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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  October 2012 One Week Challenge  /  Deliver Us From Evil - 10/12 OWC
Posted by: Don, October 20th, 2012, 1:38pm
Deliver Us From Evil by Anonymous Francis - Short - A man's faith is tested as he attempts to evade an unknown assailant. - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: danbotha, October 20th, 2012, 3:09pm; Reply: 1
Ok, I liked everything in this right until that ending which made absolutely no sense, IMO. I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I think Gerald ended up possessed at the end??

Otherwise, I thought this was great. You meet all the challenge's criteria in an effective way.

There is the occasional moment where you fall victim to passive and redundant writing, but most of the points I would have made aren't set rules, just guidelines.

Overall, I liked it. Now, if only that ending made more sense...

Good job o finishing the OWC.

Posted by: Dreamscale, October 20th, 2012, 3:39pm; Reply: 2
Well?  Clueless as to what this is supposed to be about.

It doesn't meet the challenge at all, as far as I can tell...doesn't really even try to.

Although the writing is not terrible by any means, it does leave alot ot be desired, as it just doesn't read well.  Many awkward lines, long passgaes that contain so many more words than are necessary.  Not sure why the bottom margins are so huge, either, almost like the script was purposely padded.

The good news is this ain't the worst of the bunch, but the bad news is that it definitely isn't very good, either.

Hey, you got me to read the entire thing, though, so good work.
Posted by: pale yellow, October 20th, 2012, 3:46pm; Reply: 3
This was ok for me up until the end. I read the ending twice and it was still confusing. Since his voice changed at the end...I have to assume that his body was taken over at the end??

Anyway, not my favorite but still decent ...better than some of the others for sure.
Posted by: greg, October 20th, 2012, 3:53pm; Reply: 4
This feels like you spent each day of the week working hard on just one page at a time and then you ran out of time and had to abruptly end it.  I was intrigued.  This was a pretty cool mystery piece and then it just ended and I have no idea what just happened.  I guess the supernatural element is there at the end but I have no idea why the hell things happened the way they did.  The only guess is that Vic is Satan and he won the battle with Gerald and is now gonna go out and wreak havoc.  Not sure there was a "good and evil" decision in here either even though evil is in the title.

It was really good work for a while but it just fell apart there.  Would like to know your process here.  This could be very good if expanded on the way it deserves to be.

Nice work.

Posted by: irish eyes, October 20th, 2012, 5:55pm; Reply: 5

I'm confused.. the ending really lost it for me...So he hit himself over the head with a baseball bat and then shot himself... and not to mention have a conversation with himself on another phone???

Sorry... Hopefully you can explain it when the names are revealed..

Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), October 20th, 2012, 6:07pm; Reply: 6
This probably needs to be expanded.  I think there's a story here but it's not defined enough in the pages it used.  

It also doesn't quite meet the requirements of a decision - or at least I didn't see it.

I'm pretty certain I got what you were aiming for - some sort of multiple personality disorder or even better a priest who is possessed (you could really have some fun with that).  

So, good job, but it can be much more than it is.
Posted by: kingcooky555, October 20th, 2012, 6:10pm; Reply: 7
I had a mystery vibe reading up until the showdown with Vic. Some long passages that could be broken up. For example on page 2, the four action lines can be separated between room description and what Gerald's doing. Usually, anything with 4 lines is not pleasant for the reader.

I didn't see the supernatural element except in the end? However, i didn't get the ending unless Vic took the form of the protag. There was also no decision to choose between good or evil as far as I can tell.

Everything is good until it flamed out in the end. Might have been the writer ran out of time .
Posted by: Mr. Blonde, October 20th, 2012, 8:32pm; Reply: 8
Virtually everyone here is echoing the same sentiments that I feel. The ending got really confusing and the passages were highly overwritten. It wasn't bad but it certainly felt rough.

Posted by: Ryan1, October 20th, 2012, 11:02pm; Reply: 9
Some decent suspense that gets done in by a head scratcher of an ending.  

Lot of questions here just went completely unanswered.  Who cut Gerald?  Why was he checking into this motel?   Is he on the run?

What was with the piece of paper under the door?  Why did it "unfurl itself?"  Is the paper supernatural or just a figment of Gerald's imagination?

I was hoping the suspense would be heightened after the phone call, but the tension slackens when Gerald goes to the office.  Felt like a missed opportunity.

