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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  The Thing In The Back Seat
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  Author    The Thing In The Back Seat  (currently 270 views)
Don
Posted: January 5th, 2022, 9:27am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Thing In The Back Seat by Zack Akers - Short, Horror - A young woman has an intense interaction with an uninvited passenger. 3 pages

Production: Micro-Budget, single location, minimal cast. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  January 21st, 2022, 2:08pm
revised draft
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Zack
Posted: January 5th, 2022, 7:18pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Thanks for getting this one up so fast, Don. You rock.

Gonna try to write at least one creepy micro-short a month. One down, eleven to go. Anyone down for a quick exchange?


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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LC
Posted: January 6th, 2022, 1:59am Report to Moderator
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Hey, Zack!

This seems familiar. Is this a shortened version of an OWC entry?
The ghoul in the back seat rings bells, in a good way.

Anyway, I think you have a great premise here in the vein of Lights Out & Bedfellows.
I'm a sucker for both sinister and jump scares so I think this'd be very effective at giving me the creeps when filmed, exactly as written.

Being picky I felt like it'd be great if somehow Gale got what she deserved. Maybe some quick back story, or some link to why her? Maybe she's just sloppy, left the car door unlocked? Yep, I get that might defeat the microshort angle...

FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
Wait! First, give me something to wet
Mark's appetite. Send me a selfie.

That line just seemed a bit deus ex machina.
If it were Gale's suggestion it might seem a little less contrived? Especially if after her Friend  mentions Mark's flirting with someone else?
FYI: It's whet the appetite, just in case you want to know.

Did you go with voice only and not video call because of budget?

I'd give the Female Voice a name. Mark gets one so it seems odd imho that she doesn't.

I don't think you need 'It almost looks human.'

Driver's seat needs an apostrophe.
Look at me...
Look at me comes off as a demand, not a trailing off of words. I'd delete the ellipses if so, add a full stop or even exclamation point.

Croaky Voice should all be Dark Figure imh. That's just how the ghoul sounds, right?

If you wanted this even lower budget you could set it all in a basement garage and she could be trying to escape but smash into a wall at the end?

Do you really need the rather palatial two-storey home as setting? I get it sets mood.

Without hesitation, she slams on
the gas and reverses out of the driveway, then throws the
vehicle into gear and speeds away...neighborhood homes fly past in a blur.

You're missing an on the road driving slug here, right?

All those are nitpicks. Just along the lines of budget, night-shoot logistics, and pedantic details on my part.
Very enjoyable! I look forward to seeing it.

Oh, btw... Do you always include that particular communication detail on your title page? I usually advise against that. Up to you, of course, but I'd personally be afraid of ghouls coming out of the woidwork.  



Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  January 6th, 2022, 4:34am
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Zack
Posted: January 6th, 2022, 4:46pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Thanks for giving this one a look. Appreciate all your notes and suggestions. They will definitely help me with the next draft. Anything I can look at in return?

"This seems familiar. Is this a shortened version of an OWC entry?
The ghoul in the back seat rings bells, in a good way."

Nope. Something new from me. Been watching a bunch of horror shorts on youtube, looking for some inspiration.

"Anyway, I think you have a great premise here in the vein of Lights Out & Bedfellows.
I'm a sucker for both sinister and jump scares so I think this'd be very effective at giving me the creeps when filmed, exactly as written."

Funnily enough, the original Lights Out short was one of my main inspirations for this. Wanted to write something that would be short, creepy, and easy to film. Very happy to hear that you think I'm on the right track.

"Being picky I felt like it'd be great if somehow Gale got what she deserved. Maybe some quick back story, or some link to why her? Maybe she's just sloppy, left the car door unlocked? Yep, I get that might defeat the microshort angle..."

I considered dropping to backstory in the dialog, but I decided it wasn't necessary for a micro-short like this. But, if I can find a way to drop in a hint as to why this is happening, I'll definitely do it. Any more suggestions?

"Without hesitation, she slams on
the gas and reverses out of the driveway, then throws the
vehicle into gear and speeds away...neighborhood homes fly past in a blur.
You're missing an on the road driving slug here, right?"

Happy you brought this up, because I was confused as well. Do I add a slug, even though the entire sequence takes place inside the vehicle? I figured as long as the action is clear, then I'd be good.

Thanks again for reading, Libby. Always appreciate it.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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LC
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 12:48am Report to Moderator
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Zack, a couple more responses/suggestions.

Yep, this is contained to the car, but reading it she does screech out of that driveway along the road for quite a bit, so that exterior location changes.

Any other suggestions?
Yes, one that I thought might even add to the scare factor:

If your scary figure appears (after she looks in the backseat & he's vanished) in the passenger seat suddenly, which finally causes her to crash.

You'd get the classic relax, scare the hell out of, relax again cycle going if he appears in different parts/seats of the car - actually, even hanging upside down on the inside roof of the car would be scary as hell (with her driving along oblivious) if someone was nifty with effects. She could see the reflection in her rear vision mirror maybe, causing the final crash - or it leaps down on top of her.


