When a shoplifter's past returns to haunt him, he finds himself an unwitting pawn in a terrorist plot.
HOW IT RATES
Supernatural forces conspire to put a heroin addict and serial killer on parallel paths.
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Reviews of The Current 34
by Bennett Rea on 08/13/2011This was one hell of a gritty script, and not my personal taste, but it was well done and, overall, is quite solid. THE GOOD: Vivid imagery. Your description is great; the right amount of restraint vs. painting the picture adequately. Tension runs throughout the script. Your creation of suspense is well done. Shocking, at times. I'm not talking about the Hostel-type shocks,... This was one hell of a gritty script, and not my personal taste, but it was well done and, overall, is quite solid.
Vivid imagery. Your description is great; the right amount of restraint vs. painting the picture adequately.
Tension runs throughout the script. Your creation of suspense is well done.
Shocking, at times. I'm not talking about the Hostel-type shocks, either, which did occur here. I'm talking about Rosie's (seeming) death, for example. Totally forgot the synopsis and that Leonard was a serial killer and it surprised me in a refreshing way.
The concept is gutsy and dark. Though I think your logline doesn't really describe the script very well, the actual concept for The Current is pretty original.
Action is written cleanly. It's a fairly fast read.
WHAT NEEDS WORK:
I felt like you had two movies going on here. For the first 55 or so pages, I really liked this script. It was intense, dark, and thrilling. Then, it changed to a Hostel-type movie. I actually even mention in my bio that I pretty much hate movies like Hostel, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but that's where you lost me. It went from intriguing thriller to a contest of one-upping past "torture porn," so to speak. I felt as though this would be a story about Lenny and Marnie. Even the great reveal that Lenny killed Tammy would have worked, and I felt like that could've gone to great dramatic places for both characters, but you sacrificed that to instead show an hour of murder, rape, and other degeneration. Now, if it fits, it fits. But to me, it felt like it was there for its own sake; nothing more. Readability-wise, too, those parts were not your best. This script was at its best when it created tension (see below for specifics that worked). It was at its worst when it reveled in gore and depravity. I'd give this screenplay even higher marks if there was more suspense and less torture porn, because to me, that's what makes me keep reading and watching.
Going off of that, Lenny's character. Were you trying to make him sympathetic or merely interesting? He is definitely the latter, but there's no shred of sympathy for him that's for sure, even with his relationship with Robert. I never sensed that he would've for one second sacrificed anything to help the kid. I thought you were setting up to have a Dexter-like lead with him; this was not the case. Perhaps many of my problems were built on expectations, but these expectations came mostly from the first 50 pages of your script. While some people may like hating Leonard, I was unpleasantly surprised when he turned out to be, basically, the serial killer from a thousand cheap horror flicks. He could have been so much more, in my mind.
Put some more description when you introduce characters. You basically just gave ages and I had to do all the imagining on my own (I do love imagination, of course, but just putting SHELDON and his age isn't enough).
This script will never be made with less than an NC-17 unless they make it a cartoon, so it may be a tough sell. I think that is mostly the graphic rape accounts added in with the gore. That said, if it's your vision, it's your vision.
Your ending, overall, was good, but I would have liked the last image to be involving Marnie. As beautiful as that description is, I just felt like I should be with the character I've been following all along.
5 SPECIFIC THINGS THAT WORKED:
Pg. 22 - "What was her name" and Marnie responds "Her name is Tammy." Nice subtext there.
Pg. 84 - Great, tense scene with Chad on the boat. Leonard made my skin crawl with his repeated questioning.
Good suspense with the first Tammy sighting. Chilling.
I love the image of Marnie navigating through the playground trying to get to the little girl.
The scene where Leonard finds Marnie is his house is very intense. Dramatic irony used well.
5 THINGS THAT DID NOT:
Pg. 48 - the "make like a penguin" line did not work for me at all. It's a little jokey for my taste, and the rest of the scene is so damn tense; it just didn't fit.
