At a viral research facility, a group of military and medical scientists investigate the mysterious deaths of military... more
HOW IT RATES
A Waikiki prostitute awakens at the airport unaware of how she got there. As she tries to piece together what happened, she quickly realizes everyone around her dying of a strange disease that she may be the source of.
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Reviews of iLL October 8
by IsaacTheSalsaShark on 11/10/2009The opening is really killer. The horrifying first scene and the scene in the airport had me hooked, and while I was interested in finding out what happened, some unnecessary and useless scenes made parts of the script a chore to read. First though, you have way too much description. Just put what we can see, a script is not a novel and shouldn't read like one. The story... The opening is really killer. The horrifying first scene and the scene in the airport had me hooked, and while I was interested in finding out what happened, some unnecessary and useless scenes made parts of the script a chore to read.
First though, you have way too much description. Just put what we can see, a script is not a novel and shouldn't read like one.
The story could be really interesting, but for most of the second act nothing pushes forward. Really for most of the film Heather is oblivious to her condition and doesn't even seem concerned that a lot of messed up things are happening around her. And that makes her kind of a boring person to follow.
I'd recommend making her more active in her attempts to find out what's wrong with her.
The end was in some ways predictable, but in other ways surprising. I sort of liked it, but it didn't seem to answer much of anything. Maybe if you moved the scenes after the hospital up you could flesh the ending out more. And I think there should be more hints of alien activity all through out the script, so it wouldn't seem out of the blue to some people.
Also, if Heather had surgery, I don't three days would be enough to recover enough to jump down stares and all the stuff she does.
I wasn't a huge fan of the dialogue. Some of it worked, but I feel like a lot of jokes fell flat.
Overall, the script has some good hooks and could make a really good script, but as is it's a bit meandering and doesn't have much dramatic punch.
Good Luck. read
by american dan on 11/06/2009Incredible as it is read, I found it bearable to understand the idea. Could be a Martian way to rid of humans. But, that would be my opinion. The writing was okay, I felt that it did flow. Except, it seems weird that a prostitute would be a good force of a killer. I did enjoy the talking dialogue. Manager from hell. Cool. But, the idea of this story goes to why would... Incredible as it is read, I found it bearable to understand the idea. Could be a Martian way to rid of humans. But, that would be my opinion. The writing was okay, I felt that it did flow. Except, it seems weird that a prostitute would be a good force of a killer. I did enjoy the talking dialogue. Manager from hell. Cool. But, the idea of this story goes to why would this ideal prostitute be placed on an island to kill everyone to keep a isolated island? Could have been more persuasive in that part, but it was a cool read.
American Dan read
by D_Order on 10/12/2009I just got done reading the screenplay, and I think you have quite the knack for pacing. It kept me quite engaged and I wanted to know more, but then when you go for the payoff I think you miss your mark. First off I like Heather. She's usually the type of character that I don't like, but she seemed sincere enough in the beginning that she drew me in. I loved that you placed... I just got done reading the screenplay, and I think you have quite the knack for pacing. It kept me quite engaged and I wanted to know more, but then when you go for the payoff I think you miss your mark. First off I like Heather. She's usually the type of character that I don't like, but she seemed sincere enough in the beginning that she drew me in. I loved that you placed her in the airport, a place of high security. I think you missed an opportunity when you never do explain how she got to the airport. This is the initial core mystery and you never come out and tell us the how or why of it. I have a guess, but that left me feel a bit left out when I didn't get to see the outcome.
I must start at the end when I ask where you want this screenplay to go. I know I am reading this sort of out of the blue, but I feel that you start off the movie one way, and then end in a totally different genre, which would be okay, but other than two or three scenes, you don't allow for a gradual transition. Other than skinned hands we don't have a clue about aliens until five minutes before the end of the movie. I feel you need to drop little clues along the way, something that maybe isn't obvious the first time you see the movie, but when you see it the second time you have the "Oh yeah" moment. Right now I'm worried you would get more anger at being cheated.
