The writing is sharp. Clean, moves forward. Tight. I liked being brought into this world. Cool house. You do a lot with it. Good work quickly developing your characters. I’m pulling for these people and I’m relieved when Caleb and Grace finally get out of there. Each character’s personality is different and established quickly. Russell is amusing. Rebecca is likeable. (Her telling Vickie that she’s going to make it is a great turn in that scene.) Vickie is relatable. James is pretty creepy. Emma is pretty diabolical. Lots of good stuff. There’s something to your hook – Dr. Brandt making his guests face their fears. There’s potential there but I don’t think you’ve figured out a way to fully realize it. Maybe get to it sooner? Maybe figure out ways to better explore it - for more scares, more character development, better plot twists? There’s something there but it’s not quite clicking yet. I think you can do better with Brandt. Where does he disappear to for so long? Why doesn’t he have a better plan? Better security? He lets all of this happen to his house and to his family. He’s kind of weak and not all that impressive. Others kind of step into void that he isn’t filling (William, his sons, Keegan), but they don’t do it effectively enough. A stronger, more compelling antagonist would serve you better. More notes: Good line: Of course I'm gonna do it. Shit. The inciting incident (being offered the job) is not all that compelling/dynamic. It’s fine, but why not have something that adds momentum and is more memorable? Getting dressed in the car is a nice touch. You do well developing a foreboding sense in this slightly off place. Page 22: James making an appearance reminds me of Get Out, in a good way. Single location – good for budget, though this place sounds like an expensive location. But I like the choice. The pool is cool. Set up well. You’re obviously going to bring us back to it. Good job not letting us lose track of the fact that Caleb smuggling in his iPad. I might ease up on that number of references to it, but maybe don’t even mess with it. Page 30: Where are the scares? You’re not doing slow burn. There’s not much buildup. It’s taking a while to get going. Caleb trying to finish and export his book is a good subplot. His cover lie about his sick dad is slick. Not sure about Vickie accidentally killing Russell. Not sure what you’re going for there, or what that’s supposed to add. Maybe you’re setting up her turn later? Caleb and Grace running into a room full of guests is a nice beat. I’m unclear on how many guests are in this house. That aspect feels a bit muddled. The cross-cutting between the different characters trying to escape is effective. Finding Liz’s body is a good reveal. “Can I use your phone?” - great line Finding Liz’s phone is a good. Your writing is too good to occasionally lean on cliché phrases like bat out of hell, deer in the headlights. Caleb picking up Nate’s ice pack is a good beat. Lots of guards with bad aim reloading clips. Vickie covered in blood, wielding the scythe is pretty cool. Vickie’s shift to embracing her fate and going full crazy feels forced. Page 97: Caleb/Grace reunion is a good moment. The pool explosion is good. Vickie reappearing to deliver the fatal blow was good. There’s a lot of good stuff in this script. A lot to be proud of. Good work.
A struggling single mother has her baby abducted. She teams up with another mom to figure out how to get their children back from an illegal adoption agency.