Pg. 115 - Daniel should probably be Robert.
The first scene with Shirley and Marnie sprawled a bit. It felt too long. I'd cut some of the dialogue and take it down by about half a page.
The images of Tammy are a little too Ring-like for me. The scary women later, underwater, worked for me, but your description of Tammy made her seem too much like that girl from The Ring.
Pretty much the entire montage sequence of violence when Marnie is held captive. Actually, most all of the stuff that happens there. I don't want to ask you to scale it back, because it's your choice (obviously) to inject that much gore in there, but it felt like I was being hit over the head with a cartoon mallet of depravity.
As I've said, I'm not a fan of Saw or Hostel, but this is a good script. You're a very good writer, the dialogue was almost never a problem, and the story itself worked for me.
My only real issues were about expectations created in the first half. Of course, a midpoint in a script changes things. But this, to me, almost felt like a From Dusk Til Dawn type of change. Gritty, suspenseful, horror/drama to straight torture porn. I feel like while you are good at the latter, you are better at writing the former. And honestly, the former will probably sell better, unless you go super low-budget. I just felt like a great script was squandered in favor of a good script. What could have been an amazing horror/drama with many thrills and chills was instead turned into Hostel with a little more heart.
Marnie's character doesn't engender sympathy as much as it engenders pity, and Leonard's character is fascinating, but ultimately pure evil, it seems. I'd work a little on your two mains and flesh them both out a little. Pure evil in a horror movie, is fine, I suppose, but this script could be much more than your typical torture porn flick (it's already a very good one, at that). All that said, I hope you don't think my dislike of the sub-genre has colored my review, because I'm giving you good ratings here. I guess I just am greedy and wanted more out of the initial setup. Cheers! read
by 10pagesaday on 08/12/2011NON STORY STUFF: Write in present tense CONCEPT: The concept has been done before but the way you use it here is a little more personal. Although I must say besides Marnie running in the middle of the street after her dead sister and in front of her future tormentor I didn't get the connection. STORY: Didn't reel me in at first, I was thinking typical serial killer story...
NON STORY STUFF:
Write in present tense
The concept has been done before but the way you use it here is a little more personal. Although I must say besides Marnie running in the middle of the street after her dead sister and in front of her future tormentor I didn't get the connection.
Didn't reel me in at first, I was thinking typical serial killer story. Marnie's flashbacks were a bit confusing. What was the deal with the bone handled knife? I must have missed it. Marnie tells Sourds about the situation and like every other serial killer story he doesn't believe her. Marnie goes to handle the situation herself and on cue she gets caught. Where the story comes alive for me is when we find out that our twin terrors aren't just rapist killers but entrepreneurs. I thought that was the difference that the script needed. Denby gives them a business tip and they get right on it, very good. Leonard all off a sudden sees dead people, I didn't get that. Now Sourds all of a sudden pays attention to Marnie's bits of info. He follows the lead without letting anyone know and gets killed, this scenario has been done too many times before, think of a fresher way. Marnie gets loose, did her sister somehow break her free? The story was good but being that there are tons of serial killer movies some scenes felt stale.
MARNIE: was a strong willed, tough, firebrand. She was a person who in different circumstances could've done well in life. She and the other women were the heart of the story. People or women who have been deemed by society as not worthy.
LEONARD: was the best character, I loved the way you set him up. We see his fascination with water in which later becomes his torture of choice. As he speaks with Chad we learn that he was bullied in school. Although we might not quite feel for him, you gave us deep insight on what makes him tick.
SHELDON: was just the average but fun crazy king of the looney tunes.
STRUCTURE: you handled well. At times though it felt like it was too on cue.
DIALOGUE: was good. Everyone had their own distinctive voice. Sometimes though Leonard, Sheldon spoke the same.