I like the idea about the vomit, but it's almost too much. Make their inside turn to mush and have them pop if you touch them, something besides vomit all the time. It was almost too much to read, and if that's the case it would be too much to watch. Vomit is one of those group experience things in human nature that we do collectively. It probably has something to do with others in the tribe worried about eating the same bad food. Even bad horror movies don't use vomit that much, though I will admit having her think her end is near was a nice touch. Is that worth a whole screenplay of green vomit? You need to decide.
While you have good pacing for most of the screenplay, I think the surgery scene till the end seemed to drag just a bit. I think there are probably ten or so pages that can be cut, if not more. Focus on the parts that really screw with Heather's head, and leave the rest behind. I think having her stumble out of the bar after holding Amy and seeing all the death around her and then getting drunk and awaking the next morning to being by herself would be good enough to move on. You never explain what the canisters are, how people get infected (through space proof suits no less), and how Heather is immune after they take the canisters out. If you are not going to go through that you can lose the whole hospital scene and those attached to it (the cop flipping the car, etc.). Just an idea. Either that or give more reason behind your plot device.
In conclusion I think you have something that you can hang the story on, but you need to do some work in framing it's bones better and decide what you are going to show about your plot device. I think if you work on that for your next draft then things will get simpler to work with your characters, and they will come to life more. I look forward to reading your next draft. read
by wilder on 10/10/2009Notes on Ill October Hi, I did have some major issues with the story, you have promise as a writer so I hope you won’t be discouraged. Summary – While the writer has some merit, the script is overly long and the story lacks clarity and focus. There is some good effort at characterisation but the main character is essentially a passive victim and the story seems to frequently... Notes on Ill October
Hi, I did have some major issues with the story, you have promise as a writer so I hope you won’t be discouraged.
Summary – While the writer has some merit, the script is overly long and the story lacks clarity and focus. There is some good effort at characterisation but the main character is essentially a passive victim and the story seems to frequently tangent into gratuitous misogyny. This is not unusual in the genre unfortunately, but by the end of the film the themes and the character’s story-arcs still hadn’t been established.
Still struggling a little with this. I think the idea is this: an alien being implants a prostitute with a device which will spread a deadly plague throughout humankind, exterminating the race, presumably so that the alien civilisation can take over the planet? The story however goes on numerous tangents of uncertain relevance, and the premise itself is not entirely clear – as it takes place on an island, what happens to the rest of the world? If it has all been destroyed why start from this small island, or were there perhaps other humans chosen to spread the plague? Also, why was a person necessary to transmit the plague at all? These questions all need to be addressed as there are several apparent holes in the plot, or at least the writer needs to communicate more clearly with the audience.
Genre – Horror of sorts with zombie-apocalyptic and gross-out elements, incorporating straight drama and brief digressions in the direction of torture-porn, ultimately turning towards sci-fi / fantasy.
Story – We open with the sadistic torture / murder of a young woman – it is clichéd and unpleasant. I am on guard at this point as I think a film with violence towards women needs to really justify this kind of plotline – it is so common, yet there are so few credible reasons for exploring it, and if there isn’t a compelling reason for including it then either it is a misogynistic fantasy (pretty twisted stuff, not exactly ‘entertainment’) or lazy reliance on genre staples to create ‘horror’. That said, you do your best to make Heather a rounded character, but this is how it comes across to me. You might want to check out the ‘Bitter Script Reader’ blog as he has some interesting comments on this kind of thing.
Here is my problem with it: from a story point of view, I am completely confused as to what purpose this scene serves. Why did the Alien come for Heather, just as she is busy being tortured by a sadistic kidnapper, some random coincidence? Is she cursed or something? What is the relevance of her abduction and torture by the sadist to anything that follows? Is this meant to be character development? How did the Alien choose her, is there some connection, was he just trying to find someone who was conveniently tied up, did the violence towards her make him so angry he wanted to destroy the world (but not without causing her further excruciating pain)? It doesn’t come across.
Other difficulties with the story – I don’t understand who the ‘spacemen’ are who come to take Heather away in a submarine, or why their suits offer them no protection in the end. At the end of the film, I’m not sure exactly what just happened.
