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Monday, August 27, 2018

Where the Bad Kids Go by Sean Elwood – Feature Script Review (available for production) - post author Guest Reviewer

Where The Bad Kids Go by Sean Elwood

Like mother, like son

It’s been sixteen years since Jesse was taken away from his abusive, alcoholic mother after she had tried to kill him. When he hears of the news that she committed suicide, he returns to his childhood house for preparation to sell it, as well as confront his dark past once and for all. He soon discovers that something evil lurks within the depths of the house, and after all these years, it’s been waiting for him to return.

Where the Bad Kids Go begins with the BANG of a crawlspace door and doesn’t let go.

The entire script is packed with foreboding and slowly, over the course of events, fills with dread and tension in a cataclysmic finale.

The story delves into the mind of a man whose past comes back to haunt him, literally, and ends with a powerful finale that will both scare you and make you cry.

With moments of absolute terror, a wide character dynamic, and a haunting message, Where the Bad Kids Go can be the next big movie for this generation. Imagine The Babadook meets Hereditary, both successful horror movies that were also truly terrifying.

Production: This film can be made on a low to medium budget, apart from the big finale. There are three main characters (and eight smaller roles) and is the perfect character piece for up-and-coming actors. Male actor – Jesse at 8, 11 and mid twenties; Male actor – Marco at 11 and mid twenties; Helen – Mother – late 20s to mid forties; Other actors – Police, shitty boyfriend/father, and other minor roles. One primary location – dilapidated house and basement (and crawlspace!), with six locations total.

About the writer: Sean Elwood is well known for his knack of horror and suspense, creating a sense of dread and terror in the genre-specific screenplays he’s written. He has all the internets here: Website; IMDb; Twitter; Instagram; YouTube; SimplyScripts. He has written an anthology of short horror stories, AfterLife AfterDeath: Stories for the Dark, some of which have been turned into screenplays, including The Tooth Fairy and Emerald. Sean has previously been nominated and selected for his feature script I’m Still Here including a full script reading. He is currently working on a new feature, FLYTRAP, about six friends who take a trip to the mountains, only to find that the house they’re staying in is alive, and it needs to feed. Sean currently resides in Colorado with his dog, Henny; cat, Kit Kat; snakes, Lady Mondegreen and Noodle; and tarantulas, Felicia and Pumpkin.

Read Where The Bad Kids Go (98 pages in pdf format)
This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Script Contests: Horror Film & Screenplay Competition – Official Selection; WILDsound FEEDBACK Film and Screenplay Festival – Official Selection; Shriekfest – Quarter Finalist; Crimson Screen Horror Film Fest – Finalist

Watch and Listen to the first scene.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Parts Are Such Sweet Sorrow – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Parts Are Such Sweet Sorrow (7 pages in pdf format) by Dave Lambertson

A bad marriage can turn some people into monsters…

Ever wonder how the most famous couples in fiction made it work after happily ever after? Couples like Tarzan and Jane, Anna and Kristoff, or… Frankenstein and his bride? Well, it might not be as blissful as you’d imagine.

That’s just where we meet Frankenstein and his bride in Parts Are Such Sweet Sorrow: in marriage counseling, years after Mary Shelley’s story. Hey, even monsters have problems. He’s distant and literally emotionless, she’s tired of doing the same old things and just wants to go on a killer date (pun intended).

One thing they do agree on: they might be unhappy, but they’re not ready to be separated. “We were literally made for each other” Frankenstein pleads. So the marriage counselor dives in and a really monstrous couples therapy session begins.

As the truth comes out and secrets are revealed, the monster and his bride near a breakthrough… but it seems that every step forward leads to the couple taking two steps back. Will they make it? Not to spoil anything, but this story ends with a nice surprise… and this script is a bloody good time.

Characters: 3 – Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, marriage counselor

Budget: Low to Mid. Really only two locations, three actors, but you may have to increase the makeup budget to make sure your Stein’s look appropriately gory. That being said, an experienced director with a great crew can make this one look hideous (in the best possible way!)