OVERALL, I thought the supernatural parts of this script didn't jump out at me. I'm thinking the supernatural parts are suppose to give Marnie some sort of clue on how to handle a situation. If that's the case sometimes for me it fell short or I just didn't understand. As I mentioned before there are two situations that felt stale and those our mostly with Sourds scenes. Other than that this was written very well. read
by ProfRedSweater on 08/11/2011I went into The Current with high expectations, based primarily on an intriguing logline and the categorization of the script as horror. Unfortunately these same preconceptions also stopped me from fully enjoying the script that was written. “Supernatural forces conspire to put a heroin addict and serial killer on parallel paths”. The “Supernatural forces” don’t seem supernatural... I went into The Current with high expectations, based primarily on an intriguing logline and the categorization of the script as horror. Unfortunately these same preconceptions also stopped me from fully enjoying the script that was written. “Supernatural forces conspire to put a heroin addict and serial killer on parallel paths”. The “Supernatural forces” don’t seem supernatural at all for the film, instead outside of a few scenes at the end (where Leonard sees the women he’s butchered) they seem more like guilt induced memories or hallucinations. And the “parallel paths” isn’t really accurate as instead it’s more just about victim and prey (albeit who is what shifts a bit). Also the horror could be more stated as gore, as there aren’t many actual scares, although I suppose a lot of horror films are gore.
I’m moving on from that, as that’s just a problem with packaging. But really I think this is a gory thriller about a serial killer who abducts street junkies and the one junkie who fights back. Not a logline (as it gives away quite a bit) but still.
The good news! It’s a very well written script and quite entertaining. The writing style is detailed and specific without getting in the way of the action. There are quite a few grammar mistakes, but a good proofread will fix that. And I think the set up is quite solid.
Leonard is a compelling serial killer. The way he’s set up is really nice. You get the creep factor immediately, but his relationship with Robert makes him compassionate. And yes, you know he’s the serial killer when you see the broach, but the way it unfolds is nice. You see the sex part first, then the bizarre ritual with the bath tub, and then what’s great is that the hinted at cottage is left until further on in the script to be revealed. Once we get there things get pretty brutal, but there’s some unique aspects to it. If I have one problem with his arc it’s near the end when he kills Kelly. It doesn’t seem necessary in the moment to kill her and it really seems to go against his character. He values family. I would like to see that moment worked out some more so it feels justified. Even if she heard the Officer say something incriminating I’d believe it more.
Marnie is ok, she’s got some spunk, she’s got a goal, but I only feel for her because she’s so brutalized by Leonard and Sheldon. I’m not sure if she really changes her ways by the end (what is her arc? What does she learn about herself?), but at least she figures out what happened to her sister. If she did have a more personal transformation it might make the journey more justified for some people. Almost like if it took this terrible harrowing event for her to stop being a street junkie then, well, maybe it was worth while.
Sheldon is twisted and little more, and that’s ok for a sidekick. But the trouble with most of the secondary characters is that all the women are victims (and weak except for Marnie) and all of the guys are abusive (well, maybe not Chad, though he was even abusive to Leonard as a kid). Even the B-relationships Kelly-Billy, Marnie-Raymond are all in that same mold. It would be really nice to see some variation on that theme. In fact even the cop Sourd is abusive to Marnie when she shows up. Robert was a good kid, but you could see him being trained by Leonard to be a future killer early on, I’m not sure if this is some commentary or not on the gender roles of today, but it does really fully mature into that.
Those sex and torture acts are going to make this a hard R and possibly even beyond, and I’m sure the bulk of audiences will be turned off by it. The hard thing for that is the rape. This is definitely a torture porn kind of movie, but the Saw franchise gets away by making it mostly gore and physical injury. This script also has the rape and sex aspect which people have a harder time with. Personally I’m ok with torture movies and I’ve watched a lot of them, but this is definitely not for the faint of heart.
I had a little problem with the pacing in the first 40 pages. I was all about it for the first ten, but somewhere around 30 it started to drag, and I just felt like I was waiting for something to happen. Maybe tightening that up and throwing Leonard and Marnie together quicker will help that.
