it in the end but it's actually he (the younger one) who is the more courageous?

You create the atmosphere of dread very well. That said, I think you could streamline a little bit of the description at the top ( the thunder etc) and it'll still be effective.

I still have a few qualms with regard to Mary's actions. Scared people in horror movies always throw the door wide open to the thing or person they most fear. I'd personally be crouched under a table with the kids in my arms, and a phone in my hand calling the police. I suppose you can justify anything in that first part though cause dreams are illogical. I'm still on the fence about whether I'm buying that really long dream sequence though. It's three-quarters of the entire script.

I do think you need to get rid of this Bogeyman's dialogue.

BOGEYMAN (O.S.)
Not the way this works. You already
know how this ends if you donít
choose. Which one will it be?

Having him speak to this degree doesn't work imho.  It makes him more human than evil entity and his words are just a bit on the nose. You get away with the first 'make your choice' utterance and your audience already knows what the deal is. In that way that dialogue above is redundant and it's scarier to me if he says nothing more.

I can't properly remember the details of the first draft, only that I wanted Mary to be more heroic and less horror movie dumb. She's definitely feisty in this draft.

The point at which the dream ended, the time on her cell phone, the two boys appearing in front of her - is terrific, and very creepy, and we were launched into reality which was was pretty exciting. I thought ooh, a time loop and I was right there on the edge of my seat e.g. Mary knows this bogeyman, knows what he's capable of based on what happened in the dream, so she should be able to use it to her advantage to outwit him.

SPOILERS...



Except... She throws the kid to the wolves, so to speak.
Hmm, it's a very novel out-there choice I'll give you that, but it seems no matter what Mary attempts the Bogeyman is unbeatable and he just rips people's hearts out with little effort. That's the bit that throws me, the inevitability..

Honestly, I'm just not sure...
I dunno... Maybe.
Gonna give it another read...

Okay: part 2, after the second read:

A few typos btw, like this one:
itís pendulum swings

I mainly focused on story so...
If it were me I'd make this feature length with the myth of 'having to make a choice with the children' as background. Perhaps the bogeyman comes with the house. This new single mother (widow) of two boys moves in following the death of her husband perhaps. One of the children starts having nightmares, sees the bogeyman in his dreams, then starts seeing him in his waking hours, in the house, at the shops, at school - this thing appears everywhere but nobody else sees it. Have the new love interest - neighbour perhaps? Kid becomes paralysed with fear, and then the brother starts seeing the bogeyman too. Mother eventually discovers (researches the Internet re the previous house owner) the young woman (also a widow) who lived there was accused of killing one of her children...and so it goes. Then the ending can be Mary fighting the bogeyman with the knowledge she acquires - to save both her kids, unlike the poor first woman who's probably accused of being insane or a psychopath, locked up etc.
Write it as myth, fable, allegory, (women can't survive on their own without male protection) etc. The bogeyman really does exist.

I don't know... It's a good idea  transferring Sophie's Choice to the horror genre and it's about time the horror genre had another fighter, another final girl like Laurie Strode. Make her a heroine, not victim, maybe with a twist or cliffhanger at the end ensuring a sequel.

Of course I could be talking through a hole in my head.  

...

P.S. It's so quiet cause you lot are celebrating Thanksgiving, right? Right!  



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  November 28th, 2019, 10:41am
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Thanks for reading this again, Libby. I'm at work right now, but I'll get back on here and respond later tonight.

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"Whew! That put me through the wringer."

Hope that's a good thing.

"So, you've combined an exhaustive (eighteen pages) 'it was all a dream' culminating in a spin back to reality and a Sophie's, (or in this case Mary's) Choice denouement."

It took me a while to settle on the ending. I really like what I was able to do with this. Tried to hit all the points you guys mentioned in your previous reviews, while still trying to throw in a surprise or two.

"Zack, am I right in saying Tyler cops it in the end but it's actually he (the younger one) who is the more courageous?"

Yes, Tyler is less scared than Devin. Mainly because Devin is the one who had the dream. Tyler isn't really aware of what exactly is happening. The reason Mary chose him over Devin is because he was right there. She didn't have time to think about the decision, she just had to act.

