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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Thriller Scripts  ›  Fright Set
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Don
Posted: April 26th, 2020, 10:52am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Fright Set by Rennie Arundell - Short, Thriller - A late night trip to the gym becomes increasingly tense when strangers meet. 5 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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spesh2k
Posted: April 26th, 2020, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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Hey Rennie,

The writing here is pretty decent, though I would've liked to see a description for Mitch. I think the twist CAN work, but the set-up needs be much stronger, IMO. It kinda reminded me of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark tale, "The Viper", a little bit -- it's dark, suspenseful, mysterious tone in its build-up only to find out that it's a harmless misunderstanding on the protag's part.

SPOILER ALERT

So, this mysterious man in a hoodie and beanie is deaf... and the twist is that he was trying to be kind and return Mitch's wallet. But why would the man in the hoodie kick at Mitch's car? I know you're trying to be deceptive with the setup, but it doesn't fit the end result. There's all these elements included -- he's wearing a hoodie and beanie despite the weather being warm (I'd make it much warmer than 70 -- even in the summer, I'll see dudes wearing hoodies to sweat more)... he keeps staring at Mitch after Mitch tries asking him a question... then he disappears... while all of this is mysterious and suspenseful, there's no payoff to any of these elements. The only setup with a payoff is when the man is chasing Mitch to his car (then it's revealed why he was chasing his car -- not for the reasons Mitch thought).

There's no breadcrumbs or clues in the man's behavior that might suggest he's deaf. Maybe when he doesn't answer Mitch's question at the beginning, we get that kinda. But I'm not sure why he keeps staring at Mitch other than for the purpose of being creepy, to build suspense for the story. And as to why this man is wearing so many layers, there's no payoff there, or even a reason outside of maybe he's trying to get a sweat going easier.

Maybe open in the locker room as Mitch is getting ready for his workout? Maybe Mitch is just trying to make conversation and the deaf guy just doesn't answer him. Maybe Mitch leaves his wallet there by his locker -- creeped out, he looks back and sees deaf guy pointing at him, as if threatening him. When, in actuality, he's just trying to get his attention. And maybe the man keeps following Mitch around the gym, trying to return the wallet and Mitch keeps avoiding him or something. I dunno, something like that. It just needs a more proper setup that makes the twist feel earned.

-- Michael


MY FEATURE FILMS:

THE SUICIDE THEORY (79% Rotten Tomato Score, Available on Amazon Prime, Itunes, Google Play, Youtube, etc) - https://youtu.be/5eaXXOKJvtg

RAGE (coming late 2020/early 2021) - https://vimeo.com/402447622

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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Arundel
Posted: April 26th, 2020, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read, Michael.

This was based on a Nightmare Fuel-type narration video: gym horror stories. Felt it had some good visuals so I decided to write a script out of it. In the original narration, it just ends with the hooded figure kicking the car and the guy driving away. Originally I wanted to have the Mitch character leave his phone behind at the gym, but then how would he call and have the conversation with the front desk girl? So, I decided to have him leave his wallet. Less likely.

My problem was, if he leaves his phone behind that makes more of a mystery. It's locked. It could be anybody's. Maybe someone left it earlier in the day. Being that it's a wallet, the hooded guy could just look at the photo ID and know it belongs to Mitch. Then he could just take it to him, without having to say anything. So disbelief was being suspended there, even on my part.
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spesh2k
Posted: April 26th, 2020, 1:47pm Report to Moderator
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I think the phone thing opens up a lot more possibilities, actually. Not sure if pay phones are still a thing, but that could be a possibility... especially if Mitch calls in and somebody picks up without saying anything. And the phone, if I'm not mistaken, can be unlocked if it's ringing and someone answers it, right? I've left my phone at many a bar in my lifetime, and a few times I had someone pick up.

Could also work if Mitch accidentally took something of the deaf man's -- maybe they had similar wallets, phones or gym bags. It would explain why deaf man seemed so hostile (kicking the side of Mitch's car).

I dunno, just bouncing around ideas.


MY FEATURE FILMS:

THE SUICIDE THEORY (79% Rotten Tomato Score, Available on Amazon Prime, Itunes, Google Play, Youtube, etc) - https://youtu.be/5eaXXOKJvtg

RAGE (coming late 2020/early 2021) - https://vimeo.com/402447622

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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