There's an idea in this script somewhere, but it felt like the writer wasn't sure where to take this one.
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, October 21st, 2012, 5:18am; Reply: 10
Ok, time to repeat others. My thoughts;

The "somebodies" watching me felt good and the "who is Gerald" played nicely into this
But at some Stage I felt we needed answers which we didn't get so were left in the lurch, who is Vic, what's the problem, the reason etc yes, a sense of paranoia, but leaving it like that doesn't quite work, for me.
The ending - yeah, not clear, but soemthing that could be resolved
Henrik - too passive for a short script IMO.

Got potential
Posted by: jwent6688, October 21st, 2012, 8:16am; Reply: 11
Gonna take a guess at the end of this. Did Gerald shoot himself and then Vic, whoever he is, take over his body? Like I said, its a guess because I had no idea where this was heading.

I did like the set up you had going here. A priest on the run. But, from what?

So, overall,  this was just okay for me. I think you need to expand on this story a bit to make it work.

Good job entering the owc.

Posted by: khamanna, October 21st, 2012, 9:02am; Reply: 12
I missed the pay off in this one - probably missunderstand it or something.

Hopefully you'll rewrite it some day, make it clearer - im interested to know what happened in the end. Otherwise it is well written and all.
Posted by: alffy, October 21st, 2012, 9:44am; Reply: 13
Strange one this but I liked it.

I'll have a stab (no pun intended) that Gerald and Vic are one and the same person and Vic kills off his alter-ego Gerald.  If this is the case then I wonder why Vic wears the dog collar?  Perhaps both are men of the cloth, one, Gerald, losing his faith as he blasphemes early on.

As Gerald is the only character given an age, I wonder if maybe Henrik is another personality of Gerald's?

Anyway, I liked this, the best I've read so far.
Posted by: DarrenJamesSeeley, October 21st, 2012, 9:53am; Reply: 14
Since the OWC could have up to 12 pgs, I was lightly disappointed that there wasn't at least one more page, because I'm going to have to agree with everyone here - there seems to be a scene or two missing, since the ending is weak and confusing. It's a shame, too, because up until that last page the piece was going together nicely (although it is another entry in which peeps forgot what "abandoned" means) ,,,

In any case, why settle for average?
Posted by: marnieml, October 21st, 2012, 10:29am; Reply: 15
I wss really into this.  The writing was good, the set up grabbed me and I was curious to see what was going to happen.  But in the end I have no idea what happened.

You set up the priest well.  He was obviously involved in something...he had a knife wound.  But I have no idea why.  I have no idea what was happening to him, who was following him or why.  What a shame because it really seemed to be going somewhere.
Posted by: crookedowl (Guest), October 21st, 2012, 11:43am; Reply: 16
This was good. Unless I'm totally wrong, I did understand the ending, but it kind of fell flat for me. I think this could have a few more pages, as others have pointed out.

Otherwise this was well written. Good job completing the OWC.
Posted by: rc1107, October 22nd, 2012, 8:59am; Reply: 17

Quoted from darren
although it is another entry in which peeps forgot what "abandoned" means

Hmm.  I don't remember reading anywhere in the challenge that the motel had to be 'abandoned', just beat up.

I liked this one, too.  A very decent mystery set-up.  I think Alffy is on the right track with Gerald and Vic being alter-egos.

I don't see how this doesn't meet the requirements, though.  There's a beat up motel, a hurricane on the way, and Gerald is making a decision to leave the priesthood, a decision which Vic doesn't agree with and will kill Gerald because of, hence... Gerald makes a decision that causes him not to survive the night.

Of course, I'm assuming that Alffy's and I's interpretation of the story is the correct one.  I guess we could be way off base here.  It'll be interesting to see what the author says about this one.

Quoted from crookedowl
Unless I'm totally wrong, I did understand the ending

Just kind of curious, but do you mind sharing what your thoughts are of the ending, to see if we're both on the same track?

Anyway, I liked this one and thought it was solid.  I admit, it might be a little difficult to deduce what this one's about, but I think do-able if you think about it hard enough.

I think what might detract people from focusing on the difficult stories is having to read 35 others, as well.  Not everybody's concentration is there.  I think if this were submitted outside the OWC, people might think about it a little more and be able to come to at least a conclusion.

And I have a feeling this won't be the only story that's a victim.  I saw another thread ('Into the Eye') already posted on where readers are saying that there was no decision to have to be made, when when I read it, there clearly was.

A very good job on this one, though.

- Mark
Posted by: Angry Bear, October 22nd, 2012, 12:07pm; Reply: 18
Page 1. Gerald is 55 and Henrik is?...

Page 2. Getting interesting now with the priest and the blood.

A good visual with the note paper. I feel it’s a little cliche’ to say “We know you’re here”. That can probably be turned into a better line.