"You create the atmosphere of dread very well. That said, I think you could streamline a little bit of the description at the top ( the thunder etc) and it'll still be effective."

I see what you're saying. I'll go back and see if I can't tighten this up a bit more.

"I still have a few qualms with regard to Mary's actions. Scared people in horror movies always throw the door wide open to the thing or person they most fear. I'd personally be crouched under a table with the kids in my arms, and a phone in my hand calling the police. I suppose you can justify anything in that first part though cause dreams are illogical. I'm still on the fence about whether I'm buying that really long dream sequence though. It's three-quarters of the entire script."

Which of Mary's actions do you disagree with? I changed the shower scene. Not sure what else you could be referring to.

"I do think you need to get rid of this Bogeyman's dialogue.

BOGEYMAN (O.S.)
Not the way this works. You already
know how this ends if you donÔŅĹt
choose. Which one will it be?

Having him speak to this degree doesn't work imho.  It makes him more human than evil entity and his words are just a bit on the nose. You get away with the first 'make your choice' utterance and your audience already knows what the deal is. In that way that dialogue above is redundant and it's scarier to me if he says nothing more."

Agree with you 100%. That line is unnecessary.

"I can't properly remember the details of the first draft, only that I wanted Mary to be more heroic and less horror movie dumb. She's definitely feisty in this draft."

Odd, I didn't really tweak much in terms of Mary's feisty-ness. Only thing I really changed, besides the new expanded ending, is I changed the shower scene to something hopefully more logical.

"The point at which the dream ended, the time on her cell phone, the two boys appearing in front of her - is terrific, and very creepy, and we were launched into reality which was was pretty exciting. I thought ooh, a time loop and I was right there on the edge of my seat e.g. Mary knows this bogeyman, knows what he's capable of based on what happened in the dream, so she should be able to use it to her advantage to outwit him.
SPOILERS...
Except... She throws the kid to the wolves, so to speak.
Hmm, it's a very novel out-there choice I'll give you that, but it seems no matter what Mary attempts the Bogeyman is unbeatable and he just rips people's hearts out with little effort. That's the bit that throws me, the inevitability..."

Figured this ending might be a lot to take in. Lol. The "dream sequence" was set up from the very start, with Devin mentioning that the Bogeyman visited him in his dreams. I could have ended it with the boys waking their mom up, then as they start up the stairs... Four knocks at the front door cause all three to stop dead in their tracks. But I wanted to have the "choice" factor in. And I wanted to bring Luke back into the story. I think I was able to hit all those points with this new ending. I know it's a bit of a gut-punch, but hopefully I set it up well enough for it to feel earned.

"If it were me I'd make this feature length with the myth of 'having to make a choice with the children' as background. Perhaps the bogeyman comes with the house. This new single mother (widow) of two boys moves in following the death of her husband perhaps. One of the children starts having nightmares, sees the bogeyman in his dreams, then starts seeing him in his waking hours, in the house, at the shops, at school - this thing appears everywhere but nobody else sees it. Have the new love interest - neighbour perhaps? Kid becomes paralysed with fear, and then the brother starts seeing the bogeyman too. Mother eventually discovers (researches the Internet re the previous house owner) the young woman (also a widow) who lived there was accused of killing one of her children...and so it goes. Then the ending can be Mary fighting the bogeyman with the knowledge she acquires - to save both her kids, unlike the poor first woman who's probably accused of being insane or a psychopath, locked up etc.
Write it as myth, fable, allegory, (women can't survive on their own without male protection) etc. The bogeyman really does exist."

Interesting idea, Libby. Never thought about having the Bogeyman "come with the house". That's definitely some good food for thought. I do plan on turning this into a feature, but I have to develop the mythology of the Bogeyman more before I even start thinking about that. Why is the Bogeyman tied to this house? Can he be defeated?

"I don't know... It's a good idea  transferring Sophie's Choice to the horror genre and it's about time the horror genre had another fighter, another final girl like Laurie Strode. Make her a heroine, not victim, maybe with a twist or cliffhanger at the end ensuring a sequel."

Lol, just like me. Always thinking ahead and planning a sequel.

Thanks again for reading this, Libby. I always appreciate your opinion.