About the Writer, Dave Lambertson: I took up writing rather late in life having already been retired before I put pen to paper (okay – finger to computer key) for the first time. My favorite genres to read and write are dramedies and romantic comedies.

In addition to this short, I have written four features; “The Last Statesman” (a 2015 PAGE finalist and a Nicholl’s and BlueCat quarterfinalist), “The Beginning of The End and The End” (a PAGE Semi-Finalist). Taking Stock (a drama) and a new comedy – “Screw You Tube”. Want to learn more? Reach Dave at dlambertson “AT” hotmail! And visit his website.

Read Parts Are Such Sweet Sorrow (7 pages in pdf format)

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

Find more scripts available for production.

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter who offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. Reach him at his website, follow him on twitter @MitchScripts, or email him at Mitch.SmithScripts (a) gmail.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Slacker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Slacker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse by James Barron

Life after the zombie apocalypse is harsh and uncompromising. But for two stoners holed up in an apartment with a lifetime supply of weed, it’s more like an inconvenience.

Remember when Seth Rogen and Co. faced the biblical apocalypse in This Is the End? A few of them stumbled successfully through doomsday, but how would they fare if they were faced with a zombie apocalypse instead? This is the very question asked by James Barron’s The Slacker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.

The answer? Not too well. Not at all.

Faced with Z Day and barricaded in their dorm, three friends (Mark, Steve and Liam) find themselves in a terrible pickle when their food runs out, leaving them starving and trapped – or worse. They intensely debate what to do: Steve and Liam vote to hold out one more day… aided by hits from their favorite bong. But Mark, the sensible non-stoner, insists they need to send someone outside to gather supplies and do recon. But who should be the lucky one?

Borrowing a cue from This Is the End, the trio draw toothpicks: he who pulleth the shortest stick is doomed to venture into the great unknown. Unfortunately for Mark, he’s inevitably chosen to leave for the munchie run – through a terrifying, zombified world.

What happens next? Well, without spoiling the finish, things go about as well as can be expected. And definitely not as planned.

A fun, chuckle-a-minute script, Slacker’s Guide has lots of things: stoner humor, Millennial appeal – and zombie action (no kidding). Scoop this up now… or wait until you take another hit from your bong for creative inspiration.

Fair warning though: act fast. This script might be picked up faster than a bag of Doritos in a stoner’s dorm.

Budget: Mid to high. A few locations (dorm room, hallway, stairway, food store). Lots of zombies, three good buddies and some props. Although, if you’re packing weed, you’ve got one of the major props covered already.

About the writer, James Barron: James can be reached at jbarron021 “AT” gmail

Read Slacker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (14 pages in PDF format)

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

Find more scripts available for production.

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter who offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. Reach him at his website, follow him on twitter @MitchScripts, or email him at Mitch.SmithScripts (a) gmail.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Kiss – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Hamish

The Kiss by Kosta

Saying goodbye is the hardest part. Or is it, really…?

Children go through many firsts in their initial years of life: First word. First day at school. First dentist appointment. And much more.

While some are natural human developments, others require bravery. Especially for a vulnerable child placed in a terrifying situation; one they’re not mature enough to understand.

In The Kiss, young Billy’s been asked by mother Shelley to kiss Godmother Norma: an old woman in her sixties with thick makeup. Who lies cold in her casket. Dead.

As you’d imagine, ‘first kiss of a corpse’ isn’t an accomplishment Billy’s eager to add to his resume.

From the start, the boy finds himself quite hesitant about the whole funeral experience. He’s particularly unable to grasp how friend Sam can eat with a corpse nearby – “festering” just across the room.

As it turns out, Sam’s an expert in the business of death. Able to handle his food under grisly conditions, Sam entertains Billy with graphic descriptions of what will happen to Norma’s body… after all’s been said and done.

And Sam cautions Billy about one horrific thing:

            SAM
There’s a point nine nine nine nine
nine… nine percent that… they
come back no matter what.

Needless to say, this information doesn’t convince Billy to comply with his mom’s request. So when she returns to his side, Billy’s still fighting what he’s gotta do.