In Heather, we have both an interesting lead with several dimensions to her character, and a generally passive eternal victim. It is characteristic of horror (though in my opinion not the best horror, see Alien etc) that the lead character does little to drive the story and is simply helpless, subject to events beyond their control or even influence. Poor Heather is suffocated, has an elbow repeatedly driven into her face, she is nearly raped, also shot, tazered, attacked by her dog, covered in vomit, surgically violated, etc etc etc. Is this all necessary? Also, she is a prostitute, and frequently shown naked, more frequently suffering.
It reminds me of female characters in Dancer in the Dark or Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier in general) they are good at heart but the world just hurts them one sick way after another. I can’t help but be conscious that this world is created by a writer, and yes of course it is a male writer. It takes me out of the story and starts me thinking about the motivations, is it trying to tell us something about strength of character, or what?
In a way it works that Heather is lonely and ‘rock bottom’, and it is touching when she begins to find trust again with Amy, only to have it taken away. I think you are trying to develop a story element with her, and how she is only looking for love and acceptance, which she sort of finds with the Alien (?) at the end - this is interesting but needs work. The other characters in the story are well differentiated.
There is some pretty good dialogue, not really enough subtext and drama between the characters to create the possibility of great dialogue, but they sound real & distinct, and have some warmth to them.
More or less linear. The running time is too long, we don’t get into the bones of the story for a long time and there is little to drive the suspense. I can’t comment further as I think the whole story needs reworking.
So-So. It looks potentially expensive and I have to admit I quickly (if not immediately) tired of seeing the black eyes, veins on face, and green vomit. Visually it could be more creative throughout, though you do understand visual storytelling.
Only the writer knows if there is a great idea here which is not being communicated in this draft of the script. If so a rewrite is definitely in order, otherwise there is some good work but I’d suggest working on a stronger project to develop your evident skills.
Generally, there is some writing which is not filmable, for example:
‘ Not sure which way to go but
anywhere is better then here.’
‘Her eyes faint.’
‘Her eyes fearful; eyes of a victim but somehow
contain an innocence.’
‘The shape almost human, but as it focuses
‘An old-world color of spider web veins cultivate on her
‘Her perky nipples brush against the curtain’ (erect nipples?)
‘Stubby Japanese man, sitting on our chest, an evil
‘He grabs a pack of cigarettes on the counter, takes his sweet ass time lighting it’ – from a screenplay pov, there’s no difference between ‘sweet ass time’ and ‘time’.
It appears to be some kind of surgical knife. Ominous. P68 (No, really?)
‘The wounds exposed and grotesque like the hidden events in her life.’ – literary metaphor
He accidentally spills a cold cup of coffee on the floor.p97 (how do we know it’s cold?)
Honolulu's landmark Hotel. Heather has set up camp on the roof. Not sure if she knows it or not, but it's the tallest Hotel in Hawaii: 396 ft. p114
Sabori – not described – p9
‘Nobodies going to come
bursting through the door’.p23 (nobody’s)
‘pile drives his
elbow square in her face several times’ p30
And she survives this attack, gets up & carries on?
You’re real name.
You’re real badge number.
That bad Mexican beer, Corona p39 – product placement, opinion – and I beg to differ!
I’ve dance with girls before. P88
p98 – surgery description, don’t really get it
‘The cylinder is then placed in a
endocatch bag for removal from one of the small ports.’
The vehicles appear abandon, empty. P99 (typo)
‘Are mode of
travel today will be submarine.’ (our mode…)
Breaks = brakes
She is dressed in a Tshirt
and jeans, her own cloths. P106 (clothes)
The backyard hood scoop kisses the pavement. (?)