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Zack  -  December 8th, 2019, 1:05pm
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MarkItZero
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Hey Zack,

That was a quick read. Intense. Wasn't sure about the dream thing at first but it grew on me. You do have to prove to her (and the audience) that she really has no choice.

The only other way I can think is for The Bogeyman to have both kids in his clutches, holding them up by the neck, so she has to choose one or lose both.

That seems less engaging with fewer twists then the way you did it though. Long way of saying, I like the dream.

The only suggestion I have is geared more towards a feature version. I'd say make her more vulnerable. Not that she can't summon some inner reserve of strength later, but make her as susceptible as possible to this monster.

It's trying to take her children. So maybe she has some deep fear of abandonment, she's extremely overprotective. Or, even the opposite, she's struggling to cope with parenting and has unwanted resentment towards her children.

Basically, in some way, the monster is a personification of her fears.

You could possibly work that into the short on pg. 4-6. Maybe she and Luke get into an argument instead. He wants to be more involved with the kids, she's resistant, pushing him away, etc. But I enjoyed the short as is.


That rug really tied the room together.
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Zack
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Hey, James. Thanks for giving this a look. Happy you enjoyed it.


Quoted from MarkItZero

That was a quick read. Intense. Wasn't sure about the dream thing at first but it grew on me. You do have to prove to her (and the audience) that she really has no choice.


At least everyone seems to agree that this is paced well. Glad the dream thing worked for ya. Took me a while to figure out how to incorporate it. Hopefully I did a pretty good job.


Quoted from MarkItZero


The only suggestion I have is geared more towards a feature version. I'd say make her more vulnerable. Not that she can't summon some inner reserve of strength later, but make her as susceptible as possible to this monster.

It's trying to take her children. So maybe she has some deep fear of abandonment, she's extremely overprotective. Or, even the opposite, she's struggling to cope with parenting and has unwanted resentment towards her children.

Basically, in some way, the monster is a personification of her fears.


Great idea. It would definitely give the Mary character some depth. If I do turn this into a feature, I'll certainly explore this further.


Quoted from MarkItZero


You could possibly work that into the short on pg. 4-6. Maybe she and Luke get into an argument instead. He wants to be more involved with the kids, she's resistant, pushing him away, etc. But I enjoyed the short as is.


Another good idea. It would actually give Luke a better reason to show up towards the end. He comes to the house to apologize for the argument.

Thanks again for reading, Dude.
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khamanna
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Zack, I reread it - you added complexity to the story which works for me. I enjoyed the dream part. The fact that it turned out to be true is exciting and sudden - didnít see that coming.

Her choosing one kid was kind of sudden and not in a good way for me. I mean which mother would. U wish she had a reason at all. The way youíre telling it, it should have been Devin. But she went for Tyler. Maybe Devin jumps into Bogeymans arms himself and she gives her permission to Bogeyman to have him sort of? I donít know but this is not motherly way to do. And also she has to be likable as your main character but the ending made me really dislike her. I wonder if itís just me.
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Zack
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*SPOILERS*





Hey, Kham. Thanks for reading through this again. Happy to hear you understood it better. I was very worried that the dream sequence would throw people off, but most seem to like it.

Sorry the ending left you disappointed. It's a horrible situation for any parent to be put in. She already knows(because of her dream) what will happen if she doesn't choose. And her time is up, so she can't think her way out of it. She has to make a choice, NOW. And unfortunately for Tyler, he happens to be within arms reach while Devin is on the stairecase. Would she have made a different choice if both of her kids where right next to her? Maybe. But they weren't. And she had no time to think about it. I know it's not a happy ending and it's definitely a tough pill to swallow. But I do believe it is a REAL ending, true to the story that proceeds it.

Thanks again for reading.

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Zack  -  December 8th, 2019, 12:40pm
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Dan_P
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Hey, Zack! First of all, I agree that this was a quick, tense read. I'm with you on the ending as well - I didn't think it would dare to go there and I love that final, chilling image you leave us with.

SPOILERS:

I think it could be interesting/important for Mary to have further reasons to choose Tyler, other than him just being the closest in reach (especially, if you plan to have this be a thing in a feature version), but maybe it would also make her character too dark and unsympathetic in this short version, I'm not sure. While I get that there simply was no time and that she HAD to make some kind of decision, I think it's hard to convey that urgency without having it feel like she maybe could have done more or shown more resistance.