Here’s some notes I took while reading through the script.
2: In retrospect Ted seems like an unimportant character, but the first time I read it I thought he was important, and then I thought Leonard wasn’t important. There’s a lot of characters introduced in the first 5 pages or so, and as a reader I felt I wasn’t sure who to focus on. On further examination I think you’re not giving unimportant characters last names. But I’d take it a step further and make sure the reader knows not to waste any mental space on them. Like “ROUGH VOICED MAN” could be Ted. Just a thought.
5: Doesn’t Dairy Queen only sell that “soft shit”?
10: Missing the dash between BEDROOM and DAY.
16: “Shame the rabbit didn’t have one” is a little old of a joke lacking originality. Everything else in the script feels fresh, so I think it can be better.
20: Hmm, not sure about this flashback here. It breaks the tension a bit. If it was intercut and more frantic as we see her gasp as he gasps and the images flip perhaps. Although also I’m not sure how we’ll identify that as Leonard at age 7. It may just look like some big guy drowning a man. Unless the Mom is super identifiable.
21: I like how we don’t see everything Leonard does yet. It’s been teased enough right now and the reader’s interest is peaked.
23: s/b “Mohawks I’ve known are stubborn” No apostrophe in Mohawks.
25: Decrepid s/b decrepit.
28: So this script is categorized as a horror film with a log line that says supernatural, and right now I’m really not feeling that. At this point I kind of want more scares or something to happen. It feels more like a serial killer thriller/drama.
34: “here say” s/b “hearsay”
35: Also as a global thing, assholes is usually one word.
36: I like the mention of a degenerate cottage, peaks my interest and lets me know there’s more.
49: I’m not sure I really believe that Robert was asleep for all the other stuff, but that he wakes up eventually kind of makes it ok. Just a note in case others’ complain.
53: What is “triphammer”?
61: Why wouldn’t he put a carburetor into a lexus? Maybe a better analogy would be a lawn mower engine into a lexus.
62: Nice note on stem cells, that’s pretty twisted.
67: “reacquainted” should be one word.
83: think it’s supposed to be “Name’s Sheldon, brother” (not bother).
88: Glad they’re somehow tied to this, it seemed to sloppy a crime for them not to be.
90: “You’ve got to be kidding” – My thought as well, seems a bit too convenient.
92: Hmm, not sure about the women appearing to Leonard here. The mother appearing always makes sense, as does Tammy appearing to Marnie, but there’s no guilt to trigger these women appearing to Leonard. I say this partly because this film doesn’t feel like a real supernatural film. All of the appearances seem to fit into someone’s head and have reasons, as opposed to being an actual external spirit.
94: I don’t buy Sourds approach to the “arrest” here. It makes little sense for him to barge in like that and any cop that isn’t terrible would always identify himself as a police officer first. It just feels like the worst time and place to make an arrest, why not do it at the meeting if this was his plan? Also feels a little repetitive since you already had a conflict there between Leonard and Marnie where Leonard was shocked.
96: And no idea why he would kill Kelly, there seems no justification to that.
98: STAIR WELL is usually one word.
99: It’s a great moment when the blade goes through Sheldon’s jaw/tongue. But I don’t know if I buy/like Marnie cutting off her own leg. I’m not sure the knife is strong enough, for another I’m just not a big fan, seems too much like Saw I guess, not sure. It seems essential to the ending though, so I guess go for it.
106: In this case it should probably be “another girl” not “an other”
107: Wow. Fastest birth ever. What did they give her to make her give birth so quick after he water broke? This bumps me a little in terms of believability, at the least it feels a little too convenient like the writer is forcing things to happen. I know this is a serial killer thriller flick, but there have been several issues with believability in the film.
111: Leonard’s ability to lie to Robert here is quite powerful and good stuff. Congrats!
111: Daniel’s light? I’m guessing this is left over from a previous draft.
