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The Misfortune by Oney Mendoza - Horror, Thriller - A doctor and his family agree to house-sit for old friends of theirs in the boonies, but the trip is cut short when the family realizes that SOMEONE is watching and waiting...waiting for the screams to begin and the blood to flow. 99 pages - pdf, format
I've realized the logline is semi-misleading, it makes it seem like a teenage slasher, but its not. Its really hard to actually sum the story up. Took over a year to finish revising. Most noticeable change is the third act which was full of problems before. A lot of dialogue was deleted due to it being unnecessary. The length has been trimmed down a lot. Any reads are much appreciated.
George and Bert, I want to thank you two for helping me realize what needed to be fixed and it will be interesting to see what you guys think this time around. But, MUCH MUCH appreciation goes to Ian who has helped me reshape the third act. I can't thank you enough...seriously.
- e-mail the script to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- anything i didnt mention to help me read the script.
The Misfortune was one of my personal favorites here at ss and I would really like to see the work done. I would just download AR but i only have about 270 MB left...yes thats right MB's... i just cant.
okay, i am about a third of the way throught. Tatum and Kayla were smoking and Josh knocked on the door. thats where im at now.
I noticed you changed some of the dialogue in the first act. I still dont think it flows quite rite. Some of it still seems un-natural, although it is better.
I havent read the script since september so i cant say for sure but did you reveal Kayla was raped a little bit earlier in the script? I think i am just imagining it though...
You had Kayla tell someone about the foot steps...thats better.
Example of bad dialogue:
TATUM This may sound dirty, but your brother is looking hotter every day.
now something like
TATUM Damn, your brother is getting hotter every day
sounds a little more natrual. Just to me i think.
I see more bad dialogue... alot of it comes from tatum...I think you ment to make tatum sound polite, and smart, but it kind of back fired... she sounds like she belongs on Fraiser or something.
It would take waaaaay too much space to post, so, would you like me to e-mail you all the dialogue that just doesnt sound right?
Its obvious you polished this alot more now.
The only other problems I have are if Ben got stuck in the hip there is NO way he could have walked all the way down the stairs, down to the barn. sorry but no. Its one of those oh so annoying "main character is magically okay to save another main character" momebts. Maybe Kayla could save her self and kick mitch in the nuts hehe jkjk.
Also I liked the other ending where everybody dies better. just my opinion.
over all it was a little better and im serious about the e-mail with all the bad dialogue just let me know if you want it done
Seriously? The dialogue IS THAT bad? Wow, haha, they must have sounded good in my mind. I'll admit I am not fantastic with dialogue, but sure, send the lines that you think need work on.
As for Tatum, she is supposed to be very valley in her choice of words and personality. This was always intended (think of her as like Ashlynn and Ashley from FD3). Your suggestion would work but I don't think a girl from SF would say "Damn" unless she was more of a ghetto type girl....lol believe me I live in the city.
Ben's injury...yes I fooled around with it. I wanted the readers to believe he was dead (hence the surprise helper in the barn lol) but if I would have axed him in the tigh or leg the readers WOULD know he can't die from that and I figured if I went with Ben getting struck in the stomach I would get bashed with "NO WAY could he have survived. He would have bled to death". So thats why I went with the hip.
You're one of the many few that actually liked the original ending. Not many others did and my friend (Ian) gave me the influence to at least keep Kayla alive and I saw why having a survivor was important. What kind of resolution was there if the good died along with the evil ones? No one gained anything that way...lol.
Hey Oney. What's it been since I looked at this? A year? I recall the premise and several of the characters, but I don't recall how it ended -- that makes me suspect that Ian was right and that the old ending was not working as well as it might.
I like the current ending, but will discuss it under a SPOILER heading:
* Let's start off with "action verbs". I'll give you one example from page one. Rearrange "...is slicing a pig's belly" to "...slices a pig's belly". Then, the animals SQUEAL, not squealing. Look for these. Fix these all the way through and things will read tighter. * CONTINUED at the top and bottom of pages are not used for spec scripts. You can lose these and maybe trim a page or so. * It is good that Grace is calling the kids out on their language now. I seem to recall a problem with this before. But when she says, "...you are being very unnecessary" that doesn't really make sense. * Page 8, why make the store's interior "very cleanï¿½" * I found Ben to be a little too dismissive of Grace after she sees the figure outside the window and the police have left. I might make him a little more sympathetic towards her, just so we like him a bit more. * Page 58, Kayla wanting to take a bath seems kind of random. Try to work into this a bit smoother. * Page 64, when the horn blares O.S., it should correspond to Ben's head getting slammed into it. Cut back and forth, between the car and the kitchen. That could be a nice effect. And they could be, like, "Why is he honking so much?" * Page 69, you have everybody walking around in complete darkness. All of these kids have lighters. Why not use those? * Page 79. OK, now it is time to describe Leigh for us. You neglect to do so. But the scene right after this, on page 80, is one of the best in the script. Nicely done. A great WTF moment. * The kiss on page 92 is pretty good, too. But shortly after, it is important to note that nobody has pockets big enough to hold a crowbar. * The very, very end seems a little abrupt. One or two lines of additional dialogue might smooth things out. Murray might say something about Leigh.