Personally, I'm not too huge on having that many directions in the script, but they didn't really get in the way here, either. Having said that, I feel as if some of them aren't really necessary. For example: "CLOSE ON the grandfather clock as its pendulum swings back and forth." If this would have read: "The grandfather clock's pendulum swings back and forth.", I'd have already pictured it as a close-up.

I've found some typos/things you might have already corrected by now, but I hope it's alright, if I list them here, just in case:
- PAGE 11: Its
- PAGE 12: Maybe you can lose the descriptive "panicky", I think it's clear without it.
- PAGE 13: confidence, picks
- PAGE 17: in any way
- PAGE 19: its pendulum
- PAGE 21: its teeth

I think you have a cool idea here, and I really enjoyed the read  

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Dan_P  -  December 10th, 2019, 8:16pm
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Zombie Sean
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Hey Zack,

I haven't read any of the comments so I'm going into this completely blind. I'm commenting as I read.

Page 6-7:

You mention that the Bogeyman faces toward the door with its back toward us. But then you mention that it turns to face the porch and tilts its head. Also, how did Mary not see the Bogeyman if he was standing on the porch? Or near the porch? With the light on? Unless, right as the light turns on it burns out...

I would have Mary check on the boys before or after she calls 911, just to make sure they're safe and asleep (which they are...unless something's already happened to them).

Oh shit. Poor Devin. Brave of you to do that.

Haha, I love Kings Island, if you're talking about the existing theme park in Ohio.

Why did Luke show up? Maybe you should have him mention that he was concerned or something. It's a bit strange for him to show up randomly after midnight. Maybe he said he got a call from Mary telling him to come over and that she sounded scared, and she's like, "I never called you..." and THEN he gets yanked from the door. That way, it ties into the part where the Bogeyman mimics Luke's phone call.

The ending was a bit of a letdown for me. She decided too easily in my opinion. She should throw herself out there first, but then the Bogeyman says that only children are his life force or whatever. That way, she's prompted to toss one of her kids outside instead of just being coaxed into doing so.

Fun, spooky stuff. Just what I expected from you.


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Zack
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Quoted from Dan_P
Hey, Zack! First of all, I agree that this was a quick, tense read. I'm with you on the ending as well - I didn't think it would dare to go there and I love that final, chilling image you leave us with.



Hey, Daniel. Thanks for giving this a read. Stoked that you seemed to really enjoy it.


Quoted from Dan_P


"CLOSE ON the grandfather clock as its pendulum swings back and forth." If this would have read: "The grandfather clock's pendulum swings back and forth.", I'd have already pictured it as a close-up.



Good point. I'll cut that.


Quoted from Dan_P


I've found some typos/things you might have already corrected by now, but I hope it's alright, if I list them here, just in case:
- PAGE 11: Its
- PAGE 12: Maybe you can lose the descriptive "panicky", I think it's clear without it.
- PAGE 13: confidence, picks
- PAGE 17: in any way
- PAGE 19: its pendulum
- PAGE 21: its teeth


Always a few typos that sneak by me.  


Quoted from Dan_P

I think you have a cool idea here, and I really enjoyed the read  


Thanks, Dude. Seriously appreciate it.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Zack  -  December 11th, 2019, 7:45pm
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Zack
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What's up, Sean? How have you been?


Quoted from Zombie Sean


You mention that the Bogeyman faces toward the door with its back toward us. But then you mention that it turns to face the porch and tilts its head. Also, how did Mary not see the Bogeyman if he was standing on the porch? Or near the porch? With the light on? Unless, right as the light turns on it burns out...



I meant he turns towrads the porchlight. I'll go back and see if I can't tweak that a little more.


Quoted from Zombie Sean


I would have Mary check on the boys before or after she calls 911, just to make sure they're safe and asleep (which they are...unless something's already happened to them).



Good idea.


Quoted from Zombie Sean


Oh shit. Poor Devin. Brave of you to do that.



I'm actually surprised that most people are okay with that particular scene. Thought for sure I'd get some flack for it.


