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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  The Night He Came Back - OWC
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  Author    The Night He Came Back - OWC  (currently 1680 views)
Don
Posted: October 11th, 2019, 10:44pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Night He Came Back by Zack Akers (Zack) writing as Kevin Bacon (the one from Footloose) - Short, Horror, Slasher, Holiday - 37 years ago, the small town of Milford, Ohio was terrorized by a sadistic psychopath. Tonight, he's back. 13 pages - pdf format

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-------------
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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  September 27th, 2021, 4:54pm
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 12th, 2019, 6:02am Report to Moderator
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Hi Kev

logline - very specific so I assume it correlates to something. I goggles the town and dint see anything, so curious about what will arise.

overall - some nice writing on display. not my preferred style of script, but it meets the genre presented.

perhaps a little on the nose about the missing corpse, but an otherwise smooth opening

don't know quite why but I find the name PJ somewhat jarring -

good old 'twig' snapping - what we do without one?

Not sure the close on her eyes was required, IMO

fade to orange - not seen that before


Has a slasher style to it. a stalker - liked that part - that seeks merely to kill, for no reason

I suppose my preference is scripts that have a reason, but this genre doesn't need that

I liked the idea of the stalker from outside, what will happen, what they are there etc

the petrol station at the beginning didn't connect much with the rest

probably not going to be my favourite but a fair effort for the week

all the best


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: October 12th, 2019, 6:09am Report to Moderator
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Four of the characters have "Halloween" references in their names, two of which even being a combo of one of the actresses (PJ Soles).  The title itself is a slight reference to that horror classic. Some of the POV shots also want to invoke "Halloween", although technically there's only one POV in that film, at the beginning. There really isn't much need then for a POV shot, and yes, technically, it's still a camera angle called.  WE do this and WE do that...constantly. Maybe you should have written it a bit more Halloween style for the OWC. Whenever Myers (The Shape) is stalking, he is still seen (back to us or from a distance) so ...again what WE SEE or WE DO in a POV isn't needed at all. You did it in the Nick scene, after all, and it worked just fine (aside from more bathroom jokes)

It bewilders me that it almost every spec script workshop I been in, a good percentage of scribes who LOVE the horror genre always have to show off their geek cred.

It always has the same result. It's overdone, takes me out of the script, and gets me thinking of that other film or films. One or two references, done subtly, maybe.

It's a short script, and if made, a short film. Rights to songs that aren't public domain could be costly if sung or heard. That's why its said that  if you must have songs not in public domain, put in "like" Rockwell's Someone's Watching Me or just say "Halloween  novelty songs".  

More camera angles    
Fade to orange?

Until the Carver attack happens, the script picks up a bit with some nice gags. But why conceal the Carver killer to begin with regarding the POV stuff? And what was that stuff at the beginning all about? It didn't seem to have any bearing on the rest of the story. Not by much anyway.

Maybe it's time constraints, seems you needed a few pages to get into your groove area.

Not a bad effort, but it could have been better.

-DjS

Maybe a time constraint



"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 12th, 2019, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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Logline is good, although I detest the written by part.

Title page is fine, but again, the Kevin Bacon thing ain't working for me,

OK, although the opening 2 page "intro" is well written and put together, it's a little too much in terms of obvious setup.  Deputy Curtis uses Eddy's name too many times to sound natural,  Finally, and this is the big one, you haven't started with the challenge parameters.  Could be a nitpick, but I think some will take issue with this, even though I see we go to the suburban house next.

So we start off with a POV and it continues the entire scene.  Nothing inherently wrong with that, but IMO, it's a mistake.

Using exact songs by exact artists is most likely a mistake - you can name the song, but there's just no reason for telling us exactly who's singing it.

Now, you've made it painfully obvious that you've named your characters after famous Halloween actors and characters, and for me, this really is a mistake, as you've completely taken away any uniqueness, and you're literally telling us this is some sort of homage - but I think most will know that from the title and logline alone.

Nick is something else - tells his chick he has to shit immediately.  Sure, there's peeps like this in real life and there are tons in cheapass horror movies, but again, you're pulling the reality out of your script by writing such cliches and idiotisms.

Page 5 and we finally have our couple and scream.  I don't know, bro...too late?  For me, it is, as the flow of your script is going to be completely different than what it's supposed to be.  I could be splitting threads here, but I don't see this following the parameters.

The bathroom humor (if you can call it that) is offputting for me.  I just don't think it's remotely necessary here.  I mean...is the supposed to be the scream that was heard by 1 of them?

Also, one of the parameters is that it's close to midnight - now, "close" can mean a number of things and times", but if there are still Trick or Treaters walking the streets, it's nowhere near midnight.

Page 7 - the POV switches here from "MYSTERY POV" to MYSTERIOUS POV" - that's a mistake, probably due to time.

Now the Slug changes from "SUBURBAN HOUSE - BACK YARD" to "SUBURBAN HOUSE".  Doesn't work for this Kid.

OK, I stopped commenting and just read through to the end.  Let's see here...

