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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Final Piece – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

The Final Piece (4 pages in pdf format) by Ryan Lee

A lonely old woman loves nothing more than completing her jigsaw puzzles. But when a mysterious box arrives on her doorstep one night, her life is about to take a horrifying turn.

The “final piece” referred to in the title of this chilling screenplay is a simple jigsaw puzzle piece. Or so we think, as this unsettling tale unfolds…

The creepiness starts early as we meet 67-year-old Margot who lives by herself in a “lonely domicile that sits at the edge of a thick forest.” It’s the dead of night, and gusts of wind sway the trees in the dark woods outside her window.

An eerie, foreboding setting; yet inside the house all seems cheery. Margot sits in her kitchen finishing her latest jigsaw puzzle: a charming and colorful French garden scene. She pops in the final piece and sighs, “So easy. Where’s the challenge?”

Where, indeed?

And as she puts the dissembled puzzle away, we begin to understand the old woman’s disappointment — her cabinet is filled with dozens and dozens of puzzles. Remnants of a passion gone on too long. Margot needs something – some excitement – to take its place.

All she can do is wait. But not very long.

Later – as she prepares for bed – Margot hears a thump downstairs. She creeps down, turns on the light… to find a mysterious package near her front door. No return address. No writing at all. She opens it: it’s a jigsaw puzzle. A temptation she can’t resist; Margot starts on it immediately.

But as puzzle pieces fall into place, she sees a strange scene take shape. It’s her kitchen. All the familiar things are there. She adds more pieces to the puzzle, and curiosity turns to terror. In the puzzle, she sees herself at the table. She’s being watched – in some eerie way.

The last two pieces reveal the most shocking detail of all – the silhouette of a man in the window behind her, holding an axe. She snaps around just in time to see a glimpse of something. But it fades away into the shadows before Margot can get a better view.

Which is when the lights go out.

Blinded by darkness, Margot hears creaking footsteps on the porch. The front door opens. Followed by heavy breathing.

So what does the title really refer to? Perhaps a puzzle of a different sort. Has Margot put together her last picture? Or found a challenge truly worth her while?

Budget: Low. A few rooms in a modest house. Two actors. And lots of creepiness. Perfect for a filmmaker with a limited budget.

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

About the Guest Reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

Read The Final Piece

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

5 Comments so far

1.

Mark
April 22nd, 2015 at 6:24 am

Hey Ryan,

This is a horror that doesn’t make any sense if anyone is looking for a realistic terror tale, however it is perfect as a ‘Tales from the Crypt’ type story. I can just see the Crypt Keeper making some cheesy horror puns just after the final scene. Enjoyable and fun, good job.

From a budget perspective I’ve no idea how much it would cost to produce a personalised Jigsaw with that level of detail but apart from that I agree, should be relatively cheap.

-Mark

2.

Johnny Robbins
April 22nd, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Cool short, Ryan. I enjoyed the premise of it; when the puzzle mirrored the kitchen you had my undivided attention. Writing was outstanding too, keep it up!

3.

KP Mackie
April 23rd, 2015 at 12:25 am

Pretty creepy…
Had my full attention as soon as the guy in the trenchcoat appeared in the kitchen window.
Yikes! 🙂

4.

KP Mackie
April 23rd, 2015 at 12:26 am

And nice review, HM !

5.

Enrico Mughetti
June 1st, 2015 at 11:45 am

Hi Ryan,

Your script is very suspenseful and your writing is sharp like a razor blade. I love the idea of the jigsaw puzzle which can make a normal home environment look scary as hell!

I was not convinced about the final scene (page 4 – int. basement night). In my opinion the twist of Margot getting her revenge against the maniac is too extreme and does not fit her characterization. Furthermore, the change of tone from psychological thriller to horror/splatter is not really necessary for the tension of the movie.

I would suggest you to take a look at this short movie (http://eddypedro.net/2007/10/18/stuck-incastro-un-cortometraggio-di-suspense-veramente-ben-fatto/). The title is STUCK. It is an italian short movie that was produced in 2001. The plot is basically the same as that of your script with the exception of the twist I discussed above.

Best of luck!

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