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I got 3 pages in and gave up. This isn't formatted or done by someone who understands screenplay formatting.
This isn't a short story, it's a TV script. The story had several inconsistencies. The dialogue was too on the nose and at times just straight up cliché'd. There were too many moments where I felt like I was reading a novel based on the descriptions of unimportant colors or thoughts they were having that couldn't be conveyed on a screen. The pacing was fair, although there felt like tons of information was missing. I like the concept but it just seemed too unbelievable -- especially trying way they brushed the situation off like they didn't just kill a guy.
Now this is show not tell, good job. Theoretically this could be taken “as is” and shot. It would leave quite a few lingering questions, but, for what it is, it’s fine. While, it’s still on-the-nose dialogue, it’s at least not exposition. Since I can’t go back into the comments section, I could be wrong on the following, I thought you wrote that this was fleshing out of what would be a full length feature, which would probably be good. Because the main question I would have is “how does the boy become the beast?” He sees it in the woods that night, and later he becomes it. There’s nothing in the short that made me think he was the beast. I knew he was going to be the killer. But, I thought he’d just kill her. You do say it’s based on folklore, but that piece of folklore I do not know. As I said this could theoretically be shot as is. But, overall every scene could be better. I think we’ve gone over my thoughts on your dialogue, and it’s much better here. But, there’s still room for improvement. Scene 1: Car Driving to the Lake House shows a family who doesn’t communicate. If mom just looked at her two bored kids and kept driving, we wouldn’t lose anything. Breaking down the dialogue, “Do you ever get off that thing?” Her mother is asking a question she obviously knows the answer to. No, Monica doesn’t. Then Monica says a long winded “What… look the same.” Is there anything wrong with that? No. But, perhaps a little more entertainment value with foreshadowing. Lynn: There’s things to look at in the real world. Monica’s website is buffering. She looks out the window. Monica: Oh my God mom… Lynn: What? Monica: A tree… Look there’s another… If the exchange went something like this, when Monica plays her prank on Darren, the viewer would know this is part of her personality. Honestly, isn’t this a tad more interesting than saying the on-the-nose dialogue? Scene 2: Lake House Reads well. Could have a little more tension and build-up. But, its fine. The only piece of dialogue I’d question is Lynn’s “Monica, stop teasing him!” I’m sure when Monica’s not on the phone and in the same room as Darren, she probably tortures him regularly. But, in this script, they don’t associate with each other in the car. Since they’re removing baggage it’s probably the first torture session of vacation. At the absolute least it should be “Monica don’t tease your brother!” But, it should possibly be a little stronger and not so on-the-nose. This is vacation. Scene 3: Kitchen As is, it’s fine. This OTN dialogue is a little forced. “I’m stuck here. “ prompts Darren to somehow grow a pair to say “Who said they’d wanna hang out with you?”, which then gives her the opening to the exposition about the monster getting him. The question I would have regarding this scene and this family is “What is their problem?” This is one miserable group. I’ll give Monica the benefit of the doubt and say “she’s a normal 16 year old.” But, what’s Darren’s problem? He’s either bored or acting like a little sissy (I’m not PC). Mom just seems clueless. I’m assuming this has something to do with no father being there. But, who knows. It doesn’t really matter for a 7 page script. But, what fun is it to watch a family like this? It just makes me happy I have no kids. Getting rid of the on-the-nose dialogue would be easy if the characters were in motion. The family eats. Lynn eyes Monica nibbling her food while scanning a webpage on her phone, and Darren mopes while he eats. Lynn: I saw Monopoly in the closet. Neither were listening. Lynn is about to say something else. But, she knows it will go on deaf ears. She reaches across the table and grabs the phone from Monica. Monica: What are you doing? Give that back. Lynn: This is family week. Family dinner. As Lynn puts the phone on her lap she notices the photos on the phone. She scrolls through them. Lynn: Is this Beth?... Trish? You wanted to go with them? Oooh… Darren moves to try and see the photos. Monica rises. Monica: You have no right doing that? Lynn: Sit. (Monica sits) I have every right… (to Darren) Back, eat. Lynn puts the phone in her pocket. Lynn: Everyone eat. (like a warden) After dinner we’re going to play Monopoly. The quietly eat. Monica notices a slight smirk on Darren’s face. Monica: Why don’t we play hide and seek outside, in the dark woods. We can go out and look for the beast that eats little… You don't have to like this, but, do you see there’s at least a little naturalness to it? What I applied above, could go for the rest of the scenes. All in all a good job for a first draft.