The engines have a HIGH PITCHED WINE. (whine)
The deceased are innumerable. The carcasses of the
once living are strewn everywhere. (one or the other)
She finds the most expensive one. It's a Carson
XM Series Binocular (product placement)
A BARRAGE OF IMAGES (A montage)
by gapoz on 10/10/2009I always like to start by acknowledging my appreciation for the writer's efforts. It's not easy to write a screenplay. Harder still, is to write one well. Although there were parts of this story that I enjoyed, I'm afraid that overall it left me quite frustrated. It had no ending. No resolution to events. No answers to the many questions raised. Not even clues or suggestions... I always like to start by acknowledging my appreciation for the writer's efforts. It's not easy to write a screenplay. Harder still, is to write one well. Although there were parts of this story that I enjoyed, I'm afraid that overall it left me quite frustrated. It had no ending. No resolution to events. No answers to the many questions raised. Not even clues or suggestions that would lead one to their own conclusions. In short, it was ultimately pointless. A collection of events that served no purpose and told no story.
My suggestion would be first and foremost, create a story that contains a beginning, a middle, and an end. Create a story that has a point, even if not a good one. Once you have done that, determine if it's really a screenplay you intend to write, or a short story, or a novel. While all these share common components of story telling, their format and style is much different. Your story is told as a story, not as a screenplay. I took the following notes while reading. Please note that they stop after a dozen or so pages, not because the problems disappear, but because the problems that plague it have already been pointed out.
p.1 "It has the rhythm of kapalabhati yoga breathing or “breath of fire.”
Unneeded, and it hurts the read if the reader is not familiar with the references..
p.1 Here is what is useful in the first 16 lines of text in the hotel room.
HEATHER FORINASH, 24, lies immobilized on a sheet of plastic, pants, terrified. Duct tape covers her mouth. Her nostrils flare, eyes dart. Someone fumbles about the room, and she vainly arches to see them. A shadow crosses her face.
You spend an entire page giving us those basic facts.
Don't refer to 'her' before introducing her.
Limit blocks of text. Trim, trim, trim, until all that remains is essential.
"CLOSE ON EYES".. Don't direct.
"This is definitely not yoga class."
"Her eyes seem to will us to hear her scream"
"She needs more oxygen to accomplish the feat"
This type of description means nothing to the director, since he has no idea how to show it. Your job, is to create a blueprint of visual and auditory information to tell the story. This stuff is fine for a novel, but is of no help to a director.
Allow the description of the visual to naturally express to the director how they need to shoot.
"Brutally, a plastic bag is stuffed over her head. Her eyes fill with panic. Her nostrils suck the last bit of air collapsing the bag, conforming it to her face. She has
vacuumed sealed herself. Her eyes go deadpan."
Same problems here, combined with the fact that her head is now covered with a bag and you are telling us what happens with her eyes. How do we see that? Do we have a camera in the bag with her?
"The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel" Again, of no use in a screenplay. Save this type description for novels and short stories.
A BETTER PLACE"
This is improper. Get rid of the fade in, and make a true scene heading.
Get rid of the caps. Except for character intros, they are not used anymore.
p.2 Far far too much unneeded description. I am not going to continue pointing this out, but be aware that references to thoughts and such simply do no good to a director. Look at every word you write and determine if it is obviously visual. If not, it isn't of any use. Tell the director what they can SHOW us, but not how to show it.
p.3 "A MAN reading a newspaper. A GOTHIC GIRL grooving to an mp3 player An OVERWEIGHT LADY biting into a sandwich."
This is all passive writing. SPs require ACTIVE writing, thus this should read:
"A MAN reads a newspaper. A GOTHIC GIRL grooves to an mp3 player. An OVERWEIGHT LADY bites into a sandwich."
Search for 'ing' and clean these up where you can.
"But stands too fast on her platform shoes, teeters. The blood rushes to her head. Her eyes flutter. She drops to the floor."
Again, the blood rising to her head is not something we can see, and is not needed. Moreover, if she stood quickly, it would be the blood rushing OUT of her head that would cause dizzyness. Try:
"She stands too quickly, eyes flutter. She drops to the floor"
Half of any good story is told between the lines, by gently guiding the viewer/reader to embellish it correctly. Sub text is needed.
"A SOLDIER, 19, sitting nearby, rushes to her aid like she’s a wounded comrade on the battlefield. Helps her to a sitting
position. Wafts air into her face with his military issue cap."
