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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  Manchineel House
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  Author    Manchineel House  (currently 186 views)
Posted: August 13th, 2019, 9:32am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Manchineel House by Matthew Sawyer - Short, Horror, Thriller - Tim and Claire are haunted house enthusiasts, but when Tim takes Claire to a supposed genuine haunted house, maybe they've bitten off more than they can chew. 12 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

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Posted: August 13th, 2019, 7:35pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Southern California
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Matthew - notes on the first 3 pages

Quoted Text
Don't underestimate this Claire.
Apparently this is the real thing.

Need a comma before Claire.

Quoted Text
Yeah, yeah.


They continue walking down the street.

You don't need the beat here or the continue walking (they never stopped). Worst case - combine them. e.g.,

A moment passes as they forge on.

Quoted Text
As they walk they reach a row of three old terrace houses. A
man (late 30s) sits on the wall of the middle house. He
stands to his feet as they approach.

Hi, you must be Tim and Claire?

Over written - just

They reach a row of...

Intro Carl right away since he is speaking in the next line. i.e.,

CARL (30s) sits on...

Quoted Text
So is this place genuinely haunted?

Claire laughs at his cowardice. Carl doesn't understand
what's funny.

So genuinely this house is haunted,
people have got badly physically
hurt. I myself have never spent
more than twenty minutes in there.
Things will happen in there and you
will see things. The doors are
always unlocked and you can call me
anytime... You've got my number. If
you don't want in... say now.

Carl's response is a bit awkward.  Maybe just:

So is this place genuinely haunted?

Claire laughs. Carl doesn't understand
what's funny.

It is...people have got hurt. I've never spent
more than twenty minutes in there.
You will see things. If
you don't want in... say so now.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Busy Little Bee
Posted: August 14th, 2019, 2:33pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

San Antonio, TX
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Hey, Matthew

Congrats on knocking out a short. Everything is a process. Here are some thoughts I had while reading.

When there is something that the audience can hear, try to capitlize it, you do this in some instances and not in others, for example...

Quoted Text
UNTIL... A faint sound of a child laughter is heard at the bottom of the stairs. Super creepy!

could be

Quoted Text
UNTIL... A faint sound of a CHILD LAUGHTER is heard at the bottom of the stairs. Super creepy!

One advantage of this on paper for readers is that it draws attention just as the sound would for an audience.

I like that you had some reversals in few of the scene such, as the duo turning on the lights, but them cutting off, CLAIRE attempting to open the door and it's locked, TIM attempting to open the door and it's locked. The only possible issue is they are run of the mill for horror genre, which makes it kind of a catch 22, you need them but they can be repetitive. Also, I wouldn't even have telegraphed the lights.

You saved the best reversal for last, and it was actually a double reversal where CARL and his friend reveal themselves, yet the creature is revealed to be real as well. I also liked that Claire was a sckeptic because it provided disagreement between the two and disagreement in any story is always good.


Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
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Posted: August 20th, 2019, 3:00am Report to Moderator

Yorkshire, UK
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Thank you very much for taking the time to read my script and thank you for the great advice. I will take it all on board and use it on my future scripts.
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Posted: August 20th, 2019, 4:24am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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MattS, welcome to SS.

A couple of links to help you navigate the site, and some handy hints.

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