Your writing is very good, actually.  It reads well, with very few mistakes.  Slugs need some work.  Dialogue is mostly very good, very believable.   Action is well written and well imagined - very movie-like, if you know what I'm saying.  It's also visual and that's a real compliment.

The problems, other than what I said as I read really comes down to originality - there's nothing remotely new here and much of it feels like I've literally seen it time and time again in slasher flicks over the last 40 years.  No surprises, either.  I knew exactly where this was going to go and how it was going to play out, right down to the very end.

Once the killer is seen, you refer to him as "The Carver", but I don't recall hearing anyone else refer to him as that beforehand.  Also, you repeated The Carver over and over and it didn't read well at all.

Finally, and this may be the death knoll to an otherwise well written script - I don't think it meets the challenge, in terms of what the expectations were, but I'm sure others will completely disagree.

I have to mark you down for this and it's too bad.

**


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Anon
Posted: October 12th, 2019, 4:45pm Report to Moderator
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A few comments as I read

NANCY
Who the fuck dresses up a murder
victim, Nick?


as a murder victim - at least I think that's what you mean.


NANCY
What an idiot.


I think what she thought was already conveyed in the action, no need for her to speak to herself.

Generally I have no problem with gross stuff at Halloween but the shit thing is a bit American Pie.

I don't know the songs you're referencing (apart from Monster Mash) so they're not helping me picture this.

Okay overall, this was an attempt at HALLOWEEN in short form. It would probably work on camera better than on paper. I'm not a big Halloween fan so I'm not your audience. The thing with slasher stuff - you either have to give a shit about the characters (difficult in a short) or you have to be different and entertaining. I didn't see anything different here, but it was one of the better written scripts I've read so far.
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JEStaats
Posted: October 12th, 2019, 8:44pm Report to Moderator
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No sh*t, there I was....

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So...this is written well but I'm bummed at the lack of originality. I wanted a twist, turn or surprise of some sort. A reveal or something supernatural. IDK. It just seemed like a remake of many films already made.

Yet, it was written well. My favorite part was just the very beginning in the gas station/convenience store. It was all exposition but decent banter.
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LC
Posted: October 13th, 2019, 3:31am Report to Moderator
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Haha! The references: Loomis and PJ Soles. This is really a homage to Halloween, the movie. The Carver? Well, he's a reincarnation of Michael Myers.

focus remains on Donny perhaps replace with the word 'stays on''- pedantic I know, but with everyone being carved up...

A true slasher. You write descriptive passages very well. I liked the opening - establishing some interesting characters. Really tiresome the toilet humour, and my interest started to wane when the bloody mayhem began but you did well with classic horror trope writing.

I quite like the musical elements specifically being included (even though it's a no-no) as it added fun and levity to proceedings. Who doesn't know those songs, (apparently Alex) and who won't at least attempt to dance to Thriller.  



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Anon
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Quoted from LC
Haha! The references: Loomis and PJ Soles. This is really a homage to Halloween, the movie. The Carver? Well, he's a reincarnation of Michael Myers.

focus remains on Donny perhaps replace with the word 'stays on''- pedantic I know, but with everyone being carved up...

A true slasher. You write descriptive passages very well. I liked the opening - establishing some interesting characters. Really tiresome the toilet humour, and my interest started to wane when the bloody mayhem began but you did well with classic horror trope writing.

I quite like the musical elements specifically being included (even though it's a no-no) as it added fun and levity to proceedings. Who doesn't know those songs, (apparently Alex) and who won't at least attempt to dance to Thriller.  



Yep- iím The guy who you donít want on your team when it comes to the music section of the pub quiz. Names and artist just donít stay in my brain!
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LC
Posted: October 13th, 2019, 4:17am Report to Moderator
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Actually Alex, there was one I'd have to look up. I just liked the vibe the music added.  


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eldave1
Posted: October 13th, 2019, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
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Generally well written with a few hiccups here and there.

I don't think you need the over black. i.e.,


Quoted Text
BLACK

SUPER: October 31, Halloween


Just add it to the SUPER that follows in the Gas Station scene - and - it's 31st.


Quoted Text
INT. GAS STATION - NIGHT

The small establishment is clean, well organized.


I see this in a lot of scripts. You don't need to re-reference the location - establishment. Just need - Small, clean and well organized.

The dialogue was pretty good other than this:


Quoted Text
EDDY
I donít know. I mean, he dies last
night? The night before his
thirty-seventh anniversary? Címon.
Thatís pretty weird, Dude.


Why is that weird? Tons of people die the night before their anniversary.

Story was not very original.

Not a bad effort for a week though.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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ChrisBodily
Posted: October 14th, 2019, 4:44am Report to Moderator
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I think I know who wrote this.

Title and logline make it sound like a Halloween movie. Kevin Bacon evokes Friday the 13th. A good old fashion slasher. I'm in.

Your paper size looks like A4.

Milford, OH, is a real-life town.

Curtis? Nice shout out.

Are you gonna add that grunt in post?

The football team or the music group?

POV shot reminiscent of Halloween?

Monster Mash. Awesome pick.

Nancy Soles? Nick Loomis? Only two of us could have written this.

PJ Kyes. I definitely know who wrote this.