Too much, too passive.. consider:
"A nearby SOLDIER, 19, rushes to her aid - waves his cap in her face"
OK, at this point, I'm not going to continue addressing problems that will obviously be repeated throughout the script. Just be aware that your descriptive text should be active, concise, and delivered in short bursts that keep the reader moving along. The faster and cleaner the read, the more impact it has.
p.4 "One of her five children, LITTLE GIRL, 4, discovers a purse under the seat where Heather had been lying. She eagerly takes it to her."
This is NOT one of 'her' five children since we have been referring to Heather.
p.6 "INT. AIRPORT BATHROOM - DAY (LATER)
Still in the sanctuary of the bathroom stall. Her breathing is normal. Her eyes fearful; eyes of a victim but somehow contain an innocence. She panics into the cell phone.
I don’t know how I got here.
I’m serious. No, I don’t remember
I’m freak’in out here. Can you just
pick me up?"
First, you are already there, so no need for a new scene. Secondly, the format here for speaking into the phone, and waiting while you listen, is wrong. Consider instead:
Breathes normally. Speaks on her cell phone.
I don't know how I got here ... No, I'm serious ... I don't remember anything"
If you don't remember 'nothing', then you obviously remember something.. I realize this is dialog, and maybe you are trying to convey she is not too bright, in which case it's fine..
p.6 "INT. SABORI’S CAR - MOVING"
Left out the day/night and moving is improper
"INT. CAR - DAY (TRAVELING)"
"Heather reclines back in the passenger seat letting the wind blow deep into her lungs. The scenic view of the ocean carousels outside the window."
"reclines back" - this is redundant. What other way can you recline..
She lets the wind blow into her lungs? This is odd. The scenic view carousels? So, it spins around?
"In the passenger seat, Heather reclines, breathes deeply, and takes in the ocean view"
I am not trying to re-write you here. I'm just trying to help you understand that descriptions need to be concise and to the point.
Readers conjure images as they read. It is important to give them the tools in the correct order, and just enough to allow them, or the director, to paint the picture.
p.12 "I/E. APARTMENT LANAI - DAY"
This is never a correct scene heading. If the scene moves between external and internal in the same shot, it would be EXT./INT., not I/E.
These shots are generally used only in situations where it is subjective, and noted as such.
p.15 An entire page with only 1 word of dialog. Way too long winded here, and far too many big blocks of text.
p.24 I find it hard to believe she would bring a John to the room and then go take a shower. Would she not have done this prior to baiting her hook?
I see you use "careens" again. The first time it appeared, it was out of place. It is out of place here as well. Stick with simple. She turns her head.
p.72 how is it that the doc dies so quickly. It took a long time for anyone else.
Kirks wife calls the police because the door is locked?
I see careens used again.. At least it makes sense this time..
Why has she gone to see a pysch, but never bothered going to a doctor about her wounds? This seems totally stupid.
p.76 "lays" is not a word. "Lies"
p.77 the whole reaction to Amy is off the wall. Put yourself in her position. She is wounded, almost just passed out and died, her dog has attacked her, and she is suddenly off track with Amy.
p.96 the cops run in with little face masks?
I really began worrying at page 100 or so, wondering how in the world you were going to wrap this all up and tell us what the story is. I was right to worry, because you never did. Heather simply went from scene to scene basically accomplishing nothing. She never had a turning point where she delineated a mission to accomplish. There was never any explanation of what had happened, why it happened, why Heather was chosen, why she was immune, or even what the point of it was to the aliens. This 'story' is missing critical elements that make a story interesting, entertaining, and fulfilling. A lot of work is needed here if your intent is to entertain, or sell this for hopeful fruition. Best of luck. read
by GChase on 10/10/2009First of all, you had me before I started reading with your graphic - the smudge title and hands on glass – very creepy! Good logline too – I wanted to know more. Great opening! I had to keep reading – what the heck is going on? You had me. Your story drew me right in. Your writing is terrific, vivid – visually very strong. Love the dialogue – the Angelica lady with her kids... First of all, you had me before I started reading with your graphic - the smudge title and hands on glass – very creepy! Good logline too – I wanted to know more.