Page 3. Good work with the phone ringing. Feels ominous. However, I think the words need to be changed.

Page 5. Very good adding the gun in the bible. Something of interest should happen on every page. That keeps us from getting bore and keep us interested enough to want to know more.

Finished. I thought it was going fairly well until the end. I felt like nothing was resolved. No real conclusion. Also felt it was too short. The challenge was 10 - 12 pages. You have 7...  Maybe you were in a hurry in the end and just needed to end it? The logline said his faith was being tested. I didn't really see any of that.

All in all, it was okay.
Posted by: ReneC, October 22nd, 2012, 5:33pm; Reply: 19
Well written, but the character's weren't interesting. Plain names, plain descriptions, plain actions, and the usual banter given the scenario. You make up for it with the story and tone, though.

I'll parrot the others, you flubbed the ending. Either it's way too subtle or you simply ran out of time. I'm inclined to believe it's the latter given how strong the rest of the structure and the story was.

Still, a script is judged by the last pages. A mediocre script with a killer ending is infinitely better than a killer script with a mediocre ending, as long as it gets read. I read it and was left bitterly disappointed, but only by the ending, not the writing.
Posted by: CoopBazinga, October 23rd, 2012, 7:54am; Reply: 20
This one started off alright and set-up a lot of mystery but I never felt everything was explained.

It’s an ambiguous piece really, I’m thinking it’s a sort of “Fight Club” multiple personality or alter-ego if you will.  I think what could throw this theory out the window or confuse a lot of peeps like me is the matter of Henrik finding Gerald slumped on the floor, but to be fair there is never any mention of him actually being dead or shot.  

As for the other mysteries... not a clue at the moment I’m afraid to say. Why he has a knife wound or is getting messages which magically unfurl themselves saying “we know you’re here” is left unanswered. And if they were answered, they flew straight over my head.

And what’s with Henrik? You gave him no age for starters and why is he so happy and wearing one of those “Hi my name is…” tags like he works for some summer school. Again, maybe another alter-ego and he may have some relevance to the overall plot but I couldn’t see it.

The writing is pretty decent, I wasn’t a fan of all your descriptions though and it made for some awkward phrases, IMO.
I would also watch out for repetitive word use as in one three line passage the word “phone” is used three or four times and this never looks good on the page.

This isn’t that bad overall, but it could do with a little re-write for clarity and hopefully help with some of the confusion which is overshadowing it at the moment.

A really fine effort though.

Congrats on completing the OWC. :)

Posted by: DV44, October 23rd, 2012, 12:41pm; Reply: 21
Well written and it flowed nicely but like everyone else I was left a little confused by the ending but I'm starting to think Gerald had a split personality. Might be wrong on that. Either way good job and congrats on the OWC.
Posted by: RayW, October 26th, 2012, 1:58pm; Reply: 22
Deliver Us From Evil by - A man's faith is tested as he attempts to evade an unknown assailant.
Brief - Two guys fight over something, the winner assumes the evil spirit. I think.

Locations & Sets  -  Exterior, motel @ day. Interior, motel lobby @ day. Exterior, motel walkway @ day. Interior, motel room @ day.
Actors  -  GERALD (55), HENRIK (??), VIC (??)
Costumes  -  priest outfit, waterproof coat, Vic’s fedora
Props  -  newspaper, smiley face badge, hold-all bag, bandage x2, tape, liquid stage blood, long knife wound prosthetic, “We know you’re here” note in red, leather bound Bible with pistol cutout, pistol, cell phone, baseball bat, flashlight
Audio FX  -  thunder rumble, footsteps outside room, door handle rattle, phone ring, deep make voice V.O. from phone, phone line click + dial tone, cell phone ring, baseball bat to head strike, crash to ground, close crack of thunder, gun shot, twittering birds
Visual FX  -  green screen super Gerald watching storm, color shift image to greenish hue, lightning flash
Other  -  hurricane storm approaching stock footage, lightning flash, makeup artist
Genre & Marketability - Supernatural suspense
Comments  -  It’ll be difficult to note “The birds have stopped singing” in the introductory scene. Delete the walkway part. Don’t know if we can do that paper unfurling effect on a micro budget, probably delete that or substitute something else weird but cost effective. Turn off your screenwriting program’s mores and continueds feature. Going to be cheaper to flip images in post than to pay for two rooms to use. Gonna be kinda hard to hear birds twitter outside from inside the lobby, but whatever. Not really a story, more of a scene. WTH did that knife cut have to do with anything? Story’s kinda lame. Characters are uninteresting. No one made any choice at all, certainly not between good and evil or to survive the night. Script format: fair. Final word: Missable story and characters