113: This would be a good moment with Tammy suddenly there, good for scares, but it feels out of place with this script.
115: Daniel again here.
116: Where’s Sarah? I really thought she was going to come back and help, or at least be part of this final retribution moment.
117: AHHH! And she just burned Sarah alive!
As I said, I went into this movie expecting one thing and got another, so it’s possible my read of this film is off a bit. Overall it is very well written and has enough gruesome twists and turns to appeal to the torture porn crowd. More complex supporting characters who buck the male/female gender roles that are set up would be nice and if Marnie had a better arc where she learned something I’d feel it would help a lot of people embrace her journey. I’d also suggest changing the logline, and while I think it fits more in the thriller category, I think horror works ok too. However, adding a few scares would really help fit the best parts of horror. Horrors are great when they scare us, this really just shocks us.
Still, you’ve got to make the movie you want to make. If you want to make a shocking gore/rape serial killer flick then do that and choose who to listen to carefully. At the worst you’ll offend people who won’t want to make it, but if you can get it made you may make something shocking enough to stick in people’s minds, and that’s not such a bad thing. read
by WAH3 on 07/29/2011While I’m not really into the level of gore in this story, it did a fantastic job of pulling me in and keeping me wondering “What’s next?” Even in the early pages as Leonard picks up the boy, I was thinking “Oh no, he can’t be going for the ice cream.” In most stories, the older sister takes care of the younger. Here it’s reversed. Would help to understand why. It did... While I’m not really into the level of gore in this story, it did a fantastic job of pulling me in and keeping me wondering “What’s next?” Even in the early pages as Leonard picks up the boy, I was thinking “Oh no, he can’t be going for the ice cream.”
In most stories, the older sister takes care of the younger. Here it’s reversed. Would help to understand why.
It did get a little confusing with all the flashbacks, hallucinations, and off screen voices. We first hear Tammy in a V.O. on P41. Since she hadn’t said anything to this point, the viewers wouldn’t recognize the voice. Might help to have us see here sitting on top of the tunnel calling to Marnie.
On P113 I couldn’t understand why Marnie didn’t just shoot Leonard instead of injecting him. If she was out of shells, a second shot followed by a “click” would let us know.
I think Robert may have been Daniel in a prior draft. On P115, Daniel rushes through the door.
Overall, I really liked it! read
by Gary Mark Lee on 07/23/2011This movie has already had a large number of reviews so there’s not a lot I can say that hasn’t already be spoken about, so I’m just going to talk about the story and leave out the other things. I’m a big fan of horror movies, I’ve seen just about all of them and they’re always fun, but lately their have come onto the scene what people call “Torture” movies and I would place... This movie has already had a large number of reviews so there’s not a lot I can say that hasn’t already be spoken about, so I’m just going to talk about the story and leave out the other things.
I’m a big fan of horror movies, I’ve seen just about all of them and they’re always fun, but lately their have come onto the scene what people call “Torture” movies and I would place this one near the top. If you’re a big fan of having young women abused and seeing them tortured and there insides torn out by to maniacal perverts then this is right up your alley.
Don’t get me wrong, this movie is perfect for that kind of audience, it combines “Saw” with “Silence of the Lambs” and add more on top of that. There was enough sadomasochistic activity to keep everyone happy and you mixed in a bit of supernatural goings on to layer it even more.
All the men in this story with the exception of Chad were either serial killers or uncaring jerks, all the women with the exception of one were victims. No need her to talk about relationships between the sexes, there were none. You did have some very touching friendships between women and sisters so I guess that’s were we should focus our love interests.
Marnie your lead was very interesting, a drug addict trying to find out what happened to her sister, that moved the story alone, she had to endure horrific situations and even cut off her own foot to survive, one tuff lady. In the end she dies and that’s good because I don’t think she had anywhere else to go.
Having children in horror movies is also right up to date, I was waiting for Robert your 9 year old boy to help in the killing but you made him a victim and that was good.