Great opening! I had to keep reading – what the heck is going on? You had me. Your story drew me right in. Your writing is terrific, vivid – visually very strong. Love the dialogue – the Angelica lady with her kids is terrific – very disconcerting but kind of funny too. I like that it’s set in Hawaii too – I don’t see that too often and the island idea works very well in the isolation feeling that’s going on.
I’m completely engaged in your story, enjoy the characters – I really like Heather (our heroine) and want to follow her as she tries to unravel this mystery. I think you’ve drawn all your characters so that we really get a sense of them – even the minor minor characters are well done – the soldier, the creepy cop, Mrs. Jenkins. I love the dialogue – it’s got a great sense of humor and the characters really come alive because of it. Very well done!
Due to time constraints on my part I couldn’t read it in one sitting – though I really couldn’t put it down – but while I was away from it, it really stuck with me – I wanted to get back to it – that says a lot about the world and characters you’ve created and the desire on my part to see it all make sense at some point.
My only criticism is that at some point in the middle – it becomes a bit ‘more of the same thing’ with Heather – everyone she comes in contact with becomes ill and dies – all her encounters are well written and I’m with the story but at a certain point you need to up the ante. Heather is trying to find out what happened to her so I guess you could say she’s active but it still feels that the circumstances are moving her along. At some point I think as our heroine, she needs to start to really drive the story.
As an example, I would liken this idea to Three Days of the Condor – if you haven’t seen it – it’s fantastic – but in that movie, for the first half of what I would call Act 2, Robert Redford’s character is reacting to the chaos around him – has no idea what is going on. Beginning half way through Act 2 he becomes active – starts taking the reins – he has a plan and he then drives the story to its conclusion. We’re rooting for him all along but when he starts to drive the story we really get behind him. It takes it to the next level.
In the same way I feel that Heather is reacting to this chaos around her but it’s that certain point – mid Act 2 that I feel she needs to really become active. She is trying to call who she was with the night before and asking her friends about the night before so she’s not inactive but I want to see her with a plan. She’s seen the marks on her back. Let her be the one who goes to Sabori and says ‘you know the psychologist guy who does hypnosis, I need to see him’ – let her drive that inquiry – let her have the plan. I like her using her network to get to the bottom of this – it’s uniquely her. Then with the info she gets in that session – all the images she sees – she may know her encounter was not of this world – maybe, maybe not – but she at least has more knowledge.
When she goes to the emergency room in the ambulance, after the accident with the cop, the CT scan reveals the cylinders in her back. I think it would be more effective if she was the one initiating the scan – grabs a cops gun or something and forces the doctors to scan her – she needs to know what the hell is inside her – she’s seen the marks, she suspects she’s making people sick, she’s got the knowledge from the hypnosis session so she’s acting on that trying to get to the bottom of this. The scene can play out as it is I suppose with the cylinder exploding etc but she’s gotten more information from it and she’d be driving the story.
I feel like maybe it needs to be her that somehow draws out the saucer, draws it to come to her – she’s seen the alien markings, maybe she uses them in some way on the rooftop, maybe she sets a trap thinking it’s this evil alien creature – whatever – but I want her to be the one driving things. Things can still fall apart as you have them but let her have the plan. We want our heroine to succeed and it’ll give us a whole new kind of excitement, we’ll be rooting for her in a whole new way, if we see she’s got a plan and is now executing it.
I love the end where you turn our expectation on its head and the creature cradles and comforts her. Very unexpected. It leaves me though, wanting a bit more explanation. My thoughts: In thinking about it, I figure the cylinders were implanted to kill those around her or the whole island, but why? A hooker is a good person who comes in contact with a lot of different people so it would be spread quicker perhaps. I guess leaving her at the airport is a good place to get to a lot of people. I felt that the creature was her protector in the beginning but maybe he just wants to use her too. He is definitely comforting her at the end, so did he protect her at the beginning too when she was being attacked by the john? Was more going on than just implanting her and using her to kill everyone? At the end I felt a little bit like – that’s it – I want to know more! Please. Make it make more sense. Why does he comfort her if he’s just using her as a weapon? Why kill all the people on the island? Do the aliens want the island for their own use? How does she figure in? Maybe some of the answers are there but I missed them if they are. I like that you leave us wondering and I don’t think you need a lot in this vein but a little bit more to fill it out for us would make it more satisfying in the end.
