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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Horror  ›  What Does Trick or Treat Mean? - OWC
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  Author    What Does Trick or Treat Mean? - OWC  (currently 597 views)
Posted: October 21st, 2023, 10:42am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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What Does Trick or Treat Mean? by Michael Godby (D.A.Banaszak) writing as A Rabid Cat - Short, Horror, Comedy - A group of children in a rural town go trick-or-treating and encounter something they didn’t expect. 11 pages - 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 (1 edits)
Don  -  November 2nd, 2023, 4:15pm
revised draft
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irish eyes
Posted: October 21st, 2023, 2:16pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

There`s too much blood in my alcohol

Upstate New York
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Peeps are getting creative with their title pages.

Another very well-written script.

It was not a significant twist, but it was well executed. I think I knew from the start what Lexi was.
It is nicely revealed at the end with the text message.

Well done for a good entry

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Posted: October 21st, 2023, 3:02pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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Fun story, well written. Not a surprising ending, but a satisfying one.

The big thing for me is that the encounter with the Old Man is way too over the top. It pulls focus from Lexi, who is the real source of fun in the script. I think if they had a more mundane encounter (still fun, just not full-on machete madness) the script would feel more totally cohesive. Like maybe if he was just drunk and took a swing at them and tried to grab one.

I liked Lexi. Very satisfyingly written character. Nice job with her.
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Posted: October 22nd, 2023, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

Some travelling Circus...
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This kind of reminded me of the animated movie ‘Monster House’, probably cause of OLD MAN WOODMANN’S description, being similar to the character Nebbercracker, voiced by Steve Buscemi. Of course, Buscemi has a gnarled creepy undead look to begin with, let alone picturing him in a dirty wife beater.

The name Lexington and Lexi are just too coincidental IMO, that being it’s not really a common name, but the name itself has a nice ring to it for a spooky Halloween ghost story.

This has a fun Goosebumps vibe as well, and that’s OK cause I’m a R.L. Stine fan. As someone somewhere stated, “a story has to have a beginning, a middle… and a twist”, which I think you used well to tie up the loose ends. It’s not a new angle, but I think it works just fine for this tale of a mischievous girl breaching the All Hallows Eve portal on the one night she could, and not just come about to wander the streets in despair, but wreak a little havoc on some crusty old fart and his mean dog while she’s in town, and of course there’s nothing wrong with making a few friends along the way… best of luck.
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ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: October 22nd, 2023, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A helluva long way from LA
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For a guy who's known for lacking a sense of humor, I found myself chuckling on several occasions.

A cool simple story. The exchanges between  the boys and Lexi is definitely the highlight for me.

Had hoped for a less predictable twist. Still works as you have it though.

All the best,


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Shakespeare on Toast
Posted: October 23rd, 2023, 5:55am Report to Moderator

Challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries

London. England
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Apart from Non Entity this is by far the cream of the crop. Loved the premise the plot and the reveal. Cool writing and excellent exposition.

This gets my vote. Bang! Bang!

“Asking for comments can sometimes be a disaster .”
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Posted: October 23rd, 2023, 8:13am Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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Hmm, I'm trying to put my finger on what doesn't work for me with this...

Lexi is described as: 'a girl their own age'. ?
Okay, she's a ghost. So technically you didn't want to give her a specific age.

This reads technically very well but on screen I'm not seeing the entertainment value or any scares. I think you needed background/more character development (apart from the machete and the dog) for the old man to show he's evil and that he deserves what he got.

The ending visual is cool but otherwise it just didn't work for me.

P.S. 3rd Draft?

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Posted: October 23rd, 2023, 9:52am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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I think this lost me from the start with a coincidence that just bugged me all the way through...

The bus stopped for no reason at all, i.e. no one was shown standing waiting for it, pulls away and there is a ghost from the cemetery that just happens to share the same name as the girl they are waiting for... and it's not even a very common name.

This could probably be fixed, in a rewrite.

I did like where it went after that though.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays -
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Posted: October 23rd, 2023, 4:52pm Report to Moderator

Features:  Christmas Joe

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Love, love, love your title page!  This is a classic ghost story that checks all the "ghosty" boxes.  Question - was the name "Lexington" supposed to have meaning that was pertinent?  Just wondering.  Also loved Lexi returning to the cemetery as a "whisp of white cloud".  Perfectly ghostly also.  So far, this has been one of my favs - oh, and thanks for not killing the dog - I was worried for a minute and that would have been an absolute "fail" in my book, but it seemed all was well in the end.  Thanks for sharing a fun and ghostly Halloween story!