Leonard and Sheldon your two serial killers were well done, we hated them both and when they died we cheered, that’s the standard way of doing things, having Sheldon as a one time nurse was also good because I was wondering how he was able to cut out ladies lungs and livers so easily?
As I said I don’t like torture movies and wouldn’t go to see this one BUT I have to lay my personal feeling aside and think about the vast movie going audience of today, and I have to say that they will like this one, you gave them everything they will be looking for. Rape, murder, torture, drugs, prostitution, young ladies screaming for mercy, pedophilia, bondage, did I leave anything out?
It was well written, easy to read and moved fast, if anyone is looking for this type of movie to make then this will fit the bill.
All the best to you.
by rupertbush on 07/22/2011Hi Jay I was pretty taken aback by your script which to be honest I found quite shocking, some of the scenes were really graphic and uncomfortable, but at the same time pretty powerful. I guess this is not aimed at a family audience. I think the original story idea is good and the characters come across as proper victims and the bad guys as really nasty pieces of work. For... Hi Jay
I was pretty taken aback by your script which to be honest I found quite shocking, some of the scenes were really graphic and uncomfortable, but at the same time pretty powerful. I guess this is not aimed at a family audience. I think the original story idea is good and the characters come across as proper victims and the bad guys as really nasty pieces of work. For me perhaps a more understated approach might work better, emphasising the psychological aspects of the thriller rather than the graphic.
I thought the pace of the plot and the build up to the climax worked well, I found it quite compelling and was eager to find out what happens. That said about half way through I was trying to imaging how these two guys were going to get their comeuppance.I think the only bit that jarred with me action wise was when she sawed off her own foot to break free, it felt a bit implausible.
Overall there were a few sections in the second act that felt a bit long, but just needed a bit of nip and tuck. It was really powerful writing, I felt engaged by the script throughout and it definitely had an effect on me.
Best of luck
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 07/21/2011Omg... great read. Excellent writing, visual & gripping. It was a little too much for me at times, that being said... I couldn't stop reading. Man I hated Leonard & Sheldon, what pieces of shit. For me, the sex scenes (if you want to call rape sex) were a bit much, sometimes less is more. Same goes for the gore, less is more. We know what is in store for these woman, we feel... Omg... great read. Excellent writing, visual & gripping. It was a little too much for me at times, that being said... I couldn't stop reading. Man I hated Leonard & Sheldon, what pieces of shit. For me, the sex scenes (if you want to call rape sex) were a bit much, sometimes less is more. Same goes for the gore, less is more. We know what is in store for these woman, we feel the depravity so it isn't always necessary to show it all the time. I'm not a big fan of the "Saw" series or "Hostel" it's just too much. But I have no doubt you have great skills & you went for it. No apoligies on your part and I admire that. What else can I say but great job. You have a knack for storytelling so good luck!! read
by Ryan Maher on 07/19/2011Overall: an impressive read with multi-dimensional characters and a solid story. Personal opinions: Out of the three assignments i received the other day, this one had the weakest logline and the dullest title. I'm sorry but neither really jumped out at me, so understandably i was reluctant to read the thing...I was very pleased when i did though! You pretty much break down... Overall: an impressive read with multi-dimensional characters and a solid story.
Personal opinions: Out of the three assignments i received the other day, this one had the weakest logline and the dullest title. I'm sorry but neither really jumped out at me, so understandably i was reluctant to read the thing...I was very pleased when i did though! You pretty much break down the story well for your logline but i don't know, it just doesn't jump out and say READ ME.
P43: I didn't get why at any point Willow didn't head the commotion. I figured she was probably blocking it out, until she screams afterwards. Surely she'd notice Marnie getting attacked. Also, what was Willow's part in the story? Was she Marnie's daughter? I didn't really connect to her role.