I actually think I recognize Ian's style in some of the action that plays out. The mayhem during the final third of this script is a good payoff for what you set up earlier. And I think Ian was right about having somebody make it out. I do not recall if Murray showed up at the end of the last version, but I found it appropriate here.
My biggest problem with this (we've talked about it before) is that you are still playing hide-n-seek with Leigh a little too much for my tastes. You have a great fake out when Leigh gets tossed into the closet, but I think the impact could have been increased if we had seen Leigh a little more beforehand. I wouldn't recommend an overhaul to do this. I would just change the "faceless figure" into Leigh a little earlier in the story. As it is now, this reveal does not come until quite late.
And when you finally do reveal that this is Leigh, you only tell us in the script. The viewer would be like, "Who is this guy?" You should have Kayla say his name, to make it clear who this is.
And I still think there should be a scene where Kayla confronts Leigh. Just the two of them. You set up the conflict between these two so well, but never really pay it off.
I did not have too many problems with dialogue in this story, but there were a few patches where it sounded stilted, and a little too formal. You might be on the lookout for those.
So, this reads pretty tight, Oney. The pages go by pretty fast. The trims you made have served this story very well, and it is better for it. Nice job here.
I am actually looking into doing yet another draft of this in the future because there is a lot of elements that could be added into it. I do agree I should give Kayla and Leigh some type of "closure" scene. As for the CONTINUED on the pages, I have no idea why that happened. On final draft it didn't show, but as soon as I converted it into a pdf view, they were there...lol.
WOW....It's been a Looooong time since I read the first version of this that it's like reading an entirely new script. I do remember a couple of things though.
TATUM Please, Mr. Harrison...it's been hours since our last bathroom stop. I'm seriously about to burst.
JOSH That would be so nasty.
LOL. I like this exchange.
A BULKY SIZED ROCKEDABRUPTLY COLLIDES...
Cut of the "ed" on the rock.
-Kayla's attack story reminds me of the flashback in Friday the 13th: part 3 where one of the characters talk about how she was draged into the woods and attacked by Jason when she was younger. this made it easier to visualize the scene.
Pg. 27 - This whole scene seems like a dream. For some reason I'm picturing it all weird and smoky and color backlit like in SUSPIRIA. LOL
Tatum SCREAMS as the fence-post snaps in half and crashes to the ground, she flies back into the muddy sty
That must SUCK.
SCOTT (OS) I know dude, we're pure genius
I know this is minor but you forgot the periods after the O and S.
A MAN RIGHT OUTSIDE THE WINDOW STARES BACK AT HER!
This would certainly be a great jump scare if this were filmed.
You forgot the O.S. again.
KAYLA Is She not feeling okay?
This sounds weird. I think you should take out the "Not Feeling"
Pg 52. -
JOSH ...He was then arrested.
This sounds awkward also. I think it would sound better as "Then he was arrested" or "Then he got arrested"
Pg. 77 - I remember this scene. It originally happened earlier on, right?
Pg 78 - Very nice stalk sequence.
Pg. 80 - That's a great "what the hell is going on moment" when leigh is tossed in dead in he closet
Pg. 84 - That's very F*ed up when Mitch tries to make ben choose which one of his family member will die first.
Pg. 90 - Ahhh. Too bad. I liked Josh.
Pg. 93 - Tatum is very clumsy. I predict that this will more than likely cause her death if she dies. Didn't Tatum die way earlier in the previous version?
Pretty Good Read. I have to admit that I could not enjoy the beginning and a bit of the middle of this. AND NOT BECAUSE IT WAS BAD. It's because of personal reason that I'll PM you about. They rest was pretty cool. I can't tell how it was in contrast to the previous draft because I don't really remember it. I liked most of your character...in fact I liked all of them...except mybe for Tatum because all she did was complain but she was a good friend to Kayla. I enjoyed it for the most part. The other problem...i'll Pm you about.