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Friday, December 26, 2014

Pins and Needles – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author wonkavite

Pins and Needles

Desperate to save his afflicted wife, a tailor decides on a drastic last resort.

Horror’s changed quite a bit over the years. Once the venue of Bela Legosi and Boris Karloff, the genre’s – well – mutated. Over the top FX in the 80s – followed by the rise of slashers and torture porn.

Yet, some of the best horror remains simple. Haunting tales, focused on unassuming characters – faced with fate, loss. Tragedy.

A story of love and sacrifice, Pins and Needles harkens back to that traditional time. The protagonist in the story: a stocky little tailor named Marvin. At sixty-four, Marvin’s a simple man. A small business owner with modest dreams. And despite being married for over forty years, still deeply in love with his wife, Tess.

But fate can be unkind. Four years ago Tess had a stroke; leaving her a vegetable. Unable to walk or communicate – though awareness remains in her eyes. Marvin’s taken Tess to a million doctors. Prayed. But nothing’s worked.

And now – Marvin’s ready to take drastic measures.

As the script opens, Marvin waits in the store basement, accompanied by his wife… and a “guest”. Twenty something Rebecca – duct tape on her mouth, her hands tied. You see, Marvin’s done his research, and uncovered a demonic sacrifice that will restore Tess to her glory days. The price may be grisly… but worth it to save the little man’s True Love.

But will everything go as planned? Or does Fate have something else in store?

A sweet little story in its own way, Pins and Needles is perfect for horror directors who want a classic tale – of love, demons and sacrifice.

About the Writer: Living in CA, Ryan Lee can be contacted via ryanlee1800 AT yahoo. His IMDB credits can be viewed here.

Pages: 11

Budget: Some demon FX to do in post – but most of P&N’s straightforward. Three characters. One basement!





All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved.

The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.



3 Comments so far


KP Mackie
December 27th, 2014 at 1:35 am

Amazing description — hung on every word — that leads to a terrific twist.
This one scared me. Obviously, a good thing. 🙂


December 27th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I enjoyed the description of the character and his surroundings leads. This leads me to believe you know this environment. That’s excellent grounding.

However, the setup needs work. The description is good, but there’s nothing in the opening to prepare for what we see next. Marvin’s dialogue in the basement ends of talking the plot to get those details in: “Ever since Tess had her stroke. We’ve tried everything. Every doctor, every specialist. Went to church every single day asking God for help. Four years of that. Four years of silence… so now I have to take things into my own hands. Now I have to do what I have to do. You married, Miss?”

There’s more than a few ways to re-write this and I would recommend going with the one that shows instead of tells. For instance, open the first scene with Marvin at the front of the shop where an eager young couple comes in. Marvin recognizes the man in the couple and goes to get his order. Marvin comes back out with his clothes (a suit jacket), and the woman drops a line that today is their second anniversary. Then the man, lost in his enthusiasm, asks Marvin “Are you married?” There’s a pause. Stone-faced, Marvin takes out a pair of shears and clips a tag off the back of the jacket. “Yes” he responds, and that’s the end of it.

This sets us up to think something isn’t quite right. It may not be the way you want to go, but at least it telegraphs a) Marvin’s a married man b) There’s something not right with his marriage or his outlook on it.

I think this would prepare us and give us some mystery as to what comes next. Again, you’re description is excellent when it comes to the character. (“He exhales deeply, runs stubby fingers through what’s left of his wispy hair.”), we just need for the first scene to do more work for payoff.

The other thing I would recommend is letting the victims speak. Right now with Marvin speaking aloud, the dialogue is wandering towards cliche-serial-killer-talking-to-himself. I suspect this character is talking to his victims because he wants to alleviate his own guilt and reach some understanding? In the re-write I would lean harder on this angle; He is a reluctant kidnapper and an amateur satanist. He’s a good man doing something bad in order to save the woman he loves. If he’s going to prick someone’s finger with a knife, he’s going to be hesitant or so nervous that he slices his own hand. Maybe at some point, he’ll try to quit and let them go. This has to be stressful for him.

My last critique would be that there are two victims here, Tess and Rebecca, but the drama only seems to call for one. Unless you can find something for her to do, Rebecca doesn’t add anything to the proceedings.

Okay, keep writing. I believe you can do this, otherwise I wouldn’t be so critical.


February 11th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Hi, When it comes to dialogue, then less is more, esp as previously mentioned you can show and not tell.
I think you’ve got a bit more to tell in this story for the end. If a life is taken (Tess’s), then what does Marvin get in return??

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