Quoted from Zombie Sean


Haha, I love Kings Island, if you're talking about the existing theme park in Ohio.



Yep! That's the Kings Island. I grew up in Cincinnati, Dude. Used to get season passes when I was a kid.


Quoted from Zombie Sean


Why did Luke show up? Maybe you should have him mention that he was concerned or something. It's a bit strange for him to show up randomly after midnight. Maybe he said he got a call from Mary telling him to come over and that she sounded scared, and she's like, "I never called you..." and THEN he gets yanked from the door. That way, it ties into the part where the Bogeyman mimics Luke's phone call.



Love the idea of the Bogeyman calling Luke. That's perfect. Thanks, Dude.


Quoted from Zombie Sean


The ending was a bit of a letdown for me. She decided too easily in my opinion. She should throw herself out there first, but then the Bogeyman says that only children are his life force or whatever. That way, she's prompted to toss one of her kids outside instead of just being coaxed into doing so.


I agree that there needs to be a greater sense of urgency there at the end. Maybe the Bogeyman chases them further into the house before Mary gives up one of her children? I'll think on it. If you have any ideas, throw them at me.


Quoted from Zombie Sean

Fun, spooky stuff. Just what I expected from you.


Thanks for the compliment, Dude. Means a lot coming from you.
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Zack
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And thank you, Don, for getting the newest draft up for me. Tweaked the ending a little bit more, cut some dialog, and fixed some typos.
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I enjoyed the script.  Well written and I could vision what you wanted the reader to see.  The so called, "Shower Scene", give or take.  Maybe I agree that it doesn't fit in for a woman who's two sons are on the verge of losing their lives to a creature.  Why take a shower?  Your excuse is it is intended for her to escape the reality and be in a place where she can relax.  Ok.  I get it.  Maybe it doesn't fit in this particular script.  If I was in her place I would fear the possible loss of my children, but wouldn't escape the reality for a shower.  Maybe a scene with her alone, a glass of wine, where she is collecting her thoughts on how to defeat the creature and save her children.  I agree that the hero should be the mother.  Instead of the creature frightening her, she takes a stand and faces the monster herself to save her own children.  Sacrificing one or the other builds the suspense, but she can turn the tables and sacrifice herself and fight the demon to the very end.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the script.  If you re-write any of this, I would like to do another reading on it.  
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Zack
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Hey, Mike. Thanks for the read, although it sounds like you read a much earlier draft. The shower scene you're mentioning is no longer in the script. Made some drastic changes, added an entirely different ending.

The updated draft is available now, just click on the title.

Thanks again for reading.
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Yuvraj
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Hello Zack,

I'll say that this is the first script of yours that I read but I am not entirely sure. I think I read a script( I can't recall the title, sorry) about two guys trying to bury a corpse in the woods and it turned out that the corpse was one of them- I think it was yours. Correct me if I am wrong.

Now onto this script.

While reading the first encounter of Mary and her kids with the boogeyman I somehow felt it was too bloody and surreal to be true and I was right. You made it a dream, which is honestly nowadays considered a cliche and a killer to your story's build-up. Also anyone could guess that deputy Lee will be dead anyhow( I recalled the movie LIGHTS OUT for that thing).

The ending was kinda awkward for me. The fact that Mary in a matter of seconds decides to sacrifice  Tyler did not suffice me. I mean what was reason behind her decision? Maybe I missed the beat but if you could please clear that to me.

But I will certainly appreciate the structure of the script you have written, I absolutely liked it. The pacing was tight, the tone of the script was consistent and also it was quick read. Considering it has 23 pages, it just flew by( as said by LC).

I think it was what it was for a horror-slasher script. Good job!

Keep writing.

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Zack
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Hey, Yuvraj. Sorry for the late response. Missed your review some how.

I'll say that this is the first script of yours that I read but I am not entirely sure. I think I read a script( I can't recall the title, sorry) about two guys trying to bury a corpse in the woods and it turned out that the corpse was one of them- I think it was yours. Correct me if I am wrong.

Yes, I wrote that one. The script is called 'Bury The Truth'.