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Posted: October 24th, 2023, 5:26am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

… but some dreams do

Upstate NY
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Good effort here. Crisply written, easy to follow too. My only issue was the ending. Though it was a surprise, the opportunity to get super creepy (she lures the kids into the graveyard and kills them!) was there and I don’t think you took it far enough. Pretty good as is, though!


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Gary in Houston
Posted: October 24th, 2023, 11:35am Report to Moderator
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Last one in the hopper for me -- let's see what we have:

Solid writing skills on display here.  Captures the essence of kids at Halloween.  The dialogue isn't too "adult" for the kids -- i.e., they don't sound much older than they are.  The setup works and while I can tell what's coming once you reveal the other kids have never met Lexi, and that they're meeting her at a bus stop next to a cemetery, it's pretty clear that Lexi isn't who she seems to be.  Still didn't damper my enjoyment of the script.  It's a nice little ride and the payoff at the end works.  Good job here.

An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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Posted: October 25th, 2023, 10:56am Report to Moderator
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Serve the Public Trust

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Tell ya, the quality of the title graphics in this owc is off the charts, yours is no exception - an outstanding graphic.

The script, by the way, lives up to it. So well written, I'm kinda jealous. It's that simple proficiency that makes for such a smooth read.

I like the tale too. It's cute and mysterious and I think would be suitable for all audiences.

Be surprised if this wasn't up there.

"Some day I'll Be Saturday Night..."
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Abe from LA
Posted: October 25th, 2023, 9:51pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

Downey, California
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I like the atmosphere of the story. There's a cool Halloween vibe in there. Not a fan of the
numerous coincidences and timing — the Lexi name, the arrival at the bus stop, the text
message at the end. The story still kept my interest.
If I were to make a couple of suggestion, maybe the kids hit a couple of home trick or
treating before the get to the old man's house.
I would have enjoyed seeing Lexi do some ghostly things — or, if she would have had a
spooktacular night on the town. All the fun it seems she never enjoyed in her days
as a living being. Nice job despite the coincidences.
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Posted: October 26th, 2023, 3:11pm Report to Moderator

Buy the ticket, take the ride

That's me in the corner
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This reads like a breeze, with no hiccups at all.  Always nice to read something you can just buzz right through.

Old Man Woodmann should switch to decaf. His outrageous response should be toned down a bit for the sake of the story. I mean, the narrative still works fine without a freaking machete for goodness sake.

Good payoff. Nice entry.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Posted: October 30th, 2023, 7:32pm Report to Moderator

Northeast, kind of.
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Thank you for your wonderful comments. I read this one final time right after I submitted it and panicked that I may have thoroughly embarrassed myself. I’m glad to find out that I didn’t.

I see that there are some questions to answer.

This was the third of four drafts. I couldn’t get the fourth draft down to six pages in a meaningful way so this is what I submitted.

The first draft had the four kids riding the bus together to a town with a supposed haunted house in it. They know each other from playing Call of Duty and thus the commando costumes. They are led by a girl named Alexis whose Call of Duty gamer tag is Lexi-13.  

I didn’t like that story because it was about 4 pages of setup, 2 pages of action and 2 pages of ending.

The second draft was pretty close to what I submitted but with a Trick-or-treat stop prior to Old Man Woodmann’s house. I was already locked into the names Alexis and Lexi and named the ghost something that would sound like an American name from long ago. I pictured her as someone who died as a pre-teen girl from a fever around a hundred years ago. While I have no knowledge of that being a common name from the time, I liked the sound of it.

The third draft is what was submitted. The bus was supposed to stop at the corner at a stop sign that somehow disappeared between drafts. I’m glad the bus driver stopped anyway since it could have caused an accident and I wouldn’t have a story.

The fourth draft had a different ending. Now that the 6-page limit is lifted, I finished this draft without cutting anything, restore the scenes that I did cut, and incorporate a lot of your wonderful feedback. If anybody reads it, I think you’ll like it.

Revision History (1 edits)
D.A.Banaszak  -  October 30th, 2023, 7:44pm
Fixed an awkward sentence.
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