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Zack
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 10:29am Report to Moderator
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"Yep, this is contained to the car, but reading it she does screech out of that driveway along the road for quite a bit, so that exterior location changes."

Okay, so where would I put the new slug? lol

Like your suggestion of tweaking the ending a bit. Gonna see what I can do with the next draft. Thank you again for taking time out of your day to give me notes. You're awesome, Libby.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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LC
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack
... Okay, so where would I put the new slug? lol


Continuing with INT. SEDAN (maybe INT. GALE'S CAR?)

Gale screams out in horror. Without hesitation, she slams on  (don't think you need 'without hesitation)
the gas and reverses out of the driveway, then throws the
vehicle into gear and speeds away.

She white knuckles the steering wheel as she presses down
harder on the gas pedal. The engine REVS up. (not sure you need the engine REVS up, hmm, maybe)

INT./EXT. GALE’S CAR – NIGHT [DRIVING]

Through her driver's side window, the surrounding
neighborhood homes fly past in a blur.

INT. GALE’S CAR – NIGHT [DRIVING]

Sweat beads up on Gale's brow as she focuses on the road
before her. Then, from the back seat behind her -- (do you need 'behind her?)

RASPY BREATHING.

...

I think that'd be right, whatcha think?


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eldave1
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 5:39pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Zack - story-wise - I'd be tempted to keep the thing in the back seat - threw me when it was outside the car slapping the window.

There are several areas where you could be a bit more efficient.


Quoted Text
EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - NIGHT

Stars dot the brilliant night sky. A bright full moon casts
its light onto the well maintained two-story home below.


The ambiance here comes from the moon - not the stars - you don't need below - we know the house is below.  And - you are adding details that aren't interesting or relevant - e.g., does it matter that the house is two-story??? Tell is instead if it is special (e.g., Victorian or something) or its value (e.g., modest) Just something like:-

EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - NIGHT

A  full moon casts an eerie light over a modest home.

Here:


Quoted Text
The front door opens and GALE, 24, a brunette bombshell with
a perfect figure, rockin' a sexy mini-skirt and an equally
revealing top, steps out.


We don't need to know the door opens or her hair color  - just that she's dressed for a night out.

GALE (24), a perfect figure highlighted by a sexy mini-skirt and tight blouse exits the house.


Quoted Text
She locks the door, then proceeds to walk along a stone-paved
path, which leads to the --


None of this is needed - the type of path not relevant - locking the door not relevant - just take you above line and add the "heads to" - i.e.,

GALE (24), a perfect figure highlighted by a sexy mini-skirt and tight blouse exits the house and heads for the --

DRIVEWAY


Quoted Text
INT. SEDAN

Gale pulls her door shut, inserts her car keys into the
ignition, turns over the engine. The vehicle STARTS up.


Should simple be:

Gale starts the car.

You don't need a blow by blow on the process

Anyway - throughout - I thought you were overwriting the pedestrian stuff -

hope this helps



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Zack
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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"I think that'd be right, whatcha think?"

I'm not sure. Doesn't look quite right to me. I'll try it out and see how it looks. Thanks for the help, Libby.

"Hey Zack - story-wise - I'd be tempted to keep the thing in the back seat - threw me when it was outside the car slapping the window."

Thanks for giving this a look, Dave. I was going for some misdirection there, but you are right. It should remain in the back seat.

"throughout - I thought you were overwriting the pedestrian stuff"

Didn't realize this until you pointed it out. Much appreciated. I always overthink the dumbest things. Lol. Do you mind if I use a few of your examples on the rewrite?


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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eldave1
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack
"I think that'd be right, whatcha think?"

I'm not sure. Doesn't look quite right to me. I'll try it out and see how it looks. Thanks for the help, Libby.

"Hey Zack - story-wise - I'd be tempted to keep the thing in the back seat - threw me when it was outside the car slapping the window."

Thanks for giving this a look, Dave. I was going for some misdirection there, but you are right. It should remain in the back seat.

"throughout - I thought you were overwriting the pedestrian stuff"

Didn't realize this until you pointed it out. Much appreciated. I always overthink the dumbest things. Lol. Do you mind if I use a few of your examples on the rewrite?


Of course you can -


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Zack
Posted: January 7th, 2022, 8:07pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


Of course you can -


Thanks, Dave. You're awesome.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Arundel
Posted: January 9th, 2022, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
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Zack
Posted: January 10th, 2022, 10:29am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Arundel


Thanks for the heads up, Rennie.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Zack
Posted: January 10th, 2022, 1:51pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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New draft up. Thanks, Don. And thank you, Libby and Dave, for all the awesome suggestions.


An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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Warren
Posted: January 10th, 2022, 8:30pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

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Nice little short you have here, Zack. I'm sure this will get snapped up quick.

One tiny, unimportant thing...

FADE IN and FADE OUT are transitions that have meaning not just something we start and end a script with. So if we cut to black in any way there is nothing left to fade out from. you cant fade from black to black. This is one of the only types of scripts I would personally end with THE END or END or even FADE TO CREDITS, at least then we are fading to something.

Really not a big deal if you keep it the way it is, just my pointless two cents

I predict this will be in the hands of a filmmaker in no time.


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