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Despite being a quick read I can’t say I felt much story to this one which in turn made it difficult to care for the characters. Didn't pick up on anything by way of motivation for the killings other than the Cloaked Woman was into hocus pocus and heart eating... Which meant the 'truth' behind the killings remains unknown.
You need to give us an idea of characters ages. Nothing for Hunter or Gilbert and all Robinson gets is a name. I’d go as far as to say Robinson could be cut completely as I’ve little idea as to his function in this.
Hope this doesn’t come across as harsh but there just wasn’t enough weight to the story to carry this through to a decent conclusion.
My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
This one was okay - it felt quite cleanly written, and read fast. I think the restrictions of the challenge probably had some impact - there wasn't much in the way of descriptions, and there was quite a lot to fit into the script, so I guess that was understandable.
I think this could work as a longer piece given time to develop the characters and the motivations. The early mis-direction worked well. The Gran remained silent, and I think it may have given the story a little extra dimension if she'd spoke - but then, there are restrictions here as to what you could have done.
Not a bad effort here, but it kinda left me confused as to who the real killer was. Was it grandmother or Hunter, or Shelby? Ok. Went back and re read so I guess it really was Shelby after all.
Writing was good, but yournisenof mini slugs was a bit much at times, in particular when you mini's staircase leading up to bedroom. Ah! That's minor. Really, the story really just didn't have me riveted. Plenty of gore, but not much else really.
I liked the idea of a heart-eating witch and I feel like there was potential for this to be a lot creepier than it was. However, the whole detective thing in a short is hard to pull off. It started to get repetitive without it being necessary.
The mayor's wife being murdered didn't seem that necessary to me in a short. I would have preferred the final scene to be fleshed out a bit more to up the suspense and atmosphere. I liked the finale though and this was an easy read, well written.
I think there does need to be a little more backstory to the great grandmother. If the motivation was covered I think this would be a lot more effective. Especially the last visual, good stuff, haunting, but I was a little confused to what provoked Shelby.
This one was decent, but not much more. Some elements of the story had me confused, such as the Digitalis found in the victims. Then it seemed that dear old grandma would kill some of her victims, but other times make the victims kill themselves. But why was she killing? Why now? What set her off? At the end, I'm assuming granny's spirit has assumed Shelby's body or something? Wasn't clear. So, this wasn't bad, but I've seen everything in this story many, many times before.
There are two kind of witches I suppose - one are the kind that feeds on humans, the bloody kind. The other kind casts spells - this can be good or bad. But yours is about the first kind.
For some reason I was not into it and I think it's because your showed grandmother and explained what was going on too late into the story. Also I think there's no one to like or to root for in here. Shelby's character is not much on the pages at first - it's all detectives. Maybe you could cut on their talk and make Shelby's dialog more memorable. Let us know her problem from the very beginning. She's in love, she's tired of feeding her grandmother... we should know, I think. It's a good story but could be revised I think. Well written.
I also couldn't understand why would the creature make them kill themselves.
Unfortunately, this didn’t do anything for me. The dialogue is too on the nose and just seems to be leading me from plot point to plot point. I have no idea who these people are in a way that would make me care about them.
It seems like there were a few story beats and ideas the writer wanted to work with, but the story never pulled them together convincingly. For instance, when Shelby has to shoot her grandmother it seems like a beat that’s supposed to resonate emotionally, but because we never learned anything about their relationship, it doesn't.
The final seen is an example as well. This detective just saw the two prime suspects in his homicide case fall out of a window and die. This is a pretty major crime scene now. There’s no way he picks one of these girls up and drive her away in his car (even if she’s still alive, he’d just call an ambulance). The only reason I can think of for him to do this is because the writer liked that final image on the road. While I agree that scene could work well, it doesn’t here, because the context doesn’t support it.
Going forward on this I’d go directly for the characters. Who are they, what are their motivations and why do they make the decisions they do. If you nailed that this could be a nice little short with a bit of an X-Files feel.
Good luck and congrats on completing the challenge!
OK, you lucky writer, you. This is my last of the batch - #49, I think, so you get an extra special detailed review! Aren't you thrilled?
OK, let's see what we have here...
Page 1 - Uh oh...this isn't starting well at all. Opening Slug - WOODLAND - Not good, IMO, as it sure doesn't show or tell us anything.
Opening line is God awful to the point that if this wasn't the last entry, I may bow out over it. Let's look at it closely and see what the fuck is wrong with it.
"HEAVY BREATHING, a dagger in the hands of Ethan (20’s), he lunges it into his stomach."
I always advise to set your scene immediately, and you sure haven't done that here. What are we supposedly looking at or seeing?
This is what's called a run-on sentence, as it's actually 3 separate sentences, incorrectly combined with commas. It makes zero sense as written. So, This Ethan dude stabs himself? On top of everything I noted being wrong with the line, it's also incredibly awkardly written.