Then Shelley manages to make Billy even more nervous – telling her son certain tall tales that raise the stakes even higher than before!

Riddled with witty fun dialogue, The Kiss is one of those magical scripts that refuses to obey genre rules. It’s a story that’ll align you with Billy from the first few lines – and raise questions along the way:

Will Billy kiss the corpse? What will happen if he fails? And what about that nine nine nine nine nine percent chance of bringing a monstrous horror to life?

Do you want to direct this? The answer should be a dead-sure “yes.” The Kiss is a clear festival favorite. And you don’t have to smooch a corpse to see it through…

Budget: Moderate. Yes, you’ll need a casket and access to a “church”. But most of the rest is easy to accomplish. Almost as easy as kissing… a dead relative?

About the writer: Kosta learned how to draw before he can write. This background in graphic design and illustration comes through in his writing as his work exudes an unmistakable visual style.

His work has placed in the finals of numerous screenplay competitions including the Nicholl’s and Screencraft fellowships as well as the Industry Insider screenwriting competition featuring Sheldon Turner.

Kosta is currently working on another feature and developing a project for television. He lives in perpetual rush hour traffic in Montreal, Canada and can always be reached at kostak@kostak.com.

Read The Kiss (11 pages in pdf format)

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

Find more scripts available for production

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Monday, May 7, 2018

A New Night – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

A New Night by Tom Zarnowski

Memories don’t always die…

We often refer to holidays as getaways for good reason. They’re a chance to “get away” from the omnipresent stress of working life and recharge the batteries. The downtime also provides us with a golden opportunity to introspect our inner lives.

But in A New Night, the getaway that former parents Emmett and Dawn take to heal deep personal wounds turns out to be nothing more than a placebo.

Or worse.

Heading to a remote log cabin to cleanse themselves of memories of their dead daughters, Dawn struggles to accept the events of the past and mournfully realizes that no matter how hard her partner tries, her family feels incomplete without her girls:

            DAWN
They’re still with us, Emmett.

This weakness is made all the more evident when – during their first night in the cabin – Dawn spies a speck of white in the pitch black darkness. Artificial shouts of “happiness” penetrate the silent forest night.

Intrigued, Dawn follows the sounds – into the dark, and through the woods.

Waking and finding his wife gone, Emmett exits the cabin and follows her trail – until he stumbles onto a sight so incomprehensible that he loses all physical control.

When it returns, Dawn has vanished. She and her companions? Nowhere at all to be found.

Intent on saving his wife, Emmett returns to the cabin. Even from the outside, it’s obvious that someone’s… been there.

Grabbing his axe, Emmett heads inside to confront whoever’s responsible for this mess… But what exactly will he find?

Why has the cabin been ransacked? Where’s Dawn? And who’s with her?

Even more pressingly, when will you read this script and discover the answers to these questions – and more?

A New Night offers ticks all the classic horror boxes: Isolated location, troubled characters, and mystery. Yet it never succumbs to clichés; the organic mixture of psychological/physical horror enables this script to appeal to fans of many horror genres. All combined into one huge scare.

Directors looking to frighten audiences both mentally and visually need to add this one to their collection of scripts to film.

You’ll end up with your own family… of festival awards, that is!

Budget: Relatively low. Get a cabin in the woods, and run from there!

About the writer: Tom Zarnowski is a screenwriter from Chicago with a variety of features and shorts written. He previously worked for Veluvana Pictures writing and developing features from start to finish. His screenplay ‘Stages’ recently placed as a finalist at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Before partnering with Veluvana, he worked as a script consultant for Road 28 Pictures. Did New Night scare the “daylights” out of you? Then send him an email at tzarnowski (a) gmail.

Read A New Night (8 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Tooth Fairy by James Barron – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author LC

THE TOOTH FAIRY by James Barron

An enthusiastic young girl is about to learn the Tooth Fairy always exacts a price.

Childhood can be a magical time. Santa Clause and The Easter Bunny are the obvious standouts, but that special little nocturnal sprite we know as The Tooth Fairy, must also be given honourable mention.