P52-53: I had to re-read the action sequence a few times as it was a bit confusing as to whether it was Marnie or somebody else who got dragged out of the pool, obviously reading onwards my question was answered but the sequence itself was a little hazy. This scene deffinately needs re-writing.
P73: I get that our protagonist is a heroin addict, but she also has all the traits of a hero/heroine. She's very determined. I would of liked to see Marnie use the syringe full of potent smack against Sheldon and/or Leonard in a failed attempt to escape; it'd make more sense than doping herself up, that was kind of a regressive step for a protagnoist to have so late into the script. The mercy kill was justified though so i guess another route would be to just leave it at that.
P103: After Sheldon is stabbed, i think it'd be more realistic if he didn't speak, or if his speech was distorted by gurgling sounds and choking, etc when he tries to speak. That would also be a little more scary than his tyrade of swearing.
Errors: P50 Typo: "not too too long". P59: "you got sloppy bother" (should be brother).
P76: Full stop missing after second line of action. P83: "Name's Sheldon, bother" (should be brother). P90: "can't take my eyes of" (should be 'off').
P97: Leonard on phone should be (V.O.). P111: Who's Daniel?
Structure: Very well done. Nice short action descriptives, everything where it should be, neat and tidy and well written in general.
Story: Excellent. I can't fault your story one little bit. My only suggestion would be to adapt this into a novel (if you have the patience) as there's plenty of room in here for character back-story (especially with Leonard and Sheldon as they were very interesting antagonists), the whole set up with the homeless shelter program and it's connection to your antagonists, infact; there's a hell of a lot you had to leave unsaid in here due to obvious time constraints given the script's genre, that you could easily flesh out. I'd deffinately love to read 'The Currrent' as a novel, it was a great story.
Concept: I'm not going to rate the script's concept i.e - Moral of the story or story's targets as much as i'd like to praise a goal you've achieved in writing this...Right here is a very graphic tale that not only at times dips it's toe into the torture porn sub-genre, whereas it actually submergest itself and comes out covered in gore! Now how many films have you seen (since the original Saw, which was awesome) that have pulled this off and still managed to achieve a solid storyline throughout that doesn't have to rely on body parts flying everywhere to keep the audience's attention?! Yep, there's not a lot of 'em out there. 'The Current', however, achieves exactly what the original Saw movie did, and that was keep the story and the character's drama as the focal point whilst using the shock tactics as a visual treat. Basically what i'm trying to say is that you nailed it! This is a great addition to the survivalist/revenge subgenre of horror. I loved it.
Characters: Fleshed out, realistic and above all; conflicted. Impressive.
Dialogue: Standard. I didn't like Leonard and Sheldon's overkill of the word 'brother', it kept kinda blending both those guys in as one for me. I'd like to see a little more work on these guys as individuals. I get the idea that Leonard is very reserved whereas Sheldon is completely upfront. Use this in their dialogue and how they interact with people other than eachother. Marnie on the other hand, i find she already has a voice. You did a fine job with Marnie.
I loved the ending. A personal opinion though (sorry) would be that i'd like to see a shot of Marnie's body burning in the cabin. You could use the scene where Marnie walks into the woods with Tammy and is reunited with her baby and then show a shot of the burning building with Marnie inside to kind of amplify the idea that her soul is now at peace. I know you're touching on this idea already with your ending, but this isn't a drama, it's a horror story so there's no need to be subtle about it. Amplify your ending!
Great job, thoroughly enjoyed every page of this! It held my attention completely throughout and i would not hesitate paying the ticket fee to see this on the big screen. read
by jovan.jevtic on 07/18/2011This was a mixture of SAW and FUNNY GAMES U.S. and KISS THE GIRLS Structure is excellent. Dialogue is good. What can be improved is: The boat scene takes too long. They talk too much. Mother talks too much in Leonards visions. Two killers sometimes talk too much. The story was just OK for my taste. You crossed the line between thriller and horror and stayed on the horror side... This was a mixture of SAW and FUNNY GAMES U.S. and KISS THE GIRLS
Structure is excellent.