Your next line is also terrible. No subject and also passive.
Next line is again, just absolutely terrible. "A different breathing is heard RASPY and gets louder." - Awkward. Incorrect as written. "is heard". Just really, really bad, bro.
Next passage is again very poor. Ethan just killed himself for some unknown reason, right? I guess he's not dead yet and this mysterious, withered hand somehow pulls out his heart? Really? I guess that would make me scream too, even if I did just kill myself.
So, now we go to the "mortuary" where 2 new characters are intro'd - without any intro whatsoever.
The dialogue that follows isn't too bad, actually, and the inclusion of Digitalis shows attention to detail and research, so there's a compliment!
Page 2 - Slug is incorrect - you need an apostraphe - "HUNTER'S"
Another new character with no description whatsoever - NOT GOOD!
You didn't set the scene at all again in your new Slug, nor did you give us any clue what Shelby looks like - and you don't need much, but you do need something.
Dialogue exchange isn't terrible, but it ain't good either.
Page 3 & 4 - We get some action here and the writing is better than before, but still not good. Passages not broken up correctly. Action not well written. This is servicable, but needs alot of work to shine.
Page 4 & 5 - You set the scene a little better, but not good. Dialogue is not good either and the whole scene just plays out so dully - no life here at all.
The scene in Shelby's attic is easily the best so far and also your best writing. There are still numerous issues, but it's better.
New Slug missing an apostraphe again.
Once you decide what you're going to call each character, stick with it and don't stray from it.
Page 6 - Opening passage here is very poorly written again.
New Slug - back at Shelby's - opening line is poor - awkwardly phrased with "when".
The rest of the page is OK, including the dialogue.
Page 7 - Interesting line about 2 glasses of wine now, but the sentence is poorly written and ends in an unnecessary orphan.
OK, so now those mysterious gnarled hands return and grab poor young Shelby - it's not written well, but I get the jist of what's taking place and that you're trying to conceal the identity of the killer.
Hunter hears the attack, but your writing here is so dry it almost sounds comical - "Hunter hears the faint sound of GLASS BREAKING. He leaves the room to investigate." - You need to punch up your writing in times like these!
The Mini Slug use that follows doesn't read well, but I can follow along.
Page 8 - So we have 2 daggers in here? 1 on the bed for some reason and 1 in the Black Cloaked Woman's hand?
"stabbing" - don't write passively, especially in a big climatic scene like this - "stabs"
The action isn't well written here, but it's not terrible, either. "Cloaked Woman" doesn't look good or read well over and over. The passage then ends with an aside and orphan, which isn't good.
Because you didn't write the action well, Shelby's sudden re-emergence reads odd and almost comical. "The bullet hits the Cloaked Woman." - this reads very, very poorly.
OK, so Shelby shoots old Granny multiple times, but the old witch just keeps on coming and wouldn't you know it? We have the very cliche double fall from window scene. But what makes this worse is that the scene was never set properly - we didn't know about any windows, we didn't know where in the room Shelby appeared. Just doesn't work at all, as written.
OK, so Hunter picks up Shelby for some reason, as in she's still alive? But he's a cop, so he'd definitely call 911 immediately, yet he just throws her into his car and "drives and drives", while "Shelby's body lies next to him". Hmmm...can't quite picture this.
Then you go for a "BOOM", which really doesn't work and never will, but you end on a strong note by not showing what actually happens, and FADE OUT.
So, the writing is a major problem here. The story is OK but probably way too big for 10 pages.
You start very poorly but end up nicely. All in all, not a terrible OWC entry and I'd say you're probably somewhere middle of the pack.
Hope this makes sense and helps. Take care and thanks for entering.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
The dialogue came off as repeated exposition dumps. It needs to be more natural. There are no character descriptions, just names and ages. You never explained why the victims stabbed themselves first before their hearts were eaten, in fact, IIRC, Ethan was the only one to stab himself first (onscreen). The Mayor had his throat slit. It's a good idea but it need more work in the execution.
No comments read before. Non-native speaker – take it or leave it.
I think you're sure about you did not treat the relation between the old witch and the granddaughter completely.
I saw it that way: the witch is a dead living (because her daughter gets those red eyes when she died) telling her kid what to do. The kid loves her, but it must be still a big thing to her to lure people to her death-bringing witch-grandmother. It's not really established. The "WITCH" on the hoods of the cars? I don't know.
Page 1 was great.I first thought it could be one of the very best scripts when I was at page 2-3. For me, you we're not able to maintain that quality in the following time.
The world... it was just too ambitious, too extensive, to develop the characters perfectly inside for a flowing story.
There are multiple puzzles missing and you seem really tried hard to add the pieces.
The ambitions are honorable here. The flair of Horror was definitely there. You lost the golden thread in my eyes. No shame in such a complicated, extraordinary world you build up.