Tinsel, fairy-dust, and chocolate eggs aside, it’s just a little bit creepy when you consider all three of these magical creatures come at night while we are sleeping.

Tradition has it when you lose your milk teeth as a child you should place the tooth under your pillow just before you nod off to sleep. In the morning, if you’re lucky, and you’ve been a good little girl or boy, you will wake to discover a delightful gift, usually one of the monetary kind – a small token symbolizing the beginning of your rite of passage from childhood into adulthood, courtesy of The Tooth Fairy.

Throughout history Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are depicted in pretty consistent good-guy fashion. The Tooth Fairy however can appear in many different guises – as male, female, with wings or wand, as pixie, dragon, ballerina, bat or rat, and commonly mouse – even, (according to Wiki,) as a ‘potbellied flying man smoking a cigar’! Huh?

Now, that’s really creepy.

Not nearly as creepy and macabre however, as the depiction of the titular character in James Barron’s one-page horror thriller – The Tooth Fairy.

One-page scripts are no easy task for writers but James Barron manages to skillfully weave a fully rounded tale with a shocking twist all in one page.

We open on Minka Avery, an excitable six year old girl (with a gap-toothed smile) waving a twenty-dollar note in front of her parent’s faces.

Look what the Tooth Fairy left! She exclaims.

The astonished looks on both parent’s faces tell us neither one of them left such a gift.

They stare at each other a moment, confused.

So what’s going on here? Where did this little windfall come from?

And why are Dad’s new pliers missing?

Filmmakers, are you looking for a micro-short in the horror genre with a denouement that will make your audience’s toes curl? Perhaps an entry for Shriekfest or Screamfest or one of the many other horror festivals going around? Well, look no further than James Barron’s, ‘The Tooth Fairy’. This is one tale you can definitely sink your teeth into.

Specs: One location, a nice house in the burbs. Four players – Mum, Dad, and a six year old exuberant little actress, and of course The Tooth Fairy – 50s, male.

About the writer: James loves to write comedy and action along with the occasional horror short. You can reach him at jbarron021 (a) gmail.

Read The Tooth Fairy (1 page in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure by Anthony Cawood

A man discovers his fears could be a blessing when a night cab ride goes horribly wrong.

For many metropolitan workers, their daily commute is damned from the moment they walk out the door.

Overcrowded buses and delayed subway trains are daily demons one can’t escape. Mundane monsters which delight in tormenting travelers – making their day Hell from the start.

But getting a comfortable taxi ride isn’t all that bad – right?

Not if you’re Gareth, the protagonist in Anthony Cawood’s “Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured.” Upper-middle class and entitled, Gareth’s arrogant – in some ways. But it just takes a small red light to extinguish all that confidence in a puff of smoke.

You see, Gareth suffers from Cleithrophobia – the fear of being locked in. And when his cab starts rolling, the doors lock. A red light indicates the doors are secured, and Gareth’s phobia kicks in – fast.

Cruising along dark streets, Gareth’s cab starts and stops at every traffic light, lengthening the trip and causing yet more concern. And Gareth’s anxieties certainly aren’t helped by unexpected hazards – like idiots who try to reach into the moving car. Or stand clueless in the road.

There’s something not quite right about these “idiots”. Maybe they’re all drunk and celebrating. Or perhaps it’s something more. A danger that’ll make Gareth feel relieved that he’s locked in.

Unless things get even worse…

Budget: Moderate. Just rent a cab for the day. And a few extras as well….!

About the writer: Anthony Cawood is an award-winning and produced screenwriter. He has sold/optioned four feature screenplays, and sold/optioned over forty short scripts, many of which have been filmed. Outside of his extensive screenwriting career, Anthony is also a published short story writer, interviewer and movie reviewer. Links to his films and details of his scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

Read Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure (8 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Yardwork – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Hamish

Yardwork by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

Sometimes, you just can’t take the nagging anymore…

No-one likes doing yardwork.

If someone claims to enjoy it, they’re most likely lying. It’s dull, tedious, and stressful. In other words, it’s no fun.

But then there’s Yardwork – a one-page script by Marnie Mitchell-Lister. A fun, fascinating read, Yard’s as short and brutal as they come.