Quoted Text
Who the fuck dresses up [as] a murder
victim, Nick?



Quoted Text
No. My stomach is bubbling like a
witches cauldron. I gottaí take a
shit, now!


I have a place for that!

Another great song choice. Bonus points: Carpenter did a TV movie called Someone's Watching Me.

Fog. Reference to another Carpenter classic?

Donny Kyes. Donald. Especially appropriate due to Nancy Kyes = Nancy Loomis.

Bonus points for knowing the difference between Frankenstein and his Monster.


Quoted Text
Iím all Halloweened out, Babe.


Have you been trick-or-treated to death tonight?


Quoted Text
A few
TRICK OR TREATERS still wander the neighborhood.


Hey, Lonnie! Get your ass away from there!

It's gonna take more than fancy talk to keep me up all night crawling around these bushes.

"I'm Your Boogie Man." Extra credit: White Zombie covered it.

Go get me a beer.


Quoted Text
Standing still in the shadows at the other end of the hall
is the dark silhouette of a man.


A shape?

Robber pumpkin mask. Halloween III reference?


Quoted Text
The Carver moves fast[,] cuts her off, grabs hold of her and
drags her to the ground.



Quoted Text
Clutching her bloody shoulder


Another Halloween reference.


Quoted Text
Just in front of her, Nancyís corpse is tied to the tree
with a strand of bright orange LED lights. Both of her eyes
have been carved out into triangles.


Halloween 2018 reference?


Quoted Text
It really is you. Isnít it, Thomas?


As a matter of fact, it was.

I loved this. And just just the Halloween references. Every character is at least partially named in reference to a Halloween actor or character. Very suspenseful. Film is a visual medium and you took full advantage of it.

Excellent work... (*Censored, sorry)
* No reveals or guess yet, folks.


FADE IN:

Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  October 14th, 2019, 5:43am
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currentcmine
Posted: October 14th, 2019, 1:08pm Report to Moderator
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I've been raked over the coals for writing SUBURBAN HOME in my slug lines. I guess it's your turn in the barrel. "How many peeps use Suburban Home" "Suburban home is too generic" etc. Review after review. Some other narrative glitches like using "we see" or " we go to" etc., which doesn't translate into true cinematic narrative. Some typos, too. It took a scene or two to get to the home and the scream. The buildup for the Carver and Thomas, but it lags and the audience may lose interest. Once you get there, it fits together. Nice attempt.
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_ghostwriters
Posted: October 14th, 2019, 9:32pm Report to Moderator
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Yup, Iím looking forward to doing this review.

The real problem I had with it was the cliches.  Sort of.  Good thing, itís not a teen slasher flick, and you donít have somebody in there named Sydney (aka SCREAM...)  Heck, I was counting the seconds of when a cat/dog/raccoon would jump out from the darkness but you didnít deliver.   And I canít get you on this one, either; why is it that its always one character that hears something and not everybody. This falls squarely on the shoulders of  Steven C. Haha!  

All pun aside...

I didn't see much anything to grab me here. It's kinda jumpy and illogical to me, and still derivative of other films.  And IMO you have to have some substance, even in a horror, as to who these characters are, what they're like. Can't just be all about gags and slashing and killing.  I understand it's a short, but still...

But your writing was very visual and clear.  The concept may not be original, the cliches make it just another slasher flick but without a monster/demon that tells jokes like Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street.  So kudos for that, too.

My two cents, to be applied or dismissed at will.  It's always entertaining to read your work   Now I'm ramblin'.  I hope some of this helps, better yet, made sense. -Andrea


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RolandJ
Posted: October 15th, 2019, 1:52am Report to Moderator
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The POV shots remind me of a 1940's film noir, LADY IN THE LAKE. All POV from beginning to end. Not my favorite way to watch a movie. But that's just me.

Now horror fans love this style, so it works in this script by a writer who clearly follows the genre.

Decent descriptions. Music from popular culture will cost producers a fortune. Better to just reference generic music suitable for horror films in general.

Scream came a little late in the script.

Thomas lives to slash another day.

Halloween I through......?
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ReneC
Posted: October 15th, 2019, 9:55am Report to Moderator
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It's a horror slasher through and through. That's good. It's also a blatant homage with nothing really new and no twists. That's bad.

For me, it seems there are two stories competing here. The police story, and the slasher story. They don't gel together like they should. The one doesn't even effectively set up the other. The police is looking for a presumably dead body who he believes is the Carver, but we never get that confirmation. For all we know as the audience, the killer is something else and he's still missing a body. All the opening really accomplishes is to get the police to the right place at the right time to save P.J.

The writing is great, the visuals are clear and cinematic. The POV does go overboard, and the potty humor undermines the tension at unfortunate times. It could have been scarier. Showing Nancy definitely getting murdered right away would have escalated things sooner. Having P.J., our supposed protagonist, not dancing and cleaning for half the script would have moved things along too.

The notes about the music are spot on. If you are that specific with your music choices, producers will interpret that as your vision depends on the music and they might pass based on that alone. At best, it necessitates a conversation about the music that you can avoid by just saying "another classic Halloween song."

Decent entry that could have been much better.


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