Review of: Horror House 

reviewed by RJWIII on 01/14/2010
Credited Review
Slaughterhouse Credited Review
This was an entertaining read: You have a great imagination. Your descriptions are particularly well done and the action scenes are very vivid. Some further tightening of the structure and dialogue would make this a stronger horror script.

Page 1: It’s best to use adverbs sparingly and only if there is no other suitable word to use in the description. “The monstrously sized dark figure...” could be changed to ‘The monstrous dark figure...” and ‘...jabs his finger at the Gate Keeper...’ is better than “...points irately at the Gate Keeper...”

Page 3: VICTOR: “I have something different planned for this year. There will be no more bums or hitchhikers...” - All of the dialogue in this scene is right on the nose. It would be much more effective if he didn’t state his intentions up front (feeding humans to his children) and then later in the script we get the big reveal when his diabolical plan comes to light.

Page 5: Flyer INSERT: That’s an awful lot of text to read when viewing a movie. Best to chop that down to a couple of lines for an quick read.

Page 7: “James opens his locker...a yellow flyer falls out and lands near his feet.” – Seems a might odd that Victor would be sneaking around the men’s locker room stuffing flyers into people’s lockers. It’s more plausible he tacked a few up in the quad and stuck them on windshields, as he did with Peter’s car.

Page 10: “RYAN PHILLIPS, 23 professionally neat, and his room mate, KEN ROGERS, 24 career motivated...” – You should only use character descriptions that can be viewed; these are personality traits. Show not tell.

Page 13: It’s Taekwondo, not Takwondo.

Page 24: There are several structural problems with your first act that need to be addressed. There are slow build horror movies made, but this script falls into the subgenre of slasher, so you need a thrilling hook at the beginning to pull the reader in. At page twenty all ten of the major characters have received their flyers: We should be introduced to all of these people by page ten and shortly thereafter (pages 10-12) an inciting incident needs to occur. Pages 20-24: These four scenes at the Old Flour Mill (really it’s one scene, as each of the four scene headings are the same location) are not needed: Skip this and take us directly to the haunted house.

Page 31: KEN: “The blonde’s name is Joy, but I already have dibs on her. I’m not sure what her friend’s name is.” – There are a lot of individual conversations transpiring between each pair of characters. They should all be thrown together early in the script and a group dynamic needs to develop so we see how the characters interact with one another.

Page 55: “James steps away from Miriam and looks toward the ceiling.” – This is Ron, not James. “JAMES: What was that?” – Also Ron.

This piece moved fast and kept my interest all the way through to the end. Give it a rewrite, work the kinks out, and it will be much better.

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