The premise: a woman’s been gruesomely done-in by her husband. What’s the murder weapon, you ask? A weed-wacker, apparently.

But Sargeant Russo and Officer Jennings are on the case. If anyone’s going to “dig up” the truth, it’s them.

Just imagine all the clues: gory violence. Dark humor. And the most morbid of twists. Even if you’re no fan of the great outdoors, it’s safe to say filming Yardwork would be summer fun.

So put down the Strimmer and pick up a winner. And “grow” your next film project today!

Pages: One. Yes – one!

Budget: Minimal.

About the Writer: Marnie Mitchell-Lister has creative A.D.D. Some of her writing can be read here: BrainFluffs.com. Some of her photography can be seen here: marnzart.wordpress.com.

Read Yardwork (one page in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Kill Your Demon – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author David M Troop

Kill Your Demon by Dena McKinnon

A troubled man sets out to kill a Demon.
His only problem: the Demon happens to be a Man of God. Or is he?

            JON (V.O.)
Might as well be written in Holy Scripture
that free men have the right to bear arms.

     HANDS put the Glock back together like second nature.

            JON (V.O.)
Never was one to much argue Scripture, but
neither did I ever have much use for a weapon.

     Hands feed bullets into the clip one at a time.

            JON (V.O.)
Until the demons came.

This is just a sampling of the to-die-for dialogue in the opening moments of Kill Your Demon – the newest thriller by screenwriter/filmmaker Dena McKinnon. The script is an intelligent blend of classic noir and psychological thriller – with a dash of supernatural horror. In other words, this one has everything.

Our protagonist Jon is convinced he’s not only seen an actual, straight-from-Hell Demon, but they’ve also conversed and – on numerous occasions – played a friendly game of Scrabble in the social hall of Jon’s church, no less.

How is this possible? It seems the Demon has taken on the appearance of Bishop Tom, a man of the cloth: black suit, white collar, three Hail Mary’s…. the whole package deal. Devilishly sneaky, to say the least.

But can Jon’s perceptions be trusted? After all, he is taking three prescribed medications. Maybe something’s counteracting – in nasty ways?

As the script begins, Jon has appointed himself the official demon-slayer of The Holy Redeemer Church. Like all good Christians, he sets out for community game night with his Bible in one hand and a handgun in the other.

Ultimately, Jon and Bishop Tom find themselves in a showdown over a Scrabble Board. Jon aims his gun at the demon’s belly under the table and waits for the right moment to strike.

Will Jon slay the beast, or murder an innocent priest in cold blood?

Kill Your Demon successfully mixes elements from several genres together for one helluva-good script. Jon’s voice over dialogue is ripped from the pages of a Mickey Spillane detective novel. The words are so gritty, you can hear the sandpaper in Jon’s voice. The Scrabble board standoff is as tense as any Wild West gunfight: two gunslingers with itchy trigger fingers… with the balance of Heaven and Hell at stake. The twist ending’s so good it’s evil. And missing the opportunity to direct this one? In our minds – that would be a sin.

Budget: Moderate. One or two simple FX. A social hall/ rec center location.

About the Writer: Dena McKinnon has had four shorts produced. One of her shorts, The Box, directed by Sascha Zimmermann, has racked up numerous awards and has screened at Comic-Con. Dena has optioned one feature, Doggone, a buddy script cowritten with Kevin Lenihan. Currently, Dena has one feature in production, The Last Call, with Leo-PR, and is writing on assignment for an undisclosed TV producer. Check out Dena’s IMDB Credits. She can also be reached at girlbytheshore (a) hotmail.

Read Kill Your Demons (6 pages in PDF format)

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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.

About the reviewer:  David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No.2 pencil. In 2011 he began writing short films for MoviePoet.com and Simplyscripts.com. His produced short scripts include INSOMNIAC and THE DINER. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 (a) gmail.

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April 21, 2019

    Unwelcome by Julien Blaecke

    A very skilled blind man is confronted to an intruder pretending that the blind man is the one to intrude. 17 pages
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