I don’t think it would take too much reworking of your second half to put Heather more in the driver’s seat. The story could play out pretty much as is with those adjustments and it would make it much more engaging.
I really like this piece. I’ll love this piece if you can give us a few more answers in the end as well. Great job!
A few typos I noticed along the way:
top of pg 5 “snatches Little Girl’s arm”
mid page 16 “she finally removes her hand…”
end pg 37 “used my head to block a spike”
page 38 – it’s not a typo but why the editorial “that bad Mexican beer”? I don’t understand why that’s in there – seems judgmental since it’s not the character talking
Page 52 “Betty wanders inside” – unless you intend “wonders”
Page 53 “not sure if the dog wants to be bathed or not”
Page 53 “…contortionist, wraps her arms…”
Page 59 Tight on vial.
Page 62 “I do feel like kicking somebody’s ass around…”
Page 98 ‘Prepares to make the initial incision when he REGURGITATES behind his mask’ – I don’t think regurgitates is correct here – that would mean actually bringing up food which I don’t think you intend – he’s belching right? False alarm. A wonderful moment by the way.
Pg 103 “Our mode of travel today will be submarine.” read
by bankshot on 10/09/2009The writing itself is exceptionally clear, concise and sharp. At every point I felt immersed in the story. I wasn't made aware that I was reading a screenplay; I was watching it unfold in my head, to the point where I gasped out loud when Heather ran over the corpse. The dialogue is fluid, natural, and characterizing. Good work there as well. I think the structure tilts... The writing itself is exceptionally clear, concise and sharp. At every point I felt immersed in the story. I wasn't made aware that I was reading a screenplay; I was watching it unfold in my head, to the point where I gasped out loud when Heather ran over the corpse.
The dialogue is fluid, natural, and characterizing. Good work there as well.
I think the structure tilts a little bit. You dole out some good mysteries and suspense throughout. This plot is just as much about a girl skating the edge and her crumbling life, which is fine, but I wouldn't say it instilled me with any kind of horror, either the existentialist kind or traditional shock.
As I understand it, the crux of the horror here is that you have someone who's an outsider, who pushes people away, and she ends up as literally alone as she has made herself in life. And it's only among hideous aliens that she finally gets a sense of peace. But I feel like the personal relationships are for naught in the story. Sabori dies almost off-screen, as the closest friend. Amy's is probably the most meaningful interaction in Heather's world, and that seems to really be the end to me, the last chance. Once Amy drops, everybody starts to go, and though I thought at first her death was lost amid that tide, I think it's still very good.
But that brings me to Creepy Cop. I like him. He's a decent fellow. He interacts well with Heather, bringing out the worst in her character with the best in his. But he's almost extraneous to the story. You could have the entire script without his two scenes: just have Heather hang out around the motel till the Christian leaves, and have the EMTs take Heather to the hospital (Kenny can be one of them), and it's the same experience for Heather. In fact, then we as an audience would get freaked out by watching or hearing her would-be rapist take a tumble from a distance amid choking spasms, making it a more personal experience, more evidence that things aren't right.
Now I don't want to get rid of Creepy Cop. As I said, I like him, and he's good for Heather as a main character. But he ought to be more pivotal somehow. Amy gets Heather out of the house, Sabori gets Heather to Kirk...CC just drops a touch of exposition that's almost irrelevant. Martial law? Seems abrupt given the streets were full of revelers an hour earlier. I realize it's totally relevant to the explosion of the pandemic, but I think it's one of those things better shown than said, evident in the chaotic state of things. Find a way to keep him around, maybe get closer, and have Heather push him away harder.
No major problems, only a few typos. The gap between the family in the airport and their illness on the plane struck me as unnaturally long though.