Dialogue is good. What can be improved is:
The boat scene takes too long. They talk too much.
Mother talks too much in Leonards visions. Two killers sometimes talk too much.
The story was just OK for my taste. You crossed the line between thriller and horror and stayed on the horror side which I didn't like. Montage when they torture Marnie wasn't really necessary since we know they're brutal. Also cutting the girl scene could be deleted and leave it to the audience to imagine. Sometimes it works better when you don't show.
Characters were great. You got me rooting for Marnie and that's great. The main problem writers have these days with their main characters is they're not likeable.
This is a low to medium budget horror so it can be done filming and all, but I don't think you'll have the audience. Look how Funny games US flopped
Maybe if you lower the violence you can do better.
Anyway it was a good read. Congrats. Well done. read
by Cenydd Ros on 07/17/2011Some of this is nicely wriiten, making use of some flavorful prose. Mostly, I liked the language/writing craft of the action lines. e.g. encapsulating Tendrils of smoke waft toes webbed with soap bubbles a squalid living room "Getting your hole" - Didn't get this line. To be frank, I feel that flashbacks generally suck. I just don't think it is a good approach to story telling... Some of this is nicely wriiten, making use of some flavorful prose. Mostly, I liked the language/writing craft of the action lines. e.g.
Tendrils of smoke waft
toes webbed with soap bubbles
a squalid living room
"Getting your hole" - Didn't get this line.
To be frank, I feel that flashbacks generally suck. I just don't think it is a good approach to story telling - especially when they break into scenes. I am in the opinion that if a character has traumatic elements from their past that need to be displayed in a script it is best to introduce these in something other than a flashback. E.g., those scenes could appear in the beginning of a script, like a prologue. Or they might work if told as a story, for example, inserting a "flashback" during a confession to a priest or spilling your heart out to a friend in a bar. Flashbacks are a device that should be used sparingly, from my POV, and when used the set up should flow with the story, not just cut to flashback. This script is full of flashbacks that honestly add very little to the storyline.
P.34 "The kid finds the rabbit's foot in a pile of jewelry this guy keeps in his drawer..." - I don't remember Robert saying anything about a pile of jewelry or the drawer, just that his uncle "had lots".
"Marnie sinks back to the edge of the bed. Tammy's eyes remain closed. She grits her teeth -enduring the pain." - I wouldn't expect ANYONE to produce a film that includes the rape of a ten year old child in scene. i.e., you really should stop this with the dirtbag dropping his pants, we know what comes next.
I have recently watched something like four organ harvesting movies. This theme is already being beaten to death. Although, I would have to say the "late term abortion - newborn" line was somewhat novel (and altogether gruesome).
Graphic rape scenes are another turn off in terms of finding financing for your script (p. 63 - 64). Furthermore, the overall gornography/carnography of this script is overpowering. Gore and sadism seem to be the focus of the story, with little in the way of redeeming elements. I can only envisage an audience for this film being composed of people who like to watch suffering. I tend to write some graphic/violent material myself, but try to keep the sadism within manageable boundaries. This one abounds in sadism, and that, I believe, is going to severely limit its appeal to producers.
So... in short, well written. However, I would consider taming this story, shaving off the excess in brutality. Often, less is more in stories of this kind, where the mind fills in the blanks of what is not seen. This can make in many cases the story to be even more scary.
P. 104 SHIRLEY = SHELDON read
- Writer: Jay Stanners
- Uploaded by: Jay_Stanners
- Length: 119 pages
- Genre: horror
- "The Current" is an updated version of my previous entry on here - "Forgotten". Though the main characters, a few scenes and some of the themes remain the same, this is a drastically different story. PLEASE BE WARNED, if you're easily offended by violence, gore and graphic situations, this is NOT for you.
- Bio: I've worked in the VFX field for the last 10 years. 5 years before that I've worked for both animation and gaming studios.
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