$1,000 - $2,000  Lo/Hi Estimated Budget Range
/ 6.6 Screenplay Pages
= $152 - $303  Estimated Cost Per Screen Minute

Adherence to Given Criteria:
Odd but interesting character(s) - nope
take refuge from a hurricane - yep
in a beat-up motel - yep
and are forced to make a choice - nope
between good or evil - nope
in order to survive the night. - nope
Each character must -
have some history involving a supernatural event in their lives - implied, but not explicit, so nope
that factors into their choice. - no choices were made, events just happened
Genre is open. - Supernatural suspense
This is a micro-budget short, - yep
so no destruction of the motel, - yep
no children or animals - yep
and minimal special effects. - yep
BONUS! Story also included:
mime(s) - nope
dinosaur(s) - nope
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), October 26th, 2012, 8:25pm; Reply: 23

Quoted from irish eyes

;D  I'm agreeing with Irish Eyes.  I didn't understand where this script was going, or where it went.  Competantly written, and kudos on that.  But I'm at a lost as to what was the dynamic between Henric and Gerald.  And what happened at the end...?  Apologies if it's just me, but I honestly didn't "get" this one....   :-/
Posted by: nawazm11, October 27th, 2012, 5:18am; Reply: 24
What just happened? I thought you were going somewhere but then it just ends abruptly. Maybe the problem lies in the one week, it feels like you were still waiting for the ending to pop up in your head on the last day and then you realize you have an hour left until submission.

The first 6 pages were okay but they went by a little slowly.

In a rewrite, I'd suggest thinking about the ending a little more. Make it feel fulfilling to the reader rather than just happening.

My grade: C- but take that lightly.
Posted by: RJ, October 28th, 2012, 7:02pm; Reply: 25
For the most part this was good, but the ending fell flat. You had Henrik find Gerald then it cuts straight to the next day and everything's peachy. Not the right ending, IMO. Might have played out better if Gerald had have woken in the room and talked to Henrik in Vic's voice then maybe Henrik had to make the decision between good and evil as in what to do with Gerald (because there is no decision in this as it is) if you get my drift? Just suggestions that came to mind, take it or leave it.

Good effort for the OWC.
Posted by: datha, November 10th, 2014, 5:12am; Reply: 26
Here is my review...

Format. There is no major issues with the format. You just could break 4 line descriptions into 2 lines to make it esthetically pleasant for the readers. Other than that, everything seemed okay. Nice, clear description of the actions. Very visual.

Dialog. There were no many dialogs in this story, so I can't really say too much things about it. Most importantly, I don't find them on the nose and I don't find them explanatory too... Contrary, the screenplay could benefit from a bit of more explanations in the dialogs.  

Characters. I don't think that someone can have "well described" characters in just 6 page long supernatural short. Beside that, to understand the characters, we should understand the story first...

that leads us to...

Story. Frankly, I was a bit confused by ending and re-read the screenplay a couple of times. I had a few ideas what this story could be about and wanted to find out if the other readers were on the 'same page' so, I read the posts and discovered that this story was OWC...

Since, the shorts had to have some kind of choice between good and evil, I concluded that all three characters were the same one person.

One day, Henrik got two of his alter ago in his motel (the motel that is always open, meaning: in the past, present and future) and he choose Vic over Gerald. He gives Vic Gerald's room number. Ones fateful Gerald, wounded and weak, becomes Vic and later, he turns into always cynically smiling, 'tall, old and bold' Henrik.  

All in all, I found this screenplay entertaining and interesting, something that make me think for a while after I finished it.

Very nice idea that could be made a bit more clear by giving a bit more clues.

Forgive for my English, hope my review was not foggy...
Posted by: LC, November 10th, 2014, 5:58am; Reply: 27
Datha, thanks for the review. Whew! This is going back a bit.

FYI, this story underwent quite a few more drafts following this original draft and was slated for inclusion in the Horror Anthology a couple of the SS members (Pia & Michael) had planned on filming. Unfortunately due to location problems the filming didn't go ahead.

I appreciate the review - some nice conclusions you made and you were pretty much in the same boat as others that the ending was less than satisfying.

Just as a FYI, if you're looking for something a little more current check out the site portal.

Also, (given they both commented on yours) Anthony has a new script in the 'short' section called - iRobot - definitely worth checking out, and as for Gabe - it might be worth sending him a PM to check what is current with him.

Thanks again Datha.  :)
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