A man tends to his garden at midnight, but something more sinister is at play.
Never underestimate the importance of intelligent dialogue and pacing – even in a horror script. Sure, you can throw a monster in. Sprinkle loads of blood and gore on top. But the true essence of horror isn’t FX. Or facile jump scares. It’s the slow, skillful building of suspense. And finding the characters interesting enough that you care what happens next…
Meet John. A gardener. Handsome. A GQ fantasy from a school girl’s dreams. When we first meet John, he’s hard at work – tilling the soil, planting seeds. Spectactor Tom watches from the sidelines… equally cute and dressed to kill.
And full of snarky commentary. Which starts with the plants – but doesn’t end there. As with all good dialogue, there’s a rich vein of subtext. And this undercurrent’s mighty dark. What went wrong in their relationship. Tom analyzing John’s fatal flaws. Seems like the school girl’s bound for disappointment; the two bicker back and forth like an old divorced couple. Which, basically, they are.
John ignores Tom’s nasty barbs – moving from daisies to sunflowers. Tom asks his ex who that was for. Which is when Robert steps from the shadows. Young. Rugged. Gorgeous. Well, except for the gaping ax wound across his face, that is. Which is when Tom adjusts his collar; exposing deep strangulation marks. Looks like when John ends a relationship, he really seals the deal.
John ceases puttering, and moves over to an empty grave. Yet more men join the Greek chorus – chiming in with comments galore. Has John’s conscience finally gotten the best of him? They take bets on how he’ll off himself… Gun, knife. Perhaps pills?
John puts a knife to his neck, and faces his tormentors. True, he may be dead soon – but at least he won’t have to listen to them anymore!
But best laid plans always go awry. Even in the best tended gardens….
A dark and smartly written script, Grave Love has a ton of things going for it. Memorable characters. And just one location – with terrific atmosphere. Horror directors, jump on this one. Or someone else will surely snatch it away!
About the writer: Vladimir Jovanovski can be reached at vjcinend “AT” Yahoo!
Budget: Pretty low. One location – basic gore FX. Save your money for creepy actors!
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