I like it. I want to love it. I want to be terrified by it. You've got a knack for the ghastly in the final act. I'd love to see more of it in the beginning, twisting up the tension, especially since the primary victims (Steve, Navy Man, Margaret) are horrible people out to hurt Heather (or at least ruin her life). read
by bishop76 on 10/08/2009Let me first start off by saying "THANK YOU!". I just requested a screenplay assignment and was thrilled when I got to read a horror script, as I am a connoisseur when it comes to horror, and I couldn't believe how constructive and fascinating this really was. I read it in little more than an hour, I was HOOKED! I would like to first comment you on how well your script was... Let me first start off by saying "THANK YOU!". I just requested a screenplay assignment and was thrilled when I got to read a horror script, as I am a connoisseur when it comes to horror, and I couldn't believe how constructive and fascinating this really was. I read it in little more than an hour, I was HOOKED!
I would like to first comment you on how well your script was formatted. I understood every little detail and didn't have to be confused with big words like "contortionist" or "protrusion" because the characters themselves would explain them through their actions. You have a vivid explaination of telling things and in here they work. I had no problems with your formatting what so ever, even though this is only my second review I feel as if I am learning more and more everyday. Your dialog I really enjoyed, especially the conversations between Heather and Amy. They really brought life to the characters and gave them a will of their own.
As for your structure, their are certain "rules" that people follow when they write a horror script. Whether it be when supernatural, scientific, or naturalistic. and that is they always envolve a certain weakness that evey character has or get's and overcomes them in some sort of way. Even though I couldn't tell whether or not that was achieved I will say one thing, your protaganoist had a lot of problems and all of them naturalistic. I really felt for her! You executed that part quite effectivly.
And now on to your story, there were some minor plot holes that I just couldn't figure out for the life of me. Now correct me if I am wrong, but that was an alien that abducted her right? and who were the men in the space suits? and what was that thing in Heathers chest? I'm kinda guessing it was a poison gas. Did eveyone on earth die then? actually forget that one. Besides these small points I really enjoyed your story line. I was taken by the first ten pages. Now I do admit there were some scenes that could have been shortened down, like the scene where Heather drives around and everyone is dead. It could have been shortened by a simple MONTAGE. I don't think you would have wanted that though.
I also considered some character flaws, why would Heather go out and party the night her friend died? The scene could have easily sufficed if they partied at either Amy's or Heather's. They should have partied at Amys, at least we'd get a little backround info on her. but hey! it's a horror script the characters don't usually have backstories unless it's the main character. Another thing that bothered me, or could have been explained better, is why did the alien do that to her? Did he love her???
But the thing I really liked about this story was the plot, straight out executed. It never failed to bore, and it kept me guessing till the end. My honest truth, there are just a few minor problems with the characters and certain scenes that could be altered(check below) but that's entirely up to you. I would honestly like to see this be made into a feature flick.
maybe a sequel? NO, it's perfect the way it is. I can sense you really worked hard on this and for that I congratulate you. I don't think I'll ever be able to write this good. And with that being said, I'll keep reading until I'm able to. Man, thanks for the best hour of my life. I'll look forward to reading more of your scripts in the future.
Problems/ Alterations(again only small problems/changes and only if you want to):
Character development in Heather(wouldn't she take Sabori's death harder?)
Party could be moved to Amy's or Heather's(as listed above)
Heather's car scene altered to a MONTAGE(as listed above and only if you want to)
Heather's poison gas explained more thoroughly
Astronauts presence explained more
The reason the alien did that to her?
Again these are all small problems. I really enjoyed this the way it was. I hope I helped in some way. read
- Writer: Jeff Burns
- Uploaded by: burnsj002
- Length: 119 pages
- Genre: horror, sci-fi/fantasy
- This is a horror with Sci-Fi elements. It does feature profanity, sexual situations, and disturbing images. Thanks for reviewing!
- Bio: I have a Computer Science Degree from Hawaii Pacific University. I won the the Maui Writer's Conference for Screenplay in 1994.
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