While reading the first encounter of Mary and her kids with the boogeyman I somehow felt it was too bloody and surreal to be true and I was right. You made it a dream, which is honestly nowadays considered a cliche and a killer to your story's build-up. Also anyone could guess that deputy Lee will be dead anyhow( I recalled the movie LIGHTS OUT for that thing).

I know dream sequences in horror films are a bit cliche. Honestly, I embrace horror cliches. I'm always trying to put a new spin on old tropes. You say it's a killer to my story's build-up. Sorry you feel that way, but I disagree. I feel like the dream is integral to my story. As for Deputy Lee's death being predictable, not sure I agree there either. Up until he is revealed to be dead, there has been no violence what-so-ever in the story. But I'll go back and see if I can't make his demise a little more suspenseful.

The ending was kinda awkward for me. The fact that Mary in a matter of seconds decides to sacrifice  Tyler did not suffice me. I mean what was reason behind her decision? Maybe I missed the beat but if you could please clear that to me.

I do agree that the ending needs a little more work. It's too abrupt. As for "why" she chooses Tyler... It's because he is within arms reach and she doesn't have any more time to think. It's a horrible situation for a parent to be in and I need to find a way to make it even more impactful.

But I will certainly appreciate the structure of the script you have written, I absolutely liked it. The pacing was tight, the tone of the script was consistent and also it was quick read. Considering it has 23 pages, it just flew by( as said by LC).

I think it was what it was for a horror-slasher script. Good job!


Thanks for the kind words. Happy to hear the pacing feels good and that you generally enjoyed the read. Really appreciate it.
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Yuvraj
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Well Zack,

It seems there is a fair amount of disagreement between us.

The dream sequence still doesn't work for me and I don't think its integral to the script. Maybe its just me that a dream sequence turns me off a script.

And as for the death of Deputy Lee, I could easily see it coming. I blame myself for that since I'm a horror nerd and it was too obvious for me. I just saw it coming right away.    

But what can I do? Its your script. You hold the reigns for it.

Anyways, as I said before it is a nice horror-slasher but predictable( except the ending) for me.  

  


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Zack
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Nothing wrong with some friendly disagreement.

The reason I say the dream is integral to the story is because, with out it, Mary has no way of knowing just how serious the Bogeyman is. Because of the dream, she knows what's gonna happen if she doesn't choose. At least, that was my intent.

You make a fair point about the predictability of Deputy Lee's death. Any horror fan worth their salt will probably guess that the cop isn't gonna make it to the end. Lol

Thanks again for the read and review.
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Quoted Text
The reason I say the dream is integral to the story is because, with out it, Mary has no way of knowing just how serious the Bogeyman is. Because of the dream, she knows what's gonna happen if she doesn't choose. At least, that was my intent.


I agree that the dream sequence was pretty necessary. I liked that she "learned" from it. It's not like it was a "It was just a dream" ending. Because it wasn't just a dream. Now, I've seen the double-whammy dream thing done in horror flicks before -- Nightmare on Elm Street, of course -- although a lot of those are "you're still dreaming" sequences. Final Destination. I like familiar horror tropes if done effectively. And I enjoyed how this one played out.


Quoted Text
You make a fair point about the predictability of Deputy Lee's death. Any horror fan worth their salt will probably guess that the cop isn't gonna make it to the end. Lol


No matter what you would've done with Deputy Lee, it probably would've been somewhat predictable -- if she would've went outside and saw the cop car was gone, or if the Bogeyman himself were behind the wheel... or if the Bogeyman appeared in the backseat as she was talking to the Deputy... all somewhat predictable, though him being dead is probably the most predictable. Still, it's a horror flick, might as well give the people what they want. There was no violence up to that point -- everything is suggesting that there could be a threat. Now, with Deputy Lee dead, the danger is real.

Just my thoughts. Really enjoyed this. Though the version I read didn't have a shower scene that I recall (going by earlier comments on this thread). Which is probably a good thing.

-- Michael


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Check out my latest horror script, HONEY MUSTARD - https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-horror/m-1585433547/
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Zack
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Thanks for reading through this, Michael. And thanks for the front-page review. That's awesome, man.

I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much. Ya' made my day, Dude.

As for the shower sequence you mentioned... Yeah, that was from an earlier draft.

